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How do people feel about earbuds?

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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Yep, earbuds. There are 2 occasions when I wear headphones in general: FPS/competitive gaming, and breaks at work.

I use my Turtle Beach PX22's for gaming. They're the most affordable option I could find with an inline amp, separate USB sound device for chat and a comfortable over-ear design (I have really big ears). They're also the only pair of over ear headphones I have any more, my last pair being a nice set of Sonys with titanium drivers that my dad managed to get wrapped up into his bike chain. I do have both the X31s and X41s, but I bought them for the Xbox 360, and once I stopped playing that I stopped being interested in the problems with wireless headsets.

For breaks at work, I have 2 sets of earbuds now. I have had a set of Skullcandy Ink'd that I absolutely love. For $20, you can't possibly beat them. Sony, JVC, nobody does $20 earbuds better than SC. I have and will also NEVER consider spending more than $20 for earbuds. They're just two easy to lose, break or otherwise not have anymore. I won't do it. Unless I'm buying a new phone, that is. I guess. I got my B&O Play H3 yesterday. Retail is $150. Yea, that's like 7.5 times more expensive than I'm willing to pay. Got them for free with my LG V20. Before I found out that the Pixel was only on Verizon (I have AT&T), I picked the V20 over it for 2 reasons, and you may have guessed them. The built in quad DAC and the free set of headphones.

First things first, I want to ask what the best set of earbuds people here have are? How do you feel about them compared with other styles of headphones, and what do you primarily use and why? How do they compare with other headphones you have/use as far as sound quality?

Next, I want to tell you about my first impressions with these headphones, as they're currently the most expensive headphones I use. The packaging is very minimalist, which I like very much. A simple white box with a window that shows the headphones, jack and inline mic/remote. They come with 4 sets of ear "cups?", or whatever you want to call them, from XS to L. I'm a small, which is strange when you look at the size of my ears, but what can you do, right? I digress.... Anyway, they also come with a very nice carry bag, that has two compartments, one of which has found my Ink'd. The headphones themselves feel very well made. I won't go into much detail there, since you can find out more from a simple Google search, but the housing is a solid piece of metal with precision drilled holes. They're very nice looking as well. One thing that makes me a little nervous is the cord. If it's constructed as well as the headphones and jack seem to be, it won't be a problem, but holy crap is that cord skinny. We shall see, I suppose.

As far as fit, they're the angled type of headphones. The housing is a little bigger than I like, but I think I'll get used to them. I can only wear them for about 30 minutes before they become uncomfortable, where I can wear my Ink'd for many hours. They're new though, so we'll see.

Quality wise, they're easily the best sounding headphones I currently own. I seem to remember my Sonys sounding better, but since I don't have them anymore, I can't really be sure. My only complaint here is that they're not as loud as my Ink'd. They do however block sound out way better, so I guess they don't really need to be as loud.

Here's some pictures of them:

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

So yea, let's talk about earbuds.

PS: I really need to clean my desk....
 

NiHaoMike

dBa Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Don't confuse IEMs (what you showed here) with actual earbuds. Unlike earbuds, IEMs are actually designed to seal in order to increase audio quality and isolation.

My personal favorites are the Xiaomi Piston 3 and Xiaomi Mi Hybrid. The Mi Hybrid is an updated version with slightly better audio quality. Both are regarded as the best available in the under $100 range, despite going for $20-30 from reputable sources.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Don't like them. IEMs or earbuds. But, BUT, it's a personal preference. I don't care for the sound quality. Also noting I have spent a bit more than average for my sound system, while not "high end", it's certainly above the middle tier of good mid range equipment. Something to keep in mind, our ears are "trained" to hear distortion as volume listening to low end gear. Clean, accurately produced sound won't sound as "loud" as distorted square wave noise-but it is. It's much easier to damage your hearing with a clean signal because the common triggers for high volume aren't there. I have had my stereo up to what I thought were comfortably loud levels and had neighbors say they heard it clearly. A little too clearly. LOL
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I haven't tried any higher end IEMs but in general I don't like anything sealed to my ear. This includes some closed back headphones too, if they seal well they give a pressure sensation which I don't find comfortable at all.

