I have unusual ears. This is not my opinion of myself as an insecure 27YO, this is apparently a fact known to all headphone companies. Many times I have been to an EXPO, read the banner “guaranteed to fit anyone*”, and walked away after being told, “I can’t sell these to you knowing they won’t fit or work”, I am the asterisk. For years I have tried different earbuds, both over the ear and inside that I could find. One of the reasons I love Bondi Bands, is I can place the fabric over my ear in an attempt to secure my headphones.
The annoyance and frustration eventually lead me to not wear headphones at all. When I would listen to music, I would use a safety-pin to secure the earbuds to my shirt and turn the volume up. Before anyone worries about my safety, this was done when I would run on secluded trails, no traffic to fear and the volume was still low enough to hear approaching runners.
When Yurbuds were released, of course I read all about them, but kept my hopes low. More promises to “fit any ear”, more hype on quality sound and performance, more too good to be true. Plus at 30 to 50 bucks, they were not something I could order and risk having not work.
Luckily, my local running store, Vertical Runner, started carrying them this summer. They announced it over Facebook and I was beyond excited to see them in person and hoped they would work for me.
|Standard personalized version|
The day I bought them, the store was busy and I wasn’t able to ask too many questions. What I gathered was the version I would be buying was the personalized version (as opposed to the more expensive Ironman line) they are personalized because they come in varying sizes, 5 through 10. I did not go through a tricky procedure to get the right size either. One look at me and the guy selling them said “Five…the smallest”. I asked if you could buy the buds only, and learned each pair comes with the blue silicone caps (which go over standard earbuds) and the headphones/earbuds. The box also includes a QuickStart guide, and carrying case/pocket. I already have a ton of different headphones, but what’s another pair? Spares often come in handy.
Wearing them took some getting used to at first. Mostly because I had not worn anything in or near my ears in so long. The silicone piece reminds me of a lopsided funnel. The longer portion sits inside your ear (in my opinion it is not tight or bothersome at all) while the wider base fills the rest of your ear and forms an almost seal. Right away I knew why people always say headphones are so dangerous on the road! All sounds seemed reduced.
|YURBUDS in action|
Slowly I took the buds with me on different activities. I wore them hiking, walking, running (road and trail) and yes, riding my bike. Personal preference, I only wear one side at a time (usually the right side) while I tuck the left (typically my open to passers-by side) into a pocket or my sports bra. No matter how fast I went, how many bumps I hit, or how sweaty I became, the buds did not move, did not tug, and did not lead to discomfort. A few times I even accidentally caught myself in the cord (while getting in and out of the car or getting ready) and I could feel the tug on my ear. It didn’t hurt and they didn’t pop out. Also, with previous products, after completing a workout and taking out my earbuds, my ears felt stretched and burned for a bit. I do not have this issue anymore.
Now, let’s answer the import question: What’s with the name?
YURBUDS is actually an acronym for the various features of the product. According to the website:
The YURBUDS website also has a great feature where you upload a picture of your ear and it will predict the size you need. There is also an app on the iPhone. Unfortunately, they do not give you the size, it’s simply attached to your order and the right size will be shipped. Those of you hoping to take your measurement and do a Google search to see if Amazon or some other sports warehouse extravaganza can get you a better deal will be out of luck. However, if you do know your size, Amazon does have listings of the blue covers only for a lower rate than the full package.
One of the things YURBUDS brags about is how the product was created by a triathlete and a marathon runner and together seem to have solved all the problems of the music/athlete world. I won’t lie, I didn’t read the story and I’m not going to read it either. Personally, I don’t care if they were accidentally invented by monkeys, as long as the things work…and they DO.
Additional facts and figures include:
Oh, and if you need to hear it from someone other than regular run of the mill me…Lauren Johnston of NY Daily News had the same issues, the same solutions and the same pleasures of finding a product that works.
All I know is when I’m not out in nature, I have wicked running ADD and get sooooo bored looking at street signs, cars and mailboxes. Everything is so cookie cutter! Running with music helps me to pace. I am super excited to have music (jog.fm) and podcasts to help me (hopefully) achieve a PR in approximately two weeks (Aug 14th) in Chicago for the Rock N Roll half marathon!
Reminder: I paid for my YURBUDS, I was not asked to do a review and I am not being compensated for my opinions. I simply love the product and wanted to share my experiences.