Portables with cord mic and controls under $50?
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TheCrusher

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Hi,
 
I'm new here.  I've just taken my first steps into the world of headhpones that don't completely suck with the purchase of a pair of JVC Flats (HAS160).  They sound fantastic to me.  So naturally I want to ruin all that by getting something even better.  No wait.
 
I ordered them (after reading about them on head-fi) thinking I'd use them around the house.  But they're so small and lightweight I could see using them out and about in the world.  Driven by my Galaxy S3.  But the downside is if the cell phone rings, I have to take it out and unplug the headphones, yada yada, you get the picture.
 
So that leads me to my next gear acquisition syndrome manifestation.  What can I get that will sound at least as good as the Flats, and be just as small and comfortable (or preferably a little less hot on the ears), but also have a mic and cord controls that are compatible with my android phone, all for the minimum possible price?
 
Also more generally, does the mic and/or cord controls impact the audio quality at all?
 
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Seekky

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MH1C
 
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TheCrusher

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Sorry, I shoulda been more clear.  I'm interested in on-ear not in-ear.  For the moment anyway.
 
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Seekky

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what's your budget
 
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TheCrusher

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Under $50 for now.  The more under, the better.
 
Maybe I should say more about what I want in terms of audio.  I listen to rock, jazz, blues, funk, and classical.  I want to hear everything.  All the parts.  All the instruments. Solid bass that sounds big but doesn't overwhelm, mids that make me notice things in the music I hadn't noticed before, and crisp clear treble that doesn't blow up and get all distorted.  That's all.  Nothing special.
 
All for the low low price of $19.95?
 
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Seekky

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Philips downtown
 
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TheCrusher

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Huh.  It looks like this product almost doesn't exist, at least from a reputable name.  The JVC SR500 comes pretty close.  It's a little bulkier but still looks pretty small (why don't they put a ruler in their photos, or provide a photo of it being worn??).  I don't know how the sound would compare.  I couldn't find any reviews here on head-fi.  And that has a mic and only a single button for answering.  No volume.
 
There's also a Pioneer Steez 721, but that looks way bulkier, like a beats wannabe.  I think it's circumaural.
 

Hey manufacturers, look!  A market niche!
 
I suppose I could buy some JVC flats and some cheap earbuds and then perform horrible, unnatural experiments on them.
 
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eyalcat

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Quote:
what's your budget

Regardless to a certain budget, are there any head-phones (IEM over-ear etc.) except the MH1C, with 3 buttons in the remote that work on android devices?
I'm not talking about the OOTB phones that come with the smartphones.
 
Thanks
 
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Seekky

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Quote:
Regardless to a certain budget, are there any head-phones (IEM over-ear etc.) except the MH1C, with 3 buttons in the remote that work on android devices?
I'm not talking about the OOTB phones that come with the smartphones.
 
Thanks
S4A, but they sound like poops. that's the only one i know other than MH1C.
 
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TheCrusher

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Yeah the more I look the more I think you're correct.  There's the headphone that comes with my S3, which you can find online, but not from any "official" source (e.g. Samsung and Verizon don't seem to sell it separately).  I did also find this one: http://www.discountcell.com/cellular/pn/samsung_11801nz?gclid=CLbo4aGxtLYCFRCpnQodCAIAAg (similar but not the same as my headphones) but I have no idea if it's legit or not.
 
The only other option I can find is to do it yourself, either hacking the cord from existing headphones that work, or by hacking a generic cord via this instructables page.
 
You'd think that there'd be somebody out there trying to fill this market niche.
 
     tom
 
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Seekky

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Good news guys. check out the LG Quadbeat
 
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TheCrusher

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Here's some technical info for anyone that cares.
 
Suppose this is your plug:
    |
    |  cord
   [ ]  ground
   [ ]  mic
   [ ]  right
   [ ]  left
   V  tip
 
Listed there is the standard wiring of the connector, where standard means "Not Apple".  Apple reverses the ground and the mic.
 
So that's the first difference.  And it may or may not matter, depending on how things are made.  Because more or less how things work is that you apply a signal to the "mic" line, and the microphone causes varying impedance based on your voice and then you look for the changing microphone signal on the "ground" line (accounting of course for the left and right signals which also end up on the ground line -- this is not hard to handle, but since it's not relevant here, we'll just call it "magic").
 
So there is some microphone hardware that cares which side has a signal and which side is ground.  And there is also microphone hardware which does not care.  So it's possible, in terms of hardware, to have a headset where the microphone works between both standards with no problem.  But it seems that a great many headphones use microphone hardware that does in fact care which way is which, and therefore the microphone does not work cross-platform.  Only an electrical engineer can really figure out the difference by examining up close which headsets might be the former or the latter.  Of course non-engineers can just plug the fool thing in and see what happens.
 
So that's the mic.  Then there's the issue of the buttons.
 
The buttons all use the mic/ground line combination for signaling.  That's because if they used one of the speaker lines, you'd hear it, and that'd be annoying.  The simplest button that often works across devices is the pause/play button.  The pause/play button basically shorts the mic and ground lines together, with very little resistance.  It doesn't usually matter whether the mic and ground are reversed or not because the hardware is usually looking for a short, and it can find it.  So that button usually works.  Unless the hardware is looking for some particular blend of "magic" in which case it's still possible for this button to not work.  But mostly, yeah, it works.
 
That brings us to the Other Two Buttons.  I'm using this name, which I'll abbreviate as OTBs, because these buttons may control the volume, or the FF/REW, or the skip ahead/back functionality (or perhaps even that light in my basement that nothing else seems to control).  One never knows.
 
So on the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the OTBs also short the Mic and Ground, but with more resistance (or impedance, depending on the "magic").  220 ohms and 600 ohms.  Presumably these are very different from the impedances generated by the microphone itself, and the phone can tell the difference between someone pressing a button and someone who is simply berating their spouse in a very loud and obnoxious voice.  Other phones SEEM to use similar values, but it doesn't seem to be well standardized.

And then of course there is Apple.  Nobody really knows how their OTBs work.  It's possible that they have little gremlins that run up and down the wire carrying messages of which button you press.  Although, admittedly, this is not very likely.  And to be fair, when I say "Nobody", I actually mean "Apple, and some other electrical engineers, and also this guy".  Still, for our purposes, it's magic, or gremlins or what have you.  But this is why apple headphones don't work on non-apple products, unless the particular product has gone to the trouble of reverse-engineering the Apple headphones, and providing hardware in their phone to recognize Apple style headphones.  And some have done that, (so I've heard) but it doesn't seem to be common.
 
Still, after all that I'm still perplexed.  Yes, the Apple remote controls use some 'magic' that may not be cost effective to reproduce.  But the Samsung uses a couple of switches and a couple of resistors.  It should be cheap and easy to replicate.  We should be up to our armpits in them.
 
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