Review: Yurbuds Ironman Talk Earphones

Good Grip, Mic Make Talk Ideal for Exercisers

Image © Yurbuds

Exercising with earbud-style earphones is like the hot and sweaty equivalent of a Catch 22. On one hand, the light weight makes them ideal as exercise companions. On the other hand, a lot of them are like me on a tightrope. Just a little movement, and — uh-oh — gravity introduces them to good, old Mother Earth.

Even snug earbuds that tend to stay put have a tendency to fall off once constant movement and sweat enter the equation. It’s one reason I became a fan of the original Yurbuds a few years back even though they didn’t exactly have the best sound quality. As someone who’s had my fair share of run-ins with finicky earbuds, having earphones that stayed in my ears even after I sneeze (gesundheit!) was like a momentous occasion. Yurbuds rectified the audio issues of its original earphones with the release of its Ironman line, which I first tried out with the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Pro. Now I take a look at the Pro’s cousin, the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Talk.

The biggest difference between the Pro and the Talk is that the latter ditches the Y-shaped controls of the former and opts for a simpler mini controller below the right earbud. This means you only get one small button for playing, pausing and skipping tracks as well as answering calls when used with a smartphone. One click either plays or pauses your music while two clicks skips one track forward. Three clicks, on the other hand, allows you to skip one track back. Clicking also lets you answer phone calls when using your iPhone or Android phone to listen to music. On the plus side, this controller difference is apparently enough to chop off 20 bucks from the Pro’s price tag, reducing the price of entry for the Talk to a more wallet-friendly $40. Audio quality with the mic is also good when used for phone calls, a nice plus when you want to, say, continue jogging when someone calls you in the middle of a run.

The sound profile for the Talk sounds pretty similar to that of the Pro’s. This means a lot more extra bass compared to the original Yurbuds — good news for folks who like their audio to come with a bit more oomph. On the downside, the Talk also retains the muffled audio profile of its more expensive cousin, especially when listening to stock music apps that do not have an equalizer. I strongly recommend using an EQ app that allows you to fine tune settings in order to get the best audio quality with the Talk.

Another plus is that unlike many other earphones, the remote and mic function of the Talk works with both iOS and Android devices. I still noticed an issue with my Samsung Galaxy S3 music player, however, where triple-clicking on the remote button did not allow me to skip backward but made my music skip forward instead. Other than that, the remote worked on my Android phone the same way it did with my iPhone.

A good grip still remains the No. 1 selling factor for the Yurbuds Talk, provided you get the right size buds for your ear. Besides adding some sound isolation, these suckers stay tight and snug even after being subjected to forces that would cause other earphones to pop out. The earphone, controls and buds are also water- and sweat resistant, further making it ideal as an exercise gadget. Do keep in mind that some heavy sweaters might still have issues with fit. The rubber buds also easily collect dust and can degrade and loosen over time, though you can simply replace them if the earphones themselves still work fine. Rubber cords that tangle easily are another con.

Overall, the Yurbuds Talk still isn’t the best-sounding earphone out there for audiophiles but the quality is still pretty good for most folks, provided they use an EQ. It also provides one of the best combinations in terms of audio quality and stickability at a price that’s lower than the $60 Pro version. If you constantly find yourself picking up your earphones from your lap or the ground, then give the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Talk a try.

Final rating: 4 stars out of 5

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