If you're on the lookout for something to play music or a podcast while running, the Sony Float Run is a good pick. These off-ear headphones hook on the outside of your ear, and has a band that rests around your neck. They stay on quite comfortably, and don't have feel tight at all.
- 16mm drivers
- IPX4 water resistance
- 10-hour battery life, USB type-C port
Made of what appears to be soft-touch plastic, the Float Run is water resistant with an IPX4 rating. That means it's good for light splashes, but you can't submerge it. I did rinse it quickly with water after my run, and it still worked fine. Just don't go swimming with it. It may take some time to get used to the design, and how to put it on, but after a few tries, it will feel very natural. While it mostly rests on your ears, I didn't feel it at all. If you're wearing glasses it does press a little on them. I worked up quite a bit of sweat, but the headphones didn't feel like it irritated my skin at all. The controls on the right side are also easy to use.
Because of the open design, you are able to hear ambient noise. But that's only if your volume is turned down to around 50%. I did find 50% a bit too soft at times, though. At max volume, you'll barely hear the outside world, though higher-pitch sounds, such as bird calls, and bicycle bells will come through. Lower-pitched stuff like car engines may not be as audible — at least for me. In terms of sound leakage, at 50% volume, the sound from the Float Run isn't audible to someone next to you, like your neighbour in the office. But at max volume, someone sitting next to you on the train can probably hear everything from the headphones.
Audio quality takes a bit of a hit due to the open nature of the headphones. Details are faint, and the sound can appear a bit distant unless your volume is set at higher levels. Even then, bass is soft — it's quite obvious in bass-heavy tracks such as Jessi's What Type of X. If you're an audiophile looking for the best quality sound, these aren't the headphones you're looking for. But if you want to hear around you and exercise, then yes, the audio will be fine. Podcasts will also sound great since you don't have to worry about the musical details.
At S$199, the Sony Float Run is really for exercise enthusiasts looking for an alternative to in-ears. I do feel like you could probably spend a bit more for the S$269 LinkBuds, which sit in the hollow of your ears comfortably, but are open to let sound in. Get the Float Run from Lazada or Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Sony.
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