I have been on a quest for years to find the perfect pair of inexpensive running headphones. I have tried countless different brands and styles, from earbuds to over-the-head to over-the-ear. I even tried Yurbuds, which many people swear by, but I had mixed results (you can read that review here).
I’ve worn my cheap $15 Panasonic over-the-ear headphones for almost a year now and while they have been fine, they aren’t great. They are also starting to show their age and cheapness by falling apart. So, I decided it was time to return to the quest for those perfect headphones. I did some research online and finally settled on the Polk Audio UltraFit 1000 Sports Headphones. They come in black or white – I went with white.
Polk Audio is new to the sports headphones world, but I know that they are a good and reputable brand when it comes to other audio equipment, so I thought I would give them a shot. They actually have three different versions of the UltraFit headphones. The UltraFit 500s are at the lowest end, costing $50 directly from Polk Audio while the 1000s are in the middle, costing $70 and the 3000s are at the high end, costing $100. I actually found the 1000s on Amazon.com for $50, so search around on the web before buying a pair – you can definitely find them cheaper than buying directly from Polk Audio.
There are several things that I love about these headphones.
1. They are comfortable. They come with three different size ear buds, allowing you to pick the one that fits your ear the best. Also, the over-the-ear part of the headphones is adjustable, so you simply bend it to fit over your ear exactly how you want it.
2. They don’t slip at all. I ran with these headphones on my 20-miler last week and they didn’t bounce, slip, or move once during the run.
3. They come with three different sizes of cable. The shortest will allow you to wear your iPod or other music device on your shirt collar. It really is very short! The next shortest is 14 inches and comes down to about my waist. This is the one I have been using. It doesn’t allow any slack, but it’s seems to work this way for me. It is really meant for using with an armband or clipping your iPod on your shirtsleeve. The third cable is 41 inches and for me is way too long. But if you are tall, this one would be good for putting your iPod on your waistband or in your pocket. This long one also has a 3-button remote control and microphone attached to it.
Now for the things I dislike about the headphones: nothing.
The sound quality is pretty descent in these headphones. I have never been one to care a great deal about sound quality. Sure, I like my music to sound good and clear, but I’m not an audiophile who can tell when something doesn’t sound as good as it is capable.
On a side tangent: The father of my college boyfriend owns a high-end audio equipment company and on several occasions I found myself surrounded by audiophiles. They would sit in a room dedicated entirely to listening to music and would sit and critique the equipment and sound quality, being able to detect the slightest changes in adjustment to the equipment. It all sounded the same to me and I never truly understood this expensive hobby. To me, if it sounds good enough, I am happy. In the case with the Polk Audio headphones, I know some people would say they could sound better, but to me, they sound just fine.
So, there you have it. I don’t think I have found the absolute perfect pair of running headphones, but I believe I am pretty close. I am very happy with the Polk Audio UltraFit 1000s and will be wearing them until they break or start to fall apart.
Please note that I was in no way compensated or even asked to review this product. I bought it on my own accord and the opinions here are my honest ones.