Best in-ear headphones to buy?

boston44

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 8, 2009
363
0
I'm looking to buy a nice pair of quality earphones. I'm not sure which to buy, but I'm tired of apple's. How are the Bose earphones for $89? Thanks!
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,777
5
dallas, texas
The Bose In-Ear garbage piles are the worst product that the company has ever made IMO. While I generally think Bose is overpriced, I do think that occasionally they make a product that isn't half bad, but immensely overpriced. Those hopes could not be further from the truth when talking about the In-Ear product.

As for other's, there are varying levels. Please understand that Skull Candy and Shure are not on the same level at any sense.
For Under $50 - Sennheiser CX300
For Under $100 - Shure E3 (A lot of people recommend the Klipsch S4i, I've never heard them, so I can't say anything, other then others recommend it)
For Under $200 - Shure E4
For Under $500 - Shure SE530 (You can read my review, here)
For $501-$1000 - I'd still go with the Shure SE530s, some prefer the Westone 3s, it's a personal thing. You could go and get the UE10s, but I like my Shures more then my UE10s.
For Over $1000 - I really want to try the JH 13 Pro six drivers. :eek: (Never heard them though)​

Alternatives to the Shure at the $300ish price range: Grado GR8 or Sennheiser IE8. If you do plan on exploring anything about $200 (or even if you don't,) lurking around head-fi.org is a good idea.
 

HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,494
234
SLC
my brother bought some klipsch in ear buds for $89. I hear they are phenomenal (no pun intended, i swear). Personally, i HATE ear-buds. My ear canals (and ears) are small, so they dont fit very well. I ripped the Apple ones into two pieces (seriously, i did). Super uncomfortable.
 

atiffarooq

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2006
456
51
Go for the Klipsch Image S4's. They are simply the best, and not too expensive. I paid £60 for them and it's the best investment I've ever made for in-ear headphones.
 

Muncher

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2007
1,465
0
California
The Bose In-Ear garbage piles are the worst product that the company has ever made IMO. While I generally think Bose is overpriced, I do think that occasionally they make a product that isn't half bad, but immensely overpriced. Those hopes could not be further from the truth when talking about the In-Ear product.

As for other's, there are varying levels. Please understand that Skull Candy and Shure are not on the same level at any sense.
For Under $50 - Sennheiser CX300
For Under $100 - Shure E3 (A lot of people recommend the Klipsch S4i, I've never heard them, so I can't say anything, other then others recommend it)
For Under $200 - Shure E4
For Under $500 - Shure SE530 (You can read my review, here)
For $501-$1000 - I'd still go with the Shure SE530s, some prefer the Westone 3s, it's a personal thing. You could go and get the UE10s, but I like my Shures more then my UE10s.
For Over $1000 - I really want to try the JH 13 Pro six drivers. :eek: (Never heard them though)​

Alternatives to the Shure at the $300ish price range: Grado GR8 or Sennheiser IE8. If you do plan on exploring anything about $200 (or even if you don't,) lurking around head-fi.org is a good idea.
For under 50 I would recommend the Beta Brainwavz Pro ($24), if for nothing else than the odds that you'll get a fake pair of CX300s, even from a good seller. Also, Head-Direct's RE2s aren't a bad choice at $40 right now.

The shure e3c/scl3 is a good choice for under $100, but with the RE0 at $79 for holiday pricing I may pick up a pair myself. According to many reviews they hold their own against e500s, one of the older high-end shures.

Just please stay away from Bose and skullcandy.
 

TKEik683

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
89
0
NY
I just got a pair of Ultimate Ears 10's, I love them so far. Quite the upgrade from Sennheiser CX300's.
 

pukifloyd

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
985
83
Scottsdale
Go for the Klipsch Image S4's. They are simply the best, and not too expensive. I paid £60 for them and it's the best investment I've ever made for in-ear headphones.
I heard they are awesome...or go for the shure...
dont buy bose...they aren't worth it...
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,360
2,827
I'd recommend you look at what's available from Etymotic. They practically invented the idea of In Ear Monitors, and their current offerings are fantastic.
 

Kat King123

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2009
195
0
i got some altec backbeat classics got em for 25 bucks at local best buy they really out performed my expectations they sound better than my friends bose in ear headphones. Apparently also 90% of studio engineers use them which idk if thats true but they sure do sound like it.
 

nored02

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2008
10
0
Nebraska
Headphones

I recently got tired of the Apple Earbuds as well and after a great deal of research decided to go with the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3. The sound is great and since they are noise isolating, when music is playing you don't hear hardly any outside noise.
 

skrutzen

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2007
106
0
I have the the Shure SE530. I love them! The key to any of these in-ear headsets will be the fit. I use a different size tip for each ear which has help me to get the proper seal. You can spend $1000 dollars on them but if you don't get a good fit, you will feel like you've wasted your money because the sound quality will be subpar to you.
 

Bengt77

macrumors 68000
Jun 7, 2002
1,518
0
Europe
I, too, have the Shure SE530. They're great, period. Their sound almost rivals that of my two full-sized Audio-Technica headphones. As far as IEMs go, you can't go wrong with the SE530. Considering it's sound qualities, $300 isn't that expensive. They're easily worth it.

