Running with Music: A Jaybird RUN Earbud Review
Running with music is a something you either love or hate. For many runners, it’s the only way to get motivated to get out the door and log some miles. For others, they wouldn’t dare disrupt the tranquility of their feet on the pavement.
For me, I go back and forth. As the father of four children, I cherish the time alone with my thoughts. I’ve grown to love the distraction-free running time where I get creative inspiration for all sorts of things in life. Then again, I also love catching up on interesting podcasts, audio books, and all of us know the motivational power of a good playlist.
Recently I was contacted by Jaybird, a company specializing in Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. They wanted to send me a pair of their Jaybird RUN earbuds. I get these requests A LOT and almost always know if it’s something worth sharing on the blog (this one was a mistake). The Jaybird RUN earbuds intrigued me and since I have an “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” policy about free product reviews, I decided to give them a shot.
I’ve now run with these earbuds for about a month on a dozen runs. They aren’t perfect, and not cheap ($175), but they are, by far, the best thing on the market I’ve ever used to listen to music while running.
Jaybird RUN Earbuds
Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not you should invest in a pair of Jaybird RUN earbuds:
Super Long Play Time
The website claims a “4 hour play time + 8-hour charge case” which seems conservative to me. I have yet to charge them and have gotten 8 - 10 hours of use out of them.
The headphones come in this little pill looking case (which doubles as the charging station). When you open it to take them out, they connect to your device - instantly! By the time I have both the earbuds securely in my ears, the device is connected. I wish ALBluetoothth products worked this well!
Secure and Comfortable Fit
I will admit, the earbuds aren’t easy to get in your ears. However, once you’ve got them in, they ain’t coming out! They come with interchangeable tips and fins (see below), but the default setup out of the box works well for me. Maybe I’d have a better fit if I experimented with other sizes.
Sounds Quality - Customized with Jaybird app
The in-ear style of these headphones makes good use of their small size. Initially, I was disappointed at how poor the bass was until I discovered the sound settings in the app. The app works like an equalizer on a high-end stereo. It’s amazing how much customization you can get! Optimizing the sound quality for a podcast or pump-up-music is remarkably easy. For such tiny-tiny earbuds, the sound is simply remarkable.
One Bud or Two!
Since the buds operate independently, you can run with just one which is great for safety. They are designed to fit snugly in your ears, while also blocking out background noise. This is great for the listening experience but not so much for hearing cars coming up behind you. If I’m running in a busy area, I’ll use just one earbud, which is surprisingly awesome.
Music + Calls
Since the earbuds form a seal in your ear to block out background noise, you can’t really hear yourself talking when on a call, which leads to shouting. However, it’s a nice option should you need it.
The Big Problem…
Amazon.com reviews are mixed for the Jaybird Run headphones. 55% of reviewers gave them 4 or 5 stars, while 33% gave just 1 or 2. The number one issue people have is connectivity. For the most part, I have not experienced the connectivity issues or “dropped” earbuds of the reviewers. However, the earbuds have dropped a few times and when I reached out to Jennifer, a customer service representative from the company, she said this issue may be due to :
- Running in the city with high Bluetooth interference. It’s strange, but of the three times my connectivity dropped, twice have been in one very specific spot on a route I regularly run.
- Where you keep your phone when you run. It needs to be on the right side of your body to maximize connection with the right earbud. I carry it on the left (in a special pocket) or in the small of my back in a belt.
- Update to the latest firmware. It’s nice they can make updates and push them out to users.
The Jaybird RUN headphones are either susceptible to user error, have a design flaw, or just need another version to work out some of the bugs. When I run with music, I really LOVE these headphones. They connect to my phone instantly and the sound quality is good enough and loud enough for an enjoyable experience. The headphones are pretty expensive, but if you’re the kind of person who does most of your runs while listening to music, audiobook or podcast, I think they’re worth it!