Have you ever watched or ran in a road race? Visited a running path? If you have, you see many a runner or two nowadays wearing headphones as they run. This begs us to pose the question…does listening to music while running makes you a better runner? Some runners believe so. On the other hand, many running purists think being unplugged and aware of your surroundings is an important part of the sport and we also believe this to be true. When you run you need to be able to hear your surroundings. Your safety should be first and foremost. However, there’s a growing subculture of runners that wouldn’t dream lacing up their sneakers and running a single step without their workout playlists.

The Influence Of Music On Athletic Performance

The reason? Better performance. There is research out there that suggests listening to your favorite music can boost athletic performance. Back in 2009 researchers in England studied the effects of listening to music of different tempos on stationary cycling performance. Subjects rode bikes for 25 minutes while listening to popular music in three different sessions. The tempo of the music was manipulated in each without the subjects’ knowing. In the first, the music was played at its normal tempo. The tempo increased to 10 percent faster than normal in the second. And in the third, the tempo was decreased to 10 percent slower than normal.

The results…the subjects’ average power output over the entire workout was found to be greater when the music tempo was increased. Conversely, their power dropped drastically (by 3 times) when the pace of the music was slowed down.

So clearly listening to music with a faster tempo is better for performance than slow music. But is music generally better than no music? The answer…YES! According to another study conducted in 2004 by researchers at Lincoln University in England, students completed a muscular endurance test of holding a weight as long as they could while listening to self-selected “motivational music” and again while listening to white noise. It was found that the students were able to hold the weight significantly longer while listening to music.

These results showed that both the presence of music and tempo boosted the participants’ athletic performance. If this is the case, why are some runners against listening to music as they run?

Why Headphones Are Banned In Some Races

The biggest reason…runner safety. Back in 2007 the governing body of distance races in the United States, U.S. Track and Field (USATF), decided to ban the use of portable music devices in its sanctioned events. That year, officials at the Twin Cities Marathon decided to disqualify 144 runners for headphone use! This ban only lasted a year as the USATF amended it in 2008. The rule now states that headphones are only banned for those vying for championships for awards, medals or money.

After interviewing many runners that listened to music through normal headphones or earbuds, we heard they loved using their music as motivation but then followed closely was a story where they were reliving a ‘close call’ they had with vehicles as they ran on the road. We’ve even witnessed near fatal accidents happening in our own Upstate New York community. This made us think to ourselves…there has to be a better way to for people to enjoy motivational tunes and run safely at the same time.

Vibrabeats Bone Conduction Headphones For The Runner

We are active people that run and love music. Also, we want to be safe as we run or participate in our favorite activities. We were on a mission to find a quality wireless headphone that kept the every day runner safe. After months of tirelessly searching and a lot of research, we were able to develop Vibrabeats…waterproof, wireless headphones that use bone conduction technology! Our OpenEar design allows your ears to be left open to hear your surroundings. The sound is transmitted using vibrations through your cheekbones to your cochlea. These headphones are the safest headphones on the market and are perfect for runners to enjoy their favorite activities while staying aware of their surroundings. Give a set of Vibrabeats a try today…we know you’ll love them!


Vibrabeats Gray Bone Conduction Headphones

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