I've finally found a running audio setup that works

I’ve been running slowly since 2009. This year has seen two and a half marathons so far, with the Clon Half probably ending the year nicely. But since the very first run I’ve struggled with audio. I think most people listen to music and I’ve done that a bit but I’ve spent far more time listening to Podcasts. I listened to Kermode and Mayo on my first Half Marathon in Dingle in 2010 and I listened to them again a few weeks ago in Dingle in the 2015 Half.

The problem is when you’re in the middle of a podcast and either you find it boring or it annoys you so much you have to turn it off. Some of the more “worthy” American ones are very hit and miss. As my phone is normally strapped to my arm with a headphone lead snaking down my sleeve, the only thing I can really do is leave the podcast running and pull out the earbuds from my ears. Actually I normally only run with one earbud in for safety.

I’ve tried over-ear Bluetooth headphones as a solution but, as a glasses wearer, they give me a headache.

I’ve also tried expensive in-ear ones with inline audio controls. But Samsung, in its brilliance, doesn’t support them on the S6, apart from play/pause.

Sidebar: Google and Apple, get into a room, agree a standard one-wire low power digital protocol for audio and bloody implement it. For the love of god.

In the past I’d tried some cheap Chinese Bluetooth adapters too but they were useless and fiddly.

Then two weeks ago, I discovered that Sony released a pair of ear buds with a Bluetooth audio adapter ages ago, and the reviews were all positive. The official name is Sony SBH20 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset with NFC and Multi-Point Connectivity. Even better, because it’s getting-on a bit, the price is now really low. I got mine on 7dayshop.com for £15 delivered!

Sony SBH20

I assumed I’d switch the Sony earbuds for something better but they have proven to be perfect for podcasts. They also have very short leads, so you can clip the adapter to the neck of your running top, stick one bud in one ear, loop around your neck and stick the other bud in the other ear. Nothing is left to flap around. It gives you play/pause, prev/next and vol up/down. Works perfectly in BeyondPod on Android. I assume it’d be the same on iPhone. After two runs with them, I’m completely sold.

My next job is to get the podcasts and music visible in one app and build a mixed playlist for the Clon Half. Something like Rocky definitely needed for that last hill.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland http://conoroneill.com