This post is sponsored by Staples.
If you ask me what my essential running gear includes, I would have to say my music. I almost always run with earphones (unless a race doesn't allow them). Music has helped me get through tough runs and stave off boredom during my long runs. I listen to Pandora stations on my phone (my faves are Imagine Dragons, Passion Pit, and Lindsay Sterling). I don't use fancy earphones, though, and I've been using those cheap Apple earphones that come free with iPods. Many of them have been killed by my sweat. They work for me, and I don't have a problem with them falling out, so I never felt the need to try other earphones.
Although the Apple earphones have been working for me, the sound quality really isn't that great. I decided to get the in-ear urBeats so I could try them for running, and after testing them, I can definitely hear that the sound is richer. The tips of the earphones are also designed to seal into your ear and block out noise.
Beats by Dr. Dre urBeats Review
Opening the urBeats packaging:
Upon opening, you get your earphones. Lift up the little tab, and underneath are a few accessories.
You get a carrying case (bottom) and another case (top) for 3 more earphone tips. The tips that are already on the earphones are "medium". In the case, you get a smaller and larger size, as well as another one with a different shape.
- Hi-def sound
- Tangle-free cables (something I struggled with using Apple earphones)
- ControlTalk for on-cable iPhone/iPod control and hands-free talking
- Carrying case
- 4 different tips for custom fit
Took them out for a test run (pun intended ;). The first time I used them for running, I was using the default tips. Unfortunately, they kept falling out during my short run, and was bothersome. I tried switching them with the other 3 tips, and found one that had a better fit. I tried running in them again, and although they didn't fall out as easily, the one in my left ear kept falling out. Strangely, the right one stayed put. I had to really stick it in my ear for a good fit, though. Maybe I just have weird ear canals.
Another thing that bothered me was the sealed-off feeling of the earphones. They block out a lot of ambient noise. As a runner, being able to hear my surroundings is important to me. Although it sounds oxymoronic (is that even a word), the earphones seemed "noisy" because of the seal. Like when you plug up your ears and the noise in your head seems louder. Because the earphones seal up my ears, the sound from the movement of the cables was amplified to a point that it was annoying.
For running, the urBeats didn't work very well for me. The sound quality is a step up from my old earphones, though, and I would recommend these for activities involving less movement. I enjoy taking walks on my rest days, and these work perfectly fine for that.
Beats also offers other in-ear earphones designed more specifically for athletes. PowerBeats would probably fit better for me since they have ear-clips.
And now for the giveaway you've all been waiting for! Staples will generously send the winner a pair of Beats of your choice from here, valued up to $100.
US residents only