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Backup Earbuds for <$30?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I was hoping to get advice on a nice pair of (relatively cheap) backup earbuds before my headphones come in.  I plan on ordering the FA-003, but I heard that takes super long to ship, so I'd like something to tide me over until then.  I don't know much about earbuds/iems (been lurking on the full-sized headphones forum all this time).  Did a brief search here, but it looks like most reviews are on higher-end iems.  The only common recommendation for cheap earbuds seems to be the KSC75.  Does anyone have any other recs?  I listen to r&b/vocals/live/acapella from portables (for now).  Comfort is a big issue...I think I must have smallish ears or something, b/c my current skullcandy ones aren't staying in, although I suppose it's not as big a deal since they're meant to be backups.  I'd prefer it stay around $20 or less, but $30's okay too.

 

Any help or pointers greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 21

Yuin PK3 is your answer bro. They're not small but they're definitely the best option

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliKot View Post

Yuin PK3 is your answer bro. They're not small but they're definitely the best option



I just read some reviews on the PK3.  It does indeed look like what I'm looking for, the only caveat being that there's quite a few complains about build quality.  I listen to music on the go all the time, and I'm afraid the PK3 won't be up to it.  I'm definitely still considering them though, thank you for the rec!

post #4 of 21

The Sennheiser MX580 earbuds  is only around $25 and sounds great. I don't have the Yuin PK3, however I have read reviews that claim that the Sennheiser MX580 sounds better. The Sennheiser MX580 is also cheaper at around $25 vs $38 for the PK3. The MX580 is also a bit on the small side. If you want even smaller earbuds, then get the MX581.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/511784/review-sennheiser-mx580-mx581-fraternal-twins-equally-fabulous

post #5 of 21

Both the PK3 and MX580 are fairly mid-centric, meaning vocals and pop music sound great.  The PK3 reveals more details then the MX580, but the over-all sound was too-mid for my tastes.  The MX580 is a very balanced, mostly laid back earbud. 

 

If you can find the older MX560, or even better MX760, they are both a little better than the MX580 -- the bass is lower, true bass, not as much mid-bass.

post #6 of 21

No way is the MX560 better than the MX580. I have had the MX560 for a few years, and bought the MX580 a few months ago. Are you sure your MX580 is real? Did you give it enough burn in? The MX560 sounds much more like the MX400 and MX500 than the MX580. They are 32 ohms, while the MX580 is 16 ohms. The bass is so much better on the MX580. I don't consider the bass on the MX580 to be bloated. If anything it is a bit bass deficient, but not as bass deficient as the MX560 or MX500.

 

As for the PK3 having more detail than the MX580,  others would disagree with that. I never heard the Yuin earbuds myself, so I can't give my personal opinion, however reviews I read compare the detail on the MX580 to the PK1 or PK2.  


Edited by JK1 - 1/18/12 at 2:11pm
post #7 of 21

I was wondering if brands like JVC, KOSS, or Panasonic make decent budget earbud style headphones?  Does anyone know?  Even if not as good as Yuin or MX580 but maybe something that it is good value for a low price?  I have not heard any of those brands earbuds but I see they get many mentions on these forums as good budget headphones in many other categories so I thought it was possible.  Thanks.

post #8 of 21

sennheiser mx 470 or 471. same as 580 / 581 , but w/o volume control and cheaper

 

or you can search for  akg k314p 

post #9 of 21

hisoundaudio PAA-1 may also be an option. havent tried them but seem to be good

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by roark37 View Post

I was wondering if brands like JVC, KOSS, or Panasonic make decent budget earbud style headphones?  Does anyone know?  Even if not as good as Yuin or MX580 but maybe something that it is good value for a low price?  I have not heard any of those brands earbuds but I see they get many mentions on these forums as good budget headphones in many other categories so I thought it was possible.  Thanks.



I have tried searching for those. My impression is that the earbuds they make now are rather low end, with their attention on high quality IEMs now and not earbuds. Sony seemed to be the first one to stop selling high quality earbuds in the US in the late 90s, although they still sell their high quality E888 in parts of Asia.

 


Edited by JK1 - 1/19/12 at 12:33pm
post #11 of 21

Kanuka has got some good suggestions. The Sennheiser MX470/471 cost around $20 on Amazon (470 is a bit bigger than the 471 which is designed for smaller ears). Hisoundaudio PAA-1 costs around $20 on Ebay. They're both supposed to be good sounding for a low price.

