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Listening to Music via Headphones?

Old 05-11-20, 02:09 AM
  #176  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
The "you" I'm writing about is not the above poster, just a general you. I happen to agree with what is quoted.

To me, if you're on a MUP that has pedestrians on it, you should only be traveling at a speed similar to other pedestrians, the fastest of which are runners. In other words, same speed as the other users.

I don't bother hailing people I'm passing. For one thing, the MUPs I generally ride on are alongside pretty busy roads, so the road noise covers my voice, unless I yell at the top of my lungs. I don't like doing that. Even then, they can't hear if listening to their ear buds (which they have every right to do btw - for chrissakes, they're out for a walk, why shouldn't they?) Not to mention, pets on leashes and kids who are, well, kids. All have every right to be on the trail and all have the right to expect you to be safe.

Like the poster above, I've had people dart in front of me whether I call out or not. The safe thing is just pass at a speed that you can stop or swerve, just as if you were a runner on the path passing walkers.

That is very slow, by the way. Sometimes you actually have to slow to their speed and follow until you can get by safely (at that point you can probably talk to them in a conversational manner to get their attention if need-be).

So I just behave as if I'm just another user at the same speed - I SLOW THE F DOWN to a safe speed, and just pass safely at the speed to make the pass reasonably quickly, but as safe as need be. No need to call your pass in those circumstances, just be safe. If someone yells at you for not calling out, you could stop and explain why you didn't or just give a friendly wave and continue on.

MUPs are MULTI USE. Live with it. Be safe. If you don't like it, get on the street.

If I have a good sight line and see no other users, I go as fast as I want until I do, or until I lose the sight line.
Every MUP I've ever ridden on has posted rules requiring announcing so I don't agree with much of what you're saying. I announce, I don't pass unless the oncoming lane is clear, and I literally don't recall ever having an issue with a jogger in many thousands of miles of MUP riding. It is the voluntarily deaf non-announcing bicyclists that cause the problems. They can cross a path randomly and rapidly.

And no, I generally don't slow to a jogging speed when I pass. That's absurd, and is contrary to the practice on any MUP I've ever ridden on.
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Old 05-11-20, 07:52 AM
  #177  
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Pity the cyclist who misses the sounds of a hermit or wood thrush. It may just be me, but the bird sounds are my soundtrack to revel in. On long climbs beside streams the babbling is also a joy.
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Old 05-11-20, 08:25 AM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
That's the point, though, they appear to be staying in a reliable line and then just dart out in front of you just as you close. This is not common, but I've had a couple of very close calls.
Well sure, that's a possibility.
Situation awareness is important. Slowing down even if the jogger seems to be going straight is important. Giving plenty of space is important.
as you said though, its uncommon. At some point, we all have to decide how much we will alter our activities for uncommon possible results. This applies to cycling in the road, passing people on MUPS, etc etc.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:10 AM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Well sure, that's a possibility.
Situation awareness is important. Slowing down even if the jogger seems to be going straight is important. Giving plenty of space is important.
as you said though, its uncommon. At some point, we all have to decide how much we will alter our activities for uncommon possible results. This applies to cycling in the road, passing people on MUPS, etc etc.
Like I said above, the joggers just haven't been a problem for me. I give them enough room that they'd really have to try to get in my "lane". Most of them tend to keep to the far right side of the path anyway. I slow when it's a two abreast situation, but most other times it really isn't necessary. If anything, passing slower might even be more dangerous as it gives them more time to get in front of me. Bicyclists and dogs have a much greater ability to do unpredictable things that are really hard to avoid.

Absolutely, situational awareness is vital as you keep pointing out. I'll come to a dead stop if I think I really can't pass safely. But I don't understand how someone can emphasize situational awareness on the one hand and then say they don't understand how cutting off one of the senses people use to comprehend situations is a problem.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:10 AM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
I do it all the time[listen to music]. Often that is really helpful for getting through a miserable ride.

