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Earbud Review for Runners

Updated on June 15, 2012

Earbuds for Running

As a runner, having an iPod/iPhone and earbuds is a necessity. It is easily justifiable spending the money on top quality earbuds for everyday runners. However, knowing which earbuds to buy is the challenge. Functionality, comfort and durability are must haves for the purchase.

I prefer earbuds to have a remote toggle for easy adjustment of sound and song navigation. Since I run primarily with my iPhone and listen to Pandora, I desire the ability to answer phone calls if needed. The earbuds must be equipped with a microphone. Since we all have different ears, the option of different bud sizes needs to be available. I enjoy a wide variety of music genres. When I am running I require up tempo music for motivation. In other words, I like the sound of BASS when Lil’ Wayne is pushing me through the finish line! With that said, I do not want to lose the melody and harmony of my music as a result for my indulgence of bass. I need balance. And, most importantly, the earbuds must be resilient against the long sweaty runs and light rains that they will have to endure.

I have traveled the road of testing earbuds and experienced many disappointments along that journey. I finally found the earbud that was best suited for my desires and needs. I will conclude that there is still room for growth in developing earbuds for athletes. My final decision was the purchase of the BOSE IE2 audio headphones. Below are other earbuds I tested for several days before ultimately buying the BOSE IE2.

Klipsch – Image S4i Earbud with Microphone and 3-Button Remote : The treble was too high. The sound quality was not what I expected for a premium ear bud priced $99 at Best Buy. The remote and microphone worked fine with no problems. The ear buds were packaged with multiple ear cushions for sizing. Conclusion: Quality of a skull candy earbud with an expensive price tag.

Etymotic – hf3 Earbud Headphones: These earbuds are for people who enjoy symphonic sound. I bought these after reading many positive reviews. These are a high quality earbud, however they are not the best for workouts. The price at Best Buy is $179. Conclusion: Earbuds engineered for people who want to comprehend the music they are listening to and have the expendable income to do so.

Beats by Dr. Dre – Monster Power Beats Earbud Headphone: Not the quality that you expect. These earbuds are $149. Beats by Dr.Dre are marketed toward athletes and people who enjoy hip hop. The sound quality is decent but you really have to turn up the volume to hear the bass. The durability of these earbuds does not exist; I had to return three pair before I gave up the fight. There is a toggle remote and microphone. The toggle remote in all three models stopped working almost immediately! They are packaged with different ear cushion sizes for comfort. Conclusion: Quality control is not present. The Beats does not project the same 3D sound excellence as the Studio headphones by Dr.Dre.

BOSE – IE2 Earbud Headphone: Best on the market for the price. These are the earbuds I would recommend to a runner or athlete. These earbuds have survived hundreds of miles of intense running. There is a nice balance of treble and bass. Each purchase comes packaged with ear cushions of different size. There is a remote for toggling sound and song play. The toggle occasionally sticks but never completely loses functionality. Microphone works fine. Conclusion: Superior 3D sound and best durabilty today for athletes.


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    • GirlGoneSplendid profile image

      GirlGoneSplendid 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I will definitely look into the LG NBS-700. I have been researching bluetooth enabled earbuds. I am tired of the cord getting in my way of my arms when I am in running. Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      Joshwa 5 years ago

      If your iPhone has bluetooth, then cut the cord and get the LG HBS-700.

      I just got these a few weeks ago, but I will never go back to wired headphones. I run with them, work out with them and sometimes, just leave them on during the day. The sound is great, the build-quality is great, and I don't have a bouncing cord or a cord pulling on my ears from under my shirt. It has volume (up / down) and playback (play, pause, stop, next track, previous track, FF & REW) controls, and it works great for phone calls as well as music. My only complaint is that when I'm running (not walking / jogging), the base does bounce a bit, but I just put the front ends under my shirt collar and they don't do it anymore. The earbud cords still reach my ears without a problem.

      Just read the reviews on Amazon and you will be convinced that this is the best headset ever. You can get them locally at Fry's for $60, same as on Amazon, but Amazon has free shipping.