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Earphones (IEMs) and Headphones Fan Thread


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#1 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

First off, I am not the most knowledgeable on this subject and I am just strictly a fan with a few earphones, not a sound engineer.

But from my experiences and from other people's, it is very important to get a pair of earphones/headphones that offer something more than the crappy stock earbuds that get bundled with every single music player that you can think of. They are good if you don't have anything else but if you do, don't use them!

Apple earbuds do not cut it.

For $30 dollars as a replacement, these earphones are not only fragile but produce poor sound quality. Most of the impact/detail of the music is automatically missing as soon as you play your music. Not to mention the sound leakage is notoriously bad. You could most definitely get something better at that price, or a little bit more.

So, do you guys/girls use earphones and/or headphones or both? If not, which ones have you tried?



So far, I own:

Etymotic ER4P
Posted Image


These ones offer superior clarity. The vocals and instrumentals on it are outstanding. The bass is something people complain about, and admittedly, I don't feel it is appropriate for listening to electronica songs that have a focus on bass. But it is AWESOME for rock, pop, classical - basically most other genres.

One thing about these earphones is that they have not been changed by Etymotic for over 10 years. They're old but they still hold up!

Replaceable cables, but would need to send to manufacturer for them to do it.

Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro


Posted Image


These are much more bassy than the Etymotic ER4Ps. Pretty good clarity. I think it's an all-around excellent earphone. It's pretty much good for any genre, though I still think the ER4Ps are much more subtle and better for Rock/classical/instrumental songs.

Replaceable cables, which can be purchased online quite easily.






Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 (in blue)

Posted Image

These are awesome earphones.

SO clear - listening to songs is heavenly. Bass is really strong, but tight and controlled. Good soundstage. Instrumental separation is pretty amazing on these.


Replaceable cables, just like above.




Which ones do you currently own?

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 12:43 AM.

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#2 Wetcoaster

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:09 AM

Koss PortaPro's were outstanding in 1984 and they remain so today.

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Oh yeah and a lifetime warranty.

CNET review
http://reviews.cnet....7-32897197.html

http://www.amazon.ca...d_bxgy_ce_img_b
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#3 schlaBAM

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:21 AM

I have green studio beats (selling, least favorite of what I own)
Posted Image

I also have Sony XB700s, which are literally the most comfortable things I have ever placed on my head (mind you, not against)
Although there is no noise cancellation on these, they cancel out noise better than the beats (which must take batteries, huge flaw).
The new model of these that Sony is currently selling is quite ugly, yet the specs are still incredible.
Posted Image

For snowboarding, I use Bose Triport earbuds. Bass is powerful for earbuds and are quite enjoyable to ride with on the mountain! Clarity is incredible too.
Posted Image

I'm a little bit of an audiophile, I love music.

Edited by schlaBAM, 08 December 2012 - 03:24 AM.

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#4 لني

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:05 AM

I had the Shure 535s but i left them in Singapore. :(

I have to get them couriered to me.
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View Postnhlconspiracy, on 21 April 2011 - 02:05 PM, said:

It is not my intent to get in circular arguments with anybody. The reason i have avoided saying anything specific is because i know you or someone else will attempt to find an alternate explanation to my points which i intern will have to defend. I see no point in getting involved with the circular argument that is already well under way in this thread. I simply intended to voice my opinion on the subject. In the end either you accept the possibility of corruption and conspiracy or you don't.

Also i find your comments to be very childish. Does taking what i say out of context, paraphrasing and misquoting it make you feel good about yourself? Grow up.

Logic at its finest.

#5 lx Birdie xl

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:37 AM

When travelling I use what ever sony earbuds that came with my cheap sony mp3 player. When at home I use my turtle beaches(connects to both my consoles and pc)
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#6 Pasific Coluseum

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

It looks like these IEM manufacturers have dressed up normal earphones with fancy ear tips and transparent wires to justify the premium prices. I seriously doubt there`s any difference between normal apple earbuds and these souped up riced out IEMs.
Companies just hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers is more like it!

