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What Advantages Do Earbuds Hold Over IEMs?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

There's obviously still a market for earbuds, so I'm wondering what their advantages are over IEMs.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 36

Mostly

Comfortable, Wider soundstage, Bigger image size IMHO

post #3 of 36

They do not usually suffer from microphonics or bone conduction problems, their (lack of) isolation is desirable sometimes when one must stay aware of his surroundings. I much prefer them to IEMs when working out

post #4 of 36

Depends highly on ones ear type.

-There would be folks out there not comfortable with the idea of sticking something in their ear for what possibly is considered a long period of time.

-There are those who also still believe that IEMs do more harm to the ear than normal earbuds do.
-People who may suffer from something in the ear canal area (such as an ear infection) wouldn't wanna stick IEMs into the ear as well.

- On the abovementioned point, I've got a friend with a protruding scar in the right ear that prevents IEMs from even entering that side of his ear.

-A good number of players still come with stock, non-IEM type earbuds, and for people who don't know any better, they might think that all earbuds exist only as non-IEM types (you'd be surprised, a lot of people where I am don't even know what in-ear earbuds are)

post #5 of 36

I can't think of any way I would like earbuds more than IEMs...

 

They fall out easier... sound worse (imo, from the ones I have heard etc) no isolation...

 

I have been in heaven since I discovered IEMs... they save my ears on public transportation... block out the crap and let me enjoy music at low levels in peace in busy, noisy areas.

post #6 of 36

1. Great for situations when you want to be able to hear the outside world.

2. Comfortable for some people.

3. Better chances of achieving a wider sound-stage?

4. ...

post #7 of 36

there are people out there who get a bit phobic of putting things right into their ears, I know someone in particular who can't handle the isolation because it makes her afraid she's going to be attacked! Can't reason with that kind of sentiment. 

 

post #8 of 36

Is this weird that this sounds perfectly reasonable to me..if you're using isolation phones when out on a street, chances are you will have difficulty hearing any attacker making a move. Crime rates aren't exactly low in cities these days. I guess ear-buds are the preferred option in such cases.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phntmsmshr View Post

there are people out there who get a bit phobic of putting things right into their ears, I know someone in particular who can't handle the isolation because it makes her afraid she's going to be attacked! Can't reason with that kind of sentiment. 

 

post #9 of 36

I often use buds rather than IEMs when I am shopping or eating lunch (eating with IEMs in is awful). I don't want isolation in those situations. I also use them when I am cooking or somehow interacting with my wife. I can still enjoy music at low levels and carry on a conversation. Seriously, isolation just doesn't work in many situations.

post #10 of 36

For me, it is less isolation only.  Used in situations where I need to hear what is going on around me.  Otherwise, use IEM's for superior sound.

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by phntmsmshr View Post

there are people out there who get a bit phobic of putting things right into their ears, I know someone in particular who can't handle the isolation because it makes her afraid she's going to be attacked! Can't reason with that kind of sentiment. 

 


i can understand that, have experience it before when walking home at night, its like theres always something waiting to pop out lol

post #12 of 36

Main advantage of earbuds (other than often the wider, more realistic soundstage) for me is that with earbuds earwax don't build up as quick as with iems.

post #13 of 36

I have both Yuin earbuds (PK1) and Etymotics IEM (hf2). I use the Yuins when I don't want/need total isolation OR when I want to be able to remove them quickly/easily (e.g., quick auto trips in town). I use the Etys at times when I want high isolation (e.g., long airplane flights or working out on cardio machines at the gym) or simply want a high level of "focus" on the music.

post #14 of 36

Whose sound quality would you rate higher?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity View Post

I have both Yuin earbuds (PK1) and Etymotics IEM (hf2). I use the Yuins when I don't want/need total isolation OR when I want to be able to remove them quickly/easily (e.g., quick auto trips in town). I use the Etys at times when I want high isolation (e.g., long airplane flights or working out on cardio machines at the gym) or simply want a high level of "focus" on the music.

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 

I hate that about IEMs. You constantly have to keep your ears clean of any wax or you end up pulling out the IEM covered in it, it's not pleasant to say the least.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leba View Post

Main advantage of earbuds (other than often the wider, more realistic soundstage) for me is that with earbuds earwax don't build up as quick as with iems.

 

 

 

 


 

Having read what everyone else has said, I wouldn't mind switching to earbuds if not for the fact that I get really annoyed with people talking on the bus and that the busses often drown out my music to an extent even when using IEMs.

 

Does anyone know of a good 'entry level' earbud I could buy to see if I'd prefer them to IEMs? I was thinking of buying a new IEM but if I can get away with using earbuds instead it might be nice to try a pair of those instead.

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