Yurbuds Liberty Wireless Headphones…

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The  Liberty Wireless are a pair of Bluetooth connected wireless headphones from YurBuds. I purchased these a couple of weeks ago since I was very unhappy with the BlueBuds X. The cost this time was just $99.99 (compared to the $169.99 BlueBuds). These again are used for my work outs and running, but mostly running. I read some mixed reviews of these headphones and decided that I wanted to try them on my own.

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What’s in the Box: Everything is packaged tightly inside the box. So if you need to put in all back together to return it, I recommend taking a picture of everything. Inside you will find the headphones, a micro-usb charging cable (41 inches), two different size ear pieces, and a small zip up carrying pouch (big enough to carry all items).

Setup: As with the previous headphones that I have tried, the setup process was very easy. I always recommend that first you charge the headphones completely before your first use, but they do come out of the box with almost a full charge. Once you have the headphones out, you will need to press and hold the center button for 3 to 4 seconds in order to turn on the headphones and enter pairing mode. Once the headphones are on and ready to pair, you will notice a green flashing light on the controls. Turn on the bluetooth on your phone and select the headphones. Once this is complete the audio voice will let you know that you are connected. The audio voice will also tell you when the headphones are powered on and off, and also provide you battery status when it is getting low. Like other wireless headphones, these also show you the battery status on the phones screen (iPhone 6).

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The Fit: The headphone go over your ear and YurBuds have a twistlock system to help keep the headphones in your ears. They have an instruction manual and also have a video that you can watch to learn how to place them in your ears. This is actually a very simple process. I used the smaller of the two ear pieces since I have smaller ears. What I like about these headphones is that the twistlock system really works for me and the music does flow into the ear nicely. As far as running, these staying in my ears the entire time and I never had to make any adjustments. They did not make a perfect seal in my ear (good thing in my option), so they were not really noise canceling. The cord goes behind your neck and I didn’t even notice it at all during my run. I went out on a run with my wife and only used one of the ear pieces and tucked the other one under my shirt. Since these have an over the ear piece, they stayed in place on my shirt and never pulled on the ear piece in my other ear. Overall, the fit for me was excellent.

Controls: The controls are typical and easy to use. You have the normal power on/off button that is combined with the answer/end call, and also with 2 clicks allows voice activation. The volume up and down button also controls skipping songs with long presses. There really is nothing revolutionary about the controls. I will add that the placement does take some time to get used to. Since the wire goes behind your head, you have to reach behind your right ear in order to use the controls. The controls themselves are not all that responsive. They feel very plasticey and make a noise when you press the button. The other main issue I have with the controls is that sometimes you need to press the button a few times for the command to take affect.

Sound: As I have stated before, I’m not too picky with the sound of my headphones, but these do not sound even as good as the standard Apple EarPods (I’m still waiting for Apple to make a wireless version of those). The other issue that I had was that every few minutes the sound would cut out, like a CD was skipping. This was annoying since I use intervals and at times I would miss my cue to run/walk. The range was not as good as the BlueBuds X, but I was able to walk into the other room and still had a connection (but it did skip/drop out from time to time).

Phone Calls: I once again had the same problem that I did with the BlueBud X’s. The location of the microphone makes calls almost impossible for the other person to hear you without you yelling. The other down side to these is that when you are on a phone call, there is a tinging noise (almost sounds like it is about to cut out. Actually it sounds similar to the old phone line connecting to the internet) that happens every few seconds. You almost want to rip them out of your ears. After one phone call to my wife, she reported that no matter how loud I was speaking I was extremely muffled and also sounded like I was stuck in a stairwell. That’s never a good thing when you are trying to communicate with someone. However, like I have said before, I am sure they will work if you are in an emergency.

