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Why are there no buying guides for earbuds?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I only see guides for in-ears and over-ears.

post #2 of 14

because earbuds have terrible sound quality, zero isolation, no fit at all, and nobody likes them :D go with IEM's, there's always one that comfortably fits you

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

"Zero isolation" means no sound comes out of the IEMs or you can't hear anything outside? If it's the latter, wouldn't it make you prone to accidents? I walk outside a lot with the earbuds on, and I need to get a feel for my surroundings.


What about hearing health, are IEMs more ear friendly?

post #4 of 14

earbuds don't stop noise from coming in, so you need to turn up the volume (bad for your health). IEM's block much more outside noise, but it varies a lot. for example Etymotic earphones block almost every little bit of noise, but some shallow fitting earphones let a relatively big amount of noise get it. If you need to ear your surroundings open back on-ear headphones are a good choice, but hey are not suitable for quiet places due to sound leakage. also, earbuds leak sound quite a bit too, despite being so small. see the old Apple earbuds, they were small speakers. So they are not good for libraries and other quiet places.

 

health in general they are almost on the same level, with the in-ear taking the advantge on sound volume, but if you have a ear wax problem they just can't be used. I think even earbuds can't be used in these cases, but check your doctor for more info if you have any serious doubts about this issue

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of crossing streets and listening if there's a commotion here and there. I guess I'll try for an IEM, I only got one before and I really liked them. It had long cables, really great sound but the thing I took away from it was I couldn't hear anything outside when I use them. Also, the boss might be on my back while I'm headbanging and that would be an awkward situation :biggrin:

 

I guess I'll ask this next, I haven't really invested yet to good audio gear even though I love music, what would you recommend under $20? That's all the money I can spare right now.

post #6 of 14

While there are no official earbud buying guides by head-fi, there are some review threads if you look around:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/441400/earbuds-round-up-update-june-28th-2013

http://www.head-fi.org/t/531063/earbud-guide-22-earbuds-compared

 

 

There is currently an active thread discussing the Dasetn earbuds, many of their models are below your $20 budget so it may be worth a read:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/711844/dasetn-tingo-earbuds-reviews-and-impressions

post #7 of 14
Quote:

The two threads posted above are good starting points. Remember that sound quality is highly dependent on fit, so you should be aware of the size of the housings of earbuds you are reading various reviews.

I feel that earbuds are an excellent solution for in-bed listening and walks around the neigborhood as the lack of isolation could literally save your life (being able to hear the smoke / CO detector or the teenager behind the wheel of full-size pickup about to run you over).
.
Edited by kjk1281 - 5/25/14 at 8:26pm
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by thevoid View Post
 

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of crossing streets and listening if there's a commotion here and there.

 

If you live in a city with disciplined drivers and low crime rates you can survive easily with IEMs. You still have your eyes to see where the pedestrian lanes are and what color the traffic lights are; disciplined drivers follow the same rules; and best of all you don't have a high enough chance of getting shanked walking at night, since the traffic is easily minimized if your city has a huge network of urban rail and, unlike NY, you can have a good enough rail system but you can get shanked down there by some gang members or kicked into an oncoming train by some homeless veteran suffering PTSD that the military health care system forgot about.

 

So that basically leaves you with Japan, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland, and some parts of Canada. Over here I just pull my IEMs out when I have to take a bus or when I step out of the train, since we have pick pockets working on the steps, and enough Communists and Socialists in Congress who will raise a stink if the cops drive away people from those steps (best they can do is yell at them to stay at the sides, unless they actually catch them stealing, which isn't easy).

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjk1281 View Post


The two threads posted above are good starting points. Remember that sound quality is highly dependent on fit, so you should be aware of the size of the housings of earbuds you are reading various reviews.

I feel that earbuds are an excellent solution for in-bed listening and walks around the neigborhood as the lack of isolation could literally save your life (being able to hear the smoke / CO detector or the teenager behind the wheel of full-size pickup about to run you over).
.

