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Keybudz Reviews

EarBuddyz 2.0 Review

March 30, 2019

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EarBuddyz 2.0 Review

EarBuddyz 2.0
4.67

Summary

After riding with EarBuddyz silicone sleeves for thousands of miles, I think their combination of secure fit, comfort, ease of use, competitive price, and ability to protect expensive Airpods make them difficult to pass up.

  • Comfort
  • Ease of Use
  • Stability
  • Price
  • Customer Support
  • Overall Value

Pros

  • The originator
  • Competitively priced
  • Recently updated design
  • Comfortable, even over the long haul
  • Maintains Airpod stability
  • 1-year warranty

 

Cons

  • Some options are a couple of dollar less expensive
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Keybudz’s EarBuddyz 2.0 silicone sleeves are a popular option for cyclists who want to listen to music while riding, without worrying about losing expensive electronics. We’ll take a look at how they work, their competition, and how you can choose the best option.


Crafted from flexible, ultra-soft, high-performance silicone elastomers, EarBuddyz 2.0 ear hooks for Apple Airpods (wireless) and Earpods (wired) are engineered to comfortably grip and conform to the groove of your inner ear.

The company advertises that applying and removing them is easy and hassle-free, while the design can help “eliminate the fuss and hassle of constantly adjusting and provide an ultra-secure listening experience.” In fact, we’re told they deliver “twice the comfort and secure fit compared to using Apple earphones alone.”

Together, whether you’re cycling, running, shredding the slopes, or blissing out during any other activity, the manufacturer guarantees that EarBuddyz 2.0 will make your ears happy and that your Airpods or Earpods will never fall out.

Three pairs of EarBuddyz (clear, black, pink, or blue) are available on Amazon for $10.95, which comes with a 100% money back guarantee and one-year warranty under regular use.

Considering the vital role EarBuddyz play in keeping your expensive electronics safe, their cost-to-value ratio might be off the charts. But, does this mean they’re necessarily the right option for you?

I’ve cycled with these silicone sleeves across thousands of miles. Here, we’ll combine my firsthand experience with feedback from other cyclists, as well as comparisons with close competitors, to help you make a more informed decision.

How Does EarBuddyz Work?

EarBuddyz features a simple, yet ingenious, silicone-based design.

The lower section—which fits inside the outer portion of your ear canal—stretches over the head of your Airpod, with strategically placed holes over the speaker, front and rear microphones, and optical sensors.

Attached to the top of this section is a curved hook, or “leg,” that gently pushes against the concha of your outer ear,just beneath your triangular fossa.

The EarBuddyz 2.0 silicone ear hooks fit underneath the concha of your ear to deliver a comfortable, secure fit. ©TreadBikely

Important note: In the Shop section of the EarBuddyz website, you’ll find images of their previous “dual-leg” design, which is what I’ve tested (see picture above). However, their Amazon listing now reflects an updated, single-leg design.

I contacted Keybudz customer support and verified that the single-leg option is what’s currently sold to customers.

You can see the older, dual-leg EarBuddyz sleeve on the left, which is what I’ve tested (more below). The company has sent me a pair of their updated single-arm sleeves (right), and I’ll update this article after logging some triple-digit miles.

Together, Keybudz advertises they’ve created a fit that your ears will love, along with one that helps improve ambient noise isolation.

Just keep in mind that when the time comes, you’ll have to remove the silicone sleeves to recharge inside your Airpod case.

Whether you have the older dual-leg design (above) or the updated single-leg version, you’ll have to remove your EarBuddyz sleeve before recharging your Airpods. Otherwise, the lid won’t close.

EarBuddyz 2.0 vs. EarBuddyz Ultra

EarBuddyz 2.0 features the same core design as Ultra, including silicone construction, a single-leg hook that fits snugly in the concha portion of your outer ear, and the requirement that you remove it before charging Airpods.

The difference, however, is that Ultra features an ergonomic extension in front of the speaker that fits deeper inside your ear canal and promises to deliver a perfect fit, as well as improved noise isolation for keeping out unwanted noise and Bass Enhancement Technology for the enhanced low end.

