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Earbuds? What's the big deal?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here's my "trouble/annoyance/what have you":

So I am on my way to the customs office today to pick up a purchase made here and decided that I'd use my PK3s instead of my usual RE2s on the bike. And, wouldn't you know it, they don't isolate at all=no music to speak of (to listen to, rather). So, I was wondering: with IEMs, meaning: isolation, available on the go and nice full size cans for home use, what exactly is the point of earbuds? The only possible use I see for them would be portable use in quiet places if you find IEMs uncomfortable for longer listening. Hardly a common scenario. (Keep in mind that the top-fo-the-line Yuin need [?] an amp). - Don't get me wrong: I like the PK3s and the sound they deliver, but, viewed realistically, they are rather useless. Or aren't they?


I bought the PK3s on impulse and, from where I stand right now, I would not consider earbuds again in the future. Anyone with me?
post #2 of 34
I use Pk1 in my office hoping I can hear phone rings. I use them in the airport waiting in case there are urgent announcements. I use them when I am walking on the street so I can be aware of the coming cars.

You are riding a bike, of course it can be very noisy over your ears. To me there are so many places where earbuds beat IEM.
post #3 of 34
I'm with you. I listen to music everywhere and that includes college. Using earbuds here is asking to either go deaf, or not be able to hear your music half the time. The only time you can possibly listen at a safe level is if you are studying in the library or other quiet place.

With iems, I can enjoy detailed music at safe levels wherever I am. That includes next to starbucks where people are playing the piano and talking and laughing loudly (where I am right now).
post #4 of 34
I find earbuds very uncomfortable and iems only slightly better. Biking with iems is dangerous though...so I just don't listen to music when I bike. I prefer the isolation but, I do see a time when you might need to be able to hear outside noise.

Back on topic: Manufacturers need to give you something to listen to music and the majority of people don't care. Hence, the earbud.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Oh right, I should have made that clear: I mean highend earbuds. The crappy stock buds are out of the question.

@andychen:
I never thought about that. People around here talk a lot about listening to music in their workplace. Being a student, I haven't worked in any serious job so far, so maybe that's why I've never been in that position. I admit, for what you say, it makes sense to use earbuds. They still are rather pricey for that IMO; and, what is worse, you may be able to hear outside noise - but doesn't that take away from the quality of the music?
post #6 of 34
for me I use my PK1 for background music which is 95%, at home I use my speaker
post #7 of 34
earbuds are for those who do not like to stick stuff in their ears. At the same time, they do not like to carry full size headphones and prefer a more discrete look...even if that means carrying an amp.
post #8 of 34
100% agree with DJGeorgeT. I personally have an IEM phobia - I just can't do it, it just creeps me out. With that in mind, earbuds serve a big need for me, mainly when I'm on the go. The full-size cans are used mainly when I'm home.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tohni View Post
- Ah, crap, is there any way that I can move a thread to its proper place myself? -
Nope! Not yourself. To allow such access, you would need to first undergo rigorous training and psychological testing to ensure your mind would not turn into mush after performing such tasks one too many times. Thankfully, some of us have passed the training and testing.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Nope! Not yourself. To allow such access, you would need to first undergo rigorous training and psychological testing to ensure your mind would not turn into mush after performing such tasks one too many times. Thankfully, some of us have passed the training and testing.
pheew...
post #11 of 34
I can't stand anything sitting in my ear canal for hours on end. I find IEMs really uncomfortable.

I really don't need or want isolation either. When I'm using them in my room it's nice and quiet, and I can hear people calling me from elsewhere in the house. And outside it's nice to not technically go deaf and be unaware of sounds that could save your life lol.

Earbuds fit perfectly in my ears and I many times forget they're even there.

I had the PK3's too, and upgraded to the PK1's and even unamped it's a whole world of difference. The sq is amazing and I'd say there's more isolation than the PK3's cuz the bass in the pk1's kinda drown out outside noise a bit. I love my PK1's.
post #12 of 34
There is a time and place for earbuds and IEMs. Each has a place for me and I use both about 50/50.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Earbuds fit perfectly in my ears and I many times forget they're even there.
Exactly the opposite here. They fall out at every possible chance.
By "isolation" I mean "possibility to appreciate music fully"; it's not so much about being deaf. But not being run over is definitely a point to consider. I think that, at least at the price for the PK1 or PK2 (are there other decent earbuds?), you could definitely do better with full sized cans. So, IMO, there is something better on the go, and there is something better for serious listening. Or maybe I just have to listen to some serious earbuds (oxymoron?) apart from the PK3 to change my mind .
post #14 of 34
The perfect place for a nice pair of ear buds (PKs or OKs)? Sitting in a beach chair, where you want to hear some sweet sounds, but certainly don't want to drown out the wonderful sounds of the ocean, so to speak. That's when I use them for the most part (though I have sold off all my decent buds). Maybe need a pair of used PK3s for next summer.
post #15 of 34
Well some people's ears are perfect for earbuds, some are perfect for IEMs, if yours fall out all the time you probably won't be happy with earbuds.

I'm sure I could do better at that price point with full sized cans but they're not portable, it's a tiny bit embarrassing to wear full sized cans in public, and I find them a bit uncomfortable, not IEM uncomfortable, but enough that I can only use them for maybe 3 or 4 hours before needing a break, while the earbuds I could keep in all day if I wanted to.

But yeah, the PK3's are very entry level, they're better than ibuds, but not amazing. I'm thinking about maybe giving my old ones away to a friend or something for a birthday.
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