Review: Nike Vapor Earbuds

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If you’ve ever tried running in blustery, rainy weather with a standard set of iPod earbuds, you know the story: After being assaulted by the elements and copious amounts of sweat they have a tendency to sputter, short out and die.

On a quest for a pair of hardy headphones capable of lasting longer than three weeks, we took Nike’s new Vapor earbuds for a spin. Each ‘bud is attached to a rubber-covered wire that hooks around each ear for a customizable, secure fit.

The Vapor’s sound is acceptable, with nicely separated mids and resonant highs. Bass is pretty much non-existent, but that’s pretty much standard issue with 99 percent of the earbuds out there. They’re consistently durable, too. In addition to wearing them on long, sweaty runs, we stuffed them in various pockets and gym bags. They withstood the perspiration and the rough packing with aplomb.

However, the Vapors repeatedly fell short in almost every other respect. The cord is not long enough to attach a music player to a waistband. Ladies can clip their Shuffle to a sports bra strap, but we have no idea how Nike expects men to use these headphones.

The buds themselves will remain securely in your ears — as long as you don’t bend down to tie your shoes, tousle your hair or touch your head. The minute we performed any of these maneuvers, the earbuds dislodged or became horribly tangled, requiring a few minutes of readjustment each time.

We finally resorted to wearing a beanie over the earbuds to prevent them from popping out like a nipple at a Super Bowl halftime show. But once spring comes and the weather gets warmer, we’ll be dropping our knit caps — along with the Vapors.

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