Saturday, September 1, 2012

Running With Music and No Wires

Several years ago when I started running trails I would take music with me. I had one of those 1st Gen Ipod Nano's with a case that I would clip to my shorts, hooked up to the kind of headphones that would wrap around the ear. This worked for a while but the wire running from my shorts to my ears would start to really bother me after a while. If I was on terrain with branches to duck around and under it would sometimes get caught and ripped out. During a race I would have issues with the wire and trying to take a pack off or change a shirt. Plus there was the simple feel of the wire either against my back (if it was running up the back of my shirt) or dangling around in front getting in the way. Bottom line, the wire was bringing me down and had to go, which meant the music did too :-(

I thought for sure I was going to have to wait for affordable, lightweight, wireless headphones and that looked to be a long way off. That was until I ran with Jared Campbell this last spring. Jared had either adopted or come up with the most simple solution for running with music and I was blown away. I immediately gave it a try and loved it.
Here is how it works:

  1. The music player works best if it is an Ipod Shuffle or newer small Nano (clip is built in and it's lightweight).
  2. Neckband or behind the head headphones.
  3. Wrap headphone wire around the neckband
  4. Attach the Shuffle/Nano to either the neckband or your hat.
  5. Run with your music and no wires to hassle with :-)

The headphones I chose are Sennheiser PMX 680 "Sport headphones". The reason I went with these is because they are sweat/water resistant and have a short cord that can be attached to a longer one if needed. I use the short cord for running. I already had one of the small Ipod Nano's but if I didn't I would have just gone with a cheaper Shuffle since I rarely mess with the music once it's going.

The downside with the Sennheiser's is that they sit off the back of my head so I can't attach the Nano directly to the neckband. They're just not strong enough to support that little bit of weight going up and down.
The upside is that I can still hear things going on around me since they don't seal in the ear canal and the sound quality is actually quite good.

Once again, I don't want to sound like I'm taking credit for coming up with this idea, I just thought I would pass it along for anyone else out there that can't stand the wires. If you have any other good ideas please let us know in the comments.


Missy B. said...


Jay said...

I'm a hooked early adapter... No way could I run now with the iPod hooked anywhere but on the back of my hat... Christian (and Jared), thanks for another great running tip!

jun said...

I like the concept. I have headphones that have a similar build, but they have a very long cord. Maybe I'll try it out today on my run.

FarEnd Gear said...

We make short cord earbuds specifically for clip=on style music players. You can check them out at

Jim Ellis said...

@FarEndGear ... do you make the Mono single earbuds???