Earbuds for iPod

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by kibit, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2002
    Hi Everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone here has replaced their Ipod earbuds, and if so, what would you recommend? I like mine, but I am a girl and my ears are small. The standard earbuds are too big for me and hurt my ears. I'm looking for something that will fit me, yet have the same or better sound quality as the standard set that comes with the ipod. Today I bought a set of the Apple, in-ear phones, and i'm really disappointed. They are horrible, very tinny sounding. I'll be returning them.

    Any opinions and advice is appreciated, Thank you!

    (kibit) :)
  2. Guest

    Dec 5, 2004
    This has been asked before and I think most people will say the shure ec2 are great earbuds. They cost like 100 bucks, but are worth it. I currently use the apple in-ear ones, I haven't noticed anything wrong with the sound quality so maybe you got unlucky, but the shure earbuds are nice.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says...for sure there are other threads about this already so have a search! I personally use the Sony in-ear EX71's - they come with different size buds for you to choose from...they also make a cheaper EX51 model as well.....oh yeah!
  4. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2002
    Sorry, my searching skills must be on the fritz tonight, can't seem to find that. thanks, i'll look again
  5. macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2003
    I swear by my Shure E3c's. They are absolutely amazing, and the company is fantastic. I recently broke my Shure's by accident. I sent them back to Shure and they sent me a brand new set for free. They block out almost all outside noise and they produce fantastic sound.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    My girlfriend had problems with the earbuds and the in ear headphones as well. She seems to have the same problem you do with ear size. She actually got a pair of head phones that just wrap around your ear and have the speaker resting just on the out side of the ear canal. They are pretty quite and ALOT more comfortable according to her. She uses them quite extensivly when she works out so she also wanted a pair that was light weight and will stay put. I'll see if I can drag up the model of them.

    Edit: Ok, these aren't them but they are similar, sure they are about the same in feel and sound. I've used hers and they sound extremely good for something thats under $15.
  7. macrumors newbie


    Dec 2, 2004
    I've read similar reports on the Apple in-ear earbuds. However, on a few people, they found that inserting the earbuds firmly in the ear to make a complete seal dramatically improves the quality. If you have not returned the earbuds yet, try to make a complete seal and listen to your iPod on them.

    I can't say whether the quality is better, worse, or about the same as the Shure model earbuds, though.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    ummm, the apple earbuds are inferior (by a lot) to the the shures. i will also recommend the etymotic er6i, which is on sale right now at amazon for about as low as i've ever seen them...i recommend these because they are white (if you want to keep the white look) and they are frequency-tuned for the iPod (accentuated bass and all-around increased frequency response).

    if you really want terrific sound, you might want to look at the etymotic er4p, which are amazing, but cost a bit more than most want to pay. for a significant upgrade from your apple earbuds, look at the shures which have already been suggested, or the etymotic. even if you think the apple earbuds sound good, you'll be amazed at just how much better these others will make your ipod sound.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    London, England
    i second anything from the shure range. i have the ec2's and they are amazing quality and not so expensive. they did take a few wears to get used to them but now i love them so much!
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    Will 3rd the shures. Wonderful. The others are right in that they take a little bit of getting used to but thats very easy. Just need to buy replacement foam buds for mine - my current ones are a bit "sticky" ;)
  11. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    The in-ears aren't the best (agree with the above) but if they're sounding tinny then you don't have them in right. I went through this when I got a set (similar problem with small ears). Make sure you've got the smallest silicon cone set on. To get in the habit of inserting them properly to start with, pull your ear back and up slightly and then stick them in before letting go. That should help get a proper seal and make them sound better.

    question - are you allowed to return earbuds that you've opened and tried? As the next customer, I'm thinking 'eurgh!'
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    I personally use the shure e2c's great for when you are working and want to drown out all the noise around you. I use a pair of EX71s for working out and they are okay but definately not as good as the shures. on the internet you can get them for around 70 bucks or so.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2004
    I also recomend these headphones (71's). You can get the black ones for under 30 on Amazon.com and the white ones for under 40 bucks now (used to be 50).
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I also use the Shure E2C's, and they're awesome. Much better than the Sony EX71 and Apple Earbuds.

