So, I've long been an IEM hunter over the years, looking for ever increasing and new ways to spend my hard-earned on things to stick into my ear holes to make my daily zombie lurch into work more enjoyable.
I don't really like wearing portable on-ear or over-ear headphones, even if they were designed for that purpose - I much prefer the lower profile that IEMs offer. And I have been reasonably happy with their sound too.
Or at least I was, until over the last 12 months or so I have been increasingly drawn to earbuds. Yes, those retro things which IEMs have basically consigned to iPhone owners with their 'earpods', or well, I dunno, weirdos or something.
Weirdos like me, it would seem. The thing is, my current pair of earbuds is a £10 set of Pioneer SE-CE521-K. With foams on and the highly sophisticated mod that is an elastic band to tighten the foam around the earpiece, these things fit snugly in my lugs and make music from my HTC One M8 sound better to me than IEMs i've had costing 10, 20, 30 times more.
Is it just me or is there something to be said for earbuds basically being downsized semi open/closed headphones, and thus better for making music sound as it should than IEMs where you stick noise tubes into your ears?
I get that earbuds have faded from use because of both the isolation and comfort factors, but what does science say about the audio aspects?