I totally agree with boast about visiting Head-Fi for reading into the matter of headphones, earphones, IEMs and headphone amps.
 

benlangdon

macrumors 65832
Jan 13, 2008
1,501
0
my brother bought some klipsch in ear buds for $89. I hear they are phenomenal (no pun intended, i swear). Personally, i HATE ear-buds. My ear canals (and ears) are small, so they dont fit very well. I ripped the Apple ones into two pieces (seriously, i did). Super uncomfortable.
you need some comply foam tips. there is also this other brand i seem to not be able to recall
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
2,564
5
Thule GL @ the TOW
...what ever you do, take "recommendations" with a grain of salt... go to stores were you can listen and try earbuds and headphones for your self...

What may sound great to someone else, may seem ***** to you...
 

Czar.Lithu

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2009
1
0
I'm very satisfied with my v-moda vibes! If you're looking for quality sound with amazing bass, then I definitely recommend going the v-moda route. It's a known fact, that when you move on from standard apple headphones you seem to fall in love with the music on your ipod, again - so I urge you to get a nice pair during the holidays! I know that you're not asking about the price, but you can get quality headphones like the original v-moda vibe for only 15 bucks on ebay - absolute bargain!

PS. I recently gifted the v-modas to my gf as well :)
 

Bengt77

macrumors 68000
Jun 7, 2002
1,518
0
Europe
Once you upgrade from the iBuds to good earphones, you'll notice the mediocre sound quality of your iPod and you'll want a portable headphone amp, driven by the iPod through a line-out cable. Then, you'll notice the mediocre quality of your 'good' earphones, and you'll upgrade to the JH|13. Then, your amp won't satisfy you any longer and you'll upgrade it. Then, you'll miss the excellent sound quality when at home and you'll read yourself into full-sized headphones. After a lot of reading, you'll get something like the HD800, GS1000, ATH-A2000X, AH-D7000, SR-007MK2 or a used K1000. Of course, neither will give you the goods without a dedicated headphone amp, so you'll order some ultra high-end dac/amp system to do your new heavenly headphones justice. Then, you'll start to notice the lacking sonic qualities of your cd-player. You upgrade that, only to realize that your cables really are the limiting factor right then. And then, new technology comes out that puts all the older technologies to shame and the game starts all over again. And this is all ignoring the fact that you'll of course also want different headphones for different musical styles, at least for home use.
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
2,564
5
Thule GL @ the TOW
Once you upgrade from the iBuds to good earphones, you'll notice the mediocre sound quality of your iPod and you'll want a portable headphone amp, driven by the iPod through a line-out cable. Then, you'll notice the mediocre quality of your 'good' earphones, and you'll upgrade to the JH|13. Then, your amp won't satisfy you any longer and you'll upgrade it. Then, you'll miss the excellent sound quality when at home and you'll read yourself into full-sized headphones. After a lot of reading, you'll get something like the HD800, GS1000, ATH-A2000X, AH-D7000, SR-007MK2 or a used K1000. Of course, neither will give you the goods without a dedicated headphone amp, so you'll order some ultra high-end dac/amp system to do your new heavenly headphones justice. Then, you'll start to notice the lacking sonic qualities of your cd-player. You upgrade that, only to realize that your cables really are the limiting factor right then. And then, new technology comes out that puts all the older technologies to shame and the game starts all over again. And this is all ignoring the fact that you'll of course also want different headphones for different musical styles, at least for home use.
:D... it never ends...
 

keifer64

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2008
11
0
I bought the Maximo iP-HS5 iMetal® Isolation Headset and love them.
I got them because I lost the original headset (which I found shortly after I placed my order) and comparing the two, I can't believe how much better the Maximo set is than the apple set. I got them for $49 on sale. There's a comparable model without the microphone if you don't want to use them with a phone.

Lastly, while I love the maximo, they still aren't as good as my bose qc2, but I won't want to carry the bose around for when I want to talk hands free, so they stay on my desk or backpack when I fly
 

fr4c

macrumors 65816
Jul 27, 2007
1,253
129
Hamster wheel
Once you upgrade from the iBuds to good earphones, you'll notice the mediocre sound quality of your iPod and you'll want a portable headphone amp, driven by the iPod through a line-out cable. Then, you'll notice the mediocre quality of your 'good' earphones, and you'll upgrade to the JH|13. Then, your amp won't satisfy you any longer and you'll upgrade it. Then, you'll miss the excellent sound quality when at home and you'll read yourself into full-sized headphones. After a lot of reading, you'll get something like the HD800, GS1000, ATH-A2000X, AH-D7000, SR-007MK2 or a used K1000. Of course, neither will give you the goods without a dedicated headphone amp, so you'll order some ultra high-end dac/amp system to do your new heavenly headphones justice. Then, you'll start to notice the lacking sonic qualities of your cd-player. You upgrade that, only to realize that your cables really are the limiting factor right then. And then, new technology comes out that puts all the older technologies to shame and the game starts all over again. And this is all ignoring the fact that you'll of course also want different headphones for different musical styles, at least for home use.
Looks like we got some fellow Head-Fiers in the house :D