Running headphones are for the most part a hideous, utilitarian lot. They stay put when you’re running and don’t short out when you work up a sweat. They probably live in your gym bag. Sol Republic’s new Relays are headphones designed with the simple goal of making a single bud that works for everything and only costs $US80.
The whole point of the Relays is that you can use them for running — they’re sweat resistant — as well as for marching down a busy street. The key design feature is a rubbery, pliable ring around each bud that gently nudges its way into the cartilage of your ear so that the buds stay put. The overall design is also slightly angled so that they stay snug and secure.
There are plenty of other buds that stay put, but they tend to do using some unsightly design feature like wings, bands, etc. The Relays, on the other hand, look minimal and chic. Utilitarian, good-looking, and cheap is a hard combo to beat — and that’s not even taking into account that Sol Republic’s stuff tends to sound very good for the price. We’ll let you know if they manage this tricky balancing act when we’ve had the chance to give them a full test when they’re out next month.