View Full Version : iPod Headphones - Are they just crap?
Jun 24, 2009, 05:43 PM
So I've had an iPod nano (3G) 8GB for just over a month now and the left headphone has already conked out on me; probably haven't used them more than 10x. I've heard from others that iPod headphones really aren't the best quality and so I'm wondering if it's even worth it for me to have Apple send me new headphones if they'll just do the same as the first. Am I better off just buying another brand?
Jun 24, 2009, 05:47 PM
You already have the answer.
No, I would not bother.
Buy anything else, and it will be better than the ones apple ship with the ipod.
Jun 24, 2009, 08:02 PM
The iPod earbuds aren't great. I've only had one pair crap out on me, and that was after years of using them at the gym, so I won't say they don't last. But it's the sound quality that makes me stay away. I'm using a $40 pair of Yuin PK3's right now and they are miles ahead in SQ.
If you can get a pair from Apple for free though, go for it. You could always keep them as a backup if you upgrade.
Jun 24, 2009, 09:06 PM
It's usually the jack that fails (cutting out one ear or the other and eventually both). Wiggle the wire where it joins tthe jack -gently- and see if the signal comes and goes. It's a design fault, so take it up with Apple for replacement.
Right angled jacks last a lot longer, but you can pretty much consider earphones consumables if they get daily use with your iPod in your jeans pocket (for example). The design just puts too much pressure on the jack.
Best thing is to pound the manufacturers for the warranty until they get the message and include right angled jacks, at least as an option. Apple has been known to replace buds without much question (so I wish you good luck). I replaced some Ultimate Ears recently and the Griffin TuneBuds only lasted a couple of months.
It happens to all brands, including Apple. Although Apple has a much shorter plug these days and should last longer than most. The rest of the manufacturers are making extra long plugs to be compatible with Original iPhones, which actually exacerbates the mechanical design issue. And let's face it - why make everyone suffer for a model that discontinued a year ago.
I mostly listen to podcasts, so sound quality isn't a priority - I keep the Ultimate Ears for 'good' listening and home recording. I went for a year fairly happily on $2 buds from the cheap shops. Some of them actually had comfortable in-ear buds and even right angled jacks - but you're at the mercy of what's available.
Take the buds back to an Apple Store or phone Apple for replacements. Agitate for right angled jacks. Buy another brand with a right angled jack. That's about it, really.
Jun 25, 2009, 04:37 AM
I'm always amazed to see wo many Apple-earbuds being used. I would think that the first thing that anyone would do is to get a new pair of headphones. Now, the Apple in-ears might be good (I haven't tested though) but the normal earbuds are absolute crap.
Bye Bye Baby
Jun 25, 2009, 05:43 AM
iPod headphones actually blow chunks.
And not chunks of sound.
Jun 25, 2009, 06:37 AM
If you like in-ear headphones, one model I recommend the JVC HA-FXC50 series, which you can get for under US$30 (including shipping) from Amazon.com. I'm using them right now with my 4G iPod nano and the bass on these headphones are amazingly good, thanks to the unusual design of the driver.
Jun 25, 2009, 06:54 AM
Apple headphones do suck. When I used to use them I couldn't turn the volume up or they'd start to crackle, the cable burst revealing the wires, the earpiece fell apart (and was sellotaped together while I saved for a decent pair) the sound died in one ear or the other and to top it all they were incredibly uncomfortable and got dirty just by looking at them. I used to use them back when there was a simple form on Apple's website to get a replacement pair in warranty so I had loads of them. :rolleyes:
Back in 2007 I even tried the old version of Apple's in ears. Now I know they've been redesigned but there's no way I'm trying them again. They were the most ridiculous set of in ears I've ever worn, horrific fit and crappy sound. To my great relief the sound died in one ear after a week.
you can pretty much consider earphones consumables if they get daily use with your iPod in your jeans pocket (for example). The design just puts too much pressure on the jack.
What do you mean by consumables? 'cause I get about 18 months out of a pair of Sennheisers that get daily use (and I was smart enough to buy headphones with a 2 year warranty) So there are headphones that last more than a few months (which is what I've got out of the stock ones)
The rest of the manufacturers are making extra long plugs to be compatible with Original iPhones, which actually exacerbates the mechanical design issue. And let's face it - why make everyone suffer for a model that discontinued a year ago.
The jack on my Sennheisers was just made smaller when they came out with an "iPhone compatible" version, so it can fit inside the casing (I hope you know what I mean) with the plug staying a normal length.
Jun 25, 2009, 10:49 AM
Yes, to answer your question, Apple's headphones are very poorly designed, and yes, you should get yourself a decent pair of headphones. I use two; I have the standard ear-muff style ones - I use a very good Bose set - and for travel, I have a set of Bang & Olufsen in-ear head-phones with a loop around to hold them in position and they are excellent.
Both were pricey, and both are good, but I travel a lot and I use my iPod very very often so I see it as a daily necessity, not a luxury. In any case, I see no point in spending a fair amount of money on an iPod, and negating the listening experience with what the OP correctly terms "crap" headphones.
Cheers and good luck
Jun 25, 2009, 10:54 AM
IMO headphones that break are low quality.
so even if the iPod headphones sounded GREAT - they would still be pretty crappy. which they don't by the way. pretty low quality.
Jun 25, 2009, 10:55 AM
You're not cool unless you drop around $250 on these bad boyz.. Please excuse my sarcsm. Apple earbuds have always worked fine for me.
Jun 25, 2009, 11:00 AM
Not only are they crap quality, but they sound awful too.
Any decent pair of in ear speakers will sound better really, unless you buy some no-name bargain bucket crud.
Everyone will tell you one pair or another is better, so go try some out.
I use Etymotic ER4p's, they are very expensive and they sound excellent with lossless or .aiff files.
Jun 25, 2009, 01:39 PM
Yes they are horrible, I always seem to break the left earbud within 2 days of getting them. Spend the money and get a good pair of headphones, will last you much longer and sound a lot better as well.
Jun 25, 2009, 03:01 PM
Unfortunately Apple spends its money rather on the design of the actual device than necessary accessories. You should not waste money on a new pair of Apple headphones. Get yourself a pair of good ones.
Jun 25, 2009, 03:12 PM
Just got a pair of these:
I use them with my 3g shuffle and they sound great. Great value for the money.