Digital Life


Tech-Know - in-ear sports sounds

What to watch for in selecting your in-ear sounds for pounding the pavement, or the treadmill. Jayne D'Arcy checks them out.


There’s nothing like a musical soundtrack to inspire a gruntier workout or run (yes, listening to music while you exercise is a proven performance enhancer). If you’re at the gym, you’ll probably want the best quality sound from your headphones. Avoid long, heavy cords that might get stuck in gym equipment and anything that isn’t sweat proof. If you’re out running, it’s a different matter. You want something that is water resistant and sweatproof. You should skip the noise-cancelling headphones: you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. For personal safety reasons you should really have one ear out. Finally, once you get them in your ears, you want them to stay in your ears. That’s where the TDK sport headphones don’t quite work. We tested these on five pairs of normalish-ears, and no one could get them on properly. The photo of the torso on the packaging doesn’t help give directions on how they should be worn – a pic of an ear sure would have helped! The Philips are more expensive but they’re worth it if you’re after low cost sports headphones that sound good and stay on while you run.
The winner is: the Philips ActionFit. They fit really well, and won’t move an inch when you do.
TDK Sport Headphones SB30
RRP $19.98
These new release headphones are quite difficult to get on, and if you want to get the buds into your ear you may find they end up at a funny angle. They’re a little bulky and cut uncomfortably into the ear.
rrp $49.99
These fit perfectly around your ears and they’re comfortable, too. A cord clip attaches to your clothes so they don’t fly around as you move. They’re sweatproof and rain resistant. They have a good sound, but cars will be right beside you by the time you hear them.
You may not be able to use either of the headphones reviewed here if Apple changes its iPhone headphone jack. Apple recently acquired audio producer Beats Electronics for $US3.2 billion and rumours abound that it may be goodbye to the headphone jack, hello music via Beats Headphones via the Lightning port.