Ill stick with my $1 stock earbuds which sound fine and do their job
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#7 Steve23

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

I've had a few that have come and gone

Headphones:
Grado HF-2, MS2i
AKG K701
Beyerdynamic DT880
Sennheiser HD600, HD800 (current)
Denon D2000, D5000, D700
Audio-Technical AH-AD2000

IEM:
Klipsch image s5
Shure e2c, e4c, sh-535
JH Audio JH13 (current)
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#8 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

It looks like these IEM manufacturers have dressed up normal earphones with fancy ear tips and transparent wires to justify the premium prices. I seriously doubt there`s any difference between normal apple earbuds and these souped up riced out IEMs.
Companies just hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers is more like it!

Ill stick with my $1 stock earbuds which sound fine and do their job


Erm, no.

The drivers are incredible on the earphones. The TripleFi 10 for example has three drivers - designed to handle the low-end, high-end and mid-range of music differently.

The UE900 has four drivers.

But it is not always the number of drivers that determine if they''re better than others or not. The quality of the drivers are obviously of most importance. One driver can do it if it's made well. (Etymotic ER4P for example)

Furthermore, it is not the bass of the earphones that make them "quality". The whole point of listening on good earphones is to hear the entire song, including instruments. You don't want earphones to drown out vocals or instrumentals. The Apple earbuds are not good earphones. They are most likely bass-driven to fool consumers that it is quality, while neglecting the instrumentals.

Honestly, until you've actually tried wearing them, you will never know ;) - Just go to a headphones store and try them out.

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 02:00 PM.

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#9 schlaBAM

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

It looks like these IEM manufacturers have dressed up normal earphones with fancy ear tips and transparent wires to justify the premium prices. I seriously doubt there`s any difference between normal apple earbuds and these souped up riced out IEMs.
Companies just hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers is more like it!

Ill stick with my $1 stock earbuds which sound fine and do their job


I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say you're completely wrong, apple earbuds are completely terrible. Of course you wouldn't know the difference in quality, as you've apparently never picked up a set worth more than 30 dollars. If apple's name wasn't on the earbuds, they would probably sell for 10 dollars. That's how cheap they are: there is no clarity, bass, or and crisp sounds whatsoever.

Edited by schlaBAM, 08 December 2012 - 01:49 PM.

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#10 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

I have green studio beats (selling, least favorite of what I own)
Posted Image

I also have Sony XB700s, which are literally the most comfortable things I have ever placed on my head (mind you, not against)
Although there is no noise cancellation on these, they cancel out noise better than the beats (which must take batteries, huge flaw).
The new model of these that Sony is currently selling is quite ugly, yet the specs are still incredible.
Posted Image

For snowboarding, I use Bose Triport earbuds. Bass is powerful for earbuds and are quite enjoyable to ride with on the mountain! Clarity is incredible too.
%20http://modmyi.com/attachments/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/600373-mios-beta-release-truck-bose_earbuds.png

I'm a little bit of an audiophile, I love music.


Nice earphones and headphones!

I like the (stainless steel? or aluminum?) finish of the Sony up above. Looks very strong and sturdy.

Interesting colour on the Beats! It seems that the other two earphones/headphones are better than the Beats.

I had the Shure 535s but i left them in Singapore. :(

I have to get them couriered to me.


Nice earphones! :)

Yes you should!


I've had a few that have come and gone

Headphones:
Grado HF-2, MS2i
AKG K701
Beyerdynamic DT880
Sennheiser HD600, HD800 (current)
Denon D2000, D5000, D700
Audio-Technical AH-AD2000

IEM:
Klipsch image s5
Shure e2c, e4c, sh-535
JH Audio JH13 (current)


Pretty sweet collection of earphones/headphones.

JH Audio! Pretty pricey!

Definitely a lot of recognizable names and model numbers!

When did you start getting into earphones/headphones?

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 01:57 PM.

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#11 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:58 PM

I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say you're completely wrong, apple earbuds are completely terrible. Of course you wouldn't know the difference in quality, as you've apparently never picked up a set worth more than 30 dollars. If apple's name wasn't on the earbuds, they would probably sell for 10 dollars. That's how cheap they are: there is no clarity, bass, or and crisp sounds whatsoever.


