Thursday, June 30, 2011

Product Review - yurbuds

I've decided that I'm going to dive into the world of product reviews, from time to time.  There's tons of triathlon/endurance sports related products out there that I'd love to try and review, but unfortunately my reviews will be limited to what I own.  As I buy new products, I'll share with you how I use them, the good and bad of the product, and whether or not I suggest it.  So, for the first installment of the Product Review section, I bring you YurBuds.

If you've never heard of Yurbuds, think again, because you probably have.  Here's a recent commercial that they've been playing across the U.S. market:

To better clarify, they are earphone "covers" that prevent the in-ear style of headphones from falling out.

About a month ago, Schwaggle was having a sale on Yurbuds.  The sale was $50 for $80 worth of Yurbuds product, and free shipping.  The actual deal came with two options: either a pair of Ironman Yurbuds and another pair of Yurbuds, or a pair of behind-the-ear Ironman Yurbuds and another pair of Yurbuds.  I elected to go with the in-ear style (since they claim that they don't fall out, why would you want the behind-the-ear style?).  As I alluded to in a previous post, you can do a one-month trial membership of ActiveAdvantage, which allows you to save 15% on Schwaggle deals.  So, once it was said and done, I paid $42.50 for the deal.

The package arrived about a week later.  Inside the box, this is what I found:

The red bag was actually in the Yurbuds box, while the blue bag was separate
Inside the red bag, I found one set of red M-dot headphones and two pairs of red Yurbuds silicone covers, one size 5 and one size 7 (interestingly enough, there was no size option, which I'll get into later).  Inside the blue bag was a set of white headphones and one pair of blue Yurbuds silicone covers, also size 5.

The contents of each bag

A close-up of the M-dot earphones

These things are as good as they claim.  Luckily, I feel very comfortable in the size 7's.  The size 5's are pretty good too, but the 7's feel just a little bit more snug.  I have worn them for up to two hours worth of running so far, and could hardly notice them.  

During a couple of my runs, he heat was pretty extreme which meant that I was pretty sweaty.  The Yurbuds stayed in place, just like the company said they would.  I even tried shaking my head around to see if I could get one of the headphones to fall out.  I could not.

With the Yurbuds in place

A closer view of the Yurbuds in my ear

For comfort, I definitely give the Yurbuds a perfect score.

Sound Quality
This portion is based solely on the M-dot headphones that came with my order.  The sound quality is actually quite good.  I tried using the headphones without the silicon covers and didn't really notice any difference in sound quality.  One thing I did notice is that Yurbuds are not a sound canceling product (which they don't claim to be).  What does this mean?  It means that when you put the headphones in your ears and have no music playing, you can still hear everything else around you almost as well as you could without the headphones in.  When you turn on the music, your ability to hear outside noise all depends on the volume that you turn up your music to.  If you keep you volume at a moderate level, you will still be able to hear a fair amount of outside noises, which I actually appreciate because I think there is a safety issue when endurance athletes use headphones.

For sound quality, I give the Yurbuds 4 out of 5.  It would have been a perfect score, except that some people may not like that they are not noise canceling headphones.

Yurbuds are basically a silicone covers.  If the headphone portion breaks, you can simply replace the with a similar type of headphones and just transfer the silicone cover.  As for the covers, I've noticed that a light cleaning is recommended from time to time.

Everyone has ear wax (yes, even you).  Because of the design of Yurbuds, the tend to collect a little bit of ear wax, every so often (I don't think it matters how clean you keep your ears, it's still going to happen).  Yurbuds are designed so that there is an extension of silicone that goes further into your ear than normal headphones (click on the photo that shows the contents of each bag for a better understanding).  And since this portion of the Yurbuds is hollow, it naturally collects small amounts of wax which, over time, will build up.  It's a very simple cleaning job, but one that needs to be done periodically.  Not only for cleanliness, but to make sure the product performs as it is supposed to as well.

