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October 21, 2010

Yurbuds Review

As I’ve done one time before – and perhaps should do more often, really - today I’m turning the blog over to my IT department.

My friend Brian is the Bunsen Honeydew to my Beaker, the tech geek of our running group as well as a long-time Apple devotee. He also happens to run with headphones fairly often, so when I received a request to review a pair of headphones that are compatible with Apple music players, I knew just who to delegate this one to.

In the review that follows, Brian describes his experience using a product called Yurbuds. He also talks about the size of his equipment … but that’s really rather incidental. Read on for details.


I have never been a big fan of earbuds. Maybe it is the size and shape of my equipment, but I don't like the sloppy fit and all the ambient noise. So from my first iPod (any of you remember the original scroll wheel?) and through two later generations, two shuffles, and two iPhones (that’s seven if you are counting: 3 dead, 4 in service) I have owned a lot of headphones. Each model came with more buds, but I would just pass them on to one of my daughters and buy some in-ear replacements from Sure, Sennheiser, Etymotic, Bose, Audio-Technica, and so on.

I prefer the stability of the in-ear models for running and really appreciate the sound isolating qualities for gym workouts. While some have been more comfortable than others, and I have witnessed a huge spectrum of audio fidelity (not necessarily correlated to price), I have found all of them more fatiguing than open-air headphones. I'm also concerned about just how isolated you are running in sound isolating earphones, so I just use them at the gym and on the track.

So I was excited when Donald directed an opportunity to review new earbuds my way. Would this be an opportunity to get some use out of those Apple earbuds? Yurbuds are soft flexible caps that fit over the standard Apple earbuds (and lots of other buds too) and fit snugly, just above the ear canal, with a small tip that extends into your ear canal. They achieve a personalized fit by offering them in a rage of sizes. Your size is determined by uploading a picture of your ear with a reference object.

Not Brian's actual ear - it's a model.

I took a few self-conscious photos of my ear (I resisted the temptation to open them in Photoshop) and picked one to upload. In less than a week, I received a nylon carrying case containing my personalized performance Yurbuds and a some more white earbud-style headphones (These are $29.99 at the Yurbuds website, you can get them without the headphones for $19.99).

The Yurbuds fit snugly in your outer ear and have a small tip that extends just into the ear canal. They don't seal the canal like sound isolating in-ear models but they do deliver more sound pressure into the ear than ear buds alone, while allowing some ambient noise into the mix.

I found that the Yurbuds let in just the right amount of ambient noise, so I don't feel too cut-off from what is going on around me, but not distracted by it. I also found them more comfortable to wear for extended periods compared to in-ear earphones. I wore them in the gym, on our local recreation trial (bike path) and at the track for fast workouts and never had a problem with them falling out of my ear like I do with ear buds alone.

They come off easily for cleaning, and when your earbuds inevitably die, you can just pop them on another pair and you are good to go. Yurbuds are a nice little product.

Yurbuds personalized performance earbuds are available for $29.99 from the company website.

*Product provided by Yurbuds
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.

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Boris Terzic 10/24/10, 6:37 PM  

Those are a great idea, thanks for sharing.

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