Monday, January 11, 2010

Problem, solved

I run with music.  Always.  Without music -- or, probably, without the Garmin -- I quickly move from "yay! I'm running!" to boredom to apathy to focusing on all the wrong things to "why? am I running?" . . . I seriously doubt that I would be a runner if I couldn't pop on the tunes (not to say I'm any connoisseur of music, in fact my playlist is embarrassingly retro).  Unfortunately, I apparently have odd shaped ears, because anything that I pop into (or on, or over) my ears quickly pops right back out again.

This pile represents a fraction -- and I really mean a very small fraction -- of the earbuds, earphones and various listening devices I have tried over the years.  In-canal, over-the-ear, earbuds, snap-on attachments, strap-on attachments(!!), cheap, expensive, recommended and bought on a whim, I have had all kinds of little things bringing the tunes to my brain and they never, ever, EVER stay in my ears for more than 5 minutes at a time.  I can't imagine what my running form must look like, 'cause for a large portion of the time I am fiddling with infuriatingly evasive bits of plastic that seem to work for everyone else, but nothing short of duct tape will keep them anywhere close to my ears.  My running bag is full of cast-off experiments, and my house is filled with those little rubber earpad things that supposedly hold the things in the canal -- these rubber dohickeys have now rolled onto my desk, under the couch, on the table, by the tv, EVERYWHERE, it seems, but where they belong -- in my ears.  I have tried everything (except the really really expensive ones because, let's face it, I'll ruin those too).

So when I stumbled on this site, I was pretty skeptical.  I read the testimonials and was all, sure, the idea sounds great, but -- like every other product that claims "stays in your ear!" -- well, they're not talking about MY ear!  For 19.95, though, I figured sure, I'll give it a try, at least I can dig the duct tape out of my ear and experience another spectacular failure.  I was lured by the fact that these little rubber thingies that slip over your standard iPod earphones are "Custom Fitted" -- you actually have to send in a close-up photo of yourself holding a quarter next to your ear.  From there, they determine what size you should have (what a job, looking at ear pics all day, I guess a perfect job for someone with an ear fetish), and then ship these things out to you:

The whole thing slips over the existing earbud, then sits in the cup of your ear, and the little Dr. Suessian horn thing slips into the ear canal.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I went out for a 7 mile run and those fuckers stayed put!  For real!  The entire time (yeah, so it took me 1:30 to run those 7 miles but hey! 7 miles!!) I think I just gave the left one a little nudge, maybe 2 nudges, and that was it.  They didn't move, slip or slide, fall out, pinch or get tangled in my hair.  I don't know that the sound was any better, but it was certainly amplified and I had to turn the volume way, way down to reach a comfortable level.  They didn't fall out, they didn't fall out, they didn't fall out!

This is like a revelation!

If you suffer from chronic earbud-fallout-itis, seriously, give this product a shot.  They worked for me, and I truly thought I was a lost cause.

(I am in no way getting paid or anything for this little product review -- as if!)


Anonymous said...

you crack me up!
I had that problem and then I found the best pair, they were free in a 4 pack of disaposible razors ... wierd right?
They finally ka-putted on me last month and my dad bought me the really expensive kind (bose) and they have that same shape! They sound amazing but they stay in my ear. I'm just really worried I'm totally gonna break them :(

Anonymous said...

Totally just stumbled on your blog and OMG! YOU HAVE THE EARBUD PROBLEM TOO! I have the SAME pile of discarded cords! There is even an official race photo of me doing a 10k while fighting with my earbud cord. AWESOME!

I'll definitely have to look into these! And love the blog! :)