What makes a set of headphones work for an athlete? Comfort, a secure fit, the ability to hear ambient noise, and sweat resistance.
Cheyenne, WY (PRWEB) February 21, 2014
OutdoorGearLab, a leading gear review website that evaluates equipment and apparel for active and outdoorsy people, has finalized their favorites in the sport headphones field, publishing a Top Sport Headphone review for 2014. Ten of the best pairs for athletic use were compared side-by-side to determine the winners. Each model was scored on sound quality, ear comfort and the ability to stay in place during motion, features and accessories, and durability. These select models were tested over numerous hours of running and cross-country skiing in the Eastern Sierra, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Telluride, Colorado. Testers also performed a head-to-head music listening test to compare sound quality in a standardized fashion. After careful comparison, winners were chosen.
And the Winners are:
The Bose SIE2 earns the Editor's Choice award.
This model does not produce the highest sound quality, but is the leader in comfort by far. The ergonomic silicone ear pieces hook inside the ears to firmly stay in place during motion. Lead tester Lauren Jimison, who is also a competitive runner, noted that they are so unobtrusive that you may forget you are wearing them. According to Jimison, the rest of the features thoughtfully cater towards an athlete's needs: a shortened cord with a swivel resists tangles but has an extension for when a longer cord is needed, they allow for ambient noise to be heard as a matter of safety, and they come with an armband to carry a music device. They do not include a microphone or controller, but a similar version with this offering can be purchased as well.
The Klipsch X7i takes a Top Pick award for highest sound quality.
These luxury headphones have ceramic, oval earpieces that sit comfortably inside the ear. In our music test, gear editor McKenzie Long observed that they produce the clearest and most precise sound, making them the ideal selection for those who value sound quality over other features. They block external noise, so are best used indoors instead of along busy trails or roads where awareness of surroundings is important. The flat cord resists tangles, which is useful when working hard and moving fast. The X7i includes a microphone and controller, so can assist in answering calls hands-free or skipping to the next song while on the move.
The Monster iSport Intensity win a Top Pick award for sport headphones with a microphone and controller.
This model excels in almost every arena except for sound quality, which gear editor McKenzie Long found to be adequate but not outstanding. They are ultra durable, being waterproof and UV protected, they have a secure, ergonomic in-ear fit, allow for external noise to be heard through music, and have a microphone and controller for hands-free phone answering and quick on-the-go volume adjustment. Long notes that this feature makes this model the perfect accessory for the athlete that likes to record workouts on tracking apps such as Strava, Endomondo, or Fitbit. The flat cord does not tangle as easily as cable-style cords and they come with a carrying pouch for protection.
The ME Electronics Sport-Fi M6 earn the Best Buy award.
Tester Lauren Jimison notes that this affordable model offers a lot for a thirty dollar retail price. The M6 provide decent sound quality, secure memory wire ear hangers that fit underneath helmets, and a hard, protective carrying case. The M6 are noise-isolating so are best used in a gym or on an airplane rather than outdoors. They are water resistant, and Jimison states that they are relatively comfortable. Six different sets of ear pieces allow for customized comfort and fit.
Reference our complete review for detailed write ups on each individual product, including six other pairs that were high quality but did not win an award. The review also includes a Buying Advice article, which describes the key features to look for when purchasing a pair of headphones for athletic use.
OutdoorGearLab LLC is headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming and dedicated to creating world’s best outdoor gear reviews. The company’s website, http://www.outdoorgearlab.com, is a free resource for people who love the outdoors and participate in activities such as hiking, cycling, running, backpacking, climbing, skiing, and camping. The team performs side-by-side testing of outdoor gear and publishes the results in comparative reviews complemented with photos and videos. Each product is scored across a range of weighted categories, competing products are ranked, and awards are given to top performing models.