I don’t work out. I can’t work out why I’m doing this.
Do cantankerous uncles work out? No.
I also cannot work out why the silly editor thought it would be a good idea (Ed: muahahaha) to throw me three different workout-centred audio gear for me to try.
But I have tried all three out, albeit not in a physically vigorous way, but in my very own grumpy uncle judgmental way. So let me share a bit of my thoughts. But first, here is a short summary of each product.
LG Tone Free Fit 8: I wrote an article on these. Read those here. I like them for what they are.
Sony Float Run: Sony doing Sony things. These are tiny speakers suspended above your ears. Let that sink in for a bit, they are exactly how you imagine them to be.
Creative Outlier Pro: This was my first time trying bone-conduction earbuds. It’s like having sex for the very first time, very exciting, but also very unsatisfying.
Now we have gotten the executive summary out of the way, I will be addressing a couple of areas which I deem to be important: Comfort; Sound Quality; Use Case Scenarios. If you disagree, you can click out and go read some manga.
If the earbuds fit, you should wear them. This category is easy. They are all comfortable in their own way. The Fit8 fits like conventional earbuds, so nothing surprising there. The Float Run looks like a medieval torture device but is very comfortable. The Outlier Pro is also very comfortable.
Fit 8: The LG sounds good. Refer to my previous write-up. These are super feature rich and they really do sound quite good. They are also the only ANC earbuds here. This is the gun in this knife fight.
Float Run: If the Fit 8 is the gun, the Float Run is a serrated steak knife. The Sonys sound exactly like how you imagine tiny speakers perched on your ears to sound. Bright, airy and allowing you to hear everything else that goes on around you. While they can get decently loud, there is little to no bass. So bass heads look elsewhere. This design severely compromises bass. Why? Physics lah, bodoh.
Outlier Pro: Maybe due to my thick skull, bone conduction really doesn’t sound good to me. In the sound quality department, these are at a barely serviceable level (for me). These would be my very last choice if I were to choose between the trio; or in fact, any other form of audio equipment. But these have one party trick which I will touch on later. Continuing on the proverbial gunfight, these would be the equivalent of a butter knife.
Use Case Scenarios
Fit 8: These can be used in most workout scenarios. The included fins make them stay in your ear. The case even doubles up as a Bluetooth transmitter, which makes these a great choice for flights. ANC is there to help you block out other gym users. But no, you can’t bring these on a swim.
Float Run: For what they lack in sound, they make up for in spatial awareness. So if you like eavesdropping on gym grunting, these would be ideal. Also because you can hear everything, I think these are great for extreme sports such as brisk walking, running, cycling or sun tanning (Ed: by average uncle standards). But despite the “float” moniker in the name, these will not survive a swim. So if you are a swimmer or triathlete, or perhaps you just love listening to music in the jacuzzi, you gotta look elsewhere.
Outlier Pro: Do you swim? Do you love soaking in the pool? Or do you love floating in the sea? If you love all the above and also want some music or podcasts while getting wet in your speedos, Outlier Pro is really the only choice here. Amazingly, I find these to sound better underwater than when dry. But there are a few caveats that you need to be aware of. 1) sound is subjective, but even when underwater, these do not sound as good as the most rudimentary of audio gear. 2) Bluetooth signals don’t work underwater so… Upload your own content?
A few pro tips for using the Outlier Pro in the pool. Uncle prefers to swim laps for exercise. But swimming laps can be so, so, so boring. So these bone conduction headphones are great for some pool entertainment, provided you preload your entertainment onto the onboard memory. Why? Because kids, Bluetooth signals don’t work underwater. This is easily done via drag and drop. It worked fine on my Mac, so it should be a doddle on your PC. I recommend loading podcasts over music for two reasons. Firstly, the music still sounds poor underwater, but podcasts sound ok. Secondly, with no display of any sort, navigation is really difficult. Sometimes, I find it hard to even toggle between Bluetooth and onboard playback. So if you ask me, load up one or two podcasts at a time, so you don’t have to do much navigation, save for your volume control. Also, in our age of music streaming apps, do you really have music files?
How do you like getting wet?
In conclusion, if you like to get wet from working out, both the LG and the Sony would work well. Choose one depending on if you want any sort of ambient noise or not. That being said, the Fit 8 is far superior in terms of flexibility and use case scenarios. It even sounds the best among the trio.
The Float Run, to me, is really Sony doing Sony thangs. They are creating stuff that they think is cool; who cares what other companies are doing? And I think they should be applauded for them. Small speakers perched on your ears while you work out, who would have thought?
The Creative Outlier Pro is the butter knife in this gunfight. Well, the joke’s on you if the gunfight takes place underwater where your gun doesn’t work. Look, I will be blunt, the Outlier Pro doesn’t sound good. Anyone who argues otherwise has no concept of what good sound is like. But for its failings, it allows you to listen to music and podcast while you are underwater. This in itself, makes it a unique offering. So if you love swimming, I think you will welcome this device in your life.
Ironically, if I were to spend my own dollars, I would actually buy the worst-sounding product–the Creative Outlier Pro–precisely because I want to listen to podcasts while swimming! And if I want to listen to music outside of the pool, I do have other equipment that sounds better than the LG or the Sonys.
So back to the question, how do you like to get wet and how wet do you wanna get?
Uncle is trying to be social media savvy so give him a follow on Instagram at @uncle_influencer if you want uncle tips or possibly rants.