Fact is that if a car is coming up behind you unsafely, there is nothing you can do. With headphones you still can see what is in front of you and that is safe enough.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
FWIW, see my preceding post (link) on this thread in reply to this question:
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Can someone...anyone...explain how knowing a car is behind you makes any difference whatsoever? Please?

I've asked this in other threads and never gotten a response. In other words, what do you do with the information? What do you do differently? Are you pulling off the road or something? It seems to me that if you do anything differently based on whether or not a car is behind you is just a recipe for disaster, because you're going to eventually get it wrong.
Then there was this subquent post:
Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
To the OP: Have you ever been hit by a vehicle? There is usually a couple of seconds once you hear the vehicle to move over closer to the roadside if one is available.

I use those few seconds for that purpose. Some of us do not have good hearing to begin with. I count on those few seconds for my safety. So what is most important in your life - music, or the possibility of avoid getting hit?
Indeed I was hit from behind several years ago on a quiet residential road by a distracted (? impaired) hit and run, with six weeks in acute and rehab hospitalsand three months off work, with long term skeletal problems. So I am vitally interested in the question of situational awareness especially of rearward traffic:
Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
...I use the Garmin Varia radar unit. I like the warnings that I get and I like seeing the alerts on my Garmin head unit.

BUT, I still use an eyeglass mounted mirror.

When I get an alert, I quickly check my mirror to see whatís coming my way.

Cars now have a similar system, there is an audible alert when cars are nearby, then you check the mirrors to confirm the location of nearby vehicles.

I like the peace of mind.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Thanks for your reply @eja_ bottecchia. It appears you have an advanced system for monitoring traffic behind you. I wrote my series of posts, without reference to listening devices, to answer the earnest question of @MattTheHat,

I linked to this real-time video "Cyclist Rear Ended at 55mph"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYMKp71vW-I
And asked the counter-question
ďAt what point do you realize that the upcoming car ain't gonna swerve out of your line of travel?Ē

Is it at your limit of detection of 153 meters, my suggestion of about 27 meters...when or if? I advocate for a mirror to decide,...

Not to be contrarian, @eja_ bottecchia, but rearward monitoring does not bring me peace of mind, but rather sets up a tension of monitoring behind and looking forward down the road to consider, perhaps subconsciously, a strategy to handle the imminent situation....

For me, peace of mind briefly sets in when I note there is no one behind me, and I can concentrate solely on the upcoming road and intersections.
I'm surprised when these seemingly definitive, and even fatalistic statements about upcoming cars on the road fail to mention the use of a rearview mirror, but to each his own.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:27 AM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
But I don't understand how someone can emphasize situational awareness on the one hand and then say they don't understand how cutting off one of the senses people use to comprehend situations is a problem.
Valid concern for sure.
I have experienced that hearing, while beneficial in some situations, isnt a necessity for safety.
When cycling without ear buds and music, I hear wind. Thats almost all I hear- wind.
Its probably because I am so strong and fast.***

- on gravel roads, I hear wind and tires rolling over stone.
- on paved roads I hear wind and some car noise from their engines and tires.
- when no cars are around in paved roads I hear wind noise.
- on mups I hear wind noise.

My hearing is compromised when riding due to wind's white noise, so listening to music in the background just doesn't make me feel safer or dull my usable senses.

Head on a swivel. I look ahead and behind before passing on maps or changing lanes on roads. Otherwise, its straight ahead in a consistent line so I am predictable to others on the MUP or road.
see and be seen these two things are what I view as necessary for safety/situational awareness.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:37 AM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Every MUP I've ever ridden on has posted rules requiring announcing so I don't agree with much of what you're saying. I announce, I don't pass unless the oncoming lane is clear, and I literally don't recall ever having an issue with a jogger in many thousands of miles of MUP riding. It is the voluntarily deaf non-announcing bicyclists that cause the problems. They can cross a path randomly and rapidly.

