My stroke rhythm was sent haywire yesterday as I fought valiantly to keep my usual headphones secure in my ear. The cord kept getting trapped between my arm and torso and each stroke wrenched the ear piece further around my neck. I had to request assistance from the sidelines and it’s no easy matter sticking something in the ear of a rower topping 33 strokes per minute.
I was glad to get my hands on a pair of the Jabra Bluetooth wireless headphones. Not that I mind too much about running with a cord jiggling about but rowing is another matter. The Jabra sport isn’t entirely wireless as there’s a cord between the two earpieces, but it doesn’t require a wired connection to your phone or mp3 player.
I first tried the headphones in the kitchen, singing along to Adele while I was rustling up a chilli. With the iPhone abandoned at one end of the kitchen I found the reception a little patchy as I moved from cooker to fridge and back again. The strength of connection was supposed to be excellent inside so I was expecting to have problems when I took them outside but actually found it to be clear as a bell.
For active wear it’s recommended that you wear your iPhone in the provided arm band to keep the distance between gadgets at a minimum. I’m now the proud owner of 3 iPhone armbands and have found the Jabra version the most comfortable – its not going to be waterproof though so only suitable for the fair weather runner.
The earpiece fits very comfortably but it has a bit of weight behind it and as a result can feel a bit unstable when you run. I had the sense that it might jump off my ear lobes and kept checking that they were still in place.
It suits the larger lobed runner.
If you aren’t well endowed on the ear front you could try my other headphone retention accessory – the Windrush headband, which is a marvellous creation in its own right but probably not a year round solution.
My latest run was conducted without the need for retention devices, and I was beginning to get quite attached to the headphones. I was wondering whether the sense of freedom was worth the relatively high price tag of £99 when a strange ladies voice interrupted my audiobook listening to inform me she was running low on battery power. I hadn’t factored in the battery issue of a cordless headset. I’d checked the Garmin and the iPhone for juice before I set off but now was only 3k into a loop of Richmond Park with a stroppy headphone telling me she was about to go on strike.
Another demanding gadget is beginning to feel a little less liberating.
All in all, I was impressed by the quality of these headphones. The sound and reception were excellent and it’s a huge bonus to have an FM receiver built in. Despite it taking a little while to get used to having a relatively bulky item sitting above your ear lobe, the headphones did remain in place through running and rowing trials. The only downside is power related, the usage of any Bluetooth device drains battery power of the iPhone and the headsets themselves need to be charged up regularly.