on December 6, 2011
I really was looking for a wireless set to workout with so it must be sweat resistant as my number one criteria. I have tried a few others so for those of you looking for a workout set, I'll give a quick review of each in this one spot...
PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT: I tried these I think in early 09. My first use of wireless stereo and I was hooked. These are great and I highly recomend paying a few dollars more for the added 3.5mm device that can be used for pairing anything. One problem for me is after a few uses with heavy sweat, shorted them. I went through two pair and returned them. If you are not working out with them, I like them alot (functions, fit, sound, all good).
ROCKET FISH: These are the more rigid behind the head set (like motorola). These were nice, although they did not fit as well, have as good of a sound, nor functionality as the Plantronic. That said, I picked them up cheap and they last 6-9 months of heave sweat and use. Then stopped working.
JAYBIRD FREEDOM: These were nice and light and sounded great too. They seemed to resist sweat well with its design and I though they'd be a keeper, but..... I just couldn't get them to stay in my ear. I know, I read many that said the same thing and I thought "they don't know what they are doing". But, I used the gecho grips and twisted them deep into my ear. This was fine for working out, but after a long run and heavy sweat, the gradually worked themselves out of my ear. Got to be too frustrating. That and the cord on the back of my neck would stick a little at times, creating a pull on them which also caused them to fall out.
MOTOROLA/OTHER: I haven't tried any others yet. Kind of a long process of elimination.
I bought these in June and they are still going strong. I have used them less frequently lately, but I used them quite a bit in the hotter months both running outdoors and working out / running in the gym. Though the buttons seem more exposed, I have not had an issue with the sweat. The sound is good too. These are alot like the Jaybirds with a few exceptions... 1) Buttons aren't as sealed, but this doesn't seem to be an issue. 2) Slight difference in shape. 3) The price is much cheaper. and 4) Cord is longer and has a mesh/threaded cover over it. The length can be a bit much at time, but overall it is great for a few reasons a)I think the length (and threadig) helps it from getting stuck on my neck which is a plus, b) When you take them off, you can drape them around your neck which is handy c) I'll wear a hat often and I actually tuck the cord up and under my hat which keeps it off my neck and out of the way.
Fit: I made my decision on the Jaybirds because of the fit and I just couldn't pay that price for them not to be perfect. The OT's are cheaper and so far ARE perfect. They come with hooks to place over the ear if you want added support which worked good, but her's my disclaimer... Shortly after I returned the Jaybirds, Jaybird developed these winged looking things to go in the ear. I actually had Jaybird send me a pair that I put on the OT's and it keeps things very snug and comfortable (even better than the hooks). So, maybe the wing-things work the same for the Jaybirds, but even if they do, unless my OT's short-out, I'd choose them first for two major reasons still 1) Price (of course... same item really, but cheaper). and 2) The cord, though long, doesn't stick to my neck and the length allows me to stuff it in my hat when running and hang them around my neck when not in use.
HOPE THIS HELPED YOUR DECISION.
Oh, by the way, I e-mailed OT and they said they would honor the warranty if they could validate that they shorted from sweat. This hasn't happened, but if it does, I'll let you know if they replace them.
on June 14, 2012
OK, if you want great sound quality which is always the #1 factor I look for in headphones then these things are it. Srsly clear with good lows and highs. The fit of the earbuds is comfortable even after a couple hour's wear. The cord is sturdy and has a clip that allows for easy storage so it doesn't tangle. Solid construction, I've dropped this many times already and it still sounds and feels great.