Battery Life: These came out of the box already halfway charged, so I was able to use them right away. The manufacture states that the battery should last 8 hours. Out of the box it took me around 3 hours to drain the battery down all the way. Following the instructions I placed the headphones on the charger to charge for the night. I noticed right away that there was an issue with the charging. According to the instructions, if the light is green, the headphones are charging. If there is no light they are fully charged. After just a few minutes of being on the charger, the green light went off. I connected the headphones to my phone and the battery read that it was fully charged. Either this is the fastest charging electronic device I have ever seen, or there is an issue with my device. I have yet to run the battery all the way down again to see how long a full charge will last. The box and website states that these should last 6+ hours of music and talk time. I was happy to see that the charging cable was around 41 inches long. This gives you some room the place then on a table or in my case my nightstand with no issues.

Overall: After testing out a pair of more expensive headphones and dropping down in price range, I wasn’t really expecting to get better sound quality or anything like that. I was expecting cheaper build quality and sound (which is exactly what I received). The issue I have with these headphones is that you are still paying $100 for headphones. At this price I shouldn’t have to deal with poor quality in any area. The one thing that I was happy about was the fact that these headphone fit me and never fell out during a run or any other activity.

End Results: Sadly I am past the return period for Best Buy. So it looks like I will be contacting the manufacture directly for a return and refund. I feel like the next pair I will be trying will be the PowerBeats 2 wireless, but those are still $200.

JayBird BlueBuds X Review…

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BlueBuds X are a pair of Bluetooth connected wireless headphones from JayBird. I purchased these last week since they were on sale at BestBuy for $129.99 (normally $169.99) and I was in need of some wireless headphones for running and working out. After hearing some great reviews I decided I would try out these ones first. So what comes in the package besides the headphones? Well you also get 3 pairs of ear tips, 3 pairs of secure fit cushions (these are like rubber shark fins that fit in your ear to help keep the earbud in place), 2 x-fit cord management clips, a micro-USB cable, and a hard protective carry case.

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Setup: The setup for these headphones was very easy. You only need to open up your phones Bluetooth and turn the power on the headphones. The phone will automatically pick up the signal and you will need to just select the headphones and let them pair together. The nice part about these headphones is that they show you the battery status on my phones screen (iPhone 6).

The Fit: For the life of me I could not get these headphones to fit and stay in my ears. I tried all sizes and shark fins, but in the end the buds would just keep falling out or lose their seal and the sound would be compromised. I have always had problems getting these types of in-ear headphones to work for me. I was able to get these to stay in for at least one short run, but again I had to constantly fix them and push the back into my ear properly. I tried these with the cord going under the ear and around the back of my neck. I hardly noticed the cord at all during my run. You can also wear these so that the cord goes over your ear, but this requires you to flip the shark fins around and use the clips to tighten the cord up (I did not try this at all, way too complicated).

Controls: The controls are typical and easy to use. You have the normal power on/off button that is combined with the answer/end call. The volume up and down button also controls skipping songs. There really is nothing revolutionary about the controls. I will add that the placement does take some time to get used to. Since the wire goes behind your head, you have to reach behind your right ear in order to use the controls. The controls themselves were very responsive and I never had to press the buttons multiple times from them to perform the intended task.

Sound: I’m not too picky with the sound of my headphones. I could not tell a major difference between these and my normal Apple issued EarPods. I will say that the sound was good enough and they never cut out/off, or skipped at all during my use. The range on these were also pretty good, I left my phone in the living room and went into the bedroom a good 60 feet away with a wall in between, and had no sound issues.

Phone Calls: Don’t even bother with them. Since the microphone is on your neck behind your ear, you have to talk at a loud volume in order for the other person to hear you (not something you want to have to do while on a run, or really anywhere). I made a call to my wife while I was just walking and she could barely hear me unless I was almost yelling, also she complained that there was the dreaded wind tunnel effect. I guess the phone portion would be fine in case of an emergency, but other than that, no thanks.

Battery Life: These came out of the box already halfway charged, so I was able to use them right away. The manufacture states that the battery should last 8 hours. I never used them from full charge to empty, but I can say that half battery life only lasted an hour and a half. So unless the full charge somehow creates another six and a half hours, I think that the battery life is shorter than what is stated. But once again I never used them with a full charge. On a positive note, there are audible alerts that let you know when the power is on/off and when the battery is getting low.

