Music has the power to stimulate and comfort, to divert attention from feelings of fatigue and to enhance positive moods. For many, it is an invaluable companion to exercise.
According to our team blog, high-revolution warm-up music can improve short-term anaerobic exercise for highly trained athletes in competitive activities.
How to Choose the Best Running Earphones
They equipped 12 competitive male athletes with Treblab running earphones and tapes that played music at 120-140 beats per minute during the 10-minute warm-up period. After removing the headphones, the athletes ran a 30-second race on a bicycle ergometer.
Two days later they did the same test without music. After both warm-ups, the scientists recorded each athlete’s heart rate and perceived post-race stress index, muscle power production, and RPE.
Analysis of the data revealed that music at a fast pace during the warm-up had not significantly affected either the heart rate or the RPE, but it had increased the maximum output power. Our team blog suggested that music might play a role in increasing motivation and energy. It was reported in some Journal of Sports Medicine.
In another research, loud music increases heart rate and blood pressure, while soft music decreases both, regardless of subjective music preferences. This research adds to the growing body of research documenting the effects of music on mood and physiology.
Our team blog studied the interaction between music and the cardio respiratory system to increase understanding of how music can be used in medicine in rehabilitation.
The researchers recruited 24 young, healthy volunteers, half of whom were trained musicians, and measured their cardiovascular responses to music. The crescendos had a stimulating effect and the decrescendos – a relaxing influence.
But despite this evidence, many runners do not listen to music during their training or competition because they find it uncomfortable or believe it is dangerous to cancel out the ambient sound if running in the street.
The running accessories that have evolved the most in recent years are headphones. The world market for hearing aids and headphones is worth approximately $12.6 billion and is expected to grow to $20.8 billion by 2025, with new technologies being developed every day for sports use.
Many manufacturers have created increasingly sophisticated and comprehensive hearing aids that can, for example, measure your heart rate, calculate VO2max or synchronize with your phone’s applications to provide voice-guided workouts. You can evaluate other brands in this selection with the best ones.
If you’re already convinced of how good music can improve your sports performance and planning to purchase a headset, we have some recommendations for your use and choice. Check them out.
1] Safety comes first
The Australian Hearing Hub recommends that you do not use headphones for more than 90 minutes a day and that the volume never exceeds 80 percent. A good rule of thumb is that if others can hear the sounds coming from the headphones while you are wearing them you should turn the volume down.
And it doesn’t matter if it’s metal or classical music, it’s the volume and the length of the listening session that matters.
Another important safety measure is to choose a model of headphones that allows sound isolation at the gym but allows ambient sound when running in the street – a fundamental safety measure.
2] A runner’s headset should be sturdy
Running is an impact activity. It is important to choose a model that is resistant to sweat and rain. If, in addition to running, you practice swimming, you must take into account that for its use in the pool, the model of headphones must guarantee its operation under water.
Remember to always wash your headset under running water and dry it very well after use (just as you do with your watch or heart monitor).
3] Keep a varied music library
Create music lists designed to stretch, warm-up, end or start your workout. You can see more ideas for your playlists at RunnersWorld.com.
4] Take advantage of wireless headphones
One of the main technological innovations of the headset is that we get rid of the uncomfortable cables giving more mobility and discretion.
This is achieved through Bluetooth connection technology that may or may not have NFC (Near Field Communication), a type of short-range communication that requires the devices to be a couple of centimeters away from each other.
Using NFC will allow you to quickly connect your hearing instruments to your mobile phone by simply moving them closer together.
Please note that you will need to charge the battery. When choosing a model, takes into account the charging time and autonomy that vary widely by brand and model (some manage to recharge in just 15 minutes). Others have the option of energy-saving mode.
5] Comfort first
Just like your shoes, a runner’s headset should “fit” you perfectly. Consider whether you prefer a model with or without external ear support, internal (in-ear) or external fit. Some have a variety of different sized pillows (usually three sizes) to fit ergonomically.
6] Sound quality
Take into account the fidelity of the sound when comparing different models of headphones. The most difficult thing to achieve is the bass and avoid distortion when increasing the volume. Also, many brands like Jabra have their own Jaybird MySound App that allows to customize your sound experience.
There are a large number of sports wireless headphones on the market. However, in this selection we have tried to offer diversity in design, performance, and budget.
1] Anker SoundBuds
If price is one of the most limiting factors when choosing a helmet for running, Anker SoundBuds is an attractive alternative under 20 euros with a remarkable range.
Its design is classic and simple: it is two earphones with fins connected by a cable, where you will find a control for volume adjustment. The back is magnetic so that they form a collar when not in use. They are lightweight, with silicone adjustments and water and sweat-resistant coating.
Another affordable alternative for running is these AUKEY headphones. They essentially share the design and accessories of the previous model.
So, they are being fixed to the ear by means of flippers and pads that we can exchange according to our needs. As in the previous case, the back part is magnetic so that they close to form a collar.
One of its best features is Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, aptX Bluetooth codec, 3 equalization modes, and 8-hour autonomy. They are IPX4 certified, which protects them from sweat and rain.
3] Plantronics BackBeat Go3
The Plantronics BackBeat Go3 (63.63 euros) is a comfortable, compact and well-finished wireless headset. They are also resistant to sweat, light rain, and humidity.
These headphones provide clear highs and natural mid-range tones, as well as have noise cancellation technology, so they are recommended for the gym.
Depending on the manufacturer, they reach up to 7 hours of continuous music playback and connect to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth. You can use Siri, Google Now or Cortana with them, without having to touch the phone.
4] TREBLAB XR700
What makes them ideal for running is signature adjustable ear-fins. A completely secure fit allows feeling confident when movements are quick and sudden. They do really last for up to 9 hours on a single charge, which is impressive for a budget-friendly model (under $30).
The XR700 use Bluetooth 5.0 version – for now, the latest one, which guarantees instant pairing and immediate connection to the source. The IPX7 certification allows sweating intensively or running in rain without fear of them being damaged.
Speaking of the source, you can connect 2 devices at a time thanks to the multipoint connection feature. AAC Bluetooth codec makes them ideal for iPhone users.
The button controls are intuitive and easy-to-use. They also suggest making calls hands-free via high-sensitivity built-in mic and cVc 8.0 technology as well as summoning digital assistants.