Headphones for sports buffs

i.Tech MusicBand Shine: Ear loops don't work too well

The i.Tech MusicBand Shine is not a very well-thought-out product.

The "R" and "L" markings on the earbuds are completely covered by the silicone tips.

Also, the wire is wrapped in a nylon-like material instead of being sheathed in a waterproof material such as rubber. This makes it likely to pick up dirt and sweat after a few exercise sessions.

Most unforgivably, the only thing that says "sporty" about the MusicBand Shine is an ear loop that does not even work that well.

The earphones are designed such that the 9cm of wire closest to the earbuds are stiffer and can hold a shape.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $139

    IN THE BOX: One set of eargels, USB charging cable

    WEIGHT: 14g

    BATTERY: Up to seven hours of music, with less than two hours of charging

    FREQUENCY RANGE: Not stated

    RATING


    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 2/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 2/5

After putting them on, users are supposed to bend the wires behind their ears, creating some sort of hook to hold the earphones in place.

But because the wire is easily bent, it is just as easy to unbend, which means it does not retain its shape well during exercise.

After just a few steps on the treadmill, the right earbud began to work itself loose. I adjusted it, pressing the silicone tip hard into my ear, and it clung on for the rest of the exercise.

Sound-wise, the MusicBand Shine is nothing to write home about.

The audio was competent but sounded slightly dull overall. Also, I kept hearing a muted rustling noise made by the wire rubbing against my exercise gear.

This was particularly noticeable when I was on the stationary bike, where there was no sound of pounding feet covering up the noise. There were no clips included in the box for shortening or managing the wire.

During my first burpee, the left earbud immediately came loose. After the full 15, it had fully dislodged from my ear canal and was barely hanging on by the bent wire, and the right earbud had come loose as well.

During the sit-ups, the MusicBand Shine managed to last five repetitions before it began to loosen, although it did not fully dislodge this time.

For cartwheels, the earphones failed miserably. After I finished the set, the left earbud was sitting on my shoulder, and the right one was hanging on by the wire.

Lisabel Ting

• Verdict: Use these earphones only if you plan to do something slow and controlled such as taiji or yoga. For any other form of exercise, get something else.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'i.Tech MusicBand Shine: Ear loops don't work too well'. Print Edition | Subscribe