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Topic: I hate in-ear headphones!

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:37 AM
#1
 
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I hate in-ear headphones!

I really had to stop using my Apple in-ear headphones that my Shuffle came with, because one of the earbuds does not fit in my right ear very well. I also found the on-ear/around-ear headphones much more comfortable and the sound quality was much better.

How many of you use non-Apple headphones? Are there any other people out there who find that in-ear headphones fall out of their ears after a while?

I wanted a Bose pair of headphones, but they were way too expensive. They seemed worth it though - great sound quality and most of the reviews that I read about it were great.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:44 AM
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I can't use in - ear headphones either, they make my ears ache. I found that Logitech's FreePulse Wireless headphones the perfect answer when using my Apple Nano, it comes with custom plates to fit various iPods, great sound, and being wireless is a bonus.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:57 AM
#3
 
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Cool, on-ear or around-ear headphones may not look as minimalistic as in-ear headphones but they are much more comfortable to wear.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:32 AM
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I've been using IEMs for about 9 years now - I used a variety of earlier types since the late 80's before that (even the rather rare and short-lived Aiwa HPV-99's). I've recently been adjusting to a new pair with huge bass, with the mid-sized bud-tips I found that I was getting disorientation and ear-ache after short periods of use; I switched to the largest bud-type and had the same seal but with less aching. I've become more used to them now and have gone back to the mid-sized ones and don't seem to have the aching any more.

The regular Apple buds aren't the silicon sealing type IEMs, have you tried a pair that do this? I actually find them much more comfortable myself, they do block out surrounding sound and act as an ear plug as you walk down the street though; that takes getting used to. Get the right pair and they can give you really broad, full and rich sound without size and bulk; have you ever tried that style of In-Ear Monitor?
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:37 AM
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Sorry, you've lost me a bit there. I never knew there were different ear-bud sizes.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:55 PM
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The ear-buds that come with the iPod line are not actually In-Ear Monitors. They are (strictly speaking) earbuds.

I can't wear them. They fall out, they hurt and the sound is lousy as they don't fit.

I use In Ear Monitors (IEM's), though. They are fantastic. My Ultimate Ears fit well, are comfortable, have great sound and never ever fall out.

The sizes being alluded to above are the silicone tips that you have on true IEM's - You can get cheap or expensive ones. They come in all kinds of flavours. Bass-heavy, crisp sounding, muddy and cheap, etc.

They'll range from $5.00 to $500.00+

Personally, I think you should give some nice IEM's a go. You might be surprised.



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Last edited by jasoncordelle; 06-01-2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: totally rubbish spelling
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:27 PM
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I agree with Jasoncordelle, his distinction between an earbud and an IEM is correct. I understand the IEM to be an evolution of the original earbud (though I read somewhere that IEMs were around in the 80’s and probably evolved from the old hearing-aid plug).

Earbuds rely on sitting in the ear itself but they don’t go into the ear canal as such; they rely on the shape of the ear to “clip” the speaker into (for want of a better description), this is how the standard Apple earbuds work, it’s a design that has been around for a very long time now (Sony have been pumping these things out for years).

The biggest change was how the IEM works – it has a silicon tip which actually goes into the ear canal itself, like if you get a pair of ear plugs when you go to the Formula-1 or to a noisy event of some sort. Indeed some tips behave very much like those foam tips (you squeeze them and then put them into the ear canal and they expand into place). These give a very good seal and help block out external noise; really useful in noisy environments such as aircraft cabins, public transport, and office, etc. They also leak less sound to the outside world, while someone with standard Ipod buds will be annoyingly audible to everyone around them using proper sealed IEMs blocks that sound out remarkably; I’m told that my current IEMs (Hippo VB’s) can’t be heard at all by others around me even when I have them up quite loud.

The other benefits are *SUBSTANTIALLY* better sound; the Hippo’s I’m using have truly astonishing bass, it’s scary to think something that little can put that much bass out and yet still be clear. I’d equate them with full-size over-the-ear headphones in that regard; indeed they achieve better and deeper bass than my Jeklin JJ Float 2 ear-speakers. This is all possible from the seal, if you don’t have the seal right (e.g. you’ve not put them in properly or you have the wrong sized tips on for your ears) then the first thing you’ll loose is bass.

All that said IEMs aren’t for everyone – a friend of mine can’t stand them, she just can’t handle the ear-plug effect they have (some people find them disorienting, even I’ve found that lately when getting used to new IEMs as they sat further into my ear canal). Also they’re not for sharing – remember you’ve had them stuck into your ear so you don’t want to go sharing wax, etc.! You can get a basic pair of IEMs quite cheaply nowadays, if you want to start with something that has a fair bit of bass I’m told that the Ultimate Ears MetroFi 170’s (or the 220’s) are supposed to be good entry-level IEMs with decent bass. I’ve not tried them personally but there are plenty of reliable posts to this effect on this site and HeadFi, etc.).

Sure, you might not like them in the end and still prefer over-the-ear types but I can say from experience that it’s worth the effort to investigate it, they’re so much more convenient and have other benefits in terms of sound quality, isolation, etc. (plus the seal means I don’t have to have them up nearly as loudly to hear the music which is a big bonus).
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:56 AM
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Hey, thanks for giving some thoughts
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo-CC View Post
(plus the seal means I donít have to have them up nearly as loudly to hear the music which is a big bonus).
This is absolutely a huge thing for me - my hearing isn't going to be destroyed by having insanely loud music pumping into my ears as I simply don't need the volume to be up that high to hear ALL of my music.

by ALL of my music, I mean the highs, the lows, the mids, the little ticks, taps and breaths....it's simply amazing what you hear with quality IEMs. Even at low volumes.



