Skechers Run-free Bluetooth Earbuds, listen to tunes while exercising without having to deal with the wires getting in the way. Read the review!
- Skechers Run-free Bluetooth Earbuds Review
- Reviewed by: J. Ryne Danielson
- Published on: July 17, 2014
- Last modified: August 21, 2015
- QualityEditor: 70%
- PriceEditor: 90%
- OverallEditor: 70%
I'm not a runner, but I've always wanted a pair of lightweight Bluetooth headphones, primarily to listen to music and audio books while I work around the house or take the dog for walks. To that effect, I decided to try the Run-free Bluetooth earbuds offered by Skechers.
In the package are the headphones themselves, which have a small clip-on battery pack attached, a carry case, four rubber earpieces, and a USB charging cable (but no AC adapter). The first thing I noticed was how cheap the rubber earpieces are. They seem to have been designed to allow an in-ear feel, but I had a hard time keeping them on the earbuds, and found that they didn't improve the audio even when they stayed on. Luckily, the earbuds fit just fine without them, though if you're expecting an in-ear fit, you'll be disappointed.
Audio quality is good, though the signal can be disrupted quite easily (for example, by having the WIFI hotspot on my phone turned on) and when this happens, there is a lot of static and music sounds choppy, much like when a CD skips in a CD player.
On the right earbud is a power button, which turns the headphones on and off when depressed for about 3 seconds. It can also be used to answer calls. On the left earbud are two buttons; when held for about a second and a half, they turn control volume and when pressed for a shorter duration they skip tracks forward and back.
The battery pack clips to the collar of a shirt and rests against the back of the neck. The battery pack vibrates to alert you for incoming calls and includes a microphone so that you can take calls on the go without disconnecting the headphones. However, the microphone placement at the back of the neck makes this less than ideal. Still, it's possible, so it's a nice bonus considering I didn't purchase these headphones to be used for calls at all.
The carrying case included is nice; it protects the headphones when not in use and is compact and quite pocketable. It's great to not have to worry about tangled cords, as this has been my biggest frustration with traditional headphones. Though, their wireless nature is also these headphones' biggest weakness; battery life is less than idea. While the instructions advertise battery life of up to 8 hours, I could never get over 4, and barely that. They also seem to use quite a bit of power on standby—even if they are turned off, the battery will not last over 24 hours. This means that it is necessary to charge them every night, and since they don't come with their own AC adapter, juggling chargers can be challenging unless you have a spare lying around. Having to go back and forth between charging my phone and charging the headphones made it difficult to always have them charged when I wanted to use them, and several times I had to fall back to my old wired earbuds.
I found these Bluetooth headphones for half price, so considering that, I'm happy with my purchase. When they're freshly charged and kept away from interfering signals, they work very well. However, after using them for almost a month, I'd say that this amounts to about 50% of the time. Your mileage may vary, but your satisfaction will largely depend on two things: access to a charger (which you can control) and how strong the interference is in your area (which you can't).