And no, I generally don't slow to a jogging speed when I pass. That's absurd, and is contrary to the practice on any MUP I've ever ridden on.
The problem is I get daily idiots in earbuds who I call out to as I pass then they have to comment I should get a horn even though they heard me anyway. Will probably get an airhorn soon and just blast anyone with buds in from now on since they all seem to be such idiots. Never seen a rule about calling out before anywhere I have ridden, but one rule that's the same everywhere is riding at a safe speed for the weather and traffic conditions which means not weaving in and out of traffic at full speed or passing pedestrians very fast. I saw a woman break a little kid's arm a while back whizzing by me in the bike lane at 25 mph while I was down to 5 mph because there were little children all over. Yeah she is in the bike lane and going under the speed limit but no she was not driving at a speed appropriate for the circumstances of being next to a sidewalk in front of a shopping center with hundreds of pedestrians (or buzzing by me at 5x my speed only an inche or two away from hitting me, too). Police were writing her a ticket as I left, and I hope they suspend her license over it.
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Old 05-11-20, 10:24 AM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
well also a lot of riders are jerks while riding, taking up the entire center lane.

sure, you have the right, but if some guy messes up youíre screwed.

I always ride as far to the right as I can. So that even if the car isnít paying attention perfectly, he wonít hit me.

So it makes no difference if I detect a car behind me because I am always as far to the right as I can be. Any further and Iíll be in grass.
I find the further to the right I ride, the more close passes I get. It's like a passive aggressive thing. When I can safely take the lane, folks generally pass in the next lane or very close to all the way over.
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Old 05-11-20, 10:35 AM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
To the OP: Have you ever been hit by a vehicle? There is usually a couple of seconds once you hear the vehicle to move over closer to the roadside if one is available. I use those few seconds for that purpose. Some of us do not have good hearing to begin with. I count on those few seconds for my safety. So what is most important in your life - music, or the possibility of avoid getting hit?
I have not been hit by a vehicle, which is part of my point. I've been passed by at least 25,000 cars in the past year. I hold my line and if I need to swerve, I move towards the curb. If I'm holding up traffic I'll move as far to the right as the road ahead allows to let cars pass me. Drivers seem to magically move around me at varying distances.

What's more important, not getting hit or listening to music? In my area I don't find one has anything to do with the other.

I will admit that a distracted or impaired driver could take me out. But I can't do anything about that...short of moving off the road for every car that passes. My reflexes are not fast enough to get completely off the road in the milliseconds that pass between the time I figure out that the driver is distracted and they close on me. I mean, how do you even know they're distracted until it's obvious because they've run over you?
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Old 05-11-20, 11:02 AM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Valid concern for sure.
I have experienced that hearing, while beneficial in some situations, isnt a necessity for safety.
When cycling without ear buds and music, I hear wind. Thats almost all I hear- wind.
Its probably because I am so strong and fast.***

- on gravel roads, I hear wind and tires rolling over stone.
- on paved roads I hear wind and some car noise from their engines and tires.
- when no cars are around in paved roads I hear wind noise.
- on mups I hear wind noise.

My hearing is compromised when riding due to wind's white noise, so listening to music in the background just doesn't make me feel safer or dull my usable senses.

Head on a swivel. I look ahead and behind before passing on maps or changing lanes on roads. Otherwise, its straight ahead in a consistent line so I am predictable to others on the MUP or road.
see and be seen these two things are what I view as necessary for safety/situational awareness.
I'm actually quite fast myself and have done a bit of experimentation. My suspicion is that people rely on hearing at high speed to varying degrees because the shape of their ears can affect what they hear. I've generally found that I can hear a lot at 20-22 mph despite the loud wind noise because there appears to be a relatively narrow frequency band that the noise occurs at. I can distinctly hear other sounds at different frequencies, including motor noises and tire sounds. I can even hear bird sounds. At about 24-25 mph, the volume and the frequencies both increase enough that I really don't hear anything else but wind noise.

