apple in ear headphones worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bluemonkey, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. bluemonkey macrumors regular

    I got a lovely iPod mini (silver) for Christmas, and I absolutely love it. The only drawback is the Apple earbuds that came with it are a tad uncomfortable when you wear them for a while. Are the Apple in ear headphones more comfortable/less awkward? I can find them for cheaper than Apple's $40 probably, but I don't want to replace my uncomfortable earphones with more of the same. Also, is the sound quality better on the In Ear Headphones?

  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    i havent used them, but from what i've heard (no pun intended) from others, the apple earbuds are worthless
  3. _bnkr612 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    They are not worthless. They take some fine tuning with the correct ear size adjustments. Once you jam them in your ear, they usally sit snug. I have used mine for 6 months with no problems. This is coming from an active lifestyle too.

    I wish apple would just get rid of those original buds from 2001, you are paying such a high price for the machine, you cannot enjoy all it's quality. But, third-party ear pieces are out there and some offer white cords!

  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I much prefer the in-ear ones. Once you figure out how to get them in properly and get used to the rest of the world sounding like you're underwater, they're very comfortable. You get better bass than in the original ear buds and you can listen to your music at lower volumes because you're not 'losing' anything to the outside world and external noise doesn't detract as much.

    That's true for most 'in-ear' phones though and some people reckon that the Sonys have better sound.

    You can buy a kit now to convert normal earbuds into in-ear ones. Sure I saw it announced by one of the iPod accessory companies recently.
  5. FightTheFuture macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2003
    that town east of ann arbor
    i like the apple in ear headphones. they've held together for 4 years, on the treadmill, walking from the parking garage to my office, etc. now, i tugged on them a little too hard while they were under my bag and the cable enclosure became stripped.

    my coworker recommended the Sony MDR-EX81SL to me instead. i haven't heard them first hand, but he says they sound great compared to apples. considering they are about $20 more than the apple brand, i am giving them a try.
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    No way! Apple's in-ear headphones SUCK. They have the worst range response I've ever heard! I bought mine and returned them the next day. Do yourself a favor and buy a pair of Sony earbuds.
  7. Hodapp macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2003
    New York, NY
    Buy a pair of Sennheiser headphones. I dislike earbuds in general, but it's personal preference I suppose.
  8. Benj macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2004
    I have the Shure e2c which I noticed are now in the Apple Store. Just plain fantastic - way better than the Apple or Sony ones mentioned here.

    You get three sizes of rubber ear phones and three foam ones. Well worth the cash (£70 odd in the UK) for the sound quality and comfort. Added advantage of blocking out noise which is great on trains etc.
  9. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    I'll 2nd the e2c - they're absolutely astonishing. But pricey. My g/f has the Sony ones, mdr71 or something like that and for the price - £25 - they're very good too. Go the extra and get the Shure's.
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I would like to know...

    What other options are there for getting the most out of your ipod audio-wise? Other headphone-earbud options?
  11. lfielder06 Guest

    Dec 5, 2004
    about the earphones...

    I purchased the in earphones for use with my ibook and love them. The sound quality is not as good as more expensive earphones (obviosly). But I have small ears and can't stand other earphones for much longer than 3-5 minutes with out pain. The in ear phones have a great snug fit and I can last for a probable ever with out any pain. One thing if you are listening to something you can really upset your wife or other family members because, due to their earplug design, you can't hear anything else. :) But I would recomend them for someone on a budget.
  12. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    well, let me tell you about a little site called
    there, you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about getting the most out of the audio part of your ipod.

    my favorite headphone for price-performance is the Grado sr-60. it's a tad on the funky looking end, but plug it into your ipod and you'll be amazed at how good the ipod can sound. the higher range of the grados sound incrementally better, but cost way more. moreoever, they are easily driven by your ipod.

    for earbuds, i would say that the etymotic er6i (comes in white), etymotic er4p, and the shure e5c will improve the sound of your ipod tremendously. they are pricey, though ($120-350). there are even some $700-1000 custom in-ear-monitors for your iPod that will knock your socks off. but, for most, spending more on earphones than the actual ipod is a bit overkill.