Overall: When I was handing over $169.99 (or $129.99 in my case) I was expecting something awesome, but I was just disappointed in the end. I could not get these to work for me at all. I have read great reviews of this product, but for me I would give these a 3 out of 5. I give it a 3 because the sound was good, the setup and controls were easy, and they stayed connected without and issues. These lost 2 stars since the fit was not good, the placement of controls was odd, and the phone calls were horrible.

End Results: These were returned to Best Buy and I purchased Yurbuds Liberty Wireless (review to come).

So what do you think? Have you tried the BlueBuds X? Leave a comment and let me know which wireless headphones you use and why.

Let Me Try This Again….

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It has been a long time since I have written on this blog (not every good at keeping things up). Since I last wrote on here, I have had many issues that have prevented me from running. The biggest problem I have had is shin splints and no motivation. My shin splints have healed and my lack of motivation is on its way out the door. I have set a new goal, and this time I have my wife on my side running and training with me. We have both registered for the runDisney 2015 Wine and Dine half marathon.

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This seems like a crazy idea considering neither of us have run a race in over a year, and the last race we did run was only a 5k. In fact, we have never run anything more than a 5k (unless you count my time in the army. I am sure I ran more than a 5k on multiple occasions). We are both very determined and extremely excited to accomplish this awesome goal. Lucky for us we were both able to get registered during the AP registration. We have already secured our room and cannot wait for the time to come.

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So now begins the training, the dreaded long and painful training. We started last week with a nice easy 50 second walk and 10 second run split. This is a nice place to start since my wife (and I to an extent) haven’t really been doing any type or running. We were able to accomplish our two 30 minute runs, but did not do our long run over the weekend. My wife has already been hit with the dreaded shin splints. So she is out for at least the week to rest and recover. The issue with this is that I have become lazy again since she isn’t running with me. I know we have plenty of time to get ready for this race, but we are both wanting to get in a 10k before August in order to get a better corral placement. I guess I should be running instead of writing…..better get on that.

Odd Things Are Happening

I have been in a bit of a slump, both writing and running. I have made sure to keep up on the running until this past Tuesday. It was just supposed to be my 30 minute maintenance run, but I really, really, really (could go on) didn’t want to do it. So I didn’t. My excuse was that I was to busy, to tired, worn out from school, just ate, its storming outside, and everything else I could think of. Wednesday morning came and went, and by the time I knew it I was looking outside into a sunset. That is when I looked at the wife and said “I have no choice. I need to do this run”.

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It was raining all day and it was extremely humid outside. Horrible conditions for me to be running in, but I went out and on my way. I have never sweat so much in a 30 minute run in all my life. After all was said and done, I set a new average pace record (11:38) and a new distance for my time (2.58 miles). Talk about being happy about doing my run, I was ecstatic. After this run I am dying to sign up for a 5k sometime soon. Plus something odd happened.

I really wanna go out and run right now. I know, especially this early in my training, I need the rest day. I am so ready to get out there again and run and just enjoy myself. I cant remember the last time I felt so energized to workout. Instead of running today I will be doing a little core strengthening and maybe a light bike ride. Speaking of, I just bought a great looking bike worth $120, for just $40. Great deal and I have been really looking for a bike to do some cross-training.

Running Day 5

Another 30 minute tune up run was completed on Thursday. I decided to change my splits to 35/45 and what a difference. I felt great afterwards and was surprised at the results. I felt like I was running slower, and in fact I was. My max speed was slower than average and my walk speed was also a little slower (that was one of my goals), but my overall pace increased by half a minute a mile (what?). I think I found a good split time for me right now, especially in this heat. I am sure that this will change as I get more comfortable running and cooler weather comes around (in FL? Yeah right). Today is my 4 mile run. The last time I ran that far was back in 2003 when I was still in the Army. I really am nervous about being able to maintain my pace and splits. Only way to find out is to hit the road tonight and just do it.

