Craig tests five different sets of Bluetooth earphones and tells us his top buy
I run. I run quite a lot, not only for physical fitness but for my mental health too, and when I do I need music. Something to drown out the thoughts of the day and to help take me somewhere else, to lift my mood, motivate and set the pace. I therefore need a good set of head phones.
I need earphones that firstly stay in place, there’s nothing worse than an earbud that continually drops out of your ear while running! They need to be easy to use and pair with my phone, they need to stay connected, and the sound quality needs to be good.
Over the last year I must have spent almost £200 trying to find the perfect set of earphones, and after lots of trials and disappointment I’ve found my perfect set. To stop you from wasting time and money I’ll take you through five sets of Bluetooth earphones and tell you exactly how I got on with them and what didn’t work for me. So here goes.
Jam Transit Micro Sports Buds
First up and most certainly bottom of my list are the Jam Transit Micro Sports Buds. Priced at around £20 they come with a free water bottle. If that wasn’t a sign that this brand needs to give you something for nothing to buy these I don’t know what is. The first set I bought didn’t work at all so I had to return them for a replacement set.
On the plus side the battery life at 10 hours is quite good. They’re sweat resistant and have a reflective cord. They also have something called ‘Safe Surround’ which eliminates volume on one side, allowing you to hear your environment around you. I didn’t like this as I felt like the sound was only coming from one ear phone. I didn’t get the point.
Aside from the battery life I wasn’t impressed by these whatsoever. Firstly the ear grips are very hard plastic and as I ran they rubbed, causing the soreness. The sound quality wasn’t so great either and my music sounded ‘tinny’ and a little distant.
Lastly the cord between the ear buds is way too long at 55cm (whose head is that wide?!) They provide a small plastic item that you can used to twist the cord around to shorten it but all that did was bounce around on the back of my neck and irritated me. Don’t bother.
Mpow Magneto Ear Buds
Next up are the Mpow Magneto Ear Buds. I bought these after leaving my first set of Mpow earphones at the gym (coming later) these were apparently a newer version than the set I had previously, so I bought them thinking that they would be even better than the previous model.
At around £20 they have a unique Magnetic Control Design Using Honeywell Switch Sensor and allow you to play/pause the music on your device or answer/end phone calls by attaching and separating the earbuds. No bother of pressing any button.
They claim to have easy and fast pairing and CD-like high quality sound and noise cancellation. They come with a variety of soft rubber ear hooks, ear tips and buds to help with the perfect fit.
They did fit, and they did stay in my ears, not only that but the sound quality was quite good too. Initially I was impressed, however after 15 minutes of running the music cut out. It cut back in, then out again, and so on. I got so fed up with them that I just pulled them out and carried on running without them. Maybe this pair were just faulty but I could not be bothered to find out. Onward and upwards.
Apachie Stereo Dual Wireless Bluetooth Earphones
Next we have the Apachie Stereo completely wireless earphones. I loved the look of these and the self charging carry case was a really nice touch. Simply put the buds back in the box and they charge ready for your next workout. But once charged they do only last for two hours, which I suppose is long enough for most workouts.
The sound quality was good which I’d expect for the £80 price tag and like others they came with a variety of components to help you get the perfect fit.
I really liked these but found that even after trying different fittings the right ear bud fell out. So while running I had to keep pushing it back in my ear. Super irritating but not a massive problem until you understand that pressing the ear bud is also the way that you control them! So having accidentally turned them off by trying to get them to stay put I gave up on them. I don’t want to be distracted at all by my ear phones while running. They should enhance the run not impede it. On to the next pair!
Mpow Swift Sport Headphones
Second from the top spot are the Mpow Swift Sport Headphones. I used these without fuss or bother until I inadvertently left them in the gym changing room. Needless to say they were no longer there when I returned.
These were both comfortable and stable and I found the on-ear controls easy to access too. The battery lasts for hours and they also had a good sound quality. I would have happily continued with these had they not been stolen. The only small downfall is the long wire that again sits at the back of your neck. When I ran and got sweaty the wire tended to stick at the back of my neck so turning my head was slightly impeded. These are still available on Amazon for around £20.
Avanca S1 Bluetooth Sports Headset
Last up at the top slot are the Avanca S1 Bluetooth Sports Headset. These will hopefully be the last set that I ever buy. I am super impressed with these!
At around £30 your’e getting a good deal for your money. The stereo sound quality is very good and loud too which I also found was an issue with other earphones as they were just not loud enough. They’re a super light 176g and fit me really well. They don’t move around or rub and there’s no wire to bounce around at the back of your neck or stick to you as you run.
The battery charges quickly and will last for a solid 6 hours.
With integrated buttons for volume control, song skipping and call pick-up there’s also a built-in microphone and noise cancellation.