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Are earbuds dying? - Page 5

post #61 of 63

I always remember talking about and using earbuds, from way back before there were any canalphones, in-ears etc. Maybe back then there were a few mono in-ear things that some radios had and police/federal agents used but they were called earpieces. So, I'm in the an earbud is what the you put the foamies on camp. When Sony came with the EX71 for the masses they were canalphones for a while to differentiate between earbud and in-ears but the term stuck for a year or two then that was it. Now earbuds or earphones encompasses everything especially on web search results :)


I remember the days back on the Audio T-board with canalphone shootouts between the EX71, the Panasonic HJE50, and the Sharp MD33.

post #62 of 63
Originally Posted by Audiophiled404 View Post

I guess I must be old, because "earbuds" have always fit inside the ear canal, "earphones" have always fit just outside the ear and headphones have always fit over the ear. Its been this way since the beginning of time. When did "earphones" automagically become "earbuds" and "earbuds" become "in ear monitors" Until today I have never seen so many people confuse "earbuds" with "earphones" or use the term "in ear monitors" and I have read hundreds of reviews on "earbuds" which is the proper term for "earphones" that fit inside the ear canal. I'm guessing the OP was referring to "earphones" and not "earbuds" when asking if they are dying. I would say "earphones" are dying for the most part.


I suppose that some people have different words for it. I'd say that earphones is a collective name for earbuds and canal phones/IEM's. That is, you put earphones in your ear, in the outer parts (earbuds) or in the ear canals (Canal phones/IEM's). Headphones go on the head.
But I'd also like to include clip on phones as earphones since they go on your ears and not the top of your head.

On their homepage, Sony calls the MDR-E252, released in 1983, "earbuds":

And I would say that earbuds not at all are dying. It's over 10 years since big makers stopped making high end earbuds, except for Sennheiser which currently have got the MX985. Sony's last one was the E888, and that was released in the late 80's. Nowadays, smaller makers mainly from China are coming out with good quality earbuds. It started with Yuin and now other makers such as Blox, Hisound audio & Sunrise Audio have joined in. I've got a big collection of earbuds with some older models (for example the Sony MDR-E252 from 1983), and I'd say that older models are better than much of what's on the market today, but some high end earbuds by smaller makers, such as the Blox TM7, are better than the stuff from the 80's/late 90's.

Edited by Danneq - 6/1/13 at 5:53am
post #63 of 63

I prefer earbuds as, for me, IEMs are uncomfortable.

I have the Ety MC5s, and have never been accustomed to sealing my ear canal.

I do not like the feeling, and regret buying them.


Does that imply that I want the market for  IEMs to vanish?  No, not at all.  


I don't understand why anyone not a vendor would wish an entire product category to vanish.

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