Hi there, well this is a grey area in the cycling world, some would say its fine to wear headphones when your cycling and others would disagree. Well I know I follow the rules but when I’m not wearing my headphones my ability drops massively. Let me just explain my findings quickly, if you’ve ever been to the gym or a sports centre you will always hear music when people are training or working out. If there were flashing lights you would think you were in a night club the musics pumping (my old man term for dance music).

The reason for this is is stimulates the brain into thinking that bit faster and making you feel like you need to be doing things harder and faster, have you ever been listening to a real good dance track whilst you were driving only to realise you have been breaking the speed limit. Well this is why you hear progressive music when you go to the gym or sports centre. it’s to get you in the zone and feel like anything is possible, this is why I wear my head phones whilst I’m riding my bike, oh and because my mates banging on about bikes…

So I thought I’d take a look at a few different options and see which ones came out the best. I wanted to look for COST to make sure I wasn’t going to break my wallet, COMFORT because on a 100+ mile bike ride I’de like my ears to not feel like there being ripped off. SOUND QUALITY so I don’t have to listen to muffled base or tinny treble ruining good music and finally how waterproof they are for those wet day rides.

Let me introduce you to the three pairs of headphones I’ll be looking at in this review. They are the Sehenihser wrap arounds, then there’s the Adidas in ear wrap arounds and finally the Monster in ear’s.

All are claiming to be shower proof and have brilliant sound quality along with comfort, So I guess I should show you my results.

ADIDAS SPORT

Adidas Cycling Speaker Review

The first ones I’ll show you are the Adidas Sport Wrap around in ear headphones, now I’d like to say these were the first pair I ever bought for my time in the saddle, but there weren’t. Infant I’ve tried a number of in ear headphones but I couldn’t get any of them to stay in my ears when I was training. So I purchased these wrap around style headphones.

At first they were great, small and light, not uncomfortable to wear but when your wearing a helmet the wrap around bit on the back of your head can very now and then get caught on the helmet, or top of your back if your tucked in. This results in the earphones moving in your ear and the sound being distorted also allowing the wind to effect the sound.

Don’t get me wrong there a great sound and if your running or even training on the turbo they would be Ok but as soon as you move you have the potentially to catch them. Now I no longer use these on my bike but I do still use them at work and the same thing happens there, as soon as I bed over the band hits my jacket and then pushes them out of my ear. Yes it winds me up but I’m at work so it’ll have to do.

So how did they fair in the shower test, well they did well, I was out in a number of different weather conditions and they carried on brilliantly. I wouldn’t recommend you go swimming with them but if you want to wash the sweat off and keep them clean then a quick rinse under the tap should be ok. I never did this I just wiped them down with a damp cloth in case I broke them.

Which brings me onto the price, now I know you will find a load of different types of headphones out there but I wanted to keep these at a price I knew there would be a good range to choose from, so I said any where between £30 – £50 was acceptable. These came in at £39.99 and with the great level of sound quality and the clear tones I was happy with them and still am, The base level is OK but if I have it too loud I find it really does loose the quality but thats at a really high level.

Would I buy another pair if these broke, Um….. no I probably wouldn’t. I think the reason for this is because I really do hate the way the band that goes behind my head gets caught on almost everything. The sounds good and you can’t hear a great deal around you when your wearing them but that band really will annoy you after a while. The other thing they don’t have is an inline volume adjustment, this is crucial if you want to adjust the sound level when your riding, and because it doesn’t have that theres no mic for receiving phone calls.

In the Cycle With Del Score chart I’ll break it down;

COST,                      7/10

COMFORT,              5/10

SOUND QUALITY,   6/10

OVER ALL,               5/10

When using headphones it’s always a good idea to give them a wipe over before you put them away.  This ensures you have a clean set of headphones and reduces the risk  of an ear infection.

SENNHEISER AID PMX680

seheniser

The Sennheiser Aid PMX680 wrap around headphones were another choice I thought might be good for being out on the bike as there also sport headphones, these have the Adidas logo on them which I guess is them saying there the sport edition (I guess). Any way these are slightly different because they don’t actually go in your ear, they site just on the front of your ears.

The Sennheiser’s feel a little strange on the front of your ears and even though there not in your ear the sound is OK, one thing I have noticed is that after a while they can irritate the front part of your ear and after a a long time feel like there pushing on your ears. The other thing I noticed was the noise they crested through the wind as your moving, This is due to them not fitting in your ears resulting in outside noise being quite loud, the sound they produce is really clear and crisp with a deep base which is good. This is only when your not traveling to fast, when you get going the wind noise has a negative effect on them.

Like the Adidas in ear headphones you can wash these off after a good work out and they also preform well in a long heavy rain spells as I have found out. One thing I did notice was that around the actual head phone there’s a soft rubber shroud thats designed to make them comfortable on your ear, however at some point I managed to loose one which meant they then became really uncomfortable.

One thing I do like on these headphones is the volume control, this also acts as a microphone should you get a call when your out on a ride. Thats not all though the headphones also separate at the volume control which means you can unplug them if you need to for any reason. The volume control also has a great little clip that helps secure the cable when your out cycling to your bib shorts or jersey.

Now these don’t sit right in your ear, they rest just inside your ear giving you the feeling that there not quite in the ear properly, this may feel ok to start with but after a long ride I found my ears were starting to feel a little sore from where they were sitting. The other thing I noticed was that because they don’t go completely in your ear you don’t get the full level of noise reduction, this means when your wanting to get a good pace going you loose quality of sound.

Don’t think there no good, in fact I found I got used to them after a while but the wind noise really did annoy me on almost every ride. If your going at a slower pace then the wind noise won’t be a problem and the sound quality is really good. There’s a great range of sounds and the base has a good enough punch to make you feel like your getting the best out of your headphones.