I'm not claiming that sound is my primary sense in situational awareness, but on a MUP where people are, by rule, supposed to be announcing their passes, it's baked into the cake.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:09 AM
  #186  
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I don't see why this is so difficult. I call out whenever I am passing. But I also don't assume they have heard me so I give them as much space as is safe. When I move to pass, I check over my shoulder in case of traffic or someone else, faster than both of us, is also passing me. Then pass. It's also nice to give a little wave and say hi when you go by.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:26 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
One earbud (right ear only) is my preferred for solo rides. I use Skullcandy Method for a long list of reasons: durable in the worst conditions, good mic to take calls and send & receive text, easy to keep the unused earbud secure, not heavy; neck loop design keeps weight off your ear, easy to use buttons - even with winter gloves, ...

My general thoughts on biking with music is the same as driving with music, it's only dangerous when it's too loud. I keep the volume low enough I can easily talk with people while riding.

I have never had a conflict with another trail/road user because of my music ... but I've encountered far too many people that are a problem because their music is too loud and they can't hear a bell or verbal alerts or anything.
I've discovered SC. Seems durable.

I never listen to music, only podcasts/talk. Never had a problem. Years ago I used the really nice/expensive Bose headsets but the cost and lack of durability stopped that habit, plus it's hard to hear what's goiing on around me.

Only problem is that when it gets busy in traffic, I stop listening to the talk, so I have to play it all again when off my bike. Also short podcasts like John Bachelor mean I have to stop to get the next one started and scroll out of the ads.

I find music blows my ears out so I never listen to it. Hey I'm 67.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:30 AM
  #188  
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My exact thoughts to this question. I experience the futility of "On your left" on most rides because of ear buds.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:32 AM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by velopig View Post
iPod Pro with transparency mode on. Also have Varia radar to point out when vehicle approaches.
AirPod Pros w/transparency all day long. Well, and not having the volume at eardrum shattering levels. Well, and understanding situational awareness. As long as you can still hear ambient sounds youíre fine.

i donít ride in traffic, so might have a different opinion if commuting daily...naw, probably still listen (with transparency enabled AirPod Pros), just like I listen to music when driving.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:43 AM
  #190  
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There's no one size that fits all on this. Definitely do what you are comfortable with and enjoy. Today I enjoy listening to audio books while riding. In the 80's I was rocking out with ELO on a Sony Walkman...Hold on tight to your dreams....
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Old 05-11-20, 11:46 AM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
If you're on the road...unsafe. Yet, I see lots of people doing it. On a MUP...maybe OK.

But my personal preference is to go au naturel. I like hearing all the things that are going on around me whether they pertain to my safety or not.

Dan
Agreeing Dan...anything that impedes your connection to the environment surrounding your steed is dangerous. Period!

All the best, Julius in Ohio
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Old 05-11-20, 11:46 AM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by Tophy_Dee View Post
Safe or unsafe? Iíve seen some other cyclists with air pods and other headphones on and though what a great idea to listen to some tunes while riding. But then I realized maybe itís not such a good idea? Canít hear if cyclists are coming up behind or if thereís cars or sirens. Basically canít hear anything at all!

What are your thoughts on this and if you do listen to music, any tips to be able listen and keep safe at the same time?
When riding we need ALL of our senses to minimize risk.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:48 AM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I don't see why this is so difficult. I call out whenever I am passing. But I also don't assume they have heard me so I give them as much space as is safe. When I move to pass, I check over my shoulder in case of traffic or someone else, faster than both of us, is also passing me. Then pass. It's also nice to give a little wave and say hi when you go by.
It's difficult because of the majority of the populace being entitled and acting like they are the only one on the path and erratically wandering all over the path or outright blocking it. Also hardly anyone here calls out but when they do they always do it from two feet away and loudly and annoyingly, which is no use to anyone and could even be dangerous if you startle someone.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:50 AM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by Tophy_Dee View Post
Safe or unsafe? Iíve seen some other cyclists with air pods and other headphones on and though what a great idea to listen to some tunes while riding. But then I realized maybe itís not such a good idea? Canít hear if cyclists are coming up behind or if thereís cars or sirens. Basically canít hear anything at all!

