In 2010 yurbuds came out with one of the silliest audio products ever- or so I thought. They offered custom-sized “earbud enhancers” that fit over the one-size-fits all earbuds Apple and others included with phones and media devices. The goal of these “enhancers” was to create a better, more comfortable fit. I wasn’t impressed.
Fast forward to CES 2011, and the company showed off their revamped product. Now, instead of having a cover that fit over your existing earbuds, they offered a complete package — their own brand of earbuds with the yurbud special sauce, the earbud enhancers already in place. We wrote about it here.
I wasn’t overly impressed, but I did bring the sample home with me. Then something strange happened. By January 2011, Elana was already well-established in her regular daily workout routine and on her way to becoming a trainer herself. One of the challenges she faced when using equipment such as the ellipticals at her gym was the fact that she had never found a pair of earbuds that were comfortable AND stayed in place during her workout. I brought the $50 earbuds home and asked Elana to give them a try. The first day she used them, I received this email from her:
Used new “yurbuds” ironman series a few min ago. They’re great- barely have 2 put in ur ears, comfortable silicon, stay put tight (no pulling during w/o), L/R markings, high sound quality/quiet ambient, easy to remove (slight tug), light, simply “carry-case”, “findable” color. ” ‘Nuf said… Review done ?
She was sold on yurbuds, and has used them ever since. She has also sold dozens upon dozens of people on them as well. It seems Elana is not alone in her fondness for yurbuds. The company has been wildly successful and has expanded their product line considerably. They recently sent two of their newer products for us to check out; in this first review we will be looking at the yurbuds Focus Pro Sport Earphones.
The Focus Pro are one of yurbuds’ behind-the-ear models. While all yurbuds stay in place quite well, this design does an even better job of keeping the earbuds in place during the most rigorous of activities.
The yurbud Focus Pro feature a 3-button, sweat and water-resistant microphone that allows you to control tracks (play, pause, skip etc), take or makes calls and, of course, volume control. The Focus Pro are specifically designed with iOS devices in mind. As a result, the in-line remote is fully integrated with Siri voice control.
These yurbuds differ from the ones Elana has used for the past few years in the addition of the soft, moldable ear loops that wrap around the back of the ear. These loops are intended to offer added comfort and support, and they do! While running with them today, I experienced little to no movement of the earbuds when I turned my head.
In the box you will find:
yurbuds focus pro sport earphones
2 sizes of enhancers
Sport carry pouch
Here’s my Gear Diary in 90 Seconds look at them.
Some of the standout features of the yurbuds Focus Pro are the “Twistlock Technology” that lets the earbuds lock securely into place, the aforementioned iOS-friendly remote and microphone, and a “flexsoft” design that is specifically intended to “avoid nerve rich areas of the ear”. (This may explain why Elana is able to wear yurbuds without the pain most other earbuds cause her.) In addition, since the yurbud Focus Pros are intended for use during training in all types of weather, they are sweat and water-resistant.
In the video, I describe one of the most important features — the fact that the Focus Pros offer “Ambient Noise Awareness”. Put simply, the headphones block out some outside sound but not all of it. That makes for safer outdoor activities since the outside world is not completely blocked out.
The yurbuds Focus Pros have 13.4mm speakers and produce good sound. When I first put them on in the house, I wasn’t overly impressed by the audio the output. I was more positively inclined toward them as I listened during my run, although, to be honest, I was never blown away by the audio quality. Don’t get me wrong, I like the yurbuds Focus Pros plenty well. They do their job quite well. They stay in better than any earbuds I have tried. They sound good, and I enjoyed the music during my run (Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, in case you were wondering), and I appreciated the fact that I could still hear plenty of road noise — especially so since I was running during rush hour. I just think these earbuds are the “right tool for the right job”, that job being physical activity, and aren’t the earbuds I would want to use all the time.
If you listen to music during rigorous physical activity, then you’ll want to consider the yurbud Focus Pros. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a pair of general-use earbuds, these may not be the right fit. And if you want earbuds that are designed for physical activity but are also the pair you will want to reach for when you are sitting quietly at home, then you will want to spend a bit more and get yurbuds Limited Edition headphones. We’ll be reviewing them shortly. You can check out the yurbud Focus Pro sport headphones here.
What I Like: Stay put even during vigorous activity; Comfortable; In-line control works well; In-line microphone picks up audio well (it is what I used for the video)
What Needs Improvement: Sound is good but not outstanding
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample