Waaaaaay back in November when I went to Florida to run the Women’s Half Marathon with Corey, she made a friend. Girl is crazy personable and makes friends basically everywhere she goes. Anyway, this new friend happens to run the company behind X1 headphones.
Being the super nice guy that he is, Corey’s new friend offered to send her 2 pairs of the headphones so both of us could try them out. While I’m just getting around to using them since I wasn’t running, now that I am, I’m kind of obsessed with them.
Those of us who run with music know how important good headphones are. I can’t tell you how many pairs of cheap headphones I’ve gone through. If they stay in my ears, they get sweaty and quit working within a couple months. If they have great sound quality, they’re heavy and popping out during my run. Even the pricey pair I bought a year or so ago that claimed to be sweatproof? They were toast within 4 months.
So, my criteria for the dream headphones are as follows:
- Stay in my ears
- Fit comfortably–ideally, I should barely be able to tell they’re there
- Great sound quality
- Clip to my shirt so the cord isn’t flopping around while I run
- Volume control on the cord so I don’t have to dig my iPod/iPhone out to turn it up or down
I know. Tall order.
I was really excited to try these. The X-1 claim of being light and secure is legit. The headphones come with 5 different types of earbuds, so you can choose the fit that works best for you. And these are designed for smaller ears (aka, lady ears) so they really do stay in when you’re running. Even when it’s windy, these guys stay in place. Comfort-wise, they’re basically perfect. I tried a few of the earbuds (foam?! tree?!) and apparently my ears are medium sized? So the medium bud it is.
As for sound quality, the X-1 headphones are fantastic. They’re as good as any noise-canceling headphones I’ve tried, and they also have a volume control right on the cord so I can turn it up or down easily. You can pause your music right from the cord control, too, which is a feature I didn’t know I needed until now. And yes, I do need it.
Unpictured: cord clip. Yep–I can clamp the X-1’s down right on my shirt to keep them in place so I don’t have to hang onto the cord or jerry-rig some kind of solution to keep it out of my way. The cord also happens to be reflective, so if I’m running early in the morning, perhaps it will deter motorists from running my ass over. Perhaps.
But even if they don’t live up to that claim, they’re guaranteed for a year. That in itself is worth the expense to me. Otherwise, I’d spend at least $15 on a new set of headphones every few months that don’t have any of the other great features of these. The X-1’s just make sense.
I guess what I like most about these is that I don’t have to think about them. They work the way they’re supposed to so I can run, rather than fidgeting with my gear. Sure, they’re pricier than my usual headphones, but I won’t have to replace them in a few months, and they’re essentially the ideal headphone experience, if there is such a thing.