To clean, you can simply use a Q-tip and move it around until you are satisfied with the cleanliness.  Or, you can remove the silicone cover, invert it, clean it, and then return it to it's normal position.  A bit of caution while cleaning: be careful.  Don't force the silicone to stretch so much that it rips.  If it rips, I don't believe there is any fix, other than purchasing a new pair.

For maintenance, the Yurbuds get 4/5.  Why?  Yes, they are easy to clean, but I know everyone out there prefers a product that is maintenance-free.

As I said earlier, when I ordered my Yurbuds package, there was no sizing option.  Oddly enough, if you got to the Yurbuds website and elect to order a normal pair of Yurbuds, there are 6 different size options (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

Where it says "Personal Sizing Option", it's actually a drop down box
The sizing process seems simple enough, and I'm not too sure why it wasn't part of my order process.  It appears that all you need to do is send in a photo of your ear with a penny next to it for reference.  For some reason, this was not a step in my ordering process.  Luckily, the size they sent me fits (and the smaller size fits The Wife...bonus!).

There's also a few different options if you order straight from the site, and each type of product comes with some different benefits.  For example, if you order the Ironman Yurbuds (in-ear style) from their website, you get the red headphones, 2 silicone covers, the red carrying case, and Ironman trading cards!  (ok, that last one is kind of funny).

So why did I decide to buy these?  You may remember a while back, I wrote a post about music and training.  I frequently have to get my running done on a treadmill, and during the winter I will be using the crap out of my bike trainer.  Having headphones that stay in place and don't cause any pain is going to make these "stationary" session fly by!

Overall, I give Yurbuds 4/5.  I definitely recommend picking up a pair, or two.  Keep your eyes out on the internet because it seems to be that they frequently have deals through various websites.  In fact, here is a current deal for members.  It's $50 for one pair of white headphones, and three pairs of silicone covers.  Try them out and let me know what you think!


  1. i think its a ripoff. i think the smallest order is $20 to get a pair of yurbuds.
    truth is when you buy an ipod or iphone, it comes with earbuds that include a mic! i would rather simply buy the yurbuds silicone covers.

    honestly the earbuds themselves are nothing better than apples. so why pay $20 for two tiny pieces of silicone? hence the rip off.

    the frustration is the silicone covers sometimes slip off when i pull em out of my jeans. the company offers no option if you just need to buy an xtra cover, instead you gotta buy the whole thing. silly considering its less than a $1 to make those silicon covers.

  2. Hey buddy. I can definitely see your point of view. The actual earbuds are nothing special, and really all you need to buy is the silicone covers. In fact, if you wanted better sound quality, you could probably transfer the silicone covers to a more expensive pair of earbuds. It would be a nice option if Yurbuds simply sold the covers separately.

    I personally haven't run into the issue of the covers coming off because I simply don't use them as my "regular" earbuds. The only time I use them is during workouts, so I never have them in my pocket. I can see how that would be quite annoying to have to continually put the covers back on.

    For my purposes, the Yurbuds are still working pretty well. I've worn them through the summer heat in Arizona while working out and had no problems, and they were pretty comfortable. Before I owned Yurbuds, I had a pair of earbuds that came with my ipod, and they wouldn't stay in for anything.

    I suppose it all comes down to what you are using them for. I see them as a sport earbud/cover, and nothing more. And yes, it may be only $1 to produce them, but it's not really something I could have done by myself, so paying the extra money wasn't that big of a deal.

    Sorry they didn't work out for you!

  3. I own a pair of the red/black yurbuds as mentioned in the post and they are awesome. They fit my ear like a glove. So you just sound like a hater, this is a small innovative company trying to make it in a Obamaeconomy

  4. Here's a tip. I emailed yurbuds customer service and asked if I could simply purchase the silicone covers. They asked me for my shipping address and sent me some without even asking for payment! I put them on my apple earbuds and they work great!

  5. Good comments above, however I have also lost the covers as they come off easily. These should be available as a consumable item straight of the Yurbuds website. Having invested in the ironman set and having found it very difficult to get replacement covers....I would opt for another brand going forward...even though I think the product is great.

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