3 Mile Review, and more….

So I may have, kinda, maybe, sorta, forgot to post about my 3 mile run on Sunday. Good news, I decided to go for the extra 0.1 miles and hit a new 5k PR of 38:28. I actually felt really good after my run and was kinda wishing I was running a little more. I still am maintaining my 30/1:00 splits since it is hot no matter what time I choose to run.

I also forgot to post about my 30 minute maintenance run on Tuesday. That one didn’t go as well as I was hoping. I think I pushed myself a little to hard, I had to walk my last few run splits. Even still, I was on a great pace and would have beat my old 30 minute distance. Well technicality I did beat it by a whole 0.02 miles. Not much, but better than my last run. Improvement is always good.

Tomorrow I have another 30 minute maintenance run. I am really thinking about changing my splits to 30/45 and slowing down a little, wanna see how that works out. I am also going to ATTEMPT to get up early and do this run. Waiting for the evening is risky this time of the year, you never know when it may start storming.  Ahhhh, gotta love Florida summers.

13th Anniversary

Today is my 13th year of being married to my beautiful and wonderful wife. I never have much to say on the social media side of things, so I figured I would say something on my blog.
Thank you for saying “I love you” back to me.
Thank you for saying that you would date me.
Thank you for saying “yes” when I asked you to marry me.
Thank you for saying “I do”.
And thank you for continuing to be there for me every minute of every day. I love you, and here’s to another 13+ years.

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Training Day 2:

I once again slept in and did not get started until later in the day. At least this time it had been raining all morning, so it didn’t feel as hot as before. I was lucky to go up to the local college and run around the campus, which is exactly 1 mile around (gotta love that). This was another 30 min run and I actually felt pretty good on the entire run. With the heat and my lack of fitness, I once again used the negative slits 30/1:00. I am happy to say that I finished my 30 min in 2.30 miles. I was a little disappointed that I did not meet my goal of 2.5 miles, but hey 2.30 is still dang good. Also, look what I got….

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Last night I finally was able to buy a foam roller. HOLLY PAIN! And then what great relief. Whoever came up with this torture device is a genius. I need to stop writing here and go get on roll on…….

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

First a little bit of history….. Independence Day is the celebration of Americas deceleration of independence from Great Britain. In truth, legal separation occurred on July 2 and not the 4th.  The first signatures on the Declaration of Independence were not penned until almost a month after the July 4th (August 2), and the last person to sign (Matthew Thornton) didn’t do so until November 4, 1776.

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(Wikipedia)

All that being said, as a former soldier in the US Army (and a lover of history), Independence Day is extremely important to me. To me it is more than just family, friends, food, beer, fun, and fireworks. I am reminded of the men who fought and died for something that they believed in so passionately. Had we not won the war for independence, these men would have been killed for treason, and the world would be a very different place.

Please take some time to remember what we are actually celebrating on this day. If you have a chance, find a solider and thank them for continuing to protect your freedoms. Be safe this weekend and enjoy the time with friends and family, and have a little fun to.US-Flag-Group-Waving-in-Breeze.images

Day 1 Review

So I at least started my training yesterday, finally. I unfortunately didn’t get started till around 10 am, not the ideal time for a run in the summer in Florida. I got ready, sunscreened up, and set out on my new adventure. Turns out it wasn’t to much of an adventure since I didn’t even leave the neighborhood (this WILL change). With the heat and humidity I had to start with negative splits, 30 sec run/ 1 min walk, and seemed to work out well for me. I carried a water bottle with me and dropped it off at a location that I would be passing again. The idea being that I would only drink some water at the millage it is normally offered in races. Thankfully I wasn’t dying for more water during my run. So after all was said and done, I finished 2.75 miles in 40 min (this included 5 min warm-up/cool-down). Not what I was hoping for, but something is better than nothing!
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