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Is it worth spending money on headphones?

Aug 29, 2016 | Kit, Running | 17 comments

I remember walking from my old office at Good Housekeeping magazine in January a few years ago, it was snowing slightly, but I had my head down, listening to an audio book, when bam…

I thought I’d been hit in the head with a snowball.

I hadn’t, it turned out I’d had a minor electric shock from my headphones.

Is it worth spending money on headphones

But is it worth spending more money on a set of headphones, or just replace them every time they start shocking you? 

I’ve tried a lot of headphones over the years, mostly because I break them or lose them and for that reason, I’ve mostly bought the cheapest pair available. However, there is nothing more annoying than heading out for a run and realising a mile in that one of the ears doesn’t work, or it starts raining and I start getting electric shocks.

How to choose the right pair of headphones

  • Sound quality 

When listening to your marathon playlist, an audiobook or podcast, you want the sound to be crisp and clear, not fluctuating between tracks.

  • Fit

I think I must have strange shaped ears, earphones always fall out. Luckily the Avanca headphones almost mould to your ear once their in, and don’t fall out even in heavy rain or during very sweaty workouts.

  • Life span 

How long does your average pair of headphones last? If you’re spending £30+ on them, then you want them to last you a good long time. However, just how many pairs of £10 I’ve broken or lost, I do not know. They tend to only last me a few months each. I’m definitely taking more care of the more expensive, techy pairs.

We’re also talking battery life here, when you’re out running for 3+ hours or longer, the last thing you want to happen is for your headphones to cut out. The Avanca headphones last 6+ hours after charging, meaning that as long as you turn them off between uses they’ll last you at least 3ish runs!

Headphones post

  • Ease of use

Not all fancy headphones are very easy to use – a few have literally baffled me to the point where I can’t even get any music to play out of them and have had to give them to someone more technologically advanced than me. I want something that can be pulled out of your handbag or gym bag, connected somehow to your phone/mp3 and it works.

What headphones should you use

The Verdict 

I have multiple pairs of cheap headphones that I will continue to use for my commutes etc, they never run out of battery but the wires do get tangled (luckily my new 75+ minute commute gives a lot of time for detangling). For my long runs when I don’t want to have to get tangled in a cord, and want music/sound that will take my mind away from the pain of tempo or long runs, I’m using the Avanca Pink S1 headphones. Charging them like I charge my watch and phone before I head out, it’s just another thing to add to the to do list. However, I did have to get Tom to show me how to use the bluetooth action.

Using the code TRBLOVE1 will get you a 20% discount on a pair of Avanca headphones from Amazon until 30th Sept. 

Do you buy lots of cheap headphones or look after one pair of expensive ones? 



  1. CARLA

    it was the lifespan which FINALLY SOLD ME ON THE NICER ONES!
    I would buy mine from CVS 🙂 and feel so proud of myself…until I realized I bought them monthly.

    • charlotte

      I know, I hadn’t ever added up how much money I wasted on cheap ones!

  2. Shannon (@shambiwolf)

    I have like 3/4 different pairs! I have Sony waterproof ones i use fr swiming and outdoors stuff, a cheap pair of gummy blue ones and some red beats solos i bought when i graduated from school. I’ve used them all in the gym and tbh think i prefer my overhead beats! 🙂 Ive had them nearly 5 years and they’re still going strong 🙂
    P.S. how dyou get decent photos of yourself running haha mine are always awful!


  3. Amanda

    you look great in that last photo! I’ve been thinking about buying a pair / forcing my boyfriend to buy me a pair of wireless headphones for my birthday, thanks for the rec!

  4. eatsandexercisebyamber

    I can’t believe you got shocked! that is SO scary! I used to buy cheap “gummy” brand – my fiance bought me beats and I love love them!

    • charlotte

      haha gummy brand, I know the ones you mean!

  5. Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales

    Shocked, oh my goodness! That has yet to happen to me but I find one of the ears just stops working or I lose them and buy new ones. I’ve just been using my iPhone headphones for the longest time but have considered getting better quality ones for running that are sure to stay in my ears.

    • charlotte

      I know, you’d have thought they wouldn’t send electric shocks when they’re such a big brand!

  6. Tess @ FitBits

    I do like to spend a bit of money on them, I swore by my Yurbuds but then they finally died. Atm I’m testing Jabra Sport earphones, which are amazing sound quality and fit, but very expensive. I’m not sure I’d spend more than £40 myself on a pair…

  7. MrsB @ Mind over Matter

    I only have Yurbuds and only use them to listen to podcasts on the tube. When I run I don’t want to listen to anything, although – IF I ever start marathon training again and do long runs, I might have to start.

  8. The Running Princess

    I’m a big Yubuds fan and recently I splashed out on their Bluetooth pair so there would be no more cord to untangle. I also have a pair of Jabras which I won but don’t like running with them as I like to be able to hear what’s around me when I run and these do too good a job of blocking that out. Perfect for the gym though!

    • charlotte

      Haha yeah in the dark I run with only one headphone in so that I can hear clearly when I’m on busy roads!

    • charlotte

      No worries Rachel!

  9. Chris S

    Yurbuds for the win for running and they’ve gone stupidly cheap in Sports Direct for some reason. Even better I just found a pair this week that I thought were long since lost. iPhone buds by far the worst for failing at first sign of a drop of sweat – good microphones for work though.

  10. Katie Louise Halsall

    I struggle with earphones – I have one current pair that fit me (cheapo ones) and really struggled when I lost them for a couple of days because the replacements kept falling out when running! Nightmare! I keep telling myself I need to look into ones designed for exercise, so this is a good reminder!


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