Music maestro

Do you run with music? I think that this is something of a Marmite issue in the running world – some love it and some hate it. Typically, I love it sometimes and hate it other times!

I usually find that I want to run with music when the conditions are not optimal: a gloomy day or a gloomy mood will mean that I don’t want to go out running and the iPod can be just the thing I need to get me out the door. Or if I am contemplating running a route that I have run too many times before (currently that this along the canal near to work – there doesn’t seem to be any viable alternative and it is getting very, VERY boring!) I find that music helps.

As with so many things in running now, there are a plethora music devices that can be used. People who take their iPhone for the GPS capabilities that has will often use the inbuilt MP3 player. There are also dozens of stand-alone MP3 players (my choice is the simplest possible iPod nano). And I have even seen people running with personal CD players, although that is exceedingly rare nowadays.

But whatever you choose, probably the thing that is hardest to get right is the headphones. Again there are choices to be made – in-ear or over-ear? Great-big DJ style headphones or the little ones that hook over your ear? Microphone built into the cable for answering calls to the iPhone you’re carrying or not? Sports specific headphones or just normal ones? £3 or £300?

My choice has always been a simple pair of Senheiser in-ear headphones – no microphone or anything like that. A wire that goes round the back of the neck. Good sound quality. And the ability to clean them easily enough. I have always been pretty happy with that.

So when I was asked by the marketing company for 3 Mobile if I would like to try a different set of headphones, I was curious. Would there be something better?

The headphones I was being invited to try out are from Jabra and are called the ‘Rhythm’. They are described as being premium sound and I will admit that when I opened them and gave them a listen, the sound quality was great. But this is a running blog and I am a runner, so I had to take them running. And here is where I found they are not as good as the Senheisers I use. There is a clip on the wire that I hoped would eliminate the problem I have of the wire in my headphones snaking along my sleeve or under my armpit, but it didn’t because the only place I could clip it was at the neck of my t-shirt and then it just kept rubbing my chin! I tried without the clip, but the weight of the in-built microphone means that the earbuds, which were a tad too small, kept pulling out of my ears, especially if I got a bit sweaty.

And here is the thing. I do like to run to music from time to time. But if I do, it is to compensate for a gloomy day or a crappy mood or a boring route. Running with headphones that just don’t quite work for me actually adds to the frustration of the weather and deepen the grumpiness. So I’m afraid I won’t be running with the Jabra’s. I’ll stick to what works, on the few occasions I do want Julio Eglasias to accompany me along the canal.

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