Earbuds. Recommend me one to replace the iPod article.
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bangraman

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Since buying my first iPod in April-ish of last year, I've worked my way through about nine of them including three warranty replacements during what must have been a particularly bad batch from Apple, with a break of about two months late last year when I gave up with it for a while.


During that time, I must have sampled the iPod earphones for about 30 minutes. I have this usually well-founded phobia of inclusive earphones and until recently I didn't really do any involved listening of it. I thought they were OK, but it's only these last couple of weeks that I've been hanging around for any serious length of time with the iPod earphones.


I like them. I must be one of the few who fit these phones, since I've been looking at a lot of commuters with iPods recently and I do notice that especially on the women, a substantial portion of the buds doesn't seem to fit in their ear. I think they're very musical and better for casual listening than the MX300/500. What I would not mind though is more detail and top-end clarity, without the loss of the fairly liquid mids and the decent lows (I dont use EQ on the iPod). Stylewise, well if there's a well designed one I'll pay for it but it's not absolutely necessary.


So, I'm soliciting recommendations (If you've not heard what you're recommending, say so) for an earbud which is better than the iPod's in the way I mentioned. Since their size doesnt seem to be an issue for me, anything as big would not be a problem. No limit on the budget.
 
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doctorjuggles

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I've loooked at your profile and I'm not sure I understand your question. You own Ety's and Shure top-of-the-range, and you're asking for recommendations for some earphones for your iPod?

Anyway, with that said, I'm replying assuming that you want some cheapish 'muck about' phones, almost throwaway, but with some decent sound. As such, take what I say with that in mind, and my apologies if that's not what you're looking for.

No doubt I'll get caned on this board for this, but may I make a hearty recommendation of a couple of cheapish earphones in the Sony range. The Sony MDR-ED21 and MDR-ED31.

Now, I'm the first to admit that these don't even approach audiophile quality, but I've used these things with both of my minidisc players with good results, and they're certainly much better with my iPod than those stock earphones. I'm the same as you, no problems fitting them in my ear, but they just don't really do the business for me.

Those two Sonys have a good sound to them and they've also got a useful design where the bass is chanelled into your ear without having to resort to the in-your-brain mechanics of canal phones.

They also compare favourably to the EX71s, far less boomy bass and much better rendering of mid-range.

Also, I've tailored this reply seeing the 'near Blair's lair' quote. They're easily available in the UK (although from your list I can see that you have no problems finding cans from wherever,) but I thought it would be easier to recommend local.

My £0.02
 
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bangraman

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I suppose I should have made that clear. I'm looking for non-isolating regular earphones.
 
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jesse_w

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Well I don't know if they fit your personal portable criteria because of the driver unit and apparently bad battery life, but perhaps the Stax SR-001MKII is worth a try? I haven't heard them which is actually why I suggest them... I'm interested in more impressions of their sound
They don't isolate AFAIK.

Again I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for, but its an interesting thought and you seem to like to experiment.

-jesse
 
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bangraman

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What are the odds of me having owned one of those?


100%



I liked them (great mids/lows) but their highs are if anything even more missing than the iPod earphones, there's the cigarette-packet sized exciter to carry with the 4 hour battery endurance and they don't actually stay in your ear that well (the headband is very useful).


I'm looking for merely a non-isolating earphone. No amps, no exciters, not even a volume control.
 
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Gergor

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Don't you have a ATH-EM7? What happened to it?
 
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bangraman

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It got lent, lost, found and it's supposed to be coming back. They'll be used but I'm searching for an earbud.
 
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minya

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Nine iPods...

Ouch.

- Chris
 
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I will probably get slammed for this...

I have had great success with my iPod and Bang and Olufsen A8s.

I find that they are very unique and extremely stylish, extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and are excellent at the gym or walking around on the streets.

Regarding sound quality, I would say that they have excellent highs and mids. Lows leave a bit to be desired, but it is my experience that the lows are on-par with any earbud.

Overall, I have had tremendous success with my A8s and highly recommend them.
 
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bangraman

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What's your opinion of them specifically versus the regular iPod phones?
 
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kent1146

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They give so much more "life" to the music. The iPod earphones, to me, are very lifeless and bland.

They greatly increase the detail and clarity of mids and highs. I like to hear the energy and emotion conveyed by voice in songs. They are incredible with voice and high-energy guitar, and give nice, tight, clear bass (though I would not consider the bass to be strong or thumpy).

They never feel heavy, fatiguing, or burdensome. I can, and have, worn them for several hours at a time with great comfort. They are extremely light, and will not move around while on your ears. Excellent for working out and jogging.

I would say that in terms of sound quality/price ratio, you would be better suited to look at other brands/models. However, if you factor in comfort and style, there is no other headphone that can match the A8s.




As a final testament to how much I appreciate my A8s, I once rushed out the door when I was trying to catch a plane for a business trip, and did not bother looking for my A8s (I keep the stock iPod earphones in my briefcase so that I will always have a pair of earphones with me). I felt like half of me was incomplete while on this trip, since I missed the sound out of my A8s and Grados so much. The iPod earbuds seem so dull and lifeless when compared to the A8s.

I am listening to Layla right now on the A8s while a bit drunk, and I must tell you, it is heaven. I just ordered a pair of Ety 4Ps today from Headroom, and I could not bring myself to sell these on eBay.

So, I wholeheartedly recommend the A8s as excellent headphones to purchase if you like to hear your trebles and like style and comfort in your headphones. Just don't buy mine!
 
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