A few minor drawbacks keep this from getting 5 stars. The estimated 5 hour listen time is really closer to 4 so if you are hoping for longer time then move on. Initial connection can be a little tricky but I've never had to try more than 3x. My experience shows the range is closer to 20' not 32' even when in direct line of sight, though within my apartment there was no loss of quality or signal even through 2 walls and a shut door at ~ 15 feet. If you drop out, this will not reconnect correctly and requires a reconnect. When listening to any music on my Macbook Air, whether iTunes Pandora or whatever, if I pause the music then restart the headphones can't seem to keep a signal just like when I've gone out of and into the range limit. I have to either stop then restart the program or disconnect and reconnect the bluetooth on the Mac it to get it to reconnect. I also find that the cord, while sturdy, can be annoying if worn behind the neck when wearing a collared shirt or hoodie.
UPDATE 07/27/2012 - Have had these now for 3 months. Functionally, everything is still the same but I am less happy with the fit. As long as I am sitting still, they fit in my ears fine. If I am moving about tho forget it. I have to adjust them all the time.
on November 24, 2012
I absolutely love these headphones! I will never be able to go back to wired headphones again!
I have used these several times a week for the last 9 months with a Droid X for distances up to 14 miles at a time. I have always been unable to use regular earbuds (even just when sitting, let alone running), as they never have fit and stayed properly in my ears; yet I have had no problems whatsoever with these slipping. I was shocked! Although I'm not sure if it's good for the headphones, I don't want to risk them dying on a run, so I always charge them as soon as I'm done running so they're ready to go for next time. So far I've gone up to 14 miles on a single charge without a problem.
The sound quality is amazing! One safety point - if you tend to run alone and/or in areas where you really need to hear everything in your surroundings, these headphones may not be for you. They fit very securely and drown out quite a bit of background noise. Of course, I'm sure that helps make them sound so great!
There are two drawbacks that I have found, but neither have been a real issue for me. One is that they charge only through usb - there is no a/c charger. Also, the voice feedback in mapmyrun does not work through the headphones for some reason. I like the feedback so I know how many miles I've run without looking at the app, but I have turned off that feature and survived without it.
I don't write nearly as many reviews about products as I should, but I love this product enough that I felt I needed to take the time to tell others how great they are! I LOVE these headphones!
UPDATE: I have now had my OT Tags for almost 1.5 years. Can't believe it's been that long, but I still have the same set and still LOVE them.
I am now using the HTC DNA phone. The apps I use with the headphones are MAPMYRUN, NIKE+, and PANDORA. All work very well with them and this new phone, including the voice feedback for both running apps.
One downfall is that it seems the earpiece on the right side (which has all the controls) needs to be unobstructed from the phone. I usually run with my phone in an armband on my right arm anyway, so this hasn't been an issue. However, I once decided to try the other side, and the connection was flakey. Other scenarios have confirmed the phone and right-side earpiece need to be mostly unobstructed. This really hasn't been a problem for me.
I haven't tested the range too much, as I generally have my phone on my arm if I am using them; but they definitely work with the phone on the other side of a large room.
Call quality is not very good, but I didn't buy them for talking on the phone. They work if I get a phone call while running; but I certainly wouldn't use them as a replacement for a one-ear headset designed for phone conversation (I have one of those also).
So far there have been no problems from sweat, and that one has definitely been put to the test!
I always use the over-the-ear clips and have done so from day one. I don't know if they are necessary. They never feel like they are slipping out of my ears, but that is not something I want to test. I have worked out using them for several hours without the clips bothering me. The battery has also held up well so far. Again, several hours at least without a problem.
Just recently it seems the headset is not making a good connection with the charging cable, so I have to fiddle with that a little to get it to charge. I'm not thrilled about that; but I suppose after 1.5 years of use so far, I can't complain too much. They still work great, and I will continue to use them as long as possible. When the time comes that they die, as all electronics inevitably do, I fully expect to purchase another set of these OT Tags. Of course they aren't cheap, so I'm hoping to hold out as long as possible.
