Apple In-Ear Headphones: Worth $40?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by alexf, May 27, 2004.

  1. alexf macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #1
    Does anyone have any experience with the iPod In-Ear headphones? Are they really worth $40?

    I am not very impressed with the Earbuds that shipped with the iPod... Are the In-Ear headphones much of an improvement in sound quality?

    If not, what else would you recommend in the same price range / size?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

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    #2
    In addition to sound quality, I am wondering if build quality is any better?
     
  3. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #3
    Yes, this is a good question... At least they don't have the annoying foam covers that always come off.
     
  4. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Tampere, Finland
    #4
    they should be better than the ones that come bundled with ipod. but if you really want to have better headphones, take a look at shure E-serie for example. the E2 model should be under a hundred and sounds great.

    i have a pair of shure E5 headphones and i don't feel a need to buy a better pair :)
     
  5. Maxicek macrumors regular

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    Apr 23, 2004
    #5
  6. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #6
    if u want good in ear get the entymonic or shure
     
  7. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    københavn
    #7
    Another reason for buying non-mac earphones would be that you are not immediately recognised as carrying an iPod - I know one who have been robbed on that account :eek: and I think I read about it somewhere to (here?).

    Personally I find those earphones that sit inside really uncomfortable and they damage your ears much more than normal "out-ear" headphones!! And generally the quality of sound is much poorer to!

    in short: You are doomed, DOOMED, HA, HA, ha, haaaa....
     
  8. oliverruhm macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    austria
    #8
    personal opinion

    hi, my personal experience with those in ear stuff is not positive. i ordered them, used them for a week, and now i returned to the original ear buds. they sound better, fit better and, most of all, are cheaper. in ear is cool, but not from apple. go get shure or be satisfied with the buds. that's my opinion... anyway, we all will be carrying our ghettoblasters again in near future. because it's really hard to lose such a device... hm... apple iBlaster? who knows. greetings from austria, europe.
    oliver
     
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #9
    it's all about the silicons that the earphones is made of - too hard/big and the ear will hurt, too small/soft and it will not isolate enough. it has to be perfect, and so far i have not seen anyone other than shure making the generic pieces work perfectly.

    it is of course whole another thing if you can afford a pair of silicons that are specially made to fit into your ear ;)

    the damage factor comes from the volume level that is being used. the volume must be turned down a little when using in-ears, because with in-ears you hear almost all the sound that comes from the earbud, but with a traditional "out-ears" you only hear half of it - the rest just doesn't go to ear canal.

    and generally, in-ears sound far better than out-ears - for a great deal because they isolate the outside noise better. try shure in-ears and you know what i'm talking about...
     
  10. wide macrumors 6502a

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    NYC
    #10
    it's just a gimmick from apple. they're not really that different from the bundled headphones, it's just that they fit better.
     
  11. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Madison, Alabama
    #11
    Thanks for the tip. I tried Apple's in-ears and they wouldn't stay in. Today I'm going to return the Sony MDR-EX71SL earphones that I bought a few weeks ago. They fit OK (with some work) but my problem with the Sony earphones is that, for reasons I still can't understand, the cord leading to one ear is much shorter than the cord leading to the other ear. I think the idea is that you're supposed to wrap the longer cord around your neck or something stupid like that. Oh well. I'm going to be on the lookout for these Shure headphones next, I suppose. ;)
     
  12. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    #12
    No, the cute little in ear apple buds are a waste of money, and I'm not even gonna comment on the cheap ones that came w/ the ipod. Sennheiser MX500 buds are a good start. But if you're gonna buy the high end Shure and Etymotic, make sure you audition them before you hand over the money 'cause they sound totally different.
    LOL... mmmmmmmmmmmkayyyyyyyy. No, in Japan, it's used by people for suicide when they're frustrated by the uneven cable length.
     
  13. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #13
    Thanks for the info. I will add Sennheiser to my list of candidates. ;)
     
  14. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Madison
    #14
    I have the in ear-headphones from Apple, and I am very happy with them. They are by far more comfortable than the ones that ship with the iPod. The base is a bit different. If you have snug fit, it is much deeper, and vibrant, but if they don't fit in your ear well, they won't sound as good. Plus they are white, which I like. I think they are worth the $40. Its alot less than compared to most of the other in ear headphones I have seen.
     
  15. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #15
    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Can anyone tell me how the Sony EX-70 in-ear headphones compare in sound? They are around the same price. I haver read some reviews saying that the sound on these headphones is great, others complain that the bass is much too overpowering... The Shures would be nice, but I can't afford something in this price range right now. Any other recommendations for in-ear headphones?

    I did some research myself, and after reading many reviews of the Apple headphones, I am amazed at the difference of opinion: reviews range from scathing to praising - there seems to be nothing in the middle.

    Two thing that are clear, though:

    1) If you don't put them in your ears correctly (and Apple apparently does not provide much documentation on how to do this) the sound will be horrible and the bass will be almost non-existent. If you do find that "magic spot," however, sound seems to be quite good, and a definate improvement over the standard earbuds.

    2) Nearly everyone seems to agree that they slip out of your ears much too easily (why Apple would be stupid enough to use a slippery material when other similar headphones use a rubbery one is beyond me).
     
  16. applebum macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2003
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    SC
    #16
    I have those Sony ones. They sound pretty good, but yeah the different lenghts is annoying. I thought maybe I had gotten a messed up pair - glad to know that is just the way they are made.
     
