Gadgets for humans

An earbud headset that locks into your ears? Yes, you’ll want this

Screen Shot 2011-09-16 at 1.36.32 PM

If you’ve ever worn earbuds, any earbuds, then you know the major downfall is that they simply don’t stay in place very well. While some are admittedly way better than others, there’s nothing quite as annoying as being 2 miles into a run only to have an earbud go flying out.

That’s the problem that the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire headset is attempting to fix, and the company has taken a unique method to making this happen. The company sent me one for a review (and no, nobody wants earbuds back after they’ve been in your head) and after a couple of minutes spent figuring out how to make them fit, I’m sold on the idea.

The Inspires are a pretty typical headset. They’re a single cord that comes up, meets a Y-split where your controls are located and then they go to a 2-cord setup to get to your ears. The earbuds themselves are of reasonable quality, but you won’t go thinking that they’re audiophile speakers.

Where they differ is in how you insert them, because they’re covered in an oversized rubber housing. Yurbuds calls the system a Twist Lock technology. To get them into your ears, you start by holding them with the cord toward the back of your head. The canals on the housing then go into your own ear canal, and you twist the earbud down to “lock” it into place.

The system works surprisingly well. While I expected the locking to be uncomfortable, it was anything but. In fact, as far as comfort level goes, the Inspire is the single most comfortable headset I’ve worn. The oversized housing fills nearly the entire inner part of your ear, distributing pressure equally around it and keeping you from getting pressure points.

Running, lifting, twisting and the other normal things that would yank an earbud out of your head don’t seem to phase the Inspires. Watching the demo video, it looks as if someone glued them into the model’s ears, but they really are that secure.

The volume and play controls on the Inspire are also worth mentioning. These aren’t flimsy, ill-feeling buttons. They have a firm click to every action and they worked flawlessly with my iPhone.

The system comes with 2 sizes of housings which should fit any adult’s ear. These slip over a traditional earbud and can be changed easily. There’s also a handy zip carrier so you can stash the Inspires into your gym bag without fear of getting tangled wires or ripping them out entirely.

In short, if you’ve been irritated by earbuds that won’t stay in place while you’re active, then your problem is solved byt the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire. As I said, they’re not studio-quality sound, but they’re absolutely passable. For a $50 headset (which you can find for a couple bucks cheaper by digging around online), this is by far my favorite.

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This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

Published September 16, 2011 — 18:41 UTC