I stand by my original subject line. How did I ever run without these!?
on April 28, 2014
While using this headset it has been easy to determine they still need some work. I walk to work nearly every day and have my headset Bluetooth connection set to my phone (GS4). When I have my phone in my pants pocket (I am 6' 3" Tall) I have several issues with connectivity. When I place my phone in my jacket pocket, I still have issues, but much less. When I have my phone in my shirt pocket, the connectivity issues are considerably reduced, but they are still not completely gone. I have not tried the arm band provided while walking or biking, as I normally do with my hardwire set, as I am reluctant to do so. This product may claim to have 3 foot reception, but that is in perfect conditions where there are no other interruptions from any other possible interferences from other possible electronically controlled devices, i.e. Bluetooth, wifi, or other products in the area, security services. Too bad they claim one thing and can't actually maintain even the simplest of services when the product is connected to your body. Maybe overtime. Good luck.
on August 27, 2013
if you want Monster Beats bluetooth
This is the closest you will get
You will need to tweak your item's audio stream via an equalizer to boost the bass and deep sounds come out clear
I let friends hear the flat line normal sound
then the sound with the eq on i downloaded to my phone
and then put in the monster beats.. wow almost no comparison very very similar
Though standing alone without an equalizer these headphones lack rich sound
Pros.. Wireless, Sturdy, waterproof, up to 3-4 hours battery life on a single charge.
Cons.. Range is not very good-below waist line, it loses signal, ear pieces are a bit bulky
Until monster beats comes out with bluetooth earbuds that work for android phones like a galaxy s4, I will be using this then. As it is the next closest best thing
on March 24, 2015
NOT HAPPY AT ALL
This is a set of earphones that promised to be a great gadget (light, user friendly, rechargeable and cool). They are not as light as you would expect/wish as the ear plugs are too bulky for being a set without head straps, controls are right on the ear plug, making this uncomfortable to push once they are in your ear (which defeats the purpose of tuning/answering calls/managing your music as you wear them) and the worst of all is the super short battery life as it runs for so short that it will serve the purpose just for a short jogging session and not for multiple days as you can go now with several other rechargeable ear/head phones. Unfortunately, I stored the set for too long before using them, so when I used them and saw all these disadvantages, seller's return policy had expired and I'm stuck with them; not really using them anymore as (really) I don't like them.
Bottom line: You will do better buying something else. My learning: Use immediately and see if the product is what you expected it to be.
on January 17, 2013
This unit is kinda so-so. But the important thing, the very important thing, is that it works, and works consistently.
That longevity is pretty key in why it's getting a bump to a 3 star rating. If you want a barely par product that is an endurance draft horse, this is what you want.
Like some other distance runners out there, I go through bluetooth headsets like candy. I read the reviews, buy the headset, do a few workouts, and something breaks, stops working, or the battery dies, or....something. And I end up with a music-less run. I hate this....hate it with a passion. But in my loathing of cables, I'm ever on the hunt for a BT headset that works well. So far, I've yet to have a pair that lasts more than 4 months. That's just sad....
This set, however, holds promise. I've been on 3 runs with it, and so far, no issues.
Design....on the other hand....leaves a lot to be desired.
A good bt head set has a few key elements:
- Good battery life
- Good bt connection that doesn't stutter.
- Stable on the ear
- Reasonable sound quality
- Design elements to prevent wire noise
- Good button design for volume, skipping songs, and answering calls
- Half decent mic
- Small enough and light enough to avoid discomfort for at least a few hours.
This unit is barely par on most of the above, and sub-par on a few others. The fact that it works exactly the same three times in a row is about the only plus I can see so far.
So....first things first. The cable USB cable is annoying because it seems like these guys and JayBird are the only ones using this funky connector. It's regular USB on one end, but the end that goes into the BT headset is like micro-USB, but smaller. And I don't have any spares. A few times now, I brought these with me on a trip, planning on getting in some runs, and I didn't have the right cable....My own fault, sure. But micro-USB cables are ubiquitous and can be had anywhere. I can even borrow a friend's. This funky connector means I have to be diligent about having the cable. Annoying to no end.
