True wireless ear / headphones that don't block your ear canal (Read 61 times)




    I'm sorry to ask a question about headphones for running as I know many runners feel that you shouldn't wear them at all.  To be honest, I was in that camp until recently.  Since the COVID pandemic I have been forced to run much more on my own and I struggle a bit with motivation on long runs.  I have found that some up tempo music helps me keep going at a reasonable pace.


    I have a pair of Anker Soundport headpones that are really comfortable and, most importantly, have "wings" that hold them in place rather than relying on the ear canal to hold them in.  This means you can loosely fit them, allowing ambient noise to be heard (traffic etc).  HOWEVER - they are not "true wireless" .  They have a wire between them, along with the mic and volume controls in a "tube" on the wire.  This is incredibly annoying when running.  The wire sticks to my neck and the mic/controls flap about.


    After some research, I bought the highly recommended Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds. I HATE THEM. I cannot understand how anyone can run with their ears blocked.  The music pulsates to the cadence of your running.  Quiet music is masked by your breathing and heart beat.  Worst, you cannot hear anything around you.  They have a "hear through" capability which is fine if you want to stop and talk to someone but it is terrible when running as it just sounds like wind blowing.


    So, what's the question?


    Can anyone recommend any truly wireless earbuds / headphones that will stay in the ear but not block the ear canal?  They will need to be waterproof / sweatproof, but they don't need to be studio quality sound.


    Any suggestions gratefully received and thank you for reading this far! :-)

    an amazing likeness

      A bunch of folks were on a ear bud quest recently -- might be some ideas in this RA discussion...

      Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.


        @milktruck thank you for the response.  I have read that thread and the conclusion seems to be to go for on ear headphones.  The poster seems to be more concerned about blocking noise rather than letting it in.


        I run mainly on country roads so heavy traffic is not an issue.  It's more the "wanna-be rally driver" or "running late Amazon delivery driver" that I need to hear before they bowl me over!

        Back To Basics

          Not sure if you are looking for a true earbud...but I received a pair of these for Christmas.  (link below)  Bone conducting headphones....wireless and sweatproof.  So far, I like them a lot and the sound quality is much better than I thought they would be (not as full as you would get from any ear-bud)...but they rest comfortably over the ears and you can still hear your surroundings.




            They're not in-ear but have you tried aftershokz or similar bone conducting headphones? They allow you to hear ambient noise.

            1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 45:24 (2017), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Mary - 3:37:17 (2018)


              I received a pair of aftershox as a Christmas gift (a year ago, not a week ago!) and they're ... OK.  I'm not big on running with music but I do use these once in a while and I do like them but I have a couple of negatives about them.  One is that I find that I still tend to tune out exterior noise when using them.  Seems like my brain tunes out traffic noise and focuses on the music.  Second, the music changes pitch (not sure if that's the word for it) when I either open or close my mouth, which I do quite often when running.  Can begin to annoy me if I start focusing on that.  The music quality is surprisingly decent, and the electronics are flawless so far.  Connections occur instantly and I don't believe I've ever lost connection once connected (no 'drops').


                Thanks to all who suggested the Aftershokz, they look interesting.


                @kcam - I find the pitch of the music changes with every step when I use the Jabra's.  As you say, very annoying when your mind focuses in on it.  Not sure how much I open and close my mouth when I run.  I think it's probably open most of the time when I am struggling for breath!


                Those that have used the Aftershokz - does the band at the back not get annoying?  I know it's solid, unlike the wire on my Soundports, but wondering if it would still flap about?


                On drop outs - I run with a Mighty Vibe MP3 player and I am generally pleased with that (only gripe is that the battery doesn't seem to stay charged when it's not being used).  I don't get any drop outs with the Soundports but the Jabra's are terrible for the first 10 minutes or so then seem to settle down but will then drop out occasionally later in the run.  Seems to be particularly when I make a sudden head movement (like checking behind me for cars!)


                I have also come across these - https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/headphones/earbuds/sport-open-earbuds.html#v=sport_open_earbuds_black

                They are not available to pre-order in the UK yet but thinking I might hold fire and see what the reviews are like for these.  A bit pricier than the Aftershokz (guessing they'll hit the UK at £199).


                Thanks again to all for suggestions and comments.

                Interval Junkie --Nobby

                  I've been running with Aftershokz since the end of Summer.  I love them.  However, I have the MP3 version (no phone to carry around) and only listen to Podcasts, so sound quality would be harder to judge.


                  The hard-wire in the back is impossible for me to notice unless I look to the sky and hit it against the back of my shirt collar.  Otherwise, I completely forget it exists and often only realize when I go to take my shirt off.


                  The only downside I've noticed is the noise of traffic is more disruptive because my ears are not occluded.  But that's to be an expected trade-off for actually being able to hear traffic (safety).


                  Anyway, another vote for Aftershokz.

                  2021 Goals: 50mpw 'cause there's nothing else to do


                  I fly.

                    I have aftershokz as well and I am very happy with them.  The only negative I'm noticing is now that the weather is colder they are annoying with a hat.  I use them with my iPhone and I think the sound quality is very good and I can hear all the street noise around me.  I also think that the company is pretty good - my first pair stopped working after a few months and they mailed me a replacement pair very quickly.  Because of covid they asked me not to return the broken pair, but to find a place to recycle them.

                    Bring it on.


                    Misinformation Officer

                      I love my AfterShokz. In the winter, I tilt the back of it above my ponytail and adjust the location of the sound part. My ear band or hat fits over it fine and I have to change the volume.

                      5k PR 5/8/20 24:31

                      an amazing likeness

                        I use the Bose SoundSport ear buds -- which are in-ear,  but find that they do not block external noises. I can clearly hear traffic, people, hold conversations, etc. They stay in great, other than in heavy rain or heavy sweat.

                        Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.