Exactly. It's difficult to describe how the wide variety of earphones/headphones are better than the Apple earbuds in ways where he could actually hear the difference. It's not like he can hear a sentence and comprehend why Apple earbuds are inferior.

There's a reason why they are a throw-in whenever you buy a player.
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#12 Wetcoaster

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

It looks like these IEM manufacturers have dressed up normal earphones with fancy ear tips and transparent wires to justify the premium prices. I seriously doubt there`s any difference between normal apple earbuds and these souped up riced out IEMs.
Companies just hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers is more like it!

Ill stick with my $1 stock earbuds which sound fine and do their job

And repeating advice given by others in respect of this poster...

Posted Image
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#13 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

Koss PortaPro's were outstanding in 1984 and they remain so today.

Posted Image

Oh yeah and a lifetime warranty.

CNET review
http://reviews.cnet....7-32897197.html

http://www.amazon.ca...d_bxgy_ce_img_b


These earphones look pretty good! I'm going to read up on them. Thanks for the link(s)

Hmm.. it is interesting that they decided not to change them at all. That's very intriguing.

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 02:18 PM.

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#14 Wetcoaster

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

These earphones look pretty good! I'm going to read up on them. Thanks for the link(s)

Hmm.. it is interesting that they decided not to change them at all. That's very intriguing.

Best part is the lifetime warranty...
http://www.koss.com/...anty_and_repair

Also they have updated the headphones with the Koss Touch Control (KTC) remote and microphone technology for iPhone, iPad and iPod.
http://www.koss.com/...n_Ear_Headphone

It also works with other smartphones as well and if not there are apps to allow android phones and tablets to access the KTC.
https://play.google....XRidXR0b24iXQ..

Edited by Wetcoaster, 08 December 2012 - 02:48 PM.

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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

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Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#15 BurnabyJoe

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

It looks like these IEM manufacturers have dressed up normal earphones with fancy ear tips and transparent wires to justify the premium prices. I seriously doubt there`s any difference between normal apple earbuds and these souped up riced out IEMs.
Companies just hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers is more like it!

Ill stick with my $1 stock earbuds which sound fine and do their job


I appreciate being frugal, but buddy you're deaf.

It's because of you people we have the loudness war.
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#16 schlaBAM

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

Nice earphones and headphones!

I like the (stainless steel? or aluminum?) finish of the Sony up above. Looks very strong and sturdy.

Interesting colour on the Beats! It seems that the other two earphones/headphones are better than the Beats.


The Sony headphones are very sturdy. The leather started to peel (they're two years old now) but I think that was partially because I got a bit of cologne on them, and I fall asleep with them on from time to time hahah. They've done me well, and are still comfy. The stainless steel finish is nice too, as they wont scratch as they rub up on things so that's a plus as well.
The beats are very fancy; that being said, they have the worst quality of the 3. It's more of a fashion statement than a music appeal, which is why they're bashed on so much. They aren't terrible, but for 350 bucks you can get a lot more (the Sonys were 179)
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#17 Hugemanskost

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

I highly recommend Marshall Major FX headphones. I got a pair last Christmas and, for $125, they are amazing. Decent bottom end, very good mid range and decent highs. Comfortable. 1/4 inch adapter. In-line remote.

I've heard headphones that cost three times as much not sound so good.
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#18 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

I appreciate being frugal, but buddy you're deaf.

It's because of you people we have the loudness war.

I appreciate being frugal, but buddy you're deaf.

It's because of you people we have the loudness war.


LOLOL.. it's so true.

I'm commuting on buses and I always hear some dude headbanging to music that leaks out to the environment. OH YEAH, blow those eardrums out!
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#19 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

I highly recommend Marshall Major FX headphones. I got a pair last Christmas and, for $125, they are amazing. Decent bottom end, very good mid range and decent highs. Comfortable. 1/4 inch adapter. In-line remote.

I've heard headphones that cost three times as much not sound so good.


