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January 23, 2012 • News

One Good Earbud, One Brilliant Idea?

I have said many times that running with headphones in is not a good idea. It’s dangerous for multiple reasons; you can’t hear cars, animals, or people coming up behind you. Even with the music turned down you lose a sense of what’s around you. The common suggestion is usually to leave one earbud out, but then you’re stuck with a mono listening experience. That’s why One Good Earbud¬†from Far End Gear is such a smart idea.

From their website:

One Good EarbudTM is the ideal way to safely listen to music, podcasts, audio books, and mobile calls while running, cycling, snowboarding, or working out at the gym. Our custom-designed earphone mixes both channels of sound from a stereo audio device into a single ear – enabling the wearer to maintain alertness in any environment.
Looking for a gift for an athlete in your life?

By keeping one ear open, One Good EarbudTM promotes safety for participants in the following sports:
Running
Cycling
BMX
Snowboarding
Horseback Riding
Triathlon
Mountain Biking
Hiking
Fishing
Free Running
Motocross
Skating
Skateboarding
Slacklining
Parkour

In addition to its safety benefits, One Good EarbudTM can also allow individuals with a single-sided hearing impairment to finally enjoy fuller sound.

I heard about this company thanks to an article on Runner’s World about how wearing headphones makes you more likely to get hit by a car (apparently.) While it sounds like the study is more sensationalism than hard facts, these are worth considering if you listen to music while walking, running, or biking. I have to admit, I’m actually intrigued by these for a few reasons. One, I admit, as much as I love running without music, I get bored sometimes on long runs. Having the option to pop a podcast or audiobook on my iPhone, and listen while still being aware of the paper lady driving the SUV who’s out to get me (seriously, I swear she’s trying to nail me with a Star Ledger), would be awesome. Plus some of these earbuds come with a built-in mic, making them equally useful as a hands-free option. The only funny quirk is that if you pick the earhook-style buds, you need to decide ahead of time which ear they’re for!

Has anyone tried headphones like these before? Are they worth a spot in a gear bag? The prices range from $14.95 to $25.95, which isn’t bad for earbuds. They even offer noise cancellation (for one ear, so I’m guessing that’s geared towards the hearing impaired market). The main point is, these are a good compromise between safety and musical enjoyment, and if you’re going to insist on listening to music while out and about, PAY ATTENTION! We like our Gear Diary readers whole and safe!

One Good Earbud from Far End Gear

4 Responses to " One Good Earbud, One Brilliant Idea? "

  1. […] turning car you didn’t hear, it’s probably an agreeable tradeoff. [One Good Earbud via Gear Diary] MusicsafetyheadphonesaudioEntertainment  Discuss  Share  Tweet  Email […]

  2. doogald says:

    Noise cancelation is actually a good idea, as this should allow you to keep the volume low so that the noise that you hear in your free ear does not need to be drowned out by higher volume from your player. I do run with one earbud in – listening to podcasts only so stereo is not that important – but I have found that most earbuds with inline controls do no not last long if you run in foul weather; the controls tend to not survive getting wet often. So, I’d say that it’s good that these are so inexpensive. Buy two of them, so you’ll have one if the controls go bad.

    Though this may sound backwards, since I run on the left side of the road – facing traffic – I would buy a bud for the right ear. You will still be able to hear vehicles approaching from behind (which should be on the other side of the road), but the cars passing you as you face them are the real noise – and you’ll be able to better hear the dog sprinting after you from behind and the left. I don’t think that you can do too much about the paper lady, though.

  3. Single-Sided Headphones Let You Cheat Death By Keeping One Ear Open – modrstudio says:

    […] They’re available in three designs, including one with an over-the-ear support and the option for an inline remote control with a mic, topping out at just ¬£20. at that price we’re certainly not expecting audiophile grade sound here, but if it means you’re not killed by that turning car you didn’t hear, it’s probably an agreeable tradeoff. [One good Earbud via Gear Diary] […]

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