I seldom have used ear buds when running, especially since I've started trail running much more. Generally, I don't need the distraction, and I like to be able to hear my surroundings for safety reasons.
However, I recently had the opportunity to try out the OneGood earphone from Far End Gear. What is great about the XDU single earphone, is that it combines stereo sound into one ear bud, leaving your other ear available to hear surrounding sounds etc.
Here are some of the specs/details from the Far End Gear site on the noise-isolating earbud:
- *Now Gold-Plated* Stereo 3.5mm right angle plug (same as 1/8-inch size plug)
- Includes 3 sizes of rubber ear tips, to find your best fit
- Compatible with Apple iPods, Apple iPhone, Sony MP3 Players, Laptops and Desktop Computers, as well as Sansa, Creative, Etek, Ativa, RCA and other low-cost MP3 players
- Works with any device that accepts a stereo or mono 1/8-inch (1/8") or 3.5mm plug
- Weighs in at 0.3 ounces (8 grams)
- Stereo plug's circuitry mixes both stereo channels (left and right) together into one earphone
- 42 inch long cord
I also tried out the BuDLoks, which are motion-resistant eartips that fit over most earbuds. The idea is to provide a stable, soft-silicone holder for your earbuds to help secure them better when active.
Initially, I tried the earbud by itself, and it actually fit quite comfortably. There are three sizes of ear tips, so they should fit most people well. I liked the noise isolating sound in one ear, and the quality was decent. I did try out the BuDLokS also, and they too fit very comfortably, however the trade-off was losing some of the noise isolation and sound quality. Since the standard earbud stayed put while running, I've been using that primarily.
As I noted the sound quality was pretty good for music, however I really liked them for listening to podcasts etc. I wore the earbud on my first 2.5 hour trail run, and listened to the Trail Runner Nation podcasts... that worked out really well. I learned a lot, and was still able to be aware of my surroundings (bears, mountain lions etc.. ;-) ).
While the OneGood Earphone is not going to compete with higher-end dual earbud systems as far as sound quality for music goes, for purposes of running or anything active, they provide an ideal way to listen to music or podcasts safely on the road or trail.
At $19.95, they are a terrific value, and Far End Gear also offers a variety of other models, including ones with mics to use with your iPhone etc. If you love to run with your music or podcasts, Far End Gear offers the best way to do it safely.