Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Initial Thoughts on the Jarv NMotion Bluetooth Earphones

The Jarv NMotion Earphones and Running Case
As most people who follow my social media accounts know I took up running four or five months ago. One of the main things that keeps me running four or five months later is my phone and it's ability to both track my runs and keep me somewhat entertained/focused while running. So I thought I'd start off 2015 with an update to my running gear a set of Bluetooth stereo earphones. Problem is I'm just not sure if they (stereo Bluetooth earphones) are any good, and I wasn't about to buy a $100+ set only to find out I didn't like them. So I went eBay shopping.

As any good eBay shopper knows you can get all kinds of Chinese knockoffs of questionable quality but dirt cheap prices there. That wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted something that wasn't top tier (LG, Beats, Jay Birds), but still had a name, their own website, and a minimum three star rating on Amazon. These Jarv NMotion earphones fit the bill, and, purchased with the running armband (I needed a new one) came in at the very right price of $32 including 3 day shipping. They come with three different sized rubber tips (I have Comply foam ones on in the above photo that I had lying around), ear stabilizers (which I have no clue on how to use) and ear hooks. Also included is a short micro USB cord for charging, and a very cheap grey pouch to store everything in.

Quick rundown of the pertinent specs: These are Bluetooth 4.0 earphones with a rated talk/music time of five hours.

So I took them out for their first run today, and have my quick thoughts on them. First of all they are big.

My old Logitech 500vms on the left, Jarv NMotion on right
Comparing the buds from the current pair I use, Logitech 500vms (which have lost half their volume so volume has to be at max) we can see the NMotions are quite big and bulky. Fit is a problem as I never felt they were in my ear as securely as the Logitechs were, making the ear hooks a necessity. The ear hooks were great in making sure they didn't fall out of my ear completely, but seemed to work against the idea of keeping the buds in my ear canal. The result was less noise isolation, more wind, and not as full of bass in my music. Stopping about three quarters through on my run I fiddled with the buds some and was able to get a better fit, which improved isolation and quality of music.

The cable is easily twice as thick as the Logitech cable, and the controller is, as the buds are, bulky. Granted the NMotions have three separate buttons versus Logitech's one, but it's heft on the right side is noticeable and leads to uneven cord distribution around the neck. Normally not a problem, but I noticed it occasionally when turning my head to the left to check for traffic.

So far I'm impressed with the lack of dealing with cords while running. Though I didn't think the cord was that big of an issue before these earphones, I found not having the cord made for a more relaxed run as I wasn't using one hand to constantly stabilize the cord from my phone. I'm not so impressed with the fit, and subsequently the sound, of these. I'll try them one more time on Thursday, spending some more time pre-run to get the fit better and see how it goes.

Oh, and the case? For comparison I bought the cheapest armband case for my Moto X I could find on eBay. One, because I wasn't sure how long this running thing would really last, and two because I figured these cases were all just about the same so what did it matter? The Jarv case was quite a bit more comfortable on the arm, easier to get the phone in and out of, and just a little better made. At this point I'm more impressed with the case than the earphones.

UPDATE: I've decided I will be returning them. 


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