Yurbuds: music to my ears

It sounds like something someone in a Yarmouth bar might slur to you around two in the morning: “Hey, where are yurbuds?”

In this instance, though, they’d be inquiring not after your drinking buddies, but rather after the super-cool pair of ear buds you wore into the bar so many beers ago.

Like the meme goes, I don’t always run to music, but when I do, I wear Yurbuds.

yurbuds

It wasn’t always that way. I, too, used to be a poor schumuck, running along, my earbuds popping out of my ears every 500 metres or so.  That became one of the things I enjoyed about winter running: my cap kept the earphones in place.

I finally got a chance to test some Yurbuds this summer and I have to say that they live up to their reputation.

Here I provide the usual disclaimer: I was sent a test pair for review from the Canadian distributor.

I received a pair of the “Performance Fit Inspire Sport,” and these were actually sized for me. Before they arrived, I sent a photo of a quarter next to my ear, presumably so the distributor could decide what size would best fit.

Either that, or the guys at the distributors had a great time: “Look. We got another one to put the quarter next to his ear. How hilarious is that! Now we should email him and tell him he needs to put a couple of dimes up his nose so we can calibrate the acoustic qualities of the earphones.”

Er…no, that didn’t happen. Honest. Anyway(said in a bright tone of voice)….

The Inspire Duo is billed as an earphone “designed with the athlete in mind.”

inspire_blue_1

The box they arrive in promises the Inspire Sport: “won’t fall out – guaranteed.”

I began to envision some crazy tests, base-jumping in a cork-screw pattern off of a bridge; hang-gliding up to 1,000 metres and then leaping off in my bat-wing suit; setting a new speed record on the Daytona salt flats.

But I decided running in them would be sufficient. All the other earphones fell out, so I wanted to see how these did.

That, after all, over and above everything else, is the premise of the Yubuds: they will stay in your ear no matter what.

Yurbud founder Seth Burgett, a triathlete, writes in a back-of-the-box testimonial that nearly every athlete suffers from the same problem, their earphones hurt and fall out. He decided to do something about it, inventing a flexible silicone compound that fits over any earphone and slides into your ear canal for a snug fit.

Yurbuds also promise “ambient noise awareness,” and “exceptional sound quality.”

The headphones deliver on every count.

At first, I found them a little uncomfortable, a bit intrusive, when I put them in my ear. Those suckers are practically rooting around in there, but it didn’t take long to get used to the more, uh, intimate fit.

That said, I think it might be a good idea to take your music down a couple of notches. The same ergonomic fit that keeps them in place may also funnel your tunes more efficiently and you do want to be able to hear for longer than, say, the next two years.

What?! Damn. Speak up…just kidding around….

The next thing that caught me by surprise was the wind. I could hear it howling as I ran. This is a function of the ambient noise awareness, which is actually a pretty cool safety feature. It was a little disconcerting though until I got the wind behind me.

All nice and fine, but how do they sound? Unbelievable. These headphones are clear, rich and deep. Their range is much greater than your basic iPod earbuds, which typically are set for 5HZ and 21KHZ. In comparison, Yurbuds offer a range of 20 HZ to 20 KHZ; in other words, pretty much the spectrum of what the human ear is capable of hearing.

My pair is fairly basic, but pleasing. However, if you want the heavy-duty bling, you can invest in pairs like the Inspire Limited Edition, which will give you some serious bass (not that that’s lacking in the Sport model), a tangle-free Kevlar cord, and a three-button microphone for controlling your iPods, iPhones and the like.

I have to say the packaging is pretty swank as well. They come neatly encased in foam in the box boasting all the benefits with the aforementioned founder’s testimonial on the back. They have their own little zip bag to keep them in, a “quick start” guide – technology, even earphones, can be confusing, you know – and a couple of little cards with motivational tales on one side and a man and woman with the words “focus” and “inspire” painted across their faces on the other.

yurbuds2

They are, of course, wearing Yurbuds.

Having tried them myself now, I can appreciate why. Like I say, I don’t often run with music, but when I find myself in Yarmouth at two in the morning….

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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2 Responses to Yurbuds: music to my ears

  1. I won a pair of Yurbuds from them and now they accompany my Yurbuds armband that I run with. I love my Yurbuds! They haven’t fallen out, even with accidental tugs.

    • subthree says:

      It seems to be a well thought-out product. It’s a simple idea, keeping the earbuds in while you run, but obviously they were the first to figure out how to do that.

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