    I'd be curious though to know just how much better the higher-end earbuds sound compared to the E2Cs, and if they're worth the extra money. I haven't tried the E3Cs or any of the etymotic earbuds. And I just saw an ad in MacWorld (or MacAddict, don't remember...) for the new Shure E4Cs that are designed for the iPod. Not sure how much those will cost though.

    Also, on my E2Cs, the black plastic piece on the right earbud broke, and it keeps falling off. I'm gonna try glueing it back on, but I was intrigued by filmmaker2002's post about Shure replacing their earbuds. Did you just call them up and ask for a replacement? If so, I wonder if they would let me upgrade to the E4C...
  15. macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2005
    Oklahoma City
    CHEAP replacement for earbuds

    I've got Shure earbuds (old E-1's as well as my E-5's) and here's a $15 solution instead. Go out and buy a set of Koss in ears at Target. They're not sexy or slick, but they sound really good and are REALLY cheap. They sound better than either of the Apple earbuds and sound almost as good as my E-1's. Try it out and see what you think. What have you got to lose besides $15? If I'm right you can send me the extra money you would have spent. :)
  16. macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Since I got the Shure e3 earbuds, I haven't been able to enjoy music from any other buds
  17. macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2003
    I got the Shure e3c.

    If I were on a tighter budget I would've got the Sony buds.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2003
    These are custom molded for your ears, most comfortable.
    Ultimate ears
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I use the Shure e2c's and they are fantastic, with a few of caveats:

    1. They do take a little getting used to in inserting them correctly in your ear. I personally use the large foam covers, roll them in your hand gently squashing them & then insert them firmly in your ear, pulling down your earlobe while doing so to get a good fit as the foam expands and remembering that the bud with the half black cover is the right hand one(!)

    2. Once in they effectively block out external sound providing a rich sound experience, which also means one has to be careful when crossing roads etc.

    3. The one advantage of standard buds is that you can quickly pull one out when you want to speak with someone, listen to a tannoy address etc. As e2c's are an immersive experience predicated on a good tight fit in your ear, its a bit of a pain having to pull one out and then re-insert it.

    Another great point is that because the sound is channelled directly into your ear with a tight foam seal, you are protecting your fellow commuters from being subjected to that annoying tsk, tsk, tsk trebly noise of leaking sound from your buds. An interesting spin-off from this is that I have been able to happily listen to music in bed without disturbing my iWife ;-)

    For me it took a couple of days of standing in front of a mirror to get the insertion technique right but now its second nature and I absolutely love them, the sound really is very, very good. Travelling on the Tube to and from work is now finally bearable!

  20. macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2005
    My vote goes to...

    The Etymotic ER-6i's (Not to be confused with the ER-6's) I got them for Christmas and think they're great! You can get them for just a little bit more than the Sure E2C's at Earphone Solutions The sound quality from them is just as good or better (or so I've heard...I don't own the E2C's) Also, the isolation the triple-flanged tips provide is incredible. (I sometimes use them when I play drums along with songs on my iPod) One thing that is often not noted, but can sometimes be a big point, is that the ER-6i's have a straight headphone plug, like the stock Apple 'buds, whereas the Shure's have a right angle style plug (like most head/earphones) You can see this in the picture at the above link. Hopefully this helps you out in your decision, or at least gives you another option...
  21. macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
  22. Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I use the Apple in-ear ones - the regular ones are also too large for me.
  23. Jim
    macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2000
    don't waste $


    I just tried out the GRIFFIN TECHNOLOGY EarJam iPod Earbud Enhancers. Lots of bass (turned off the eq) and great sound. Don't spend $100 on others until you try out the 14.88 add ons to the earphones you already have. They come with 3 different sizes of soft inserts for various size ears.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    Sony mdr-EX71SL's get my vote, for the money you can't buy better.

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