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GA Russell

Recommendations sought: earbuds

36 posts in this topic

I am thinking about getting an mp3 player to use when I exercise. I have pretty much decided that I will get a Sansa clip+.

It seems to be the universal opinion that the earbuds that come with mp3 players aren't any good, and that I will have to buy a better set.

Money is a factor, so I don't care what the best in the world are. I will be content with something that is obviously better than what comes with the device.

Amazon has some Klipsch on sale right now, but they probably won't be on sale when I am ready to make my purchase.

Can anyone recommend earbuds that are a good value under the circumstances?

Edited by GA Russell

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I am not a headphone connoisseur, but I will recommend a pair of buds that sound superb, the Etymotic ER-4. I've had them for about 7 or 8 years. You will not believe the sound.

They are not cheap. Etymotic also makes less expensive models, which are supposed to be very good. Etymotics are made in America, if that matters to you.

The new Monster Cable buds are supposed to be quite good also. I was given the Miles Davis model as a gift, but haven't opened the box yet.

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I've been using a pair of these for the last 18 months and they work fine for me. Just £20 (in fact I bought a back up pair for £9.99 in a sale so look around):

shs4800-2.jpg

The clip on keeps them on your ear, even when walking (or running, I expect). The actual buds are wide enough to fill your ears with sound. They rest just outside so you don't get that feeling of something wongly inserted in your lughole.

A few weeks back I spent £80 on a Sennheiser pair, expecting something wonderful - don't like them at all. Thin sound and they fall out of my ear even sitting down.

The Philips are not intended as Hi-Fi, but they do the job very well for me.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I use these Sony earbuds. This might be a little more than you want to pay, but they sound great. I think I paid slightly less than the Amazon price at a brick-and-mortar Best Buy.

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Holy cr..p! I just looked up these Monster Cable Miles Davis Tribute buds, and they retail for $400! I've had them sitting on top of the cabinet in my shop for 6 months, and never opened the box until today. I thought they were in the $100 range.

What is your budget?

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What is your budget?

Dmitry, I plan to spend less than $70 for the Sansa clip+ and the micro SD card combined. I figured that there would be some earbuds for folks on a budget which were nevertheless much better than those which come with the device.

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Headfi forum is the place to go.

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I use these Sony earbuds. This might be a little more than you want to pay, but they sound great. I think I paid slightly less than the Amazon price at a brick-and-mortar Best Buy.

I have these as well, and have been quite happy with them. That said, although these Sonys are miles ahead of the type that Apple supplies with a new iPod, I've been nearly as impressed with a decent pair of Skull Candy buds, which are quite a bit cheaper. But I'm no audiophile.

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Headfi forum is the place to go.

Thanks, Dmitry. That place looks interesting. Expensive gadgets usually do!

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41m1EJX11aL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

The igrado has been my headphones of choice for the ipod. Nice full sound that doesn't skimp on the bass.

Edited by Stefan Wood

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Some interesting options here: Thinksound

I had recently read good things about that "rain" set. and the site recommends Comply Foam Tips which are a good addition to ear canal phones that can accommodate them.

Stefan Wood: how much sound bleed to surrounding parties on the iGrados ?, I've been using my Denon in-ears in an office and they start to hurt so going to the old fashioned style might be best.

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Also look into the JBuds available on Amazon. The "list" price is ridiculous, but the actual cost (like 80% off all the time) is very reasonable for earphones that are far better than the ones that come with iPods, etc.

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Some interesting options here: Thinksound

I had recently read good things about that "rain" set. and the site recommends Comply Foam Tips which are a good addition to ear canal phones that can accommodate them.

Stefan Wood: how much sound bleed to surrounding parties on the iGrados ?, I've been using my Denon in-ears in an office and they start to hurt so going to the old fashioned style might be best.

I recently sent an email question to them on a Saturday and received an answer in about a 1/2 hour.......from Aaron Fournier, the President and CEO!

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My computer didn't work today, and I'm writing from the library. When mine is back up and running, I'll look into these!

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I've been using Klipsch Image S4 earbuds for the last 4 months or so. I use them while working out and durability is not as issue so far. Good bass, not boomy at all, but plenty deep for my liking. The mids and high end are nicely detailed without any grain. Overall sound is well balanced and to my ears. They come with nice metal case, and 3 different size tips to ensure a snug fit. These are about eighty dollars.

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I have the Sansa Clip+ and a pair of Denon earbuds. I can't remember the model number/name because I've had them longer than the Sansa but I think I paid between $100-150 for them and I'm very happy with them. They come with three sizes of rubber outer thingys which gives you a better chance of having a good fit. I would say that would be an important feature if you're reasonably serious about comfort and sound quality. One size does not fit all. I usually don't wear mine for more than 60 - 90 minutes at a time so far but they are comfortable and they sound great.

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I've been using Klipsch Image S4 earbuds for the last 4 months or so. I use them while working out and durability is not as issue so far. Good bass, not boomy at all, but plenty deep for my liking. The mids and high end are nicely detailed without any grain. Overall sound is well balanced and to my ears. They come with nice metal case, and 3 different size tips to ensure a snug fit. These are about eighty dollars.

CNET loves these!

I was leaning towards the thinksound ts-02s, but I may have to reconsider. Especially since they're about the same price.

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I've been using Klipsch Image S4 earbuds for the last 4 months or so. I use them while working out and durability is not as issue so far. Good bass, not boomy at all, but plenty deep for my liking. The mids and high end are nicely detailed without any grain. Overall sound is well balanced and to my ears. They come with nice metal case, and 3 different size tips to ensure a snug fit. These are about eighty dollars.

CNET loves these!

I was leaning towards the thinksound ts-02s, but I may have to reconsider. Especially since they're about the same price.

I've had the Klipsch Image S4i (the S4 with iPod volume controls and phone microphone) for about a year. They sound clear, but I find the bass disappointing; they definitely do not compare to over-the-ear headphones.

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These are for listening to (mostly) mp3s, correct?

Buy cheap ones.

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These are for listening to (mostly) mp3s, correct?

Buy cheap ones.

Chuck - In all honesty, do you really hear a sharp difference between WAV files and MP3s ripped at over 200 bits? I don't. Of course, maybe if I had an extremely expensive system, I would. But good quality earbuds and high quality MP3s can brings quite a lot of musical enjoyment.

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These are for listening to (mostly) mp3s, correct?

Buy cheap ones.

Chuck - In all honesty, do you really hear a sharp difference between WAV files and MP3s ripped at over 200 bits? I don't. Of course, maybe if I had an extremely expensive system, I would. But good quality earbuds and high quality MP3s can brings quite a lot of musical enjoyment.

+1. There's a huge difference between earbuds/phones whether one is listening to CDs, WAVs, or mp3s.

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The Klipsch "S4s" are not going to give you real low bass. I find them quite adequate for what they are. Good for mp3 playback, comfortable, and not fatiguing during long listening sessions. FYI- I rip my mp3s at 320 bits or lossless. I do notice subtle differences between the two resolutions. Anything less than 320 bits sounds compressed and tends to be more fatiguing to my ears; especially when horns or other bright sounding instruments are involved.

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I bought these BOQARI Q1 on an Amazon lightning deal in November. I think they have better bass response and an overall smoother, richer sound than the Klipsch. I miss the controls that are on the Klipsch, though.

Amazon

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Another vote for Etymotics. BTW, they make great custom-fit musicians' earplugs, as well.

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