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IEM or earbuds, comtortable, but under $30 - best options?

  1. poikkeus
    Sometimes, I have issues sleeping - so I listen to podcasts or audiobooks on a iPod Touch. The sound is clear and concise, but those ear buds are irritating, impossible to use while sleeping, and constantly fall out of my ears.
     
    I'm looking for an earbud/IEM that's (1) relatively cheap (under $30), (2) has well-defined, non-boomy sound (my Apple earbuds with mic sound fine, but can hurt with continued use), and (3) as stated, I want a really comfortable fit.
     
    All the reviews I've found on Amazon seem alike, so I'd be obliged if you could list your top picks. Thanks!
     
  2. stevenswall
    For Comfort, I don't think the Klipsch Image s2 can be beat at that price range. It's smaller and fits better than any other earphone I've tried, except for the Klipsch Image X10, which is more like $150.
     
  3. JK1
    The JVC Air Cushion is very comfortable and under $20. So is the Panasonic HJE350. These don't stick out from my ears, and I imagine that would be the case for many people. These sound rather decent for the price.
     
  4. Angelopsaro
    Soundmagic pl30 is definitely a good choice and they can be found even $20
     
  5. JK1
    Another option is the Sennheiser MX580 earbuds($25).
     
  6. poikkeus
    Great picks - I'd like to try, or buy, all of them.
     
    I finally chose the Creative EP-630i; I've owned a 630 before. It's rated very high on sound quality and reliability, and has the added bonus that it can be used as a mic with the iPod Touch. The price is around $30 if you shop around.
     
                               images.jpg
     
  7. stevenswall
    Comfort: Which will press the least on the ear canal?
     
    Notice how with medium tips, the Creative has a larger body than the eartip. Then notice how the Klipsch S2 is significantly smaller than the medium sized eartips (and Klipsch eartips at a medium size are smaller than Creative ones to boot!)
     
    I find that often it's the housing of the headphone that's uncomfortable, and in that case, smaller is better. Then comes the eartips. Oval ones fit better in most peoples canals, because most people don't have perfect circles leading to their eardrum. Either way, the Creative may be comfortable for you, but if it's not, try something vastly different as far as IEM's go: the Klipsch Image S2.
    images.jpg [​IMG]
     
  8. GigaFi
    Interesting, didn't realize they made an EP-630 with a mic.
     
    I'd recommend the Philips SHE3580, I prefer it over the EP630s in terms of sound though both are very comfortable.
     
     
  9. poikkeus
    stevenswall,
     
    My situation is complicated by the fact that my ear canals are wider than average. The Creative does have a wider body, to accommodate my bigger ear canals. The Klipsch has a sleek, angled design that recalls the Etys; however, I'll be sleeping with my ear gear on, and I fear that the Klipsch may be a problem if I turn around in bed. 
     
    I've also tried the inexpensive Apple IEM, but the ear piece is too small (even at its biggest size) to make for a complete seal. There are several possible solutions for the latter I'm working on.
     
  10. stevenswall
    ^There are larger tips for the Klipsch, and that's what seals the ear... the size of the body is so small that most people I've seen try them can fit them in up to the stem where it connects to the cable. I don't think many other 'phones can achieve that deep of a seal, and since your ear canal gets smaller the deeper you go, you should have no problem using the largest tips since it goes so deep. I have large canals too, and the Klipsch Image X10 and S2 fit more comfortably than anything else I've tried. (My Avatar picture has a piece of the earphone that goes into the ear. It's about 13mm, and I can fit it all the way in. I haven't had anyone else succeed at this.)
     
  11. poikkeus
    The Klipsch certainly is appealing, and I wish I had more of a chance of sample them. The X10 is about five times more than I'm willing to pay, but the S2 gets good reviews. The only problem with the S2 is that they have an angled architecture, which means that I can't sleep wearing them. It's possible that the S3 might answer this problem.
     
    With the EP 630i, I get comfort, good sound, and the ability to use them as a mic. The sound could have more articulate bass and more refined highs, but the seal is secure and lasts for hours. But you can be sure that I'm monitoring them for their one main issue: after extended use, they have a tendency to lose signal on one channel. I noticed the same problem with a Shure IEM. 
     
  12. stevenswall
    ^Ok, first things first: I have an OEM headphone that is the same size and type as your Creative one. I cannot stand lying down on my side with it in my ear. The Klipsch Image (either one) is not nearly so uncomfortable, as it goes in deeper, and the stem is less of a nuisance (it's soft as well, instead of hard plastic like the Creative.)
     
    Here's a picture of my X10 Klipsch in my ear:
     
    SAM_0040_edt.jpg
     
    Hopefully you get a better idea of the size and how it fits. The stem of the earphone is poking out from my ear about 4mm I'd guess, and with smaller tips (I have the largest ones one in the picture) I could no doubt seat them even deeper in my ear canal. Anyway, I'm glad your Creative ones are working for you though... You must have much larger ear canals than I though. I can't bear to lie down with any earphones but these.
     
  13. dziendobry
    Spider Cable Tiny Ear - $30 on the fleabay
     
    I bought them from directron directly they are in Houston.
     

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