Reviewed by Louise Totton
I was really excited when What’s Good To Do asked me to try out and review a set of wireless RunPhones. I had never heard of either the brand, or the idea / design of putting earphones inside a sweatband type product before, although I have to say it really seemed like a fantastic idea.
RunPhones currently sell three versions of their product to the UK market: Classic, which are basic and connected to the music divine by wire, Volume Control which are also wired but feature a volume control on the wire as well as a microphone for answering calls, and the Wireless version which connect to your device via Bluetooth.
Being on an absolute mission to shed some pounds before I go on holiday this summer, I have started walking the 5 miles to and from work, as well as starting the NHS C25k running challenge. These headphones seemed like they would complement my new routine really well so I was really excited to try them out.
In the time I have been using the gym (mainly treadmill running and jogging), I have already destroyed three expensive sets of headphones. I’m not sure if this is usual, my ears are an odd shape, or I am just clumsy, but I find they fall out of my ears, and if they then get caught on the treadmill it is then a case of broken earphones. This produce seemed like it would solve both of these issues. Not only should the earphones not fall out, since they are inside a sweatband, if they did, there would be no wire to catch on the machinery and snap.
The product is available in multiple sizes, I ordered the medium as it is suggested to be a ‘one size fits virtually all’ option, although there is a size guide on the website.
When the product arrived, I was firstly impressed by the packaging. It looked like a premium product, and it was sturdy so protected the product nicely. The product came with very clear instructions, so straight out of the box, I was confident I could set it up. They needed an initial charge of 4 hours, so I did this before attempting to set them up. The green light indicated when they were fully charged. I then paired them up to my Android phone, iPod and my iPad. Both paired first time without a glitch – dead simple.
The band is very soft and comfortable – I ordered mine in Orchid (a purpley pink), but it is also available in black and grey. I did find the band slightly on the big side for my head, and possibly should’ve ordered a small, but that was my fault. My husband and mother have since pointed out that I do have a small head and with short hair as well, I should’ve known better. Charming! Having said that, it fitted more than well enough to use.
Using them on the treadmill at the gym was just great. I turned Bluetooth on, connected the run phones, turned the music on and put my iPod on in the treadmill’s cup holder and I was away! They were incredibly comfortable to wear, and I felt so much ‘freer’ not being connected to the phone with wires. The sound quality really is excellent, certainly on a par with some of my expensive in-the-ear earphones. I found this particularly impressive as there is no wired connection, I expected a slightly lower standard of audio.
I also use these to walk home from work and for jogging outside. Again, these work perfectly. They are (in my opinion) a safer option for using outside than standard earphones. They don’t sit in your ear, and therefore don’t block out all of the background noise. This means I am much more aware of my surroundings – traffic noise, other people etc. My husband was a bit less keen on this aspect as he likes to be immersed in his music, but I think as these are sold for, and aimed at runners, the product really shouldn’t block out all background noise.
The earphones alert the user to an incoming phone call, as well as texts and other phone alerts. It is then simple enough to answer a call, although it can’t be done through the headset.
One final test / benefit of these was letting my nearly 3 year old use them. The week before we got them, she was using an iPad with standard, wired, kids’ headphones. She was distracted, stood up and the iPad went crashing to the floor. Fortunately it landed on carpet and was undamaged, but could so easily have been a very expensive error. These are perfect for her – a bit big so I secured them with a hair grip, but she can use the iPad without worry of the same happening again.
These are an absolutely fantastic product. I have thoroughly enjoyed using them. Yes, they are expensive. But so are all decent ear phones. And for runners / walkers, they are absolutely worth it.
A top product, I would absolutely recommend.
RRP: £29.99 to £69.99
Available to buy from RunPhones here.