 

JVC (or Victor in Japan) and Panasonic/Technics used to have good quality earbuds in the 80ies and 90ies. But now they just make cheap and bad sounding dime earbuds. I do not think that Koss have got any good sounding cheap earbuds.

 

The earbud world is very small nowadays unfortunately...

post #12 of 21

Thanks for the replies as that is what I figured most likely as I rarely see any mention of JVC, Koss, or Panasonic earbuds but I see those brands mentioned frequently for other headphone types.

 

As far as the Sennheiser's are the MX271 & MX370 also good or at least decent for earbuds?  I also recently saw a Sennheiser MX365 which I think may be new as I did not find much information about it.  I wondered though if the MX365 was maybe replacing one of their other earbuds?  Thanks.

post #13 of 21

I don't know why, but just about every headphone maker have given up on making quality earbuds. Now everyone makes IEM's.

 

The current earbuds/IEM's offered by Panasonic: http://panasonic.jp/headphone/line_up/inside.html

 

I think it's just the first three (RP-HV240, HV121 & HV154) that are regular earbuds ("dynamic type" in Japanese). The fourth, RP-HJ240 is "joint phone/regular type", which I don't understand what it is. Perhaps because the cord is just 0,6 m.

The last of the three earbuds, RP-HV365, HV245 & HV162 have in line volume controls. I have lived in Japan, but I do not remember what they retail for. Less than 3.000 yen, I think.

 

Compare this to what Panasonic offered in the eighties and nineties: http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/TECHNICS/TECHNICSindex.html

 

Scroll down to view the different Panasonic/Technics models that were available.

 

 

JVC/Victor most well known current earbud is the JVC Gumy. I have read that people think it's worse than the iPod earbuds, so it's not really a good option.

http://www3.jvckenwood.com/accessory/headphone/inner/index.html

 

Compare this to what JVC/Victor offered in the eighties and nineties: http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/VICTOR/victorindex.html

 

Also, the design. What's this:

colorful_JVC_Gumy_hot_selling_paypal.jpg

 

 

 

Compared to this:

HP-F505-1.jpg

 

or this:

 

HP-F355-1.jpg

 

 

 

I so much prefer the obsession with gold color in the eighties to the candy colored toys of today.

 

The old Panasonic/Technics ones are pretty cool as well:

 

RP-HV600

RP-HV600.jpg

 

 

RP-HV100

RP-HV100.jpg

 

 

RP-HJ530:

RP-HJ530.jpg

 

 

 

Sorry for the rant and the picture spamming...

 

 

I have not heard the MX270 or MX370, I used to own the MX360 and the Yuin PK3 blew it away (I think I still have the MX360 in a drawer somewhere...). I later bought the best of the MXx60 series, the MX760, and I still preferred the PK3 to it...

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

Not to digress from the discussion, but I was wondering if there're earbuds out there especially known for vocals?  I feel like the majority of the recommended earbuds (not on here, specifically, but on other threads) are bass-heavy, and I'm not sure I'd like that.

 

Edit: Sorry, by vocals I meant softer vocals like r&b or pop, less so of the hardcore stuff.  I usually lean towards male vocals, too, if that makes a difference.


Edited by jeng8 - 1/19/12 at 2:02pm
post #15 of 21

Haha! Well, it is your thread! Sorry for derailing it with rants about the poor state of today's earbud market. tongue_smile.gif

 

The Yuin PK3 have got pretty good mids and work well with vocals. I'm not sure about the Sennheiser ones or the Hisoundaudio PAA-1.

 

Here's from a review of the PK3:

 

Quote:
The PK3 is a great, warm earbud.  It does vocals especially well because it is very mid-focused.  It has impressive bass extension, not especially strong impact; the trebles are smooth and may roll off too soon for clarity and detail nuts.  But the mids are what the PK3 are all about.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/yuin-pk3-earbuds

 

 

The only problem might be the build quality. I haven't had a problem with my PK3, but my wife's PK3 stopped working on one side after about 1 year, even if she used a hard case to store the earbuds in when not using them. I bought her a pair of PK2 instead and she's used those for over 1 year.

 

You get a small tube-like storage case for the PK3, but I would recommend buying a earbud carry case on Ebay when you have finished listening to them. At any cost avoid wrapping the cord around your MP3 player/phone when not using them.

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