Enter the pure habitat of any gearhead—a Best Buy, perhaps, or a espresso store in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. If you are fortunate, you’ll quickly hear the gearhead’s plaintive name. “But it’s worth it!” somebody will cry. Whether they’re pointing at a $900 tablet or holding a $2,800 camera, it’s normally true that you simply get what you pay for.
It will be actually laborious to reconcile our experience with a traditional particular person’s finances. Before this week, should you’d requested me for an incredible pair of wirefree exercise headphones for round $40, I’d’ve informed you that barring very few exceptions, you get what you get.
When I attempted the Back Bay Tempo 30, I needed to examine and double-check the value earlier than instantly making my colleague Parker Hall attempt them too. I wore the $40 earbuds working and strolling my canine within the rain, and dangling the wrong way up within the climbing fitness center, and I couldn’t shake them. They’re so good, I really feel dangerous recommending some other workout headphones.
Back Bay Audio is a Boston-based startup. Founder Jeremy Abend spent a yr creating exercise headphones that may have a premium match and sound, with out the retail markup.
From the second I took them out of the packaging, I used to be shocked. The case is aluminum and tiny, noticeably smaller than my AirPods Pro case. They include six totally different rubber ear tip sizes. I attempted the rose gold model, however additionally they are available black.
Unlike different buds, the ear suggestions differ not solely in dimension however in depth. I’ve extraordinarily small and shallow ears. Fitting is generally a tedious course of, and I nonetheless get nervous if there’s no extra ear fin or wing to carry the bud in. The shallow, medium ear suggestions that got here on the Tempo 30 out of the field match me securely and completely. That by no means occurs.
Pairing was easy. I simply chosen them in my iPhone 11’s Bluetooth menu. They don’t have an app to tinker with EQ, however they do have energetic noise canceling that’s fairly efficient. I needed to take them out to listen to my youngsters speaking to me after I obtained house from a run.
Tapping the suitable bud prompts Bass Boost mode. It was laborious to inform when it was energetic, as a result of tapping the suitable bud can also be the way you flip up the quantity. You can flip the quantity down by tapping on the left. I attempted to change to Bass Boost a number of occasions, however as befits a pair of exercise headphones, the bass is heavy even with out it.
In truth, the drums on Elle King’s “Drunk and I Don’t Want to Go Home” have been so heavy that I truly took the buds out of my ears on the fitness center to examine. It appeared inconceivable that nobody else may hear the low finish in addition to me.
These buds have a bunch of market-beating specs. The battery life is eight hours and 32 with the case. After 4 days of sporting them kind of always, the battery remains to be at 80 %. They’re rated IPX7, which suggests they are often submerged to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes—I ran whereas sporting them in pouring rain (thanks, Oregon), and so they felt and sounded effective.