When you’re working out, you need music. If not, you’ve got some rich inner life that I clearly lack. But if you need music to workout, you’ve probably sweat your way through a few pairs of headphones, or suffered through the constantly-falling-out-of-your-ears experience. MSNBC’s Gadgetbox gets into how to pick the right headphones for any kind of workout, and picks a few great pairs:
Two things to keep in mind when picking out a pair of headphones for working out are moisture resistance and ambient sound. If you’re just walking, a regular in-ear pair should be fine. But if you sweat heavily or want to run outside in a light rain, you’ll want a pair that’s labeled as water-resistant or waterproof.
When running on a jogging trail, through a park or on city streets, you don’t want to be isolated from the sounds of your surroundings. It’s a matter of personal safety. But if you’re at the gym, the last things you want to hear are the grunts from the next bench or panting emanating from the neighboring treadmill. In-ear headphones are best at keeping out ambient noise, while on-ear headphones and earbuds (like the ones that came with your iPod) allow you to hear what’s going on around you.
Personally, I’ve been nothing but happy with the Bose IE2 headphones, which I reviewed here a while ago. The StayHear tips keep the headphones from ever even coming loose in my ears, and the sound is so loud my music is easy to hear over traffic or the treadmill.
Good headphones are very much worth the investment, but be wary: once you’ve listened to good ones, you’ll never go back to cheap, came-with-the-player headphones again.