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I’m an Aspiring Runner, and These Earbuds Make Outdoor Runs and Dog Walks Way Better

Erin Flynn

I've always admired runners. The people who can bang out 10 miles like there's nothing to it, who look graceful and completely unwinded clocking an "easy" seven-minute mile pace, the ones who run for fun. 

As for me, I generally enjoy running... in like, a game of freeze tag with my nephews. But I get bored easily on long runs, and usually find myself rushing for them to be over after the first 15 minutes—which inevitably leads to burnout (and sometimes shinsplints).

But on my 320th day of WFH, I've taken the permanent me-shaped imprint in my desk chair as a sign "move more" should be on my list of 2021 goals. The plan? To figure out how to love running as much as I love the idea of it—or, at the very least, take my dogs on the long route more often when heading out for a jaunt.

Now, there were several hurdles standing in my way. First, my overly worrisome mother who sent me to college with a can of wasp spray to protect against potential dorm-room intruders (for real) and who is still not keen on me walking or running around a city by myself, 10 years later. Secondly, finding a solution to my quick-onset boredom.

The solution I found was truly genius (in my humble opinion): the best running headphones I've ever come across, Bose Sport Open Earbuds.

The solution I found was truly genius (in my humble opinion): the best running headphones I've ever come across, Bose Sport Open Earbuds. Instead of going inside your ear like most headphones, the wireless earbud sits on top of your ear so you can hear what's playing as well as your surroundings. That seriously high-tech feature allowed me to run freely down city streets while staying fully aware of traffic and other sounds around me.

best running headphones
Photo: Bose

Based on a mechanism that seems kind of like magic but really works, the OpenAudio™ technology directs the sound into your ear so the people around you hear basically nothing—so it's not like walking down the street with music from your phone playing at full blast.

I was skeptical at first, but when I tried them on a run with my sister (the buddy system is another go-to method for putting my mom's mind at ease) she assured me she couldn't hear a thing, even though I could hear both her and my music clear as a bell. Pretty dang cool if you ask me.

Another very important perk: They're great for the days I'm not up for a run and would rather just take my dogs for a long walk. Since I can clearly hear a garbage truck or another dog approaching, I know when to hold onto their leashes a little tighter.

Oh and the fix for my running boredom? Podcasts. I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner. The monotony of music just wasn't cutting it for me, but the intrigue of a podcast keeps me way more engaged (and distracted from how tired my legs are). Okay, I might not be an early adopter of podcasts—but at least I'm ahead of the game with my high-tech headphones.

Art: W+G Creative

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