I've long been in search of the Perfect Workout Headphones, ones that will stay comfortably nestled in my ears throughout the sweatiest workout I can muster. Enter the newest contender, H2O Audio's Surge 2G Waterproof Sport Headphones, designed to withstand both super-sweatfests and prolonged dunks in the pool.
I was impressed right away. The earplugs come in five different sizes (most others I've tried offer just three—or one), which made it easy to find just the right fit for my smallish ears.
Next, I took them to my Headphone Testing Lab (aka my spin bike). Nothing like a few hill climbs and “running” sessions (when you stand up with very little resistance and pedal as fast as you can) to test staying power. The Surge snuggled into my ears easily, without the usual cramming—another good sign.
I turned on my iPod, the music began to play, and...well, let’s just say that if it had been my brother Sean doing the testing, that would’ve been the end of it. He was always The Guy With The Stereo when we were kids, the one who was the DJ at summer camp dances and saved all his money to buy top-notch speakers—and he never would've stood for the somewhat tinny sound coming through the earbuds. I'm less picky than he is, but it was still a bit disappointing.
In spite of this, I kept pedaling and soon began to sweat up a storm. When the first “running” song came on, I rose to my feet in trepidation. But the buds didn’t budge. Well then, I thought, if the fit is so tight, they’ll soon start to hurt. Nope. I went through my entire workout with nary a twinge of discomfort.
Now, that was impressive, and a first for the many earbuds I’ve tried. But it was hard to get over the less-than-rich sound.
So, have I found the Perfect Workout Headphones? Not yet. But I’m getting closer.
Pros: The headphones come with 5 different earplug sizes for the perfect fit. Plus, they won't fall out when you sweat.
Cons: The sound quality is a little disappointing.
Cost: $49.99 at h2oaudio.com
Extra tip: If you're a swimmer, you'll need to waterproof your iPod in addition to having waterproof headphones. Check out the company's line of waterproof armbands here.