They work by using artificial intelligence-powered gait analysis, which means little to me until I understood that they are actually measuring your step cadence, balance, and step length and width. The company says they even can record the tilt angle of your head if you want to improve your posture and running form.
In case you are wondering how exactly you get that data, it is not via some voice in your ear. It is all recorded and reflected in the free app that you download to your mobile voice so you can review your performance after the run. I found the app easy to install and sync with the headphones so that was hardly a deterrent from taking full advantage of the benefits of these earbuds. The app also lets you record your routes and metrics from each run such as number of steps and distance traveled.
The type of data you receive may include information on whether one foot is being used more forcefully than another allowing you to adjust your balance with each run. This can have all kinds of side effects on your body if not properly followed including back and leg muscle strain or overall leg stiffness. The app also counts calories burned, which was interesting for me to compare with other step-counting apps on my phone for accuracy.
With that said, I am not a huge runner, but if I were, I would certainly want to be doing it to the best of my ability without potentially damaging my body if using improper form. More interesting to me though is that these earbuds do not skimp on sound quality either. Their charge can last up to 11 hours without any need to plug them in using the micro-USB charging cable so that means you can use them morning and night without concern.
There are even reflective cables to help others see you in the dark, and LED lighting adds additional brightness. They come in two colors: bright red or light grey, both of which are stylish and look just like normal headphones. There’s a small clip that keeps the cords in place and organized when running, and there is also a remote for volume built into the headphones. I found the volume to be of a good amount when working out, which can sometimes be a problem if you are trying to hear a podcast or something where specific language is necessary.
Germaphobes will appreciate that they are designed to be sweat-proof and won’t easily fall out of your ear (or drag on the floor when not in use) thanks to the multiple options for earbud sizes. There are ear tips that can easily be replaced so that you do not have to keep reusing the same ones. For those that prefer to secure the earbuds to their ear, there are small hooks that fit around the shape of your ear for added protection to keep them in place.
The Soul Electronics Run Free Pro Bio earbuds retail for around $150 at various online stores including Amazon. Their use of biomechanics data and intelligent application of information to improve your form is surely worth the added cost that comes with these clever headphones.