Recommendations for wireless earbuds
February 6, 2016 6:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to get some wireless earbuds to use in the gym. Their main purpose will be to block out the sounds around me, and that takes precedence over sound quality. Also, I have trouble finding earbuds that actually stay in my ears. The only kind of wired earbuds that work for me are the ones made from the memory-foam material that expands in your ears, but so far I haven't been able to find that style in wireless form. Can anybody point me to some wireless earbuds that meet these criteria?

I find it hard to relax/concentrate on my own workouts when I can overhear the conversations people are having around me. Also, there are some obnoxious people who yell at each other across the gym that I'd like to be better able to ignore. I sometimes use my favorite earbuds (the Koss Plug) to block these folks out, but I really hate using wired headphones at the gym. I've started looking for wireless earbuds that are similar to the Koss Plug, but I can't seem to find any. I'm worried that any other kind will either fall out of my ears or fail to block out the noise.

I'd like to avoid going into a store to look at/try on the earbuds. (Will stores even let you try on earbuds?) So mostly I'm looking for recommendations for a specific model I can by online. I'm willing to spend as much as it takes to get the right pair. Thanks!
posted by crLLC to Shopping (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can actually buy the tips separately. I picked up some from Comply, and while it's a little ridiculous paying $10 for some little pieces of foam, they work pretty well.
posted by ph00dz at 7:04 AM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

While I can't point towards a specific pair I can recommend head-fi, which was a great resource to me when I was looking for (wired, over-the-ear) headphones. I'm sure they have suggestions for wireless earbuds as well. Have you considered IEMs?

One thing to keep in mind, if you haven't already, is that the type of music you listen to could make certain headphones better than others. I often listen to metal with lots of base so I need headphones to support that. I don't own any earbuds (other than for podcasts while sleeping) but in my experience many of them make metal sound terrible.
posted by pumpkin_iron at 7:12 AM on February 6, 2016

Best answer: As for the earbuds: check the Wirecutter. I have their runner-up, the Jaybird X2, and they're pretty great.

As for the noise-blocking: you definitely want custom tips. These Comply ones are what I have, and they are *extremely* effective, to the point I generally don't hear people talking---even when they're close to me---without taking out the earbuds. (Get the black color; earwax slightly yellows the gray which I have.)
posted by Jacen Solo at 7:18 AM on February 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Echoing the recommendation for the Wirecutter, Jaybird X2s and the Comply tips. I love the Comply tips so much I get them shipped to Australia.

Comply usually have sales around the major American holidays if you sign up for the mailing list.
posted by poxandplague at 2:39 PM on February 6, 2016

Best answer: I follow the Wirecutter recommendations (as recommended by Jacen Solo).

Having owned both the Jaybird and the Jlab Audio Epic Wireless headphones I'd definitely recommend the latter as the sturdier, longer-lasting and more economic alternative ($99). Also, great customer service - returns should be super-easy if you try them and don't like them.
posted by noonday at 3:27 PM on February 6, 2016

I wear wireless beats by dre. They're over the ear, so they stay in, and come with four sizes of silicone fitted earbuds. They sound good, if you care, and they're water resistant. I run in the rain, and through fountains and stuff. Caveat -- keep the receipt because the control panel breaks in under a year. I don't even use the control panel -- I run them with my watch. I've taken three pair back to target for this defect, and they just keep giving me new ones.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:59 PM on February 6, 2016

Forgot to add that I run in an urban environment and I hate when dudes holler at me while I'm running (I'm a chick). With these buds on high I never have a problem except between songs.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:01 PM on February 6, 2016

Gosh, I have mixed feelings at best about Beats brand headphones but I bought some Powerbeats 2 wireless (Bluetooth) earbuds specifically for working out and so far they've been flawless. They come with multiple-size rubber plugs and have hooks to fit over your ear so, for me at least, they stay in place really well. The range is also really good. They aren't cheap, I paid like $125 or so, but so far I'm happy.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2016

I just bought the comply tips to use on my cheap $10 airport plugs, and OMG WHAT A DIFFERENCE. The rubber tips never did stay in my ears, and the comply did.

Thanks for asking this question - you changed my life!
posted by Dashy at 6:17 PM on February 9, 2016

Response by poster: I ended up reading the Wirecutter's recommendations and purchased the Jaybird X2's. They came with the Comply tips, which are excellent. I've used them for two workouts already, and they stayed put through stretching, bodyweight exercises, and the elliptical. And I'm happy to report that I can't hear anyone else at all. Thanks for your recommendations!
posted by crLLC at 1:23 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

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