JayBird first made a name for itself as a Bluetooth company, pushing out a line of iPod-focused stereo headphones with discreet yet secure designs. The company subsequently moved into the wired market with two in-ear models aimed at fitness fiends. Of the two new sets, the Endorphin Rush Athletic Earphones, available for around £65, are the slightly more expensive and less stylish.
If there's one thing the Endorphin earphones have going for them right out of the box, it's durability. The cable is exceptionally thick and features a slider at the Y junction for preventing tangles, which can lead to wire stress and breakage over time. The cable terminates in a reinforced L-shaped plug that seems capable of withstanding the test of time. JayBird also includes a hard-sided case in the package so that you can protect your investment when not in use. In addition, there's a cable wrap for keeping the cord in perfect condition.
JayBird doesn't stop there. The box also contains a set of detachable earclips and seven sets of eartips in a variety of sizes and textures, including one double-flanged set and one triple-flanged, to accommodate those with deeper ears. The earclips and eartips are aimed at ensuring everyone gets the most secure fit possible -- an important consideration for any set of 'athletic' earphones.
It's important to note, however, that the earpieces themselves are rather bulbous and large, so they may not fit everyone comfortably. If you do get a good fit, though, these earphones provide a fair amount of sound isolation. Outdoor runners take heed: these earphones are better suited to the gym.
In terms of sound quality, the Endorphin earphones are up to scratch overall. We noticed that certain songs had a tendency to sound hollow and were lacking in warmth, but this wasn't a persistent problem. The highs also weren't as tinkling as we'd like and had a tendency to roll off, but not so much that we wouldn't recommend this set of earphones for the price.
The outstanding feature of these earphones is the bass, which is super-thumping and encompassing. The deepness of the low end is truly stunning for earphones of this size. Hip-hop and electronica were the real stars in testing, but those who listen to multiple genres will probably like the Endorphins too. Another plus for some people will be that these earbuds require very little power to drive, meaning your headphone amp can run lower. We listened to music roughly 10 per cent lower with these than with the Klipsch Image S4 earphones.
The JayBird Endorphin Rush Athletic Earphones are a solid buy for the price, particularly for active folk, thanks to their super-secure fit. Bass addicts will also be extremely pleased by the amount of oomph offered. They're not the best option for street runners and walkers, though, because of the sound isolation.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet