I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the gym is a bit of a sanctuary. A place I can collect my thoughts, release any anger or tension, push and test myself and try to improve on what I’ve been working on nearly a decade and get me set up for my working day. I don’t see the gym as a social club, which some may. I’m happy to talk to people if they ask me questions…but, when it’s time to work, it’s head down and get the hell on with it…
For me, music plays a big part of this and to really get in “the zone”, I need it to help get me going – so, I decided to spend a little extra pocket money recently on a pair of headphones specifically designed for the athlete/gym goer:
The Powerbeats 2 wireless headphones by Beats By Dre. I’ve always been an admirer of the brand, but never really the build quality, having been through around 4 pairs in the past (various models). But, these were the only ones that were specifically designed for the likes of myself, so, I’m giving them one last go. The description on the site reads:
“The next level of performance has arrived. Completely redesigned, Powerbeats² Wireless revolutionizes the workout experience. Inspired by LeBron James, the wireless earphone brings to life enhanced performance with its sweat and water resistant design, 30ft Bluetooth connection, rechargeable battery, 6-hour nonstop playback, and Beats signature sound.”
So, too good to be true? Well, let’s say, so far so good…
I specifically wanted some wireless headphones this time around as you may have read/seen before ( https://www.ldnmuscle.com/nike-sleeve/ ) I utilise my iPhone 6 a lot in the gym, timing my set militantly, and using the gym WIFI to connect to either SoundCloud for the LDNM playlists or Spotify. I’m NOT the guy texting between sets, however! Anyway, I digress. I wanted the wireless part as I find the cable can get in the way at times if I’m doing some lifts and for me, when I wreck my headphones, the cable is usually the first thing to bite the dust. I also wanted them to be sweat proof, which these deliver on, as, I have destroyed a pair due to my sweatiness before too! And, last but not least I wanted to cancel out background noise and have reasonable to good sound quality so I can blank out any distractions and be fully in my own world when I’m hitting the weights…again, box ticked…
I think these look better than the older, non-wireless version and I went for the all white too, which I think looks great, but still not convinced on how they actually look when they’re wrapped round my ears. They are very lightweight though and feel of better quality than the ones I’ve had in the past, the cable is non-tangle and has a rubber feel and the control on the left side (so you can answer calls, work volume and switch tracks) has a rubbery, yet “solid” texture too. The ear hooks really do ensure a secure fit when you throw yourself around the gym, these won’t come loose…they did take a little getting used to though at first, but after a few minutes, if music wasn’t playing, you’d forget they’re there!
Beats say the battery life is around the 6 hour mark when fully charged and I’d say this is the case and fairly accurate, they also have a quick charge option where a 15 min blast in the charger will give you an hours’ worth of playback, which is about right. Sound quality is good, typically fuller in bass as Beats usually are but it’s not world beating sound quality. Saying this though, I don’t think you can expect that from a wireless in-ear headphone in this price range. They aren’t totally noise cancelling, which I think they did on purpose for the runners out there, in hope they’ll still hear oncoming traffic etc, but, they do block out enough for me so I can immerse myself within the music and my gym session, so I’m happy with that.
For style, functionality, quality and practicality, these win for me. I won’t pretend to be an expert in the wireless headphone market but, they did exactly what I needed them to do. I understand they are a little pricey (£170 ish) which will no doubt be partly due to the branding of the product, but hopefully I’ll get my money’s worth and they last a whole lot longer than other versions I have owned previously. They do seem to be priced well in comparison with competitive models though (Jabra, Jaybird & Pioneer) so I’m happy with the fact they are not that overpriced.