Monster iSport Victory
Yes, these are pricey, but in our view you get enough features to warrant the extra investment. The tangle-free cord actually lives up to its billing – many don’t – and while the sportclip design has been modified from the previous model, it still offers a secure fit even when worn under a cycling helmet*. Sound is even better than before, keeping the excellent noise isolation and deep, intense bass of yore, but with added detail and clarity. Last but not least, with a hygienic, anti-microbial coating and sealed housing, they’re easy to keep clean and sweat free.
T3 Says: These great sports ’phones live up to their steep price.
Price: £130 | Monstercable
Pioneer’s “skull fit” design lives up to its billing: these ear-hooked ’phones clamp around your ears with no intention of letting go until you’re ready to take them off, yet are comfortable at the same time. The adjustable buds mean you have control on the fit and the amount of sound that fills your eardrums. the 9mm speaker units produce a supremely bassy sound, making them ideal for up-tempo workout music. They’ve been designed with extreme sports enthusiasts in mind – hence the rugged build and suction-like grip – but they’re also suitable for a jog around the park.
T3 Says: Adhesive and bassy, these are great for adrenaline junkies.
Price: £40 | Pioneer
On these excellent buds lasso-style hangers adjust around your ears. Along with a choice of four sizes of silicone bud, this provides a secure fit during intense running seshes. Weighing just 10g, they’re barely noticeable in your lugs, although part of the reason they’re so light is that there’s no remote control included. The narrow earpieces use armature drivers instead of dynamic drivers, producing a crisp, clear sound with strong vocals and bass that doesn’t distort even at higher volume levels. Some of the best sounding sports headphones around.
T3 Says: Sporty headphones with high quality sound – result!
Price: £79 | Sony
Sennheiser Adidas PMX 685i
We were big fans of Sennheiser and Adidas’ neckband-style PMX 680 in-ears, so with a slimmer frame and remote this update feels even lighter as well as being easier to use under a cycling helmet*. Despite the streamlined look, it still feels very durable. As the remote is connected to the left side of the headphones, you might notice a bit of a pull if you thread them underneath a jacket, but the buds do stay put. On the sound front it’s the same 120dBs of power as before, but the frequency response has improved, giving a richer, more detailed sound. The bass remains lacking, though.
T3 Says: Slimmer and better sounding follow-up to the 680i.
Price: £60 | Sennheiser
*We don’t recommend cycling with earphones in but hey, they’re your brains
Yurbuds Inspire Duro
Using “TwistLock” technology Yurbud claims these will not fall out and, after testing, we couldn’t argue with that, though the fit doesn’t always feel secure, which can be a tad off-putting. The shape of the flexible buds apparently means they “avoid nerve-rich areas” – so that’s good – but their sticky, silicone surface picks up scum like nobody’s business. However, a quick wash under a tap cleans them. Unlike many of its rivals, the Yurbuds let in ambient noise, which is good if you like to know what’s going on around you. However, the trade-off is that the audio can lack vibrancy.
T3 Says: Good if you favour safety over audio fidelity.
Price: £50 | Yurbuds