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Best Budget ($20-$30) Earbuds (not IEMS)?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

For the past 4-5 years, I've been wearing Sony MDR E10's, which I really liked. Clearer than any other earphone I've listened to (which is to say they beat the complimentary airline phones and Apple ones) and durable enough to last 1-2 years of abuse. Most importantly, they cost ~$10, so every time I'd break a pair I'd just buy another one.

 

However, I finally want to up the ante and spend a little bit more to hopefully get a better earphone. Here are the criteria:

 

- Earbud, not canalphone, IEM, etc. If it's got a silicone/foam tip, I don't want it.

 

- $20-$30. I don't want to spend a ton because the fact is I'm probably going to break them eventually. I keep my earbuds loose in my pocket so they get smashed, I drop them sometimes, I run with them so they may get sweaty, etc. Willing to go bit higher ($45?) if I like a more expensive pair and just get another pair of E10's for running (I'm guessing the sweat is what does the most damage) but they'll still get tossed around in my pocket a lot.

 

- Preferably no volume control. I don't need it and it's more bulk. L shaped plug is also a minor plus, but not important.

 

- Easily available (in the US), preferably online from a reputable site. This is the hard part - I've done a bit of research on head-fi and other sites, read similar threads and guides - but many of them are a few years old and the headphones they reviewed are hard to find/prices have gone up.

 

For example, two of the most commonly suggested earphones I saw were the Sennheiser MX580 and the Yuin PK3, but when I searched for them online I found them on ebay for ~$50 and $36 respectively, which seems to be more than what they used to cost. I'd still spring for the PK3's if I couldn't find anything better, but I'd rather not wait a month for them to ship from China.

 

I'm also looking at the Sennheiser MX365 for $17 off amazon. The amazon reviews are good but I haven't see much from head-fi on them.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 9
The original PK3 have an issue with breaking at the jack for some people. I didn't have that problem and have had them since their inception. I can't even tell you how much I love them. However, I did purchase the DIY ones on eBay with the recable and better jack. Mostly to have a Y cable, but also a slightly longer length and I find them to be fantastic. I think, don't quote me, but I think I got them for $30 shipped. I also think I got them in less than 2 weeks. Good luck.
post #3 of 9

+1 PK3

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, guys. Anybody have any other suggestions or is the PK3 pretty much the standard choice at this price point? Anybody have any input on the MX365?

post #5 of 9

HiSound Audio PAA-1

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdskyline View Post

Anybody have any input on the MX365?

I've had the MX365 for a few weeks now, and I do think they're worth the price. I think they're nicely balanced and detailed while adding a good dose of warmth. My issue with the MX365 is that I think their soundstage is a tad too small for my tastes. If Sennheiser can make them sound a bit more open and wide, they'd have a pretty solid performer.

Because of the MX365's soundstage, I actually prefer the MX270 as it sounds much "larger" and airier (though not as warm and with reduced focus and detail), and its performance is comes surprisingly close to the higher-end (but now discontinued) MX580 considering the price differential.
-
Edited by kjk1281 - 2/17/13 at 9:55am
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dan of Steel View Post

The original PK3 have an issue with breaking at the jack for some people. I didn't have that problem and have had them since their inception. I can't even tell you how much I love them. However, I did purchase the DIY ones on eBay with the recable and better jack. Mostly to have a Y cable, but also a slightly longer length and I find them to be fantastic. I think, don't quote me, but I think I got them for $30 shipped. I also think I got them in less than 2 weeks. Good luck.

This might be a bit late but I do agree with The Dan of Steel ...I also owned a few of DIY Yuin from eBay especially PK2 and to me they sound better or comparable to the retail Yuin but better quality in term if cable and overall build quality...broke a few original Yuin because accidentally yanked them ...so now I go for the DIY Yuin and it has last me for almost a year and still using them.

Cheers.
post #8 of 9
You should try cowon se2 for balance n clarity. If you prefer to more bass you must have edifier h180 or h185
post #9 of 9

If you want budget earbuds, try Senn MX470, they're basically the 580 or 581s without the volume control.
I'm aware they are like the mid-range earbuds, they sound great, bass is tight, soundstage is small and the highs or vocal highs can be kind of muddled.
I got 470's for 25 over in Aus.

MX365s has quite alot of bass compared to the other MX's, and the earbud itself is quite large. Its also less accurate sounding than the 470s.
 

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