    for the ultimate in getting the most out of your ipod, connect a headphone amplifier via the line out of your dock.

    hope this will get you started. if people drool at your desk now (and you have some pretty impressive equipment!), they'll drool even more if you get some new audio toys.

    p.s. the sony ex-81 earbuds are better than the ipod earbuds, but if you're going to go with those, i would at least spend a little more for the shure e2c.
  13. Bozola macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    So close to Redmond, I can smell it!
    Once you hear the Bose QC2.. it's hard to use anything else.
  14. el greenerino macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2003
    I have the in-ear headphones and I;m wondering where you'll get them for under $40 since Apple has tight price control.

    Anyway, the in-ear headphones are simply OK. They require a tight fit which might for good bass but that might not be possible if none of the sizes fit you ears. They also slip out a lot. If I could spend that $40 again, I'd pick up the Sony in-ear headphones.
  15. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    The ones that come with apple are very bad, i never use em anymore. I got the Sony MDR-EX71SL and they made music a lot more enjoyable.

    Sony MDR-EX71SL -

    Here is a cheaper modle which works just as good which my friend recommends a lot.

    Sony MDR-EX51LP -

    Any of these would do,i would not recommend you to buy the ones from apple.
  16. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I would just like to 3rd the Shure e2c recommendations.

    Astonishing sound, great price/performance mix, external noise does not intrude (careful when you cross roads!) and minimal sound leakage so noone can hear what you're listening to (a nice touch for fellow commuters)

    Only downside, which I suspect is common to most in-ear formats, is that it takes a little time to get used to putting them in your ears and once in you can be reluctant to pull one out (to speak to someone for example) because that means carefully re-inserting them again. Standard open "bud" 'phones are certainly easier to pop in and out of your ears. Its not a problem for me but worth considering.

  17. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I've owned a couple of pairs, and I love them.

    Some criticize them because of their base range and other things of that nature, but I--like 90% of the population--can't tell the difference.

    For me, they are comfortable, very small, and sound great to me. I recommend them. I am sure the others have better sound quality to those with keen ears, but the buds are also bigger.
  18. sjpetry macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2004
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    If you want over the ear get some Bose headphones. ;)

    The e2c are great. :D
  19. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    please please please stay away from bose. you can get much better for cheaper...
  20. bigpumbaa macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2004
    I have them as well. They pull out a little to easily for me (maybe I just havent found the right size/location... but the wound is phenominal. And that carrying case is AMAZING. The little hardcase they come with actually made it worth it for me. So, I say go with the Apples.
  21. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    So, I did a quick count and this is the votes so far:

    Phones Votes
    Apple In-Ear: 6
    Shure E2C: 5
    Sony MDR71: 3
    Bose Q2C: 1
    Etymotic ER4P: 1
    Etymotic ER6i: 1
    Grado SR60: 1
    Seinheisers..: 1
    Shure E5C: 1
    Sony MDREX51LP: 1

    Hope that helps.
  22. bluemonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Thanks, guys. Gonna have to go with Apple because I'm not really that big of an audiophile. Mostly, I listen to audiobooks on my iPod. Plus, I don't really want to spend $75 on headphones (mainly because our first child is due in March and my wife would hit the roof at such an expense). If I had my way, I'd get the Bose noise cancelling over the ear headphones. Or maybe the kind where you send them a mold of your ear and for $500, you get a custom made set of earphones in a metal James Bond mini briefcase!

  23. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I'll throw in another vote for the Shure E2C. I bought the Sony MDR-EX71, but returned them and bought the E2Cs instead... they're much better
  24. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    i see a lot of votes for the e2c. that's good, as they are much better than any of apple's headphones. but if you want something to match your ipod's color, go for the e3c, which comes is a light grey/white combination and is frequency-tuned specifically for the ipod. if you're interested in some white headphones, i recommend the shure e3c or the etymotic er6i. shure's e4c, which is supposed to be even better than the e3c, is coming out in the next month as well.
  25. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    I didn't want something that matched my iPod. Too many people knowing I have one - not a good feeling in my neighbourhood ;) . Besides the e3c's are twice the price. Can you tell the difference out and about or on the subway?

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