A decade ago, Sony made amazing earbuds for about 35$; today, I can't find anything comparable.
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


New Head-Fier
Sep 6, 2015
In the mid 00s I used to have a pair of earbuds that I loved. They went in your ear canal, they were made by sony and they sounded great for the money. The problem was, they would always break after about 6 months. Luckily I could keep getting them insured, and just replace them over and over again.
Then Sony stopped selling this model at radio shack. The new model sounded duller, but with the same full bass. Now I can't find those headphones anymore, either. Sony sells a pair at Walgreens called 'Rockin' Buds' for about 14 dollars, but they break after a few weeks. I also found a somewhat comparable pair in the 20-40$ range but they also broke pretty quickly.
Every time I have tried to find a pair of bus like my old, beloved pair, there's one of three problems: the bass isn't low enough (the buds I liked went down to 6hz); they sound dull; or they break quickly.
Last year I bought a pair of MDR-EX210B earbuds. They sounded pretty good but they had noise cancelling, which I don't care about -- in fact I don't want to completely cancel out my surroundings -- and they had a big disc that stuck out from my ear canal (see pic). I think this looks dumb and it made it hard to wear them in bed.
I also bought these monoprice headphones and they did sound great, but they didn't have that deep bass, they broke after a few months and they were chunky, so again, hard to wear on a pillow.
So, to some up, I am looking for earbuds that meet the criteria of my old ones:
1) They're in that 35$ range (or lower)
2) they sound good
3) they have that deep, 6hz or below bass
4) they last at least 6 months.
Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Sep 14, 2015 at 5:02 AM Post #3 of 8
the bass isn't low enough (the buds I liked went down to 6hz); they sound dull; or they break quickly.
1) They're in that 35$ range (or lower)
2) they sound good
3) they have that deep, 6hz or below bass
4) they last at least 6 months.

Note that 6Hz in specs doesn't mean anything at all, literally. It just says that earphone is "able" to produce that frequency, but it doesn't say that it may roll off so severely below 50 Hz that you might never even hear lower than that.
Also you don't hear 6Hz, ever, below 20 Hz we don't hear anything, and even if we might "feel" those frequencies they need to be so loud to be felt, and as I said, usually roll off (or whatever you wanna call it) is much higher than those 6Hz. 
Even if you somehow magically did hear those frequencies there aren't any instrument that make that low sounds, like literally doesn't exist and there are no sounds even artificially made to be that low, since it's pointless.
For example, my Sennheiser IE80 have "10 Hz" lowest frequency and they have lower, deeper and better extension than my old Sony EX700 that could do "4 Hz" by specifications. 
Also about earphone... if you need to buy physically from store (because of warranty you obviously need and might use) there might not be too many choices depending on where you are from. Sennheiser CX 300-II are usually on sale now when new CX 3.00 is out, and they are usually ~35-40$. Bassy sound as you like, 2 year warranty and build quality is great, lasted my friend for 3 years and his Sony EX300 broke after 5 months so CX300-II should be a lot more durable than those Sonys. If you don't mind ordering from internet then choices are infinite and you might want to describe sound you like a bit further
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:21 PM Post #4 of 8
This is great advice, thanks.
The Xiaomi Piston 2 and Sennheiser CX 300-II both look pretty good, but I am more inclined to go with the latter because of that 'L' shaped jack. I have found that to be a lifesaver. Every time I get a pair of buds with a straight jack, normal moving around stresses the jack to the point that it breaks the solder on the device. I've never had that happen with Sonys because of the 'L' shaped jack.
Thanks so much!
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:30 PM Post #5 of 8
I agree. I don't see the point of needing bass below 20hz with headphones. With home audio setups and subwoofers, that can be fun because it's that bass we can feel, particularly in movies. But with headphones? So your head will vibrate a bit more. LOL

And as Tail pointed out, don't believe what you read in the specs about bass extension. Often manufacturers are misleading about what you will actually get.

For other IEMs, check out this list: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-list/. Each make/model name leads to a review.
Sep 14, 2015 at 10:47 PM Post #6 of 8
I've got the Xiaomi Piston 3's and I find them incredible for the $22 asking price.  I have not heard the 2's but based on other comments the 3.0's are less v-shaped than the 2's.  I would liken the tonality to the IE800's (yes, own both) but obviously not nearly on the same planet technicality-wise.  They are both bass boosted with balanced mids and clear highs.  I've been recommending them to everyone I know that doesn't want to spend an arm and a leg on quality sound.  I did swap the ear tips but you could pickup the earphones and some JVC spiral dot tips off amazon for roughly $40 shipped.
Oct 17, 2015 at 12:23 AM Post #7 of 8
Well, I have to say I'm not very happy with my Steinheisers at all. I tried to save some money buy buying these ones out of the box, so maybe they're knockoffs? They look exactly the same as the photos. But yeah, there's almost no bass. A house record with a booming kick drum thats basically a low sine wave, like an 808 kick, sounds like almost nothing on these headphones.
Oct 17, 2015 at 11:15 PM Post #8 of 8
Actually, I take that back! With my old headphones and player, bass sounded good at low levels, and would thin out relative to the rest of the music the louder I turned it up; with these, the bass is almost inaudible at very low levels, and pretty full at higher ones.
I'm using them with a fiio X1 so maybe the amp performs differently than my old player. Anyway, they sound great. Thank you all for the recommendations. I am also very happy the copied Sony's L-shaped jack and the asymmetrical cord length, so one bud can wrap around behind your head.

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