 

I don't own a car so I commute a lot, hence my trepidation in using something that isolates all the noise outside. I actually haven't bought any audio related equipment before where I consulted reviews, I guess now's a great time as any to start doing so.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

If you live in a city with disciplined drivers and low crime rates you can survive easily with IEMs. You still have your eyes to see where the pedestrian lanes are and what color the traffic lights are; disciplined drivers follow the same rules; and best of all you don't have a high enough chance of getting shanked walking at night, since the traffic is easily minimized if your city has a huge network of urban rail and, unlike NY, you can have a good enough rail system but you can get shanked down there by some gang members or kicked into an oncoming train by some homeless veteran suffering PTSD that the military health care system forgot about.

 

So that basically leaves you with Japan, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland, and some parts of Canada. Over here I just pull my IEMs out when I have to take a bus or when I step out of the train, since we have pick pockets working on the steps, and enough Communists and Socialists in Congress who will raise a stink if the cops drive away people from those steps (best they can do is yell at them to stay at the sides, unless they actually catch them stealing, which isn't easy).

I actually live in a third world country in Asia, and pickpockets abound in the train systems. Also, drivers are not disciplined at all, worst are the proliferation of motorcyclists who don't seem to follow the rules of the road and they even use sidewalks as paths if the traffic lights are red.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by thevoid View Post

 

I actually live in a third world country in Asia, and pickpockets abound in the train systems. Also, drivers are not disciplined at all, worst are the proliferation of motorcyclists who don't seem to follow the rules of the road and they even use sidewalks as paths if the traffic lights are red.

 

I'm torn about using the Third World label because technically speaking some parts of what used to be the Second World are now below the average for East Asia even without Japan in the mix, however, as we say in our social science and policy classes, "it is in East Asia where the Cold War hasn't really ended," what with the territorial rows and the only difference from how it was in the Cold War is that Vietnam is basically more of an ally of the US instead of conspiring with Russia to keep China busy from the other side.
 
In any case, back to audio - personally just don't use really good gear on the go unless you live for example in a building that's a short walk through reasonably populated areas (but not too dense that criminals can easily escape by blending in), if not one of those where you have a bridge from the station into a mall complex then straight into the residential building. Then there's traffic. I use my Samsung S3 on the go, but if I'm taking public transportation, I only use my ASG-1 IEMs on the train itself; I put it back in its case and into my bag (slash proof and can be worn so that the flap or access points are against my body) before stepping out of the station. I mean, since we need this much less isolation just so we don't get run over, then why bother listening to music at all if we can't dedicate most of our attention span to it? I just think it's kind of disrespectful to the musician to play the music and not listen, even though it's a recording and not an actual live performance, considering they still put considerable effort on making it sound good (well, I don't listen to 99% of pop music).
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, I guess you could say that the third world country is the bottom of the barrel: corrupt government, undisciplined citizens, greedy monopolistic corporations, they all contribute to what makes a country wrong.

 

I'm not really worried about the audio gear itself, but for my phone or to a lesser extent my mp3 player. I've had experiences like for example the guy who's standing right next to me on the train realized his phone was stolen, and we weren't even at the station yet. He thought he knew who stole the phone, and that suspect said he could inspect his bag all he wants but he was no thief. Having said that though, the suspect got off the next station, and the people on the train egged the victim to go follow that guy. It wasn't pretty.

 

Well, sometimes I don't listen to music with my full attention, but that's when I'm working. I agree though, when I'm out I make sure I hear the songs clearly, if I don't hear it that well I won't even bother. Same reason if one of the sides of an earbud, headphones or what have you breaks, I don't use it anymore.

post #12 of 14

Guys, just a reminder that we don't do political discussion here. 

 

:smile:

post #13 of 14
Yuin and Sennheiser make great earbuds.

*fixed typo* Ugh I can't type today.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Guys, just a reminder that we don't do political discussion here. 

 

:smile:

 

Sorry, it all just came up due to specific needs for the audio equipment. In other cases not giving such details can garner frustrated responses from the more fortunate who cannot wear another's shoes.

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