Great recommendation! Always great to hear brands that outperform their more expensive competitors at a lower price. It'll be nice reading ;)
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#20 Markus Alexander Cody

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

I might try those Marshall headphones.. And against popular opinion, I might just invest some money into Dr. Dre beats. I know I know it's terrible but I like em and I can get em for a good price so it doesn't matter to me.
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#21 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:04 PM

I might try those Marshall headphones.. And against popular opinion, I might just invest some money into Dr. Dre beats. I know I know it's terrible but I like em and I can get em for a good price so it doesn't matter to me.


There are A LOT of fakes out there, but that applies for brands like Sennheiser too for their low-end price tag items, which IMO, is garbage and tarnishes the brand which actually does produce some really good stuff.

There's SO many earphones/headphones out there (not even suggesting a brand as that might reveal my own biasness) that you should totally do your own research rather than revert back to the most marketed brand.

Beats are bashed for the right reasons, I think. It's just not really that good, especially at its price. It's heavily marked up.

If you have money to throw around or "invest", you especially NEED to look at the stuff that's available.


Look at this list.

http://forum.blu-ray...ad.php?t=102358



Is a pretty damning testament that there's a lot of brands out there than what consumers are used to knowing. Most ppl will recognize Dr. Dre beats on that list immediately - but it is made by Monster. And Monster makes more than one product. Monster Turbine Pro Gold is one of their better items made. By contrast, Dr. Dre Beats really can't compare in all facets.

That list doesn't include IEM brands which some of which have already been mentioned in this thread.

There's really no excuse to spend your hard-earned money on a celebrity prop item. If you didn't know any better, that's fine - that's what marketing does though - inform or mislead the public.

But if you supposedly knew you were going into a trap, that's just ugh. It's like the insect that goes into a Venus fly trap.

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 04:27 PM.

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#22 nux4lyfe

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

There's about 50 of these threads..just do a search and I'm sure you'll get the answers you're looking for.
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#23 Steve23

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

Pretty sweet collection of earphones/headphones.

JH Audio! Pretty pricey!

Definitely a lot of recognizable names and model numbers!

When did you start getting into earphones/headphones?


Thanks! You have a pretty impressive collection of IEMs yourself - all of which I've read good things about. I was a bit of a music/headphone nut a few years back and amassed quite a collection of headphones/amps/DACS/aftermarket cables in the pursuit of good audio. I've scaled back recently and have whittled it down to the Sennheiser HD600, HD800 and JH13pros and have been happy enough for the time being.


Adding to the above.. a few months ago I picked up a pair of Incase Sonic headphones for a work trip. I wanted something relatively cheap that I could take with me in transit. They were just over $100 but have definitely taken me by surprise. I think they are starting to be discontinued, but they are probably the best bang-for-your buck headphones I've come across - comfy as heck too. Worth while to check out!

Edited by Steve23, 08 December 2012 - 05:26 PM.

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#24 schlaBAM

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

Is a pretty damning testament that there's a lot of brands out there than what consumers are used to knowing. Most ppl will recognize Dr. Dre beats on that list immediately - but it is made by Monster. And Monster makes more than one product. Monster Turbine Pro Gold is one of their better items made. By contrast, Dr. Dre Beats really can't compare in all facets.


Not anymore. Monster backed out of producing Beats, and that's mostly why you're seeing so many varieties of colours and types of BBD now: wireless, mixr, coloured solos, and new mini boomboxes. Most of Monster is overpriced as well (their HDMI cables for instance); high quality, but overpriced.

http://latimesblogs....headphones.html
article:
Spoiler

Edited by schlaBAM, 08 December 2012 - 07:06 PM.

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#25 Dazzle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

Thanks! You have a pretty impressive collection of IEMs yourself - all of which I've read good things about. I was a bit of a music/headphone nut a few years back and amassed quite a collection of headphones/amps/DACS/aftermarket cables in the pursuit of good audio. I've scaled back recently and have whittled it down to the Sennheiser HD600, HD800 and JH13pros and have been happy enough for the time being.


