The AcousticSheep RunPhones wireless headphones are designed for runners and anyone else who likes to listen to music while exercising or playing sports. It’s hard enough for headphone manufacturers to create a pair of headphones that provides a long-term listening comfort, and it’s nearly impossible to also make the headphones stay securely in place. Usually, you either end up with headphones that hurt your ears after a while or end up on the ground every 5 minutes. That’s why the solution from AcousticSheep doesn’t look anything like traditional headphones. Instead, the headphones are hidden inside a comfortable headband. This design won the company two CES 2014 awards, Innovations in Design and Engineering Honoree awards, and we are excited to try them out.
Build and Design
The RunPhones are available in three sizes: large, medium, and small. Choosing the right size greatly influences how comfortable the headphones will be. If the band is too large, it won’t stay in one place, and if it’s too tight, it will be very uncomfortable after a while. We found the medium size to be just about perfect for us.
The hypoallergenic fabric that AcousticSheep use for the headband allows your ears to breathe, keeping you cool even in hot weather. You can also toss the headband into a washing machine without causing any damage to it. We like the selection of colors the RunPhones are available in, and we also appreciate the care that went into hiding all seams. Even if it were just a headband, it would be a very fine one.
The sound quality is probably the weakest aspect of the RunPhones. It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of detail, soundstage, accuracy, and even bass. It’s the kind of sound you get from a good laptop or a portable Bluetooth speaker. What’s surprising is that it’s not easy to notice these flaws when running outside. The headband lets in quite a lot of ambient noise, making it impossible to hear all the tiny nuances that audiophile-grade headphones like to reveal. The RunPhones instead reveal the sound of a car heading your way, which is much more important.
The headphones connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. There’s a single button hidden inside the headband which initiates the pairing process. We have no complaints about the signal strength nor the pairing process itself.
What’s in the Box?
Because AcousticSheep want to keep the cost of the product as low as possible, they don’t include any extra accessories. Fortunately, the headphones themselves are all you really need.