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Old 06-03-2010, 07:47 AM
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I don't mind the Apple earbuds for occasional listening so long as the black foam covers are still on them. That is the only way that they stay in my ears. I absolutely hate IEMs though. I hade a nice Sure pair but I can't get them to stay in my ears. I can thoroughly clean my ears, dry them, put the IEMs in (or earbuds that don't have a foam cover), get up, take three steps, and they plop out. I have tried over 15 different styles and sizes; they all do the same thing.

That is why I rely on over-the-ear headphones and have done so for a while now. I don't mind using on-ear headphones but I prefer having the big cans surrounding by entire ears. I have a couple pairs ranging from the second (or third) re-design of the Bose Tri-Port line (I usually use these in the office), a $20 pair of Sure (everyday use including walking and being out in the field), and a pair of noise canceling Sony bluetooth over-the-ear headphones that I have been using a lot lately with both my iPod classic (via a dock connector accessory) and with my iPad.



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Old 06-04-2010, 12:19 PM
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Cool, have any of you had any experiences with Bose headphones? What about those? They are really expensive but the sound quality/noise cancellation is supposed to be really great.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:15 PM
#12
 
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Quote:
I don't mind the Apple earbuds for occasional listening so long as the black foam covers are still on them. That is the only way that they stay in my ears. I absolutely hate IEMs though. I hade a nice Sure pair but I can't get them to stay in my ears.
Kornchild – just out of interest did you try a wider range of tips than the ones supplied? I'm not yet personally aware of a good source to get a large range of tip styles other than the odd accessories offered by some manufacturers but I’m looking into the issue currently; unfortunately it’s a rather expensive crap-shoot in terms of finding one that will fit your headphones and then liking or loathing the eventual outcome.

There are a huge range of tip styles; some look like standard silicon covers, others look a bit more mushroom like, some are like little bulbs and some look like pine trees; then there’s the foam style which tend to be a circular chunk of foam that you squeeze with your fingers and insert into your ears, they re-form to fit your ears.

I’m doing a bit of research into tips and will post my results if I find any good general suppliers up here; I’m still adjusting to new Hippo VB’s which have enormous bass response, the mid-sized tips give me a little bit of fatigue and disorientation but the larger tips seem to overcome this without any sound loss but they don’t stay in quite as well as the mid-sized tips (the smallest tips give me no seal so they’re too small for my ears). It’s a very personal thing unfortunately, it’s just a shame that most headphones don’t come with more tip styles.

On a side note there’s also a set of silicon ear tips that you can get for the standard apple buds – Griffin makes a set but they’re $20 (at least in Australia), I found these cheap ones from Hong Kong at http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4273 (this site doesn’t seem to be stocking them any more but you can get them elsewhere) – that’s $1.82 US with free shipping so it’s a cheap experiment.

Last edited by Davo-CC; 06-04-2010 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:15 PM
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i think alot of it comes down to YOUR ears. i'm reluctant to shell out for proper IEMs or even custom molds because i never get a perfect seal with lower end IEMs (the ones with the basic round silicone sleeves). i often find that medium size is not enough & that the large ones are too much. i also find that getting the perfect seal regarding BALANCE (the right amount of seal in each ear) is too critical for me - i will notice even the tiniest difference & it will drive me mad. so i prefer cans.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:51 PM
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I know I am late but I will reply anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R94N View Post
Cool, have any of you had any experiences with Bose headphones? What about those? They are really expensive but the sound quality/noise cancellation is supposed to be really great.
I really like my Bose Tri-Port headphones. I actually received them back in 2006 as I had the choice of those headphones or rather large headset. My boss at the time was purchasing headphones or headsets for everyone so that we could all listen to our own music (and/or communicate through the phone) without bothering other people. I went with the headphones as I didn't need the headset. Though I really like my Bose set, I definitely wouldn't have plopped down the $175 (at the time) for them. In my opinion, Bose headphones are extremely overrated as they carry the Bose name. Sure, their noise canceling models work pretty well and they all provide rather nice quality but you can obtain the same quality from a $50 pair of Senheizer cans.

I now have a $100 wireless bluetooth pair of Sony headphones that provide just as much quality as my Tri-Ports and they were almost half as much. So yeah, go ahead and purchase Bose headphones. Just know that you are spending too much money when you can purchase other brands for much less and not sacrifice on the quality, style, or features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo-CC View Post
Kornchild Ė just out of interest did you try a wider range of tips than the ones supplied?
I sure did. The silicone/rubber ones shaped like mushrooms pop out after a few seconds, the elongated rubber/silicone ones stay in only a few seconds longer, and the foam ones (just like the cheap ear protector foam pieces) were able to stay in for a few minutes. My issue is that my ears start producing excess wax when they are covered. This creates a slick interior for the rubber/silicone ones to stick to. It doesn't matter their shape, size, or form: those simply won't stay in. The larger foam ones stay in a little longer simply because they fit much better but again, once my ears start producing that watery wax, they will fall out if I take a few steps.

Using over-the-ear or on-ear headphones are better for my ears as they don't produce that wax and I don't have to worry about them falling off. I have gone through many different shapes, sizes, and materials for in-ear headphones yet they actually never stay in my ears. I really like their sound quality and ability to obtain loud volumes despite my iPod not being turned up that much at all (not to mention requiring less power than large cans) but they won't work if they don't stay in my ears.



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Old 06-14-2010, 01:55 AM
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hey, thanks for replying. I like hearing people's opinions. I have never owned any Bose headphones, but they sure look sweet
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