JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Headphones
My gym’s soundtrack is inconsistent. On good days, we get rock or metal or something else engaging and energetic. Otherwise we’re stuck with a bland and incohesive grab bag of lowest common denominator “hits”. I’ve long since brought my own tunes for cardio, but headphone cords and weight training synergize about as well as max deadlifts and Dear Future Husband.
Which is, to say, not at all.
My frame of portable music reference was stuck in 2005, year of my first iGadget. Having just recently learned that Bluetooth earbuds exist, I splurged on a well-reviewed pair in hopes of brutalizing my powerlifts via Act of Dethklok.
BlueBuds have awesome build quality – lightweight yet substantial. I have no fear of shorting out the cord by squishing them in the provided carrying case. The cord includes multifunctional buttons to control volume, skip forward/back, or play/pause/invoke Siri/answer the phone/blah blah blah. These buttons work well for my usual purpose of controlling the tunes. The cord can be shortened with provided clips and arranged to go over your ears and behind your head for a closer fit. Not wishing to futz around too much, I just wear BlueBuds in the default configuration – as a loose chinstrap when I’m lifting, or behind my head for cardio.
The earbuds are held in place with help from the attached fins, which wedge into your ear cartilage. BlueBuds come with three different sizes of buds and fins. For me and my sticking-out ears, a good fit required situational experimentation. My first configuration of attachments seemed fine at home but slipped out while I was exercising. Choice of fin size depends on the particulars of your ear. I generally prefer tucking the fins just above the canal rather than hooking them in the helix as some of the instructional diagrams indicate. Earbud-wise, I moved up to the biggest to stop some of that slippage.
With a proper fit, BlueBuds have a good seal. This blocks outside noise to a scary degree – even with nothing playing – and provides excellent sound quality, including strong bass. A suboptimal fit gives a noticeable drop in sound quality, with the bass being the first aspect to degrade.
Bluetooth range and signal are great. I can leave my phone in the power rack and walk 15 feet or so around the gym with no dropouts. Battery life is great as well – close enough to its advertised 8 hours, which lasts me a good week of workouts. There’s a friendly voiced Low Battery warning at maybe 20 minutes remaining.
Like anything shoved into your ears and sweated on, BlueBuds get gross. No worries – they are easy to clean. The buds and fins are made of rubber and slide off easily. The center hole of the buds can be readily scraped out with a craft pick. There aren’t any unreachable ick-collecting crevices.
I absolutely love my BlueBuds. Personal high-fidelity workout tunes are well worth the challenges of fitting and temporarily being that goofball shoving a wayward bud back into her ear between sets. The lifetime warranty against sweat damage – and reportedly responsive customer service – also influenced my decision to choose JayBird. Price is the main downside, but it wasn’t so bad for me. I got a factory-sealed pair at discount via Amazon warehouse deal.