Most of my runs are on streets. Despite large shoulders, several lanes and traffic signs, drivers are not always the most alert. This has become increasingly dangerous with smart phones in everyone's hands. While I can't control the actions of drivers, I can take personal responsibility for my own safety... which means maximizing all my senses on the run. Sight and hearing are the two biggies. Many runners rely too heavily on the first and plug up their hearing with pumping music. I understand. I get it. I did it too.
Here's how I began the weaning process after one too many close calls...
First, I began to tuck one ear bud into my sports bra to free up an ear. As it became a sweaty annoyance between my girls, I just cut off the left ear bud off my headsets. Yes, I'd buy a $30 pair of earphones and immediately cut the left side off, pull out my electrical tape and wrap the open wires. Running with just one ear bud made a huge difference in hearing what's was going on around me... especially behind where vision is void. I always feel bad when I run up behind someone (with earphones), call out a warning, and yet still manage to scare the crap out of them as I pass. Imagine if I had ill intentions? Please please use common sense and be aware of your surrounding. If you can't run without music or podcasts, consider taking at least one bud out.
With all that said, I was out-of-my-seat excited when I saw the one-bud earphones from Far End Gear. Finally - a custom-designed earphone that I don't have to destroy! A one-bud earphone with both channels of sound pumped into a single ear piece. (While my method of cutting off one cord sounds ingenious, it did severely deflate the sounds quality) OneGood Earphones enables a runner/hiker/cyclist to maintain alertness in any environment while still enjoying their choice of entertainment with exceptional sound quality.
Far End Gear provided me with several pair to test out. The first pair I unwrapped was Brite Buds, the world's first line of reflective cord earphones. The fabric-wrapped cord intrigued me, and I was anxious to test it out. Not only for the reflectivity issue, but also for comfort. The rubber on other cords always seem to stick to my sweaty skin, resulting in the earbud tugging out of my ear. The fabric around the cord employs the same inter-locking process used in high-grade parachute cords, weaving water resistant fibers with glass bead retro-reflective threading. The bud rested comfortably in my ear and during a 5 mile run, the cord never pulled and the bud never moved from my ear. Instead of constantly adjusting the earbud, I kinda forgot it was there. That is my definition of the perfect earphone!
Secondly, I tried the Short Buds. Again, I was delighted that someone created something that fills a much needed niche. When I listen to music, I use a tiny ipod shuffle that clips to my sports bra or hat. I like it simple and small. The Short Bud is absolutely perfect for this setup with a shorter 15" cord. No more tucking all that extra cord into your sports bra! Safety and music without the extra cord.
All earphones from Far End Gear come with 3 eartip sizes and are compatible with most stereo and mono devices. Far End Gear carries a complete lineup of earphones, no matter what you're preference.
Other earphone products carried by Far End Gear include...
• OneGood Earphones come in regular buds, wrap-around ear hooks and even with a microphone built into the wire for answering mobile calls.
• BuDLocks replace the stock, in-ear budtips produced by other manufacturers. The soft silicone wing gently locks into the bowl of the wearer's ear, locking it in place during vigorous activity.
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