Enter the natural the habitat of any reducer – a Best Buy, maybe, or a cafe in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. If you’re lucky, you’ll soon hear the reducer’s plaintive call. “But it’s worth it!” someone will cry. That they point to a $ 900 tablet or holding a camera $ 2,800it is generally true that you get what you pay for.

It can be very difficult to reconcile our expertise with the budget of a normal person. Before this week, if you had asked me for a great pair of wireless workout headphones for around $ 40, I would have told you that except very some exceptions, you get what you get.

When I tried the Back Bay Tempo 30 I had to check and recheck the price before doing it immediately my colleague Parker Hall try them too. I wore the $ 40 headphones to run and walk my dog ​​in the rain, and toss them upside down in the climbing gym, and couldn’t shake them. They are so good I feel bad recommending another one workout headphones.

Hot adjustments

Photography: Rear window

Back Bay Audio is a Boston-based startup. Founder Jeremy Abend spent a year developing workout headphones that would have superior fit and sound, without the retail markup.

From the moment I took them out of the packaging I was shocked. The housing is made of aluminum and tiny, noticeably smaller than my AirPods Pro case. They come with six different sizes of rubber tips. I tried the rose gold version, but they are also available in black.

Unlike other buds, ear tips vary not only in size but in depth. I have extremely small and shallow ears. Adjustment is normally a tedious process, and I’m always nervous if there isn’t an extra fin or wing to hold the bud. The shallow and medium ear tips that come with the Tempo 30 are perfect and safe for me. This never come.

Pairing was straightforward. I just selected them from the bluetooth menu on my iPhone 11. They don’t have an app to tinker with the equalizer, but they do have active noise cancellation which is quite effective. I had to take them out to hear my kids talk to me when I got home from a run.

Press the right button to activate Bass Boost mode. It was hard to tell when it was active, as pressing the correct button also increases the volume. You can decrease the volume by pressing the left. I’ve tried switching to Bass Boost a few times, but as befits a practice headset, the bass is heavy even without.

In fact, the drums on Elle King’s “Drunk and I Don’t Want to Go Home” were so heavy that I actually pulled the buds out of my ears at the gym to check out. It seemed impossible that no one else could hear the bass but me.

Lightweight

Photography: Rear window

These buds have a bunch of specs that beat the market. The battery life is eight and 32 hours with the case. After four days of more or less constant wear, the battery is still at 80%. They are IPX7 rated, which means they can be submerged to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. I ran wearing them in the pouring rain (thanks, Oregon), and they felt and sounded great.

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