Yurbuds headphones

Yurbuds Headphones

If you’re like me, you gotta have music all the time. Except for training and social rides, I almost always have headphones on while riding. Over the past six or seven years my favourite headphone for riding has been the now seemingly discontinued Sony MDR-EX71SL, while for non-riding situations I have Skullcandy products. So when I saw Yurbuds at Interbike last fall, I was keenly interested. Yurbuds rely on a shaped silicon cover (fit “enhancers”) to hold the earbud-style headphones in place. You insert the Yurbud into you ear with a twisting motion and they stay in. Well, I did manage to shake them loose a couple times, but for the most Yurbuds stayed put as promised. Another size of enhancers are included, but I found the pre-installed version worked best for me. That silicon casing is kinda large and feels a bit awkward in my ear though. I didn’t especially care for it while wearing winter cap that covered my ears, though to be fair I have that issue, if slightly less pronounced, with all but the daintiest of earbuds.

I bought the Yurbud Inspire Pro, which has all the best features like remote-button track advance/volume control/play-pause. It also has a microphone incorporated on the cable control, as well as full iPhone compatibility. The button control functions similar to my more familiar Skullcandy headphones; which is to say that they work well except when wearing full-finger gloves…..which for me is every time I ride. Yurbuds are “sweat/water-resistant”, so they are up to the task of Seattle drizzle but I’d be a little hesitant in a full Florida-style summer rainstorm. However the deal-breaker for me is that the sound quality just doesn’t match my other headphones. These Yurbuds may advertise that they allow more ambient sound in, but I have to crank them up to an uncomfortable level to hear the bass, offsetting any gains in ambient sound transparency.

I guess I’ll have to keep looking a replacement for my Sony earbuds.

Yurbuds Headphones

Yurbuds Headphones

Yurbuds Headphones


Gotta tell you, I think wearing a music player while you’re riding is irresponsible. I’m sure they’re great earbuds. But you’re not doing yourself or the motorists around you or other cyclists any favours. Sorry.

And, as the publisher, blogger in chief here, was waiting for that comment. Mark is the most predictable, safest cyclists I know and with a crazy high cadence. He’s got a preternatural ability in traffic and if he wants some jams while he’s riding, cool with me—he’s riding with them at a level where he can hear all but the stupid quiet Prius.  I don’t ride with music because when I’m on the bike, I’m there to disconnect. Same reason I don’t ride with many electronics; unless I’m reviewing something or on a specific workout. Same thing with helmets, do as you please, but I wear those for sure.

I’ve tried them and my ears must be weird since they don’t fit me too well.  My wife, however, loves them.

I also like having the controls on the headphones, makes a huge difference to be able to pause the music/podcast.

To the riding with headphones issue, I’m not a zealot, but I ride with a bud in my right ear and nothing in my left.  I can hear everything that’s around me AND enjoy something else.

I don’t wear anything on group rides, but when solo, I like having something to listen to.

Yep, I was waiting for that too.  In some states, headphone use is actually illegal, though not a majority.  Bike Hugger of course does not condone using headphones in places for which that would violate the law, but this is a product that is being marketed towards cyclists (among others). It is certainly valid to evaluate its performance and utility.

It should also be noted that several studies have indicated that there is a difference between listening to pre-recorded music vs having a conversation with another person via mobile phone, in terms of situational awareness. However, the studies are mainly concerned with automobile drivers, and rightfully so. Personally, I hate having conversations via mobile when I’m riding or driving. So, Bob, I accept your apology.

“Studies show” that when I am on the road on a bike, I am pretty much invisible to at least one motorist (despite lights and screaming yellow jacket or jersey), and it just takes one to mess up your ride.  I want all my senses at full power to see, hear, smell, or just get a “spidey-tingle” that there’s someone approaching that I need to know about.  So no music or books on tape or cellphone in my ear.  And the mirror is right up near the brakes on the list of essential equipment.  I wear a helmet every time I ride, but don’t put much faith in its ability to prevent serious injury.  So I keep the sense pathways clear and try to avoid testing that theory. 

And, like Byron, I really like being unplugged on the bike.  I’m there for the ride, even when I’m riding to and from work.

I won’t call you irresponsible, but I hope no one ever has the opportunity to say, “I told you so.”

then i won’t call you self-righteous, but i will point out that studies have yet to show that hearing a car will ensure the driver of said car will see you.

I got the yurbuds for running and have been impressed with their ability to stay in my ears where other headphones don’t.  They occasionally need a tweak (the silicone covers slowly rotate over time and need to get twisted back into place so that they can twist-lock into your ears), but overall they stay in well.

The annoying thing about them is that the model with the mic and buttons IS NOT iphone compatible. The buttons can control the volume up or down, but with my iphone 5 it won’t control track selection or start/stop (which would be nice if you’re using runkeeper or another app that keeps the music controls off-screen). Also, the mic and buttons are encased in a huge heavy mass of plastic that drags around, not like the svelte buttons built into a regular iphone headphone cord. Perhaps less of a big deal for cycling, but it’s annoying while running.

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