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iPod Hardware and Accessories All iPod hardware discussions.

iPod Touch - Earphone/earbud info sharing


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Steve_A

 
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There isn't much current discussion about earbuds on this forum (I did a search), so I thought it might be helpful to start a thread and share some recent experience. I'm talking about low to mid-range price, but any info about highend stuff is welcome. I have a 1st gen Touch, and listen to books, podcasts and music for over two hours a day on the Metro. Noise isolation is very important to me.

First of all, the phones that come with the iPod are useless, of course. I see a lot of people using them, maybe their ears are different. I'm talking about the fact that they just don't stay in my ears at all, drives me crazy.

About 6 months ago, I did some research and bought a pair of v-Moda Bass Freq earpbuds. I've been generally very happy with them. They sound good to me in all of my listening applications. Like many units, they come with three sets of ear cushions, I use the largest ones. I can't always get them seated right at first, but once I do, they isolate sound well and the sound quality is good. I was concerned that they would be too bassy, but they are not. Last week, the sound started cutting out and it was because the connection at the plug was going bad. So I sent them off for replacement under the 1-year warranty. I expect this to take a while, and can't stand using the Apple buds, so I looked for a cheap temporary set.

I settled on the Frogz Plugz. $15 at Micro Center locally, and they got good reviews, etc. I am disappointed with the sound. It seems thin and tinny. (Not helped by the fact the touch does not have individual equalizer adjustments; I can hardly hear the difference between the sound setting). They seem to fit well and are slightly more comfortable than the v-Modas, but so what. I'm wondering if they need to burn in, as I have read for other units. My audiobooks sound ok, though. So I'll be glad when I get the v-Modas back. I also noticed that Amazon now has the v-Moda Bass Freqs for about $20, plus shipping, so that's a good deal. I know that the plug/cord connection is going to be an ongoing issue, and I'm considering trying to reinforce that joint somehow (tape, heat shrink?).

So, what are your experiences and recommendations?
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vansmith

 
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These are the ones I use. They do a decent job of cancelling out some noise but not perfect.

They fit well in my ear and have a volume control which has become surprisingly useful.
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Steve_A

 
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Thanks for your input, vansmith. I couldn't read the reviews on the linked site for the Skullcandy Smokin Buds, but I went to Amazon and read some of the reviews there. Its seems that these have some reliability/longevity issues, also. (I'm not knocking your choice, only reporting what others have said.) I also looked at the reviews for the Sony MDR-EX51LP's, which seem to be great earphones, but for the fact that the wiring insulation falls apart within a short time. Reading these reviews is amazing, but of course you have to take it all with a grain of salt. I'm hoping that there's some value in sharing experiences here with others on this forum.
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vansmith

 
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My old Sony earbuds crapped out on me. One ear (the left I think) either doesn't work or if the sun is shining just right, it will work but play very quietly.
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Dysfunction

 
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I have these:
Etymotic Research, Inc. - ER-4 MicroPro Insert Earphones
which I love, but are pricey.

these as well for working out:
Sennheiser USA - PMX70 Sport - Product Details

I hate, no LOATHE the ones that apple ship with.

mike
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comraderaikov

 
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Hmm...
I use the ones Apple ships. I going deaf so I can't hear the difference.
*Too much music*
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scathe

 
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the Apple earphones quit on me after about a month or two (got lots of static), I got Sony rubber plugs that have been working for more than 3 years now, I can't give you the number, because it's scraped off the only problem is I lost all the spare plugs and now I only have the little ones and that just doesn't do the trick, so I'll probably be getting new ones sometime

I wouldn't get regular earbuds, you just get used to the noise cancelation very quickly and even to the different size
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Dysfunction

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comraderaikov View Post
Hmm...
I use the ones Apple ships. I going deaf so I can't hear the difference.
*Too much music*
it's not the sound per se it's the pain. ergonomically for me they suck.

mike
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Steve_A

 
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Thanks for your input, mike and everyone. The ER-4's sound like they'd be great. Maybe someday, if I get fed up enough with cheaper buds. There are so many choices out there, ranging from very cheap to very expensive. Maybe we can get a few more on the board before this thread dies.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
it's not the sound per se it's the pain. ergonomically for me they suck.
I'm not the only one then. Not only was the quality pretty bad but if you wore them long enough, they would start to hurt.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_A View Post
Thanks for your input, mike and everyone. The ER-4's sound like they'd be great. Maybe someday, if I get fed up enough with cheaper buds. There are so many choices out there, ranging from very cheap to very expensive. Maybe we can get a few more on the board before this thread dies.
the er-6's are also good and less than half the price

mike
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Steve_A

 
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Thanks for mentioning the ER-6's, mike. I just went to Amazon for some quick research and find that the ER-6's are about $90, while the ER-6i's are about $76. The ER-6i's come with 2 sizes of ear tips + foam, while the ER-6 comes with one size. Both get generally good reviews, based on the counts of 4 and 5 star reviews. I just read a few of them. I'm assuming that the ER-6i is a newer version. Anyway, I'd like to try them. Since my main problem with the v-Modas is getting them seated in my ears, I'm thinking that the 3-stage eartips on the ER-6 might work better for me. But I will wait until I get my v-Modas back and see how satisfied I am with them for a while longer.
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The big difference between the 6 and 6i's is the 6's are reference drivers and the 6i's bump up the bass. If you like bass, they're the ticket. Should have mentioned them

mike
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Steve_A

 
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Well, I got my v-Moda bass freq replacement earbuds back today, one day less than 2 weeks after I mailed them in. I think I'm in love. After listening to the cheap Frogz Plugz for 2 weeks, these sound SO GOOD. And they are more comfortable than the Frogz. Of course this is based on a trial at home; i will have to try them out in the real world of commuting for a while. But other than the issues of getting them seated right, I was satisfied before. The sound is so much better, especially the bass (not surprising, considering the name). I don't think they are over-bassy though. They just sound pretty natural for music and spoken word. Of course the weak point is the plug connection. I plan to be really careful with it and see how it goes. For the price, I almost won't mind buying a new pair every 6 months, but that doesn't seem quite right. OK enough gushing. Hope all this is helpful. Thanks to everyone, especially mike for the info on the ER-6s.
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mbutler04

 
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I would recommend checking out yurbuds - Ergonomically Brilliant, Acoustically Driven, Utterly Determined to Stay in.
They are custom fit earbud enhancers that won't fall out, fit comfortably, and sound great. AND they're only $20! They're perfect for working out or running.
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