Earbud wide I bought a pair of VE Monk Plus which seem to be highly regarded and disposable cheap. They're pretty good although a bit bass heavy for my musical tastes, but I use them as part of my lightweight VR setup and they do well there.
 
OP
D

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Don't confuse IEMs (what you showed here) with actual earbuds. Unlike earbuds, IEMs are actually designed to seal in order to increase audio quality and isolation.

My personal favorites are the Xiaomi Piston 3 and Xiaomi Mi Hybrid. The Mi Hybrid is an updated version with slightly better audio quality. Both are regarded as the best available in the under $100 range, despite going for $20-30 from reputable sources.

In my mind any headphones that enter the ear canal are "ear buds". To me, the difference between them is akin to the difference between on ear and over ear headphones. I'm certainly no expert, though, and would love to learn more.
 

Soulcatcher668

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
I prefer a seal on my earbuds.

I have a set of Klipsch S4 right now and am looking at some Sennheiser IE80 in the near future.
I only use them with my phone as I run AKG Q701 open headphones on my PC.

I think the secret with earbud is finding the correct tips to fit your ear canal.
 
OP
D

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I prefer a seal on my earbuds.

I have a set of Klipsch S4 right now and am looking at some Sennheiser IE80 in the near future.
I only use them with my phone as I run AKG Q701 open headphones on my PC.

I think the secret with earbud is finding the correct tips to fit your ear canal.

This is true, I've had JVC headphones with tips similar to the foam ear plugs and I could only wear them for about an hour before they became uncomfortable. I find the silicone tips to be much more comfortable, provided I can get the right size.
 

TechWizard

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
I have used ear buds for a loooooooooooong time - despite the fact that I'm with JrClocker on the "hurt and sore". Most ear buds make my ears hurt like hell after a day of use and with daily use after a week they're sore and it doesn't get any better from there.

HOWEVER! I bought two things together that I hate. Bluetooth Earbuds. Bluetooth in the past has been incredibly unreliable for me and I can't say I had a ton of faith in the performance I was going to see.

I bought these for 40 bucks when they were a Shellshocker on Newegg last week.

They don't hurt. They don't make my ears sore. They last 10+ hours easy and the range is absolutely crazy. I hook these up to my laptop at work and walk around the whole office without any interference. At some places in the office I am 30+ feet away and still have zero glitching, pausing, buffering, etc - they just straight up play smoothly as if I was streaming from my phone in my pocket. They cut out only after I walk down the hall to the bathroom which is definitely over 50-60ft from the source and I make it quite far down the hallway before it drops.

Simply put, I never thought I would have reliable, comfortable, and nice sounding Bluetooth headphones - ever. So far these exceed my expectations on all levels and I've owned more Bluetooth ear pieces and headsets than I want to admit.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
I go through a lot of earbuds/IEMs, always a different pair. Just seems that it's a lot harder to find a set that's "worth it" compared to a set of full cans, but I'm not keeping my DT770s in my pants pocket. My last few sets of IEMs?

Shure SE215s - Impulse buy at an airport kiosk after I lost one of the buds on my previous set of IEMs on a business trip. Overpaid by about 25%, but I wasn't about to fly from Phoenix to Dulles listening to wind noise, screaming kids, and the annoying yuppie couple I always manage to sit behind. Probably my favorite sound on this list, problem being they wrap around the ear, which I can't stand over extended periods.

Fiio EX1s - Open back earbuds? Had to try them. Bad idea. Real bright, first time I actually said "ooh that's the sibilant thingy all them audio guys talk about".

Sennheiser Momentums- First time I was...disappointed in a set of Senns. Didn't like the stock earbuds, tossed on a set of Complys. Sound is kinda dull and unimpressive. But hey, I got a free USB hub with them :D

Sennheiser CX686Gs - Actually not terrible for a set of sport IEMs, decent sound and reasonably comfortable. Not a fan of the green though.

Might be slightly biased on that last one though, always been a little fanboi-ish towards the CX line.
 
