The Earshots Bluetooth headphones are handy on and off the bike - here's our first look.
Do you have a soundtrack for mountain biking? Some people use their time on the bike to catch up on podcasts, or listen to their favourite tracks. But then, some of us prefer to hear the whir of a chain, the buzz of the expensive freehub and the sound of our tyres finding their limits.
If you're someone who needs some tunes to stay motivated to push the pedals, then chances are you are always looking for the next best set of headphones to use when riding. And it's not as easy as you'd think. We all love noise-cancelling over ear headphones, but that just doesn't work on the bike away from an indoor trainer or gym routine.
And what stays in place at home isn't guaranteed to do so on the trail, and when covered in sweat. And yes, sweaty ears are a thing!
Throw a cord in the mix that needs to be slung through clothing and via helmet straps, and things can get messy - or just a bit hard. It's no wonder wireless blueooth headphones are so popular. Losing them isn't, so I can see the appeal of Earshots Bluetooth Headphones from New Zealand, who use magents to stay attached.
A closer look
Earshots come in recycleable material, which is a nice touch. There is nothing in the cardboard box save for the storage and charging case and the USB cable. All the instructions are online - a nice nod to saving paper. They have the wesbite on the box, so you don't even have to be good at Googling!
The case is also the charger, and it has inbuilt battery storage to let you charge the pods a few times without needing to plug into a USB socket. The pods themselves are said to last about 4 hours.
There's a button on the back of each pod, and you can skip tracks, pause, skip back, take a call or reject a call. And best of all for sensible trail and riding use - you can set them up Solo Only - which means you just use one headphone. In terms of safe riding and even good trail ettiquette, this is a great move.
I'm one to push buttons first and read instructions later. Devices like this really work best by reading the instructions, and I found there was a lot less guess and check for pairing and other functions once I did that!
The fit around your ear is interesting, as while the design is flexible it doesn't work for any smaller easr in my household. But I find it fine. The magnet on the actually part that fits into your ear holds towards the bulk of the unit that sits behind your ear. And it all stays in place pretty well.
Connecting to my iPhone was super simple, and they support a wide range of devices.
Comfort and use
I'm still playing with this. I've been using the Earshots when working, as they allow plenty of ambient sounds to be heard, while also keeping my music choices to myself (really important for Work From Home harmony). I usually wear glasses, and taking them on and off tends to disrupt the Earshots placement, which is something I've noticed on the bike as well.
It's not a major thing, but certainly a thing. Just something to think about when whipping sunglasses off.
I really like that I can run the volume low, and still hear the tunes I want (or Google Map directions). I've even used them to listen to instructions more clearly on YouTube how-to videos. They're super useful!
I do need more trail time with them, so that's what's next. Take a look at the Earshots website for more details and tech specs. And price? They sell for $NZD169.75 and ship from there to here - total cost is calculated in their online cart.
We'll have a full review in our next issue. Stay ahead of the game and subscribe!