A standout option offering powerful audio for minimalist training but let down by Bluetooth dropouts.
The concept of running ‘naked’ – by ditching gadgetry such as headphones, phone or GPS watch – appeals to a certain minimalist training enthusiast. But for most runners, music is a must-have, which means dealing with cables. Even the lightest Bluetooth headphones typically to one another with a cable, which becomes just another annoyance in the gym or on the track.
The new Jaybird Run bluetooth sports earbuds cut the cable. Each earbud operates independently to give a truly minimalist feel to a training session. They nestled snuggly in my ears straight out of the box, and also come with a range of different silicon fins to suit different ear shapes and sizes. Jaybird RUN is compatible with Apple iOS and Watch and Android phones and wearables.
The sturdy and compact carry case give a great first impression. It doubles as a charging station and claims to hold 8 hours of power, or two full charges. Opening the case, the headphones themselves automatically turn on and sync to your phone. Put them back in the case and they switch off and start charging, ensuring they are always at full capacity (as long as the case itself has been charged).
Given their tiny form factor, the sound is a thing of wonder. Cranking up bass-heavy training tunes at full volume is almost ear-wateringly loud. The in-ear headphones did not suffer from problems with sound quality or volume during sweaty training sessions, a problem I have found with lower-quality Bluetooth sports headphones.
While targeted at the exercise market, these have become my go-to headphones on the everyday commute. The Jaybird gear offer an alternative to Apple’s white-stalked AirPods for people who want cord-free listening without looking silly.
But while Apple’s form factor has led to less-than-complimentary descriptions – like a toothbrush in your ear! – they make up for it in reliability. Glitchy Bluetooth is Jaybird’s weakness, though can be combated with the right phone position and will hopefully be resolved with the latest firmware update.