Awhile back, I was contacted by a company to try out a new pair of headphones in exchange for a review. I'm always up for that!
It took me awhile to respond to the company, but finally, I got the AirDrives. I've been testing them out in the last month, comparing them to my current pair of headphones.
What sets the AirDrives apart from other headphones (straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak): "AirDrives are a safe headphone alternative for people with an active lifestyle. One of the main features
is the ability to hear your surroundings, while listening to your music. In short, the headphones rest
on the outside of your ear, as opposed to the standard in-ear headphone, thus minimizing harmful effects
to the eardrum." This also reduces the damage to your eardrum (which is nice - I swear I'm going deaf and I'm not even 30 yet!).
The headphones I use are earclips, soft, cushy, comfy things that aren't made to specifically block out sound, but they do cover my ears. They are nice and light.
I first time I used the AirDrives, I was running along the river path, a place I normally feel relatively safe - I don't have to listen for cars and such, so I wasn't sure the AirDrives were particularly needed, but I really wanted to try them anyway. I liked how easily I could attach them to my ears, and they stayed put, which was nice. The thing I wasn't (and still am not) sure about is the volume control on the wire from my iPod shuffle to the headphones. I needed to turn the iPod way up, and then adjust using the volume on the wire, which didn't give me much control - it's just an up/down function as opposed to the bit-by-bit volume adjustment I get on the iPod (Okay, so that isn't very eloquent! I hope you get my drift...). The other odd thing is the place where wires coming from each headphone join together was pretty close to my chin. But I didn't mind too much.
I took off for my run and realized it was really really windy. The wind just whooshed right by my ear, drowning out the music. I was wishing I had my normal pair of headphones for two reasons: one, to block the wind so I could hear the music, and two, to keep my ears warm! I liked how nice and light the AirDrives were, and as long as I kept the volume up, I could still hear the music (although, with the noisy wind, I couldn't hear details in the music - I could tell each song and since I know them I could sing along, but it wasn't very clear). I could also still hear everything around me.
So I figured that probably wasn't the best test, what with all the wind. Plus I wanted to see if my headphones blocked out a lot of sound the AirDrives let in (I'm thinking particularly about cars, although also on my trailruns, I like to hear what's going on around me).
So I took the AirDrives out a few more times, alternating between them and my earclips. I found I liked the fit, even with it being somewhat snug (or more snug than my other headphones) under my chin. They were *very* comfy. And being able to hear what was going on around me was nice (exception: wind) - I definitely felt safer (and enjoyed hearing the water flowing when I was at Sabino). But I found a number of times that I missed my earclips, simply because they provided more coverage, and therefore, more warmth, for my ears! I'm thinking my earclips are good for winter, and the AirDrives will be my summer headphones :)