Posted by: thehungryrunner | July 28, 2009

Headsets that become “deadsets”

Having long ago discovered that the shape of my ears does not allow me to wear earbuds (that is, unless I want to run with my hands on my ears, holding the buds in place), I remain a fan of the over-the-head headset.  Regardless of how I wear my hair, what activity I’m engaged in, or whether I’m wearing a hat or ear coverings, the good ol’ reliable over-the-head unit ensures my listening pleasures will remain uninterrupted no matter the circumstance.  And after years of trial and error experimentation, I arrived at the brand and style I continue to use now:  a simple, inexpensive earphone that’s both small and discrete, with a sound quality is just fine by me.  Not terrific I’m sure (I’ve never been sophisticated in matters of acoustics), but good enough to keep me motivated through a hilly 5-miler or another round of stability ball crunches.

Except for one thing:  apparently, I am the grim reaper of headsets.  Run, headsets, run!

It always happens the same way:  I’m out for a run or stretching after a hard workout, everything is fine, I’m deeply engrossed in some catchy tune or riveting podcast, when out of the clear blue, BZZZT, I no longer hear anything out of my right earpiece.  Depending on my mood, I will either suffer and make do listening out of my left ear for the remainder of the workout, or (and more often), I will express my annoyance by abruptly shutting off my mp3 player, no doubt with a “That’ll show you!” retort in my head.  I’m sure my iPod feels very bad.

The first few times it happened, I chalked it up to the headset being a cheapie unit (it is), and promptly bounced into Target to purchase a replacement.  The way I see it, even now the grand total of headsets I’ve gone through do not add up to the sum total cost of one expensive headset, so no harm done.

But “easy” solution aside, I’m beginning to wonder what the heck is going on that this happens so predictably?  It’s been happening with increased frequency, to the point in which we recently scoured ebay to snag a stash at an even lower cost than I’d been paying at the store.  I’m sad to say I’m already on headset #3 or 4 of that latest cache!  What the heck?  Granted, I sweat a great deal, and I use that headset in a variety of activities.  But I’d love to find out what might be the cause, and whether there could be something I can do to prevent it from happening, or even make some minor repair to prolong the life of the headset past that of a fruitfly.

I suppose “Use headset less often” is the only real wisdom in answer to the above dilemma, and it’s probably one I should heed.  Perhaps the greater issue here is that I’ve….gulp….become addicted to my iPod?


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