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habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Tbh because I have a hearing problem with my right ear I basically prefer earbuds as in ear simply works better. I'd definitely get some bt wireless ones for my phone or tablet. I bought some etymotic earbuds for my dad. But on the whole I dislike earbuds and headphones for the simple reason they block out the outside world. There is a headphone on kickstarter, not sure if it's fr sale, but they do incorporate the outside world sounds into the mix. If you need them that bad that is.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Seems like it defeats the purpose of letting other sounds in...almost counterintuitive even (sure there are uses for it). If I want to hear the outside world while listening to cans/buds, I keep the volume down. :)
 

Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
Actually I prefer IEM more since it's smaller and easier to carry around especially at work, I can even sleep with them compared to Headphones.
But honestly I don't really know the difference, or maybe I forgotten the difference in sound ? Since I never really own a pair of high end audiophile grade Headphones before but I've tested quite few it sounded amazing.
So are there even any differences honestly when comparing a Headphone and IEM in terms of sound quality ?? I do own pair of " gaming headset " ( Siberia Elite Prism and it's huge ) no where near my Momentum In-Ears...difference in size is great but the sound quality is even greater !
Ironically the smaller fellow won instead lol..

But I maybe planning on getting some new Headphone / IEM, but I can't decide should I go back with IEM or Headphones....I just don't understand how IEM are so small yet it cost as expensive or even more than some Headphones...
What's everyone opinion on what should I go for ? I normally listen to music with quite lot of " bass " and " boomy sound ".

While we at it, my friend kept introducing me SONY and JVC....I never try them before or even own them. Are they any good in terms of Performance and Quality ( Life Span / Durability )
Though I've always felt that SONY is just overpriced, like Razer products or am I wrong ?

- - - Updated - - -

I go through a lot of earbuds/IEMs, always a different pair. Just seems that it's a lot harder to find a set that's "worth it" compared to a set of full cans, but I'm not keeping my DT770s in my pants pocket. My last few sets of IEMs?

Shure SE215s - Impulse buy at an airport kiosk after I lost one of the buds on my previous set of IEMs on a business trip. Overpaid by about 25%, but I wasn't about to fly from Phoenix to Dulles listening to wind noise, screaming kids, and the annoying yuppie couple I always manage to sit behind. Probably my favorite sound on this list, problem being they wrap around the ear, which I can't stand over extended periods.

Fiio EX1s - Open back earbuds? Had to try them. Bad idea. Real bright, first time I actually said "ooh that's the sibilant thingy all them audio guys talk about".

Sennheiser Momentums- First time I was...disappointed in a set of Senns. Didn't like the stock earbuds, tossed on a set of Complys. Sound is kinda dull and unimpressive. But hey, I got a free USB hub with them :D

Sennheiser CX686Gs - Actually not terrible for a set of sport IEMs, decent sound and reasonably comfortable. Not a fan of the green though.

Might be slightly biased on that last one though, always been a little fanboi-ish towards the CX line.

@@ I'm surprised someone actually dislike the Momentum In-Ears...though individual preference. Could be not suited for the music you listen to.
Tell you something crazy, my friend owns IE 800, yet I like the Momentum more over the IE 800....LOL. Crazy right ?
 
OP
D

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
JVC and Sony are both unimpressive compared to many other manufacturers. They can be beat in every price range that I know of. Neither are terrible, mind you, but still.

As far as headphones vs IEMs/earbuds, it depends on how you intend to use them and where you intend to keep them. Most of the time, headphones will sound better compared to similarly priced in-ear phones, in my experience. In-ear phones are more convenient for carrying around and using while moving, and usually aren't as hard for portable devices to drive.
 

mimart7

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
I really like my Shure 215's. They are a great value for the money, they can be found for around $80.00. I have ordered the Noble X from the Massdrop. If all you are listening to mp3 files, lower priced iem, earbuds, etc, are a good option. Higher end gear, will allow flac files or hd audio files shine, but will highlight how bad low quality audio files sound.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Sennhieser CX1.00 are what I have at work. Nice bass and crisp sounds. I installed the largest set of cushions that came with it. Blocks out the outside noise and really amps up the bass.
Best $70 I've spend on heaphones.
 

noxqzs

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Location
Boston, MA
I have gone through a few sets of IEMs but my favorite for acoustic/voice has been the Westone W40. They are on the pricier end of the spectrum but nowhere near the price of really good ones. My best set right now are Shure 835 and they have unbelievable sound, especially bass. I have had both for a couple of years right now and I use them daily. I sold all my headphones since acquiring both IEMs. The one thing which I found is the most important is choosing the right tips for the ears. Some days I can go on for 4-6 hours without discomfort and am limited by my battery life.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
@@ I'm surprised someone actually dislike the Momentum In-Ears...though individual preference. Could be not suited for the music you listen to.
Tell you something crazy, my friend owns IE 800, yet I like the Momentum more over the IE 800....LOL. Crazy right ?

