Listening to tunes while you ride is a contentious topic. Even if we put aside the arguments about safety if you ride with traffic there’s still the purist POV about distracting yourself from the nature around you. But the thing about arguments is that by definition there are two sides. I’m going to put the anti-music argument aside for now and assume I’m talking to the riders out there who like to listen to tunes while they ride trails.
Riding to music is something I don’t do that often but I do get it. Sometimes a landscape can be enhanced by the right soundtrack in your head. If you are sessioning a trail and looking for a new PB there is no question that music can be a powerful motivating factor. So, now we are clear that there can be a good reason to have music in your ears during a ride the question is one of how best to listen to it.
The biggest issue to overcome is security… and by that I mean how secure the earphones sit in your ears. It goes with out saying that mountain biking can be anything but a smooth ride and buds can and often do, shake loose. An inconvenience if they are wired but can be a nasty expense if they are wire free and one shakes loose on a descent. Friction is the only force keeping traditional buds in place and all it takes is the right vibration and sweat to beat that.
It’s this in ear security issue that Earshots have gone all out to solve and to do that they’ve decide to use the awesome power of magnets. Now the wider scientific community hope that one day they will understand how magnets work (not even 6 Music in-house prof’ Brian Cox can explain it), but until that day comes just think of it as witchcraft* – it’s easier.
The rubberised pods have a flexible arm that loops over and back around your ear and sits behind like the arm of your glasses. But at the end there is a powerful magnet that acts through your actual ear (Pinna is the actual name for the big flappy bit that sticks out of your head don’t you know). On the ear bud side of your Pinna there is another magnet and together they pinch the whole bud to your ear so replacing the unreliable force of friction with one of constant magnetism. The result is a bud that just won’t fall off no matter how much you shake your head.
Who are Earshots?
Earshots the company are a New Zealand based startup with the initially focused objective of solving the trail tune listening issue. They are company of outdoor enthusiasts with a concern for the environment that has formed a part of the final product. All the packaging is carefully designed to be as recyclable as possible and the storage case also acts to charge the earbuds when not being used.
They connect to your phone just like any other Bluetooth device and there are buttons for connecting and skipping tracks if you aren’t onboard yet with voice commands to your phone. There’s a microphone built in so you can take that call from your mum while you hit the lip of the next big kicker you are trying to master.
Oh and did I mention they are completely sealed and waterproof? IPX4 rated in fact.
In solo mode you can ride with just one bud in your ear so you can keep listening to the Archers while pretending to be social and listening to your mates at the same time.
Despite the New Zealand origins the price is really quite reasonable at £88 + NZ$10 Shipping charge (about £5).
Members’ Review coming soon
I will be heading out on my local trails to give these a thorough testing to see if they live up to the claims of security. Watch out for my review coming in the next week.
Win yourself one of 5 pairs of Earshots
Easrshots have told us they have five sets to offer to five lucky Singletrackers. That could be you. To be in a chance of winning all you need to do is answer this super tricky question below. We need your name and email so we can contact you if you win. If you want to be in the loop and find out more about Earshots products and offers then tick the box and we’ll pass on your email address to them. You can remove yourself from their mailing list at anytime.
Competition rules: One entry per person person and winners will be selected at random from the list of correct entries on the 1st August 2021. Winners will be notified by email and prizes will be fulfilled directly to the winners by Earshots.
* Not quite true, but just try explaining magnetism to a 6 year old. How Do Magnets Work?
- From: Earshots.com
- Price: £88 + Postage
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Surprising that they’re only supporting bluetooth 4.2 and not bluetooth 5.0.
When I’m on the Turbo trainer I use bluetooth earphones to connect to an apple TV 4k for listening to the audio output when watching video content. With earphones supporting BT 5.0 there’s no audio lag, it is an issue for my earphones that only support BT 4.1. I assume it’d still be an issue for BT 4.2
The data rate for 4.2 is significantly higher than 4.1.
Just wear one ear bud and everyone is happy.
I guess because these these are designed specifically for riding in outdoors and to cope with trail vibrations, that syncing them to video is not a high priority design requirement. Indoors, even on a turbo, I find ordinary buds are just fine.
How comfortable are they? I like the idea of the magnets but even squeezing [that bit of your ear] between finger and thumb you can tell. It’s not painful but I’d imagine it might be annoying!
Dangerbrain, I think focusing on your riding will mean that you don’t notice the Earshot clamped to your ear.