EarSHOTS is an audio company out of New Zealand that designed Bluetooth headphones with a unique feature: a magnetic ear clip that keeps them locked in place. For mountain bikers, trail runners, and other active outdoor enthusiasts, it means riders can focus on the ride without earbuds that fall out or annoying headphone cords.
- Magnetic earclip design keeps earSHOTS headphones in place
- Headset battery holds up to 4 hours of listening
- Self charging case provides up to 20 hours of power (via micro-USB)
- Bluetooth enabled, wireless headset
- Can make and take calls
- Weather resistant
- Optional solo mode
- Driver size: 10.2mm
- Impedance: 65 Ohm
- Output Max: 4mW (0.5V)
- Response bandwidth: 20Hz -5kHz
The earSHOTS story
EarSHOTS are the results of frustrations the founder had with his headphones falling off. His solution: a headphone design that uses magnets to attach, that would stay fixed to his ears without having to worry about them falling off on the trail.
In addition to reliably staying affixed to one’s head, the earSHOTS design allows ambient noise to keep riders and runners aware of what’s around them, a feature they refer to as “Ambient noise balancing”.
The company makes efforts to stay sustainable, with recyclable and minimal packaging. The design of the headphone keeps their carbon footprint to a minimum as well.
On the trail
I didn’t realize it, but the earSHOTS are the wireless headphones I’ve been waiting for. A few years ago, I ran head-on into another rider on a narrow trail with almost no sightlines. As I was rocking out to music, I wasn’t aware of the other rider until the last moment, and abruptly grabbing the brakes resulted in me hitting the ground after our front tires collided. I haven’t listened to music while riding since.
The design of the earSHOTS allows ambient noise to be heard, a safety feature I’ve found extremely valuable while using them. I’ve been running the left earphone while riding in solo mode, and I also found that it was easy to lift them out of my ear slightly to engage in conversation, and they would stay in place with no issues, whether I was banging berms on flow trails or boosting jumps at the local bike park. When climbing with a group in a social situation, having it set just outside of my ears meant I could enjoy music while also engaging in conversation. Unlike a Bluetooth speaker, you’re not offending anyone else or creating noise pollution.
While it is a safety feature, if you’re looking for noise cancelation, note that it’s not an experience the earSHOTS provide. I’ve used them on the motorcycle, an application they didn’t recommend as they do allow wind noise in. Most motorcyclists prefer to run noise cancelation earbuds to block wind noise, but they were fine for short trips, where I used my phone for audio step by step navigation.
As I often find myself riding and trail running solo, adding music and podcasts to my workouts has helped considerably with staying motivated to work out. They also have proved to be weather and sweat-resistant. That said, as they’re not fully waterproof, I’ve avoided wearing them standup paddleboarding. (if they were immersable, I’d want to rig up some sort of retaining strap to my hat as well, as I’d be concerned with losing them if I fell in)
I’ve yet to experience an issue with Bluetooth connectivity, and the earSHOTS are very user-friendly.
I’m not a fan of most of the earbuds on the market; I haven’t found a set of wireless earbuds I’ve been interested in investing in. Spending that much on an electronic listening device that could fly out of my ears at any time, anywhere on the trail simply didn’t make sense for the activities I enjoy. The earSHOTS magnetic design does everything promised, and I find them to be quite comfortable. While the audio quality isn’t on par with quality noise-canceling units, (I find them a bit low on bass ) for their intended use I find them to be satisfactory, and appreciate the situational awareness the design allows. (I prefer over-ear headphones when I’m looking for an immersive audio experience anyway) The one area I wish they were better was in use for taking calls; when talking on the phone, people couldn’t hear me very well, so I haven’t used them for calls since.
The self-charging case makes for useful storage and carrying, and is a nicely designed and good-looking case.
In terms of battery life, I haven’t experienced any issues; my longest ride to date has only been about 27 miles of gravel and trail. I did have one day at the bike park where they didn’t quite last; this one was on me though, as I neglected to charge them the night before and they didn’t have a full charge. I’ve spent a lot of time running solo missions this year and the earSHOTS have been my favorite new accessory.
EarSHOTs sell for $121 USD and are available direct from EarSHOTS. Learn more and get a set at earSHOTS.com