Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good things in small packages

Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to receive a pair of AKG K321 In-Canal Bud Headphones from the manufacturer. In the past I have written about running with a music player and my position on that has been quite negative. For one thing I'm reluctant to carry anything at all when I run so the thought of bringing along a device that weighs a third of a pound is unappealing. I've run with the Qstarz 1300S unit a few times, carrying the device in a holder that straps to my upper arm, so I've become a bit more tolerant about the idea. I've also had bad experiences with ear buds in general, their shape and my ear never seem to be compatible. I also have some hearing loss in one ear and that has taken away some of the pleasure of the headphone experience.

This is not my review of these headphones, only an initial impression. I will be posting a full review in Runner's Tech Review after I've had a chance to take them out on a few runs. I don't have my company-provided 3GS yet (I'm going to miss my Blackberry but I need the iPhone for research) so I borrowed my daughter's iTouch to try out the K321's. My first impression was "Hey, how come this doesn't hurt?" The ear buds conformed to the shape of my ear and felt fine. This was a good sign. I began playing a song and noticed that the balance was better than the outside-of-the-ear headphones that I usually use. Despite my asymmetrical hearing it sounded very natural. I haven't run with the headphones so I don't know how the fit will be when I'm bouncing down the street or following trails. Honestly, I don't think it's something I'd use for trail running anyway - I don't need any distractions when I'm doing that. More to come on those.

The other surprise I received in the mail this week was a nice plaque from the Long Island Marathon for my 2nd place finish in my age category in the 5K. I can't remember the last time I earned an award like that other than something related to business. I will display it proudly in my guest room next to my plastic Fun Run medallion.

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