Gear Review: Jabra Rhythm Headphones

jabra rhythm headphonesWhile the organisers of most races follow UK Athletics Rules and ban iPods and headphones, I for one find that every run goes better when I’ve got some unfashionable rock music helping me to pace myself.

From ‘Edge of 17’ by Stevie Nicks to ‘Burning For You’ by the Blue Oyster Cult, there’s simply no better way to take one’s mind off the pain in one’s dodgy old knees.

Yet, living on the windy west coast of England, I also spend far too much time trying to keep the standard Apple headphones in my ears, not to mention having to crank the volume pretty high in order to hear Thunder’s ‘Back Street Symphony’ over the noise of the crashing waves.

So I was more than thrilled when a number of headphones for runners rocked up at Jelly Baby Towers this week. I’ve now run in all of them, and can happily state that the Jabra Rhythms are the pick of the bunch.

While the rich bass and crisp treble will appeal to the audiophiles amongst you, I have to say that what really makes them great for runners is the perfect fit that keeps them snug in your ears even in gale force conditions, and which also ensures you can turn the volume down quite a long way and still hear the music: which I’m told is good news for your ear-drums too.

The lead also features a microphone and button for answering calls and skipping tracks on your iPhone, but which lacks a volume control. Sadly, this gets them half a point docked, but still leaves them well worth a 4.5 Jelly Baby Rating and also great value at just £19.99.


Gear Review: Cygnett Sports Armband for iPhone

Image As I’m now in serious training for the Edinburgh Marathon on May 27th, my running has become, if it were possible, even nerdier than ever before.

So much so that I’m now logging times and distances with my iPhone as well as with my Garmin 405 (which are coming up with slightly different distance measurements incidentally. What’s all that about?).

However, having tried numerous cheap armbands for the iPhone, most of which have been an incredible faff, I’ve just acquired what must surely be the Rolls Royce of armbands for geeky runners, in the shape of the beautifully made Cygnett Action Sports Armband you see here.

Made from  neoprene, and with velcro in more places than you’d have thought possible, I’m finally protecting my iPhone properly and getting complete access to my Nike+ App through the high quality clear screen, which is allowing me to start and stop timing when I want to, rather than when I can wrestle my iPhone in and out of one of the many badly-designed cases out there.

figure 1

The Cygnett is also comfortable and offers cable access right where you need it; and most importantly of all, holds your iPhone or iPod in place with the overlapping flap on the back that  you can see (if you squint a bit) in figure 1.

Crikey, there’s even a little velcro flap so you can tidy your cable away to stop it flapping around in the wind.

So while this is less technologically-advanced than most of the stuff I review on here, I really think that the Cygnett is the best iPhone case I’ve seen for runners, with absolutely no downsides and therefore fully deserving of a 5 Jelly Baby Rating.