What are your thoughts on this and if you do listen to music, any tips to be able listen and keep safe at the same time?
We need all of our senses to minimize danger while riding.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:52 AM
  #195  
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I used to be an aerobics instructor and understand the motivational potential of music during a workout. However, on the road as well as off-road, I want to be as fully engaged with the ride as possible and never desire audible distractions. A part of getting outdoors is to connect with what's around me. Without the distraction of music (or a rubbing derailleur) I'm in contact with the other sounds including approaching cars. You have to be blind - or totally distracted - to see oblivious riders putting themselves in danger because they can't hear. Besides, having both ears blocked is illegal (at least in California) when riding.
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Old 05-11-20, 12:02 PM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by Tophy_Dee View Post
Safe or unsafe? Iíve seen some other cyclists with air pods and other headphones on and though what a great idea to listen to some tunes while riding. But then I realized maybe itís not such a good idea? Canít hear if cyclists are coming up behind or if thereís cars or sirens. Basically canít hear anything at all!

What are your thoughts on this and if you do listen to music, any tips to be able listen and keep safe at the same time?
First of all: I love music. Of a huge variety, from Muddy Waters to Messiaen...I've been a musician for 47 years, and a composer for 35 (of large ensemble jazz mostly) and own well over 4000 album. I love listening to and making music. i would also point out: I have written the BEST bicycle music ever written.
And I've got three things to say about riding with headphones.
1. It is DANGEROUS. Even on paths, let alone on streets and highways.
2. I briefly tried, back when the no long gone ipod was a new thing. ANd discovered two things about that. It wasn't that good of a listening experience (and I was using way better headphones than apple's buds), it worried me when i couldn't hear everything around me, and the MOST important reason of all: One of the reasons I LOVE about riding my bike is that it gives me a chance to be alone with my own thoughts. Riding a bike is a (or at least it can be and is for me) a SIMPLE pleasure. I don't need anything else (plus: it often gives me the chance to listen to the music that's bouncing around in my head).

Last edited by dkatz1; 05-11-20 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-11-20, 12:07 PM
  #197  
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Bose Frames

Bose Frames during the day, nothing at night. With the frames your ears are open to the world and you can listen quietly. They work especially well with a runner/cyclist headband.
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Old 05-11-20, 12:11 PM
  #198  
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Simple answer is if it's safe do it. I'd never do it in traffic but there are long, sweeping, wide bike lanes where it would be safe. I've read the sports page from San Simian to the first hill to Big Sur and felt totally safe. It depends on the circumstances. Stay safe/Have fun.
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Old 05-11-20, 12:15 PM
  #199  
dkatz1
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
If itís a solo road ride, like a commute, or just getting some miles in, Iíll often have music. Picking songs with the right tempos can also help you hold a particular pace or cadence.
When I do, itís only one ear, usually the curb side, depending if Iím riding or running.

If its any any kind of group (2 or more) or a high traffic situation, like downtown, then Iíll ditch the headphones.

The pair i use for cycling has has an over-the-ear hook, so it doesnít need to seal tightly, and the volume/pause controls are right on the pod, so I donít need to fumble around for a cord or the phone to turn it down or off. (Or louder )
Geezzz....I absolutely cannot stand ony hearing one channel of music.
That's like taking a shower while wearing a raincoat.
I'm much happier without..
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Old 05-11-20, 12:24 PM
  #200  
alanf
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
...... The pair i use for cycling has has an over-the-ear hook, so it doesnít need to seal tightly, and the volume/pause controls are right on the pod, so I donít need to fumble around for a cord or the phone to turn it down or off. (Or louder )
I never had luck with them, they keep on falling off my ear. What kind do you have?
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