Best Earphones?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by superspiffy, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    What are the best earphones to use in the $100-$150 range? I've done my research but I came out more confused. The iLounge iPod Guidebook recommends the Etymotic ER-6i. But the people here talk about the Shure and Sennheisers a lot. Then there's the Shure E2c, E3c, all the way up to the E500... I don't know what the difference between all these models. And while where at it, what's the difference between the E and the SE models?
  2. macrumors regular

    I'd suggest you go somewhere, like Best Buy, and try on as many different headsets as you can. (Fry's or a Micro Center, if you're near one, are also good places to try.) Headphone sound / comfort is a personal, subjective thing.

    That being said, I have some Shure E2c's that are comfortable and provide decent sound. I also have some older Kenwoods that completely cover the ear, and provide excellent range and bass response. However, the Kenwoods have a 6-7' cord on them and are bulky.

    Consider what feels good on/in your ears, where you plan on listening, what kind of music, and what trade-offs you're willing to make (weight vs sound vs price vs features like noise cancellation etc). Those kind of decisions will help others have a sense of what headphones to suggest :)

    Hope this helps,
  3. macrumors newbie


    Ah, one of my favourite topics. I agree with everything carman63 says. And while you have a generous budget, don't discount earphones just b/c their price is cheap.

    I've tried on some earphones that ppl at work swear by, Shures, Bose, etc. in the $100CAD and up range. Some are noise cancelling, some not. I have a pair of Creative EP-630 (yes!... older model), that have the specs I was looking for and the sound to back it up. I paid $25CAD for them. I will stack my Creative's up against their earphones anyday. (I have not tried any Etymotic models.) Don't buy into the brand thing; listen (;)) to your ears!

    BTW, try and get the frequency response of the (lower end) Shures, or any Bose model... you have to wonder what they are hiding if they don't list such a basic spec. It's similar to not giving out the clock speed of a CPU.

    Bottom line, you need to try them out and *compare*, b/c w/o a baseline, they can all sound pretty good.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    I've recently purchased a pair of ER6is for about $70 delivered, through Google Checkout and I'm very pleased with them. They block extrenal noise like nobody's business, which has it's downsides. My only other experience with quality headphones are the Grado Sr-80s, which I own and the Grado 325s, which a friend owns. The open ear vs. IEMs experience is very different, both have their merits. I'm glad I own one set of each.

    I've also tried the Shure EC2s. They're nice, but I didnt' care for having to put the wire over my ears.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    If you can push your budget to $180, Amazon has the Etymotic ER-4P for that price. They're individually made and tested, and are far better than the ER-6(i). The only downside is the ergonomics. Its tough to sleep in them because they stick out of your ears in a bad way. With them in, the sound isolation is greater than the E2c I used to own.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Apple's own in-ear headphones are VERY good, from my own experience.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    i'm interested in the Shure E2c and SE110. But what's the difference?
  8. macrumors 68000


    I have the Bose On-Ear Headphones because I find the in ear type get uncomfortable after a while. I use to use the Senheissers PX200.

    The Bose are really great, I've heard sounds and instruments I never noticed before.
  9. macrumors 68020

    I've heard both the E2c and SE110 and the SE110 offers WAY better overall sound, thanks to the balanced armature driver and the big driver casing behind the driver. It's not as clear as the SE310, but the SE110 costs less than half the price of the SE310 at retail stores, so it's a good compromise between low cost and reasonable sound quality. :)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    So I bought the SE210. Put a $150 hole in my pocket, but I couldn't resist when I read it's suppose to be on par with the Ec3. Might be a little overkill since I've been using stock earphones all my life and I just needed something better to replace my broken Apple earphones, but I'm happy with it.
  11. macrumors member

    Future Sonics Atrio

    I purchased the Future Sonics Atrio on the advice of Jason O'Grady from Powerpage. The sound is pretty impressive at all ranges. They cost $199, but they are pretty amazing. They are used by music producers and are a small company, but I think you might a look for the 30 day free trial, you can't lose.
  12. macrumors 6502a


  13. macrumors 6502a


    Just my own thoughts, the E2c's likely provide a more natural sound, while the SE110's may color the sound somewhat by emphasizing bass.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Bang & Olufsen A8s

    Scale 1-5:

    Sound: 4 (Above average, but they aren't noise-canceling or anything... and you have to adjust a bit to get great bass response)
    Comfort: 5 (Can't tell they are on, and even if you work out heavily, they don't budge)
    Looks/Sexinesss: 6 (nuff said)
    Price: 2 ($125 - $160)
  15. macrumors 68020

    Aren't those Creative EP-630's amazing? :D Surprising good noise isolation, and the bass and treble sound quality belies its cheap price. To get significantly better requires at least a US$75 investment in something like the Ultimate Ears 3.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    I don't know how much they are in $ (they're about £65 in UK), but I'd recommend the Bose triport IE. The sound quality is like nothing I've heard before.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    I hope I'm not the only one that tried to squash the bug in your avatar. That is freaky man :eek:
  18. macrumors 6502

    Kaiser Phoenix

    LOL I also tried to do that hahaha
  19. macrumors regular

    I did that too! Luckily I'm on my Acer and so any bug avatar-related damages would have been no loss.

    I personally don't find there to be a significant difference in quality between the most expensive headphones and my $25 Sony Surround Sound pair. ...but perhaps I am not cultured enough to appreciate the Shure or Bose headphones?
  20. macrumors regular


    ANother pair to never discount.. The Koss Porta-Pro. (I've had Shures, Grado, Bose, technic, and Seinnheisser or however you spell them :p)

    UGLY as sin, but wow, for $50 they rival many headphones up in the $100 range. Nice and clean and able to produce punchy-bass if you want them too.

    But.. ugly.. so... ugly. But you cant beat a unconditional lifetime warranty on them, I've lost pieces to them and Koss sent me replacements, no questions asked.
  21. macrumors 68000


    The A8's are a really great earphone, but like I said in ear types hurt my ears :)

    Glad to see my avatar's amusing some of you, my attempt at "life likeness" :D
  22. macrumors 603


    I just got the Sony MDR-EX71's and they are fantastic. They fit very snugly and the bass response is miles and miles beyond anything I've heard in an ear bud headphone before.
  23. macrumors 68000


    I like Sony's earphones as the bass level is quite good.
  24. macrumors regular


    tried a few myself

    first pair i bought was Sony DJ 700 which still have the best sound of anything but are heavy to wear for long periods. Then purchased AKG K24P which is similar in sound quality much lighter on the head but take some positioning to get a comfortable fit. You can find them for 20-40 if you look long enough. Then bought Shure SE210's for flying. Sound range is a little dull compared to my other sets but I can hear everything without having to crank up the volume to ridiculous levels. So I ended up finding the pair that works best for the environment I'm in. The Shure's do a great job with the foam pad of just blocking out sound without the buzzing of noise canceling tech and don't need a battery to do it. The Sony pair have the best sound for deep bass and high high's with a range of 5-30,000 only topped by Sony's other Set which according to their specs is 5-100,000. Seems like artifact hell for that. ipod earbuds are 20-20,000 so when looking for new buds or phones i always check to see how that stacks up to what I already have.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Those are the only earphones in this price range that I have been able to try out. They were extremely comfortable and sounded very good. They are on my Christmas list.

    When I bought my iPod, I read all of the reviews and purchased some that just weren't comfortable in my ears (and didn't sound good).

    Nothing works like testing.

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