I’ve been looking for a really good set of headphones to use while doing extreme sports (Bocking) which has got to be the best test of how well the headphones stay in your ear!
I’ve tested a few different sets headphones designed specifically for sports (jogging) and ones that are not (in ear/noise isolating silicon ones.
Here’s a short review with ratings 1-5 (where 5 is best) in various categories. Scroll to the bottom to find out the overall winner!
Sennheiser Mx55 ((£15 from HMV)
Comfort 4 (can get a bit unconfortable after a few hours in)
Sound 5 (excellent sound quality)
Volume 4 (Not as loud as i’d expected, but also doesn’t leave my ears ringing after listening with my player on full volume)
Quality 4 (the snap on interchangeable covers designed to let you bling it up a bit are pointless and come off too easily. I’ve superglued one already, but at this price, who’s complaining?!)
Hold/fit 5 (they stayed in for hours while i bounced around, amazing!)
EDIT: Superglue the rubber bits on too, they fall off in pocket!
Skullcandy in ear
Comfort 4 (pretty comfortable until i took them out then found my ear holes were quite sore)
Sound 3 (good, but lacking something, and no matter of EQ tweaking could give me that…too crisp)
Volume 5 (ear blisteringly loud )
Quality 2 (poor, the metal mesh on one of them fell off after about a week, and then the speaker on that side got kind of bent in and the volume halved)
Hold/fit 2 (fall out often, not suitable for jogging/sports)
Sony Active MDR-AS20J Ear Clip Sports Headphones ~£12
now it’s been a little while since i used these headphones so forgive me if i’m a little less specific. These have got to be my second favourite since the Sennheiser MX55.
They disappeared a while back and I can’t seem to find them anymore lol.
Quality 5 (survived being chucked into my bag with various implements until they disappeared)
Volume 4 (not as good as the in ear ones obviously, but louder than the MX55′s)
Hold/Fit 4 (the stay on, but its a bit fiddly to get them on)
Sennheiser CXII300 In ear noise isolating ~£30
These were quite expensive for me, but sounded greate and lasted ages. The hold while Bocking wasn’t too bad (it helped taping the cable to my neck with a plaster to prevent tugging).
I killed them by accidentally snagging the cable on a street sign and turning round. The cable separated at the connector.
Comfort 3 (got a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so)
Quality 4 (good, rubbery cable didn’t seem to kink and was easily wrapped but the rubber cable ends on the buds slid down after a good few months of kicking around in the bag)
Fit/hold 4 (not best suited to sports, the cable always caught on my clothes and dragged them out of my ears. Better fit than the skull candy though.)
My recommendation? Get the Sennheiser MX55. Great hold and sound quality for an amazing price. I don’t miss the volume, my hearing seems to be improving now (i think a volume rating of 5 is excessive!!).
The in ear/noise isolating ones especially the sennheiser were pretty good, but i quite like being able to have some sound from the surroundings. Even though the hold was pretty impressive for something not secured to your ear, the cable always won and ended up yoinking them out of my ears.
Edit: added comment to Senheiser Mx 55 section.