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Gear

Sound Check: Battle Of The In-Ear Headphones

Finding the right pair can be a tricky task.

Finding the right pair can be a tricky task.

Written by: Cielestia Calbay

Click on the image to read reviews of some of the top sport fitness earbuds.

We’ve all been there—you’re out for a run when you’re suddenly distracted with your earbuds.

There’s nothing worse than fumbling with earbuds that won’t stay put. Sport fitness earbuds are one of the more difficult types to find on the market. Not all earbuds are designed the same and finding the time to shop for the right pair that sound great and stay in place can be just as challenging as knowing where to start.

So, we did the shopping for you. We spoke with Pete Kelly, director of industrial design for SkullCandy, on how to shop for earbuds, and tested a few pairs from various companies to see how they measured up.

Finding the best shape and design:

Look for a form that allows the earbud to sit down inside the natural curves of the ear, which keeps it from falling out. This also positions the speaker directly in-line with the ear canal to deliver the purest sound. Lightweight injected plastics assure long-term comfort.  Avoid heavy materials like metal, as it doesn’t respond well to sweat. If you wear buds under a helmet, choose a low profile bud so your ears don’t hurt.

Caring for your earbuds:

Store them in a carrying case. Avoid tightly wrapping them around your device—this will cause kinks in the cables. Also, keep an eye on the “speaker grill.” If you see wax build-up, use a q-tip and some alcohol to gently wipe it away. Clean the exterior with water.

Biggest mistakes in using earbuds:

It’s effective to route the buds under your shirt if you plan to be very active. Find a bud style, or in-ear style that fits you correctly—this will reduce the tendency for them to fall out.

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