I've learned to accept running with no music, as headphones and devices are a no-go on the triathlon course.
That doesn't mean I like it. When it comes to the treadmill, road running, or trails that I know like the back of my own hand, I like the music to zone out. In fact, I love finding a nice spot near water, putting on some light folky stuff, and om out.
I can't tell you how many different types of headphones I've been through, both wired and wireless.
By 2014 I had discovered the magic of Bluetooth headphones (especially for more dynamic workouts), but have killed 4 pairs since from my sweat or carelessness.
66 Audio asked me to test out their headphones, and since voted by Men's Fitness as the best Bluetooth headphones (2015), I figured I should give them a try. Read my detailed review, or hit the cliff-notes, then join me on IG for a giveaway to win your own set!
Design and Connectivity
The 66 Audio Bluetooth Sports Headset is an ”earmuff” type of headset, thus it doesn’t require ear buds to be pushed into the ear canal. This was actually a concern of mine initially. I have always worn earbud style headphones.
It uses a fold-able plastic frame, rather than a loose wire (what my Bluetooth earbuds used) or heavier and stiff frames. Yes, foldable. As in you can collapse the frame they shove easily into your winter jacket or backpack without fear of breaking.
<---- I do not have time for this mess, any longer.
The unit is wireless and uses Bluetooth technology enabling it to pair with any other Bluetooth device (phone, tablets, iPod, iPad, Android devices). If being used with a mobile phone the headset can be used to answer or reject calls with the central button the right earpiece. The buttons surrounding this central button are for volume and skip control. Of course, you can still control all these function through the device you’re using, which is what I tend to prefer.
Even though I don’t use the functions much, I have experienced problems in the past with my other wired and wireless headsets failing to communicate with my devices, so I did test this out. I had zero issues with volume, skipping song, going back to a song, and answering/rejecting phone calls. I was surprised it worked well with Pandora, one that seemed to struggle with my last headset.
I was also pleased with how quickly it paired with my phone, as my previous wireless headphones were very glitchy in this department. I have also noticed that the sweatier I get or the more bounce I have in my step, connection/pairing can be lost in previous headphones. I have yet to experience this with the BTS. Brava.
When it comes to battery life wireless headsets can be terrible. I mean, really terrible. So terrible, it gets its own segment in this review. My Backbeat wireless earbuds couldn’t last a half marathon without dying with a fully charged battery going in. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The 66 Audio BTW legitimately has lasted 20-25 hours for me without needing to be plugged in to charge (yes, it comes with a micro USB charging cable, along with an impressive 1-year manufacturer’s warranty). I still can’t get over this, as I am terrible at remembering to charge my Android and Ipod. I don’t need another thing to forget.
The 66 Audio BTS Headset is marketed as sweat resistant, but I’m quick to roll my eyes at this. I have killed 4 pairs of wireless headphones and countless wired ones with my head sweat (you’re welcome for that imagery). Unit failure is inevitable.
I discovered what I was buying wrong. Earbuds suck because they encourage sweat build up in the ears and, therefore, in the unit. The flat earmuff design helps keep sweat far away from the device. To be extra safe, the headset has been water resistant treated to protect form moisture. Major win, here.
I’ve now dropped them in mud (I don’t recommend this), sweated on the indoor trainer, and ran in the rain in them, among more regular, drier runs (of which there have been few lately. Washington state, you have been a sassy rainy state this fall). And they have not been pushed to failure, yet. Brava again, 66 Audio!
To be clear, however, they don’t claim to be water proof, just swear resistant. You may not want to be as extreme as me with your electronics. It’s why I can’t have nice things (usually).
Sound quality and comfort
Again, and area I was skeptical of, as I historically chose earbuds for better sound quality. The BTS has solid volume control (I like it loud) and does a fairly decent job of blocking outside sounds like traffic. I haven’t needed to max out my volume control on this device, something I can’t say for most of my headphones.
The fact is, these things weigh next to nada, so they don’t bounce much and you won’t find yourself fiddling with them as much as sweaty earbuds or the heavier wireless headpieces. Even rock hopping and tearing down a trail have not been issues.
As I have received these this fall, I can’t speak to the comfort of them in high heat situations, but I will say that there were times on trail where I turned the music off, but left the headphones on. They were comfortable and just enough cold protection for my ears so I didn’t need to grab a hat.
It’s also worth noting that I hate pressure on my ears, a big reason I don’t wear much to keep them warm in winter, but there is no pressure from these. I never felt like I needed to take them off and give my head a break. They sit lightly and gently.
I suck at maintaining nice technology and can't have pretty things very often.
I can has these.
I was a major skeptic when first taking these out of the box, but after trying so many other wired/wireless devices with dismay, I'm so thrilled with the 66 Audio BTW Headphones. Long battery life, super durable, light-weight and comfortable on the ears, not to mention the pricetag is hard to beat, make these a major win for us sweaty music lovers.