I listen to everything from electronic to rock (Foo Fighters, Blink 182, etc) andthey're not at all bad, and I bet I'd have a better review if I had grabbed a pair for $75 or so. But I got them overseas and ended up paying about $130us, then toss in another ~$15 for the Complys.
 

Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
I listen to everything from electronic to rock (Foo Fighters, Blink 182, etc) andthey're not at all bad, and I bet I'd have a better review if I had grabbed a pair for $75 or so. But I got them overseas and ended up paying about $130us, then toss in another ~$15 for the Complys.

Hmm strange I tried many different IEM before but I don't own them of course, I find the Momentum is still best suited for this kind of music the ones you mentioned lol.
And it still sound great when comes to more " Classical " music or bit more " acoustic " music I not sure what you call them...music with like piano / guitar ( classical guitar ) or even orchestral music.

But I did tweak the EQ a little when I'm listening to my music, I can't stand Flat EQ for my kind of music, I listen to Metal and Industrial Electro ( The Unguided, Demon Hunter, Impending Doom, FGFC820, Agonize, you can check them out see how they sound lol but a word of warning I'm not held responsible for your ears bleeding lol )

JVC and Sony are both unimpressive compared to many other manufacturers. They can be beat in every price range that I know of. Neither are terrible, mind you, but still.

As far as headphones vs IEMs/earbuds, it depends on how you intend to use them and where you intend to keep them. Most of the time, headphones will sound better compared to similarly priced in-ear phones, in my experience. In-ear phones are more convenient for carrying around and using while moving, and usually aren't as hard for portable devices to drive.

Will headphones bass sound more " boomy " ? As you know like Closed back headphones and Open back are different. I hate Open back ones, since the sound will leak out of the headphone and the bass isn't as " punchy " / " boomy " as Closed back.
So what about IEM vs Closed back headphones, will there be a noticeable difference ?

Since you did mentioned JVC and SONY is rather overpriced, what would you suggest ?
Actually I shouldn't have asked whether if JVC and SONY are any good, my friend recommended me this brand or specifically the models are from these brands, FX850, XBA-A3 is more suited for me and my music.
And I'm not surprise, since I do have a hard time finding the suitable IEM / headphone for my taste. As I mentioned above I even find my Momentum In-Ears sounded better than my friend's IE 800 when it comes to my music.
But of course the IE 800 sounded amazing....it literally **** all over my Momentum In-Ears except it didn't sound good when listening to my music or rather It can't proudce the sound I wanted out of it maybe.

I think IEM would be better then, at my work place the only storage place I have is a locker...for me to constantly access it just to get my headphones out it definitely be a pain in the ***, I use them quite often at work place, daily to be honest, especially during break time, Music is my escape.
But I would still want a good headphone for my PC when gaming, currently I'm using a Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism, I paid like 280$ for this headset...honestly and it sounds like **** even plugged into my dedicated sound card....even my cheaper Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears will walk all over this headset...
I wonder will the sound still be good when using IEM for gaming, I tried with my Momentum In-Ears it sounded quite bad honestly...I don't know why...
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Will headphones bass sound more " boomy " ?

"Boomy" is a word generally used as a negative when describing bass reproduction. It indicates poor amplifier/driver control or room acoustics. Sort of an over represented, formless blob of low tones. Punchy usually denotes an amplfier or speaker's ability to handle transients well, either "quick" drivers or plenty of reserve power in an amplifier, but either way is quick delivery of clear, coherent music in the lower registers. One of my gripes with most "affordable" headphones is the over emphasis on bass, with zero ability to control it. ("Beats" are a perfect example.) I tend to prefer no EQ, with as little between the source and my ears as possible, but that's a personal preference and no way disparages other solutions.