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:
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!