When I first started using the Couch to 10k app, I mentioned that I had trouble hearing the prompts for the app over the sound of the wind, even with the volume turned up quite high. I asked some of my runner friends what they used, and nobody really had a recommendation. redbeanpork (I don’t know if he runs) suggested I try the Shure SE215 earphones. I’d never even heard of Shure before, but the reviews didn’t sound bad.
I’m not a huge fan of doof-doof music – my playlist is primarily Disney, jazz and brass music. So I didn’t really see the point in buying some super expensive, enhanced bass earphones. My requirements were that they were noise isolating (I want to block out some of the ambient noise so I can hear the app, but I don’t want to block out the sound of nearby cars or other people), they were comfortable to wear while running, and they weren’t super expensive. At $135, these were a bit more than I was thinking of spending, but they sounded like they were worth it (the special edition just refers to the colour). I wasn’t too keen on bluetooth earphones, because Nev said that his pair sometimes has issues syncing, and having to fiddle around with trying to re-pair your earphones in the middle of a run didn’t sound like my idea of fun. Plus, I didn’t want to be fussed with having to remember to charge them.
The earpieces are a bit weird at first. They sit in your ear with the memory wire used to help them stay in place. It took me a while to get used to putting them on, as I’d always forget which way the wire was meant to go, but I’ve been using them for a couple of months now, and I can put them in pretty quickly. It comes with 6 pairs of earbuds: 3 foam and 3 rubber ones, in small, medium and large. At first I thought I needed the small ones, but after having them slip a bit, I changed to medium and now they sit snugly for my entire run, even when I’m sweating a lot. I haven’t used the foam ones, only the rubber ones.
In terms of the noise isolation, I can definitely hear nearby cars, which is a little annoying while running, if I don’t get up in time (there are less cars at 5AM than 6AM, as I need to have my volume on 2 instead of 1, but it is what I wanted. It does a pretty good job of blocking out normal-level conversation, as I’ve walked past people talking and through the supermarket, and I can hear a faint murmur. but it’s too soft that if you weren’t actively listening for it, you probably wouldn’t even have noticed it over the music.
A mentioned that runners will often give each other a nod of approval, or a thumbs up, but between these earphones, and the fact that I don’t wear glasses while running, I often don’t even notice other people while I’m running, which I guess makes me a bit rude, but I really enjoy that feeling of being in my own world.
The audio jack fits into my Nexus 5X really well. Once, I accidentally dropped my phone, but was able to catch the cable, and because the audio jack was in there so tightly, that was enough to stop my phone from hitting the ground. The cable is long enough for me to put in the earpieces, pass it under my shirt and out the bottom into my phone, which I put in the back pocket of my running belt. There’s enough slack leftover that I can move around comfortably with it like this.
Overall, as someone who isn’t a super audiophile, I’m really happy with these headphones – they cover all of my requirements, and they feel pretty sturdy, so I’m hoping they’ll last a while.