At $13.95, EarBuddyz Ultra is also $3 more expensive than their 2.0 model, and only includes two pairs per package. Spec-wise, Keybudz doesn’t provide weights or dimensions for any of their models, although Ultra appears approximately 1/3” wider due to its extended ear canal section.

EarBuddyz 2.0 EarBuddyz Ultra
Price             $10.95 for 3 pairs ($3.65 per pair) $13.95 for 2 pairs ($6.98 per pair)
Colors Clear, black, pink, blue White, black
Design Differences Standard, with no inner ear extension Extends deeper into the ear canal for improved noise isolation and bass response, includes Stash Pocket accessory

My Experience With EarBuddyz 2.0

I don’t listen to music while riding singletrack , but I love jamming when I’m cranking everything from urban streets and suburban environments, to gravel roads and smooth, flowy trails close in to the city.

As such, I’ve used EarBuddyz 2.0 for more than 2,000 miles, and they’ve yet to fall out—or even move. Granted, I haven’t crashed with them yet—here’s to knocking on wood.

I have, however, lost an Airpod while riding in the city without an EarBuddyz in place. Luckily, I only had to backtrack a quarter of a mile to find it laying near a busy intersection. While a small portion of plastic was gouged, it was otherwise unharmed and still functions perfectly to this day.

This was my lesson that a relatively inexpensive silicone sleeve like EarBuddyz could potentially save me from replacing my Airpods, and spending hundreds of dollars in the process. I’ve worn them ever since. What have I experienced in this time?

Application & Fit

When cycling, I only wear an Airpod in my right ear in order to maintain situational awareness, and I’ve found EarBuddyz’s dual-hook design fits snugly and remains firmly in place in all riding conditions.

Applying the silicone sleeve is as easy as inserting the speaker side first, while holding the back part. Then, gently pulling the sleeve back at the opposite side of the speaker, and fine-tuning with one finger to ensure everything’s properly lined up.

The whole process typically only takes me a few seconds. Here’s a quick video showing exactly how it works:

Keybudz has sent me a pair of the new single leg design to test, and I’ll report back after I’ve had time to log sufficient miles and compare their fit and application to my current dual-leg version.

The front a back of my dual-leg EarBuddyz sleeves, which attach to my Airpods quickly and are easy to remove, and help ensure everything remains in place while I’m riding.

Comfort & Feel

Other than reduced hearing, I typically don’t notice my EarBuddyz while I’m cycling. However, when I remove them after riding for several hours, there’s a sense of relief—like taking off a pair of tight-fitting socks at the end of a long day.

I don’t find Apple’s Airpods particularly uncomfortable on their own, though, so I’m not sure about Keybudz’s claim that they double their comfort level.

Functionality

EarBuddyz allow me to maintain the double tap function on my Airpods while cycling. Unlike what some older online complaints have reported, I haven’t had any issues with them thinking they’re still in my ear after removal.

While they fit snugly, EarBuddyz slightly moves my Airpods away from my ear canal, though, and allows in a detectable level of external noise. I appreciate this when maintaining situational awareness, but it’s worth noting depending on your preferences.

For this reason alone, I’m not sure I’d benefit from EarBuddyz Ultra’s sound-canceling qualities, although the added bass response might be nice.

Sound quality remains relatively good with the standard version but is similarly impacted by this increased space between my ear canal and the silicone sleeves.

Whether you own the dual-leg or single-leg design, you’ll have to remove your EarBuddyz sleeves before placing them inside the charging case. Again, this isn’t a big deal in my opinion, although some online reviewers feel differently.

EarBuddyz 2.0 fit easily and cleanly on my Airpods, although they do create extra space between my Airpods and my ear canal, which allows in external noise and can impact sound quality, depending on your needs and preferences.

Durability

Despite applying and removing my EarBuddyz 2.0s well over one hundred times, I haven’t experienced any cracking, distortion, noticeable damage, or changes in their shape, comfort, or ability to keep the Airpods in my ear.

Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with their performance and comfort, as well as their unnoticeable ability to keep my expensive Airpods in my ears, regardless of the cycling conditions I put them through.

EarBuddyz vs. AhaStyle, Earhoox, Spigen, EarSkinz, & Other Silicone Airpods Sleeves

While EarBuddyz might’ve been the first on the scene, there are currently several other sports sleeves that share many of the same core features, including soft silicone “legs,” as well as compatibility with Airpods and Earbuds.

Here’s how some of the top options compare:

Brand Price / Pairs Special Features
EarBuddyz 2.0 $10.95, 3 pairs The original w/single-leg design, available in clear, black, pink, blue colors; 1-year warranty
AhaStyle Earbuds Covers $10.99, 3 pairs Single-leg design w/cutouts, lifetime replacement guarantee
Earhoox 2.0 $9.99, 2 pairs Single-leg design w/cutouts, available in black, blue, and white colors
Spigen TEKA RA200 Earhooks $32.27, 2 pairs Dual-leg design, areas in front of the microphone and sensors are completely open, sleeves come in large and small sizes
EarSkinz ES3 Covers $12.95, 1 pair No “legs” (cover only), available in 12 colors,
MRPLUM Silicone Ear Hook Tips $9.99, 3 pairs Dual-leg design, available in white, black, blue, and red colors; lifetime guarantee
TEEMADE Silicone Anti-Slip Ear Hooks $5.99, 3 pairs Dual-leg design, no holes for optical sensors
Lunies Apple Earpods $7.99, 4 pairs Dual-leg design, no holes for optical sensors
ZZoo Earpod Secure Cover $6.69, 2 pairs Dual-leg design, available in white, black, and mix-and-match colors,

How to choose the best option? It’s all about where you place your emphasis.

For example, if you want a single-leg design with cutouts, AhaStyle and Earhoox are your only options in the table above. There’s also only a $1 difference between the two, although you’ll get three pairs from AhaStyle and only two pairs with Earhoox.

EarSkinz ES3 covers are available in the most color options, although they’re the only model without “legs” that fit against your ear’s concha. However, this design aspect could be beneficial if you find the legs in other models uncomfortable, or otherwise don’t appreciate their fit.

And while ZZoo only comes in white and black, they’re also the only option that offers mix-and-match (one pair of black, another white), if this is important to you.

Price-wise, Spigen’s earhooks are by far the most expensive and only come with two pairs (one large and another small), whereas TEEMADE is the least costly. Based on its pictures, though, it doesn’t appear that TEEMADE’s sleeves feature holes for optical sensors, so your Airpods might think they’re still in your ear after removal and therefore run down your battery.

Focused on warranties? In this case, AhaStyle comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, compared to EarBuddyz’s one-year warranty.

Where does all of this leave you when it comes to EarBuddyz 2.0?

Coming to a Conclusion: Should You Buy EarBuddyz 2.0?

Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed with EarBuddyz 2.0’s ease of use, comfort (even during 60+ mile rides), competitive price, and superior customer support. And at just $1 more than competing models that feature optical sensor holes, they’re also competitively priced.

As mentioned earlier, Keybudz sent me a pair of their new single-arm design, and I’ll update this article after logging a couple hundred miles with them.

In the meantime, EarBuddyz 2.0 comes with a 4.4-star average customer rating on Amazon as of this writing, so it seems like other users have experienced much of the same. And in my mind, they’re worth much more than the extra dollar or two you might pay compared to knock-offs.

Ready to buy? Consider clicking the link to the right. Why? As an Amazon Associate, TreadBikely earns from qualifying purchases, which helps support our mission. Learn more here.

Keep rolling:             Guee Handlebar Tape Review

Derek is an avid cyclist with more than two decades of experience in the sport, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. He enjoys all types, including road, MTB, cyclocross/gravel, commuting, and touring. When he's not writing reviews and guides related to bike accessories, parts, and gear for TreadBikely.com, he's riding, talking about cycling, or thinking about bikes he can't afford. #rolloutblissout
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