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Earbuds

floobiefloobie Registered User regular
For someone who knows as much about audio as I do, I know shit all about earbuds. Well, I know about them, but not really which ones are good. I know which ones AREN'T good. I know that half of these new "street style" manufacturers all basically source the exact same headphones from like 2 manufacturers in China who churn out their crappy earbuds by the millions, and just stick whatever logo the reseller asks for on them.

I currently use two pairs:

- Some random Skullcandy earbuds. I like the design... the I guess "passive" noise cancelling of the squishy bit in your ear. However, the actual sound isn't very good. And, the cord itself is noisy as shit unless I wrap it around the top of my ears.

- iPhone earbuds. I only really use these at home. The sound is definitely better than the Skullcandys, but they fall out really easily, and let in way too much outside noise. There's a reason half the people on the train have their iPod/iPhone earbuds cranked so everyone can hear it. That's the only way they can clearly hear their music without outside noise muddying everything up.

So, I ask you who have experimented with different brands more than I have: What's a good set of earbuds for under 100 bucks. I refuse to spend more, because headphones always break within about 2 years, and I don't want to piss away that much money that frequently.

I don't expect super mega amazing audio quality. I mean, we're talking about piping compressed audio through earbuds. It'll never be ideal. I'd just like something that:

- Fits well
- Cancels outside noise decently well
- Sounds decent
- Has a cord that isn't noisy when it bounces around
- Will last longer than a year
- Isn't some cleverly rebranded piece of crap (ie. Skullcandy et al.)
- And again, under 100 bucks.

Posts

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Sennheisers for $100

    iPhone earbuds sound like shit compared to a good set of in-ears. Try something like these and you will love the sound.

    Denons for $80

    These are supposed to be pretty sweet, too.

    chrishallett83 on
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  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I was about to come into the thread to suggest intra-aural headphones, nice to see that's already been done. They fit every one of your criteria and kick a lot of ass. Short of a large headset, you won't really get better sound than with nice intra-aurals.

    Ego on
    Erik
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I'm pretty happy with my etymotic mc5 earbuds.

    -These things have quite a few configurations so you're basically guaranteed the best fit (short of having an audiologist create a custom in-ear for you)
    -I doubt you'll find a better set of in-ears to cancel outside noise
    -they sound great to me, well balanced and accurate if a little on the cold side.
    -there's quite a bit of noise from the cable jostling around so they're not great at this requirement
    -kevlar cables, polished aluminum bodies for durability. My first and only pair have lasted about a year so far with no sign of quitting
    -etymotic specializes in hearing aids and hearing protection, and allegedly invented in-ear headphones back in '84, so they're pretty clearly quality products
    -$79.00 on etymotic's website.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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