I guess the big question is if I would buy another pair if they broke, well I’m sorry to say No. There’s a few reasons for this, like the Adidas headphones when your wearing them the band that goes around the back of your head sometimes pushes against the top of your back, this results in the headphones either being dug into your ears or they fall out. The other problem I had was that around the bits that go in your ear have a rubber protector around them so they don’t hurt your ears, this is great but if they come off the ear pieces are really uncomfortable. This has happened a few times and the worse thing is you don’t get supplied with any spares.

Like the Adidas headphones these state they are waterproof, now this is slightly right but in a really heavy storm I lost the sound in one of the ears. I don’t know what it was but when it dried out the sound came back. I’d like to say you could probably wash them off if you got a bit sweaty but you wouldn’t want to go out in a really heavy storm and expect them to work the whole time.

In the Cycle With Del Score chart I’ll break it down;

COST,                      5/10

COMFORT,              4/10

SOUND QUALITY,   7/10

OVER ALL,               4/10

Headphones are a personal choice, although they may help some out there. I must stress that they can be a distraction and you should always be aware of your surroundings whilst riding.

In the motor cycle word there’s a manoeuvre called “The Life Saver” this is where you look over you’re shoulder before you make any manoeuvre, making sure you don’t ride into the path of another.

Please remember to stay safe at all times when you choose to wear headphones.

MONSTER I SPORT INTENSITY

Monster Isport

The Monster isport intensity headphones were more of an accident buy than a requirement, I originally bought these for my daughter but after trying them for the first time the sound was….well crap. It never stopped there though, I took them back and got a replacement pair from the shop, as you can imagine the first thing I did was try them out to see if they sounded as bad as the first pair.

I thought I was on camera, I really did when I tried them for the second time I put them in my ears and the quality was terrible. I mean they sounded really bad, the range of sounds were minor and the base was just non existent. I looked at the instructions and it states, in order for you to get the best out of these headphones you need to let them warm up and break in. Yep the first thing I thought was what a load of nonsense, So I took these back to the shop as I wasn’t going to have a pair of headphones that cost £40 sound as bad as this.

On returning to the shop I was kindly introduced to the manager regarding my continuous problem, after explaining the concern the manager took the headphones and plugged them into his very own phone and played some music. After standing there for a minute watching him nod his head like a chicken he turned round to me and said “ there’s nothing wrong with these headphones, it must be the way your putting the music on your phone”. I was in shock, I may not look like a tech genius but I know how to transfer music to a digital player. It was at this point I took the headphones from him whilst laughing at his assumption and said I’ll contact Monster direct.

Well I did and after a few weeks of reporting my problems along with sending the problem headphones back I received yet another pair of brand new headphones. I was so reluctant to try them and be disappointed for yet another time. I unpacked them and plugged them in, pushed them into my ears as there in ear ones and hit play.

I waited for a while with them on low volume and slowly increased the volume, WOW now this is what I’m talking about.  The sound was superb on every level, the base felt deep yet clear, the mi and tops were rich and full of depth. Now I mentioned that these headphones needed to be broke in for the best sound, I thought it was a load of bulls, but they really do need to be used for a few times to get the best sound from them. Now I’ve worn them now for a good few months and I love the clear and rich sound they produce.

It gets better, now these are in ear headphones that fit nice and tight into your ear resulting in a really comfortable fit which is super relaxing knowing your not going to get ear ache. Like the others they have a inline volume control which not only does the volume but you can also skip tracks with this function. Not only that it also has a built in mic so you can answer the phone and take a phone call whilst riding, (not that you’re want to).

I tried desperately to look for a negative but they really did out do the other sets of headphones, OK they might of been the fourth pair to try but the wait was worth it. I love these so much they make riding a lot more enjoyable, even taking a call whilst wearing them is not a shock, the sound is great and because there in the ear you get no outside noise. So even with the wind blowing in your ear you don’t really notice it that much at all.

Now these are classed as sports headphones which means they should have an element of waterproofness to them, well I can confirm I’ve been out in some pretty heavy rain conditions and they still work fine.

Would I buy another pair if they broke, out of the three I like these the most but I’m not sure I would. I’d like to think theres a more expensive pair or brand that would be better in all areas but I then have the problem of wearing an expensive pair of headphones whilst out on the bike in all kinds of weather.

I know you can get some really expensive headphones but you have to draw a line at some point.

In the Cycle With Del Score chart I’ll break it down;

COST,                      7/10

COMFORT,              8/10

SOUND QUALITY,   8/10

OVER ALL,               7/10

So whats then verdict, well to be fair there all ok and do what they should. One thing I have always struggled with though is the in ear style headphones, I can never get them to stay in properly but the Monster ones seemed to be able to stay safe and comfy the whole time. After trying them all out of a long length of time I can confirm the ones I wear and will continue to wear are the Monster isport intensity headphones

With so many brands out there on the market you have a wide range to choose from and if you get a pair that don’t sound right don’t be afraid to get them changed, just remember to be polite and treat people how you would like to be treated. This way you’ll get a much better response if you need to change anything, and it’s good to be polite anyway.

One thing I will say is be careful if you wear headphones whilst out on the bike, it’s an area I’m sure I’ll get a response that you shouldn’t wear headphones whilst riding but my argument for this is what if I was deaf. Is there any difference, do you drive with your radio on, and what if your on the phone whilst your driving. All of which are a  distraction but it’s a personal choice, and one we make for ourselves. I know I would struggle to ride the distances I do without any music playing, if I’m with a few other riders I tend to ride with only one ear plugged in so I can still have a chat.

I hope this helps you with your next purchase, just remember to say safe.