It has long been an ambition of mine to be able to listen to music while I run in the rain. Perhaps I should explain myself, I have been running as a hobby for most of my adult life. I love the fact that while I run I am able to get some alone time which clears my mind and allows me to order thoughts in my head that otherwise are easily jumbled up with the hurly-burly of everyday living. I also love listening to music. However, it has not always been very easy to listen to music while running.
The Sony Walkman Years
It is easy to forget that technological development that allow the listening to music while running are not that old. Indeed, it was virtually impossible even as little as 30 years ago. Then the Sony Walkman came out and suddenly you could listen to your cassette tape and the experience of running was transformed. However, there were still problems. Sony Walkman were essentially small cassette tape players that still required a small motor to work, the action of running while wearing a Walkman often resulted in the motor slowing or jumping making the listening experience far from perfect.
Sony and the other Walkman clone manufacturers tried their best to deal with the problems encountered when the motor was vibrated. However, although some improvements were made, and still further benefits were experienced when the tapes were replaced with CD players, it was not until the development of the mp3 player and the Apple iPod that things changed significantly for the better. In fact so ubiquitous are mp3 players these days that it is almost amazing to think that they have really only been around for approximately 10 years.
The Problem of the Wires
Of course although the introduction of the mp3 player very effectively solved the problem of the motor slowing and returning to normal during the running step, the next problem to solve, one which had been there all along but not being the most important was overlooked. This was the problem of wires. The wires attaching the headphones through which you listened to the music were frustrating. They frequently snagged on clothing or pulled out of the mp3 player and generally were quite annoying.
And then came Bluetooth and the problems were almost all sorted. Bluetooth headphones connect to the mp3 player, or what is now a smart phone, wirelessly. This means that you can now listen to music while your smart phone sits safely in your pocket, or on an arm band. The music you are listening to can be turned on or off, and volume up or down by the press of a few buttons on the headset themselves. No more problems with wires.
However, the early Bluetooth devices were not waterproof which meant that although they were great when used on a dry day if it began to rain you needed to take off the headphones and store them safely in case they became damaged in the wet conditions.
Finally, and only relatively recently this last remaining problem appears to have been solved with the development of waterproof Bluetooth headphones. Hurray! Now finally you can run in the rain while listening to music. The range of waterproof Bluetooth headphones is relatively small at the moment, however I think that if their development path continues as the forerunners of these devices did then it will be a short time before we have a wide range of robust waterproof Bluetooth headsets to choose from rather than the relatively small selection currently available.