Battery life? Good so far. I did a 4 hour run and it held up, no problem. Dunno about longer runs, because I haven't had the time for anything more than that and I'm too lazy to test while at home, so we'll see.
BT connection? Good enough. About the same as my Motorola S10s, and better than my JayBirds, but not nearly as good as my non-atheltic-use LG headset (the quality that all athletic headsets are compared against for me)
ear stability while running? barely par. For stability, the Motorola S10s are hard to beat. They go in, stay in, never move. These OTs need readjustment once in a while. For ear stability, this set has the same options as the JayBird. i actually think they're essentially the same headset, just the OTs are bigger. For me, the ear hook works best. the in-ear stabilizer doesn't work well for me, no matter what size combination I try.
Sound quality? Hmmmm....as an audio snob (poser, hehe), of course audio is going to be a problem for me, but these are okay for a BT headset. a little better than the Motorols S10 for music, a little worse for calls. Not as bass heavy as I feared. so...all-in-all, okay.
Design elements to prevent wire noise? JayBird is essentially the same design concept, but JayBird does better wire buffering. wire noise on these OTs are horrendous. I get a crick in my neck when running from trying not to move. That's how bad the wire noise is.
Button design. Identical to the JayBird. Really seems to be the same core product. Frankly, I think the Motorola S10s are the best here. One large button to power on/off and answer calls, and a pair of buttons for power. That's about it. The one large button is a bit hard to press, but no more cumbersome than any other set with water resistance.
Half decent mic. Actually, a tad sub par. I like the mic and voice quality on the S11s better. The S11s are the best of the ones I have....If they would just freaking last, they would be my favorite. But these aren't as good as the S10s either. about the same as the JayBirds, so my friends tell me when I ask them about sound quality.
Avoiding discomfort. Here the JayBirds are the clear winner with the OTs taking second place. These do not irritate me over long runs. They do need adjustment once in a while, but that is not a comfort issue, but rather a stability issue. Comfort wise, these are on par. Again, nothing compares to the LGs for comfort.
At the end of the day, though, what I need from a pari of BT athletic headsets is reliability. And every other pair of BT headsets I own has had one problem or another, and degraded quickly over time. These have lasted on three long runs with identical performance each time. And that bodes well as my primary go-to athletic headsets.
So while they don't get a 4 or 5 star rating in terms of quality, They are definitely A-OK.
on September 4, 2012
I enjoyed these while they lasted. One thing to note is that if your MP3 player (phone, etc.) has any sort of sound enhancement equalizing turn it off or the sound will distort. They are not capable of reproducing the added bass. I really enjoyed using them on the treadmill with my phone on the shelf and not having any wires to mess with. But the button was a bit difficult to use until I got the hang of it. Then one day the button just broke and pushed into the ear set. I contacted Outdoor Technology and am awaiting a response about a warranty replacement.
PROS: light, cable that connects them is sturdy, wireless range was good
CONS: plastic button that manages the device is flimsy. Can't reproduce bass like the stock earbuds that came with my android. The way the ear piece and the actual plastic body rest in your ear take some getting used to.
on January 28, 2013
I like the headphones for the price compared to others, but they have a lot of low end output, which is great for some, but being the audiophile I am they seem to be a lil much at times for the high freqs. I do think they are pretty comfy, they dont always sit in the ear perfect when working out, but I didnt expect them to be perfect. At times they cut out but I am pretty sure it is only when the battery is low or the signal is physically blocked by an akward position I am in.
Overal these are pretty good headphones, they definitely provide some good sound quality compared to a lot of other bluetooth products, and I enjoy using them.
on February 22, 2014
When I first used these they had connection problems and clicked several times. I sent an email to the supplier and they were very helpful... I don't accept what others said about support being questionable, they were there for me. They said connection problems were unacceptable and and offered to replace without further question.
When I took them running they would not stay in place and required a lot of adjustment.