  17. Versello macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #17
    Yea, with the Sony's you are supposed to wrap them around your head. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it isn't. For me, though, I have to wear a suit to work, so it looks really slick having it wrapped around the back of my neck. You don't see any wears hanging or anything, except by the ears, of course.
     
  18. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #18
    All these audio snobs are getting annoying. Most people don't need $500 headphones with the iPod. If you want studio grade sound, don't use an iPod. Also, I'm not certain the iPod has sufficient power to drive high end headphones.

    In-ear "buds" are great if you are in an environment that has high ambient noise. Some in-earphones fit some ears better than others. The Apple in-ear phones are good enough and are reasonably priced.
     
  19. legion macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2003
    #19
    You can buy the Shure ear foams in packs (different sizes, S M L) and they fit the Apple In-Ear headphones (also the Sony's.) It's kind of the best of both worlds (good fitting ear pieces, cheap headphones--$40 for the Apple's vs $80 for the Shure E2c) I don't know why anybody has not suggested this before; anyone who's used Shure E series monitors for a long time keeps a pack of those foams because eventually the foams get dirty/gross. They're like $12 for a large pack (from any pro-audio store; pro-audio as in "instrument", not "hi-fi speakers"--The E2 is used as part of the Shure wireless monitoring system and is the "pro" version of the E2c, but there really is no difference between the models)

    As for the iPod driving the speakers, there's no problem on this and the Etymotic 4P (the P model needs less energy to drive the speakers) I think the Shure E5 is overkill and I usually doubt those who say they own and use them (it's really used for on-stage monitoring and most that have them use customized ear-pieces for performance where it is part of your job; not with something as stupid as an iPod) Some people like to brag about their imaginary possessions due to the anonymity of the web (when they're really little kids who only wish they owned those items)
     
  20. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #20
    Don't know about the other brands that are being named here, but I have been told by users of the Apple ones that the bass is weak.
     
  21. legion macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2003
    #21
    If the fit isn't proper (as in the ear canal has to be totally sealed) the bass will be weak. If it is sealed properly, the bass will be better than all ear buds, and better than many over the ear closed headphones. THis is true for all ear-canal designs. Some people are just afraid to fit them properly--and some just don't know how. With ear foams, wetting your fingers and then compressing the foam is best. You then insert them fairly deep and hold them in place for about 20 seconds to let them expand. The seal will be really complete. I actually wouldn't recommend ear foams for iPod users who do other things (like walking down the street or riding on a bus) because they will really eliminate all other sounds and you could run into dangerous situations that way.
     
  22. denm316 macrumors 6502

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    Philadelphia
    #22
    I agree with you, I dont know of people who want headphones that cost as much as thier iPod.
     
  23. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #23
    No, don't get the Apple in-ears. if you really wanna buy something nice, get the Sony E888s or Shure E3cs.
     
  24. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #24
    I dunno, I have both a set of Shure and Apple in-ear monitors. Both are fairly similar for casual use with an iPod. I seriously doubt anyone can hear the difference while rumbling down the street on the city bus. However, the Shure set seems to block ambient noise better than the Apple in-earphones.

    Overall, I've been fairly pleased with the $40 I spent on the Apple in-ears. Maybe I am lucky and Apple's design fits my ear better than yours. I must note one last [important] difference that I've noticed. The Apple in-earphones require more frequent cleaning.
     
  25. AdamZ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    #25
    Depends on your type of Music

    I have been using my in-ear Apple headphones for about two months now and I am enjoying them but with a few nuances. First off I broke the original headphones that came with my 1st gen 5G ipod, and wanted to replace them with something simular. I love seeing others around Downtown Minneapolis with their white headphones on. There is this very wierd connecting that occurs when two people with iPods cross paths, especially when she's cute. Since the only headphones Apple sold before releasing the in-ear ones were bundled with the remote that was not conmpatible with my 1st gen. I was so excited when the in-ear came out.

    Performance wise I would price them around $30 instead of $40, with the extra ten going to the Apple name. The problem is that all ear volumes are abit different. Even though Apple ships three differet sizes, even the largest doesn't fit in my ear snugglly. I push then in as far as I can untill they form a seal but over time they slipp out a little and loose that seal and they sound pretty average. But I'll tell you what you do get if your ears accomodate and hold the seal, BASS BASS BASS!!!! If you are into Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, or something simular, look out!! This kind of deep bass music really comes thru your head. It is incridible!

    Apple also includes a case for the headphones which is really nice, it looks cool with the Apple logo on it, and really help keeping them in nice order. Some other point I can think of are that I appriciate these at the connection point into the iPod. As in the original headphones, the end that goes in straight-up, allowing for easy acces to the hold button. Before I bought them, I used a different pair, which are all commonly L shaped, and got in the way all the time when turing on and off the hold button. Also the chord itself is not tottally white. It's more of a light gray. Though it looks white against clothing, you do notice the differnce when compared to the old ones. I think this is actually nice because they appear less dirty.

    Bottom line, just ry them out wherever you can and see if they happen to fit your ears snuggly. I have gotton into the habit now of pushing them in further every 10 minutes of walking or jogging to get that seal. Mad Bass!! Otherwise they sound just average without forming that seal.

    Adam

    1st gen iPod
    1st gen Flat Panel iMac
    2nd gen 12" Powerbook
     

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