Adding to the above.. a few months ago I picked up a pair of Incase Sonic headphones for a work trip. I wanted something relatively cheap that I could take with me in transit. They were just over $100 but have definitely taken me by surprise. I think they are starting to be discontinued, but they are probably the best bang-for-your buck headphones I've come across - comfy as heck too. Worth while to check out!


Thanks! You're too kind! I am not quite a collector yet but one day, who knows?

That's awesome. Your current collection is wicked! What do you typically listen from? (What audio source?)

I've heard that aftermarket cables make a difference in sound - is it actually true? So, the stock cables actually limit the earphones? I haven't tried them before.

Not anymore. Monster backed out of producing Beats, and that's mostly why you're seeing so many varieties of colours and types of BBD now: wireless, mixr, coloured solos, and new mini boomboxes. Most of Monster is overpriced as well (their HDMI cables for instance); high quality, but overpriced.

http://latimesblogs....headphones.html
article:

Spoiler


Hm... very interesting.

Thanks for the article.

And you're really right on the part where it is "overpriced". Their stuff is notoriously expensive - and yes, high quality.

Beats, as a brand, sure got a huge rocket-lift from riding with Monster and Dr. Dre though.

Edited by Dazzle, 08 December 2012 - 10:44 PM.

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#26 Russ

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:59 PM

I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say you're completely wrong, apple earbuds are completely terrible. Of course you wouldn't know the difference in quality, as you've apparently never picked up a set worth more than 30 dollars. If apple's name wasn't on the earbuds, they would probably sell for 10 dollars. That's how cheap they are: there is no clarity, bass, or and crisp sounds whatsoever.

Theres a reason I buy them off eBay for like $1.50/pair, since I find ways to wreck them when working (pull cord, rip it, cut it, etc.).

Would like a nice pair that I can wear to the gym, only thing is a few of the pairs I have had in the past just don't fit in my ears as well as the Apple ones so I have always been skeptical to pay money for new pairs.
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#27 Dazzle

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:45 AM

Theres a reason I buy them off eBay for like $1.50/pair, since I find ways to wreck them when working (pull cord, rip it, cut it, etc.).

Would like a nice pair that I can wear to the gym, only thing is a few of the pairs I have had in the past just don't fit in my ears as well as the Apple ones so I have always been skeptical to pay money for new pairs.


Fit is so easy to get.

There's lots of inner ear monitors that fit right into the ear canal.

There's also different sizes to pick.

Apple's "fit" is nothing special. You WILL find a match if you look.

As for damage, get earphones with replaceable cables. You can just replace them getting another cable that fits that earphone. It makes the earphones last so much more than wastefully throwing it away.

Also.. more than likely you're buying fake Apple earbuds. LOL.

http://reviews.ebay....000000018755745

http://www.cultofmac...e-near-perfect/

Edited by Dazzle, 09 December 2012 - 02:51 AM.

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#28 Markus Alexander Cody

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:23 AM

No, I know people who work at Best Buy/Future Shop who can get it for me if I really wanted it.
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#29 Russ

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:34 AM

Fit is so easy to get.

There's lots of inner ear monitors that fit right into the ear canal.

There's also different sizes to pick.

Apple's "fit" is nothing special. You WILL find a match if you look.

As for damage, get earphones with replaceable cables. You can just replace them getting another cable that fits that earphone. It makes the earphones last so much more than wastefully throwing it away.

Also.. more than likely you're buying fake Apple earbuds. LOL.

http://reviews.ebay....000000018755745

http://www.cultofmac...e-near-perfect/

Haha I know I am buying fake ones :P I used to go through a pair every 1-2 days at work before I changed jobs so cheap ones were useful.

Most earbuds don't fit in my canal it seems. I tried a pair of beats studio (?) and a couple others and just had crap luck so far.

Edited by Russ, 09 December 2012 - 05:59 AM.

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#30 I♥Wellwood

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:26 AM

Out of the 4 apple products I've had that come with headphones, not once have they ever stopped working/malfunctioned. I dont understand why it happens to everyone else :mellow:

Edited by I♥Wellwood, 09 December 2012 - 07:26 AM.

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