best 'in ear' or earbud headphones for ~100 or less

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by surfologist87, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. surfologist87 macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    I have been through about 20 pairs of skull candy. I usually get the Titan pair (iThink) they are the ones that cost about 80 bucks each, ive only paid for about 3 of them. Their lifetime warranty rocks, but the quality has sucked for me. I jsut keep buying because i am just a loyal customer i guess. had a few i sent thogh the wash, and quite a few that just failed.

    But i need to move on. I nee a QUALITY pair of ear buds for about a hundred bucks or less..preferably less haha. Ive looked at a few online recommendations, but i wanted to get first hand thoughts from you guys. I need some that i can just leave at my desk and rock out.

    Id imagine people with macbook pros that use itunes on the go would have some knowledge on headphones. So, please, hook me up :)

    Hell, if you have a pair of over ear headphones that kick ass, show them to me.

    Hope all is well for you all.
    Thanks and cheers.
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I vote these. Their made by Microsoft, but they are the best earbuds I have ever used.
  3. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    Klipsch S4i should be just under 100 USD on ebay

    Great sound quality and compatible with iPhones. I've used it for skype calls and its voice quality is great
  4. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    Your first mistake. Brands that make great earbuds are Shure, Etymotics, Westone, Klpisch. Check out head-fi. It's a great forum for tons of info on what you're looking for. I was in the same boat last year and got a pair of Westone 1s for I think around $130 and they're pretty solid. Not as good as my similarly priced cans, but good for IEMs. If you want better sound quality on a budget, I would definitely think of getting cans.

    Here are the one's I bought.

    PM me if you happen to be interested in buying them from me. I'll certainly sell them less than amazon.
  5. c7aea macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2010
    I have read some really good things about the Shure SE215 although I have never actually heard them. At $100 they are right in your budget. And I know Shure makes some quality stuff. Plus they have a replaceable cord, like my sleek audio SA6, which is a great feature if you damage the cord your not out 100 bucks.
    Recently when traveling I needed a really cheep pair and picked up some JVC marshmallows. You can find them online for like $15. They are certainly not as good as my Sleek Audio but for less then 1/16 the price they are ok. I think just about anything will be better then skull candy....
    Also you can check out the sleek audio SA1. They are $80 and have a wood body that I think looks nicer then the Shure
  6. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    I like the way the Bose IE2 fits in the ear. It doesn't fit like an ear plug, ie, it doesn't go as far in the ear.
  7. vnle macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    +1 I've had both the original Bose IE headphones as well as the new gen and I've gotta say, I always come back to these models after trying out everything else. They're the most comfortable in-ear headphones I've tried.
  8. kjmff5 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    I'm with AppleScruff1. I have the Bose MIE2 and they are amazing. The best part is that they actually stay in your ear and don't move.
    There are 3 kinds
    IE2- just headphones ~100
    MIE2- headphones with a mic ~130
    MIE2i- made for iphones- headphones, mic with volume controls~130

    Good thing with the MIE2/MIE2i is that it can answer calls, and pause music on MP3 players and your computer.

    I tried the Klpisch S4i but I couldn't find the right fit, granted my ears aren't your ears.
  9. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    I can't believe I left out the most important word, comfort!! Recently I was at Best Buy and there was a Bose tech working on the headphone demo set up and I asked him a few questions and he pulls out 2 sets of IE2's and an iPod touch from his tool kit and lets my wife and I try them out. They are very comfortable. I can't stand having the earbud jammed in my ear like an ear plug. The only drawback for some might be that the Bose don't really provide any noise isolation. I am planning on giving them a try soon.

    How do they hold up in long term use?
  10. surfologist87 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    Wow, thanks a lot guys. I will be doing some (sober) research in the morning and definitely be reporting back on what i like the best. Thanks :):)
  11. vnle macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    I've had the original set for ~2 years ... until I lost it. :eek: But up until then they were working great - the only problem I've ever had with them was losing the ear pieces but if you have a bose store nearby you, they'll sometimes throw some replacements at you for free. :D Since then I brought the IE2's and the ear tips are held stronger. As long as you don't abuse them, I'd imagine it would hold up pretty long. IE2's doesn't have any active noise isolation but I think it does an adequate job - as you said, the comfort of these models really trumps all the other ones even with noise isolation. The sound quality doesn't hurt either. ;)
  12. jimmyhii macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2010
    i'm surprised no one recommended Ultimate Ears yet! i use them, have tried the triplefi.10, superfi.5, and i personally own a superfi.3 pair. I love the sound that they produce, and i've never been able to use any other IEMs ever again. The fact that they have superb sound isolation is great for long trips on the bus or train.

    for your budget, you'll probably be going for a single driver earphones. i took a quick look at their website and got these:



    ultimateears 600

    if you're willing to spend more you will definately get a great pair of earphhones. i've tried the triplefi 10 (im not sure if they still use the same naming convention) with three drivers and i was totally blown away, but as a student i stuck with the much cheaper superfi.3 :)

    anyway, my best advice for you would be to go to an audio specialist store which lets you try the earphones before you buy. I was highly inclined to go with westone as my good friend swore by them. but i went to the store to try them out and found that i prefer the ultimateears sound much better :)

    anyway, good luck with your earphones!
  13. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    they are truly amazing... but i have heard thousands of reports of cheap chinese imitations on ebay

    also klipsh will not honour their warranty if the items are purchased from ebay!
    well, this is what they told me - i did my homework before i finally brought them

    i would buy from amazon - cheap and they are recognized as an authorized dealer by klipsch
  14. shaun319 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2010
    New York City
    the Klpisch S4i are a great set of headphones
  15. SCARY GAY DAD macrumors 6502


    Dec 3, 2011
    Have you actually A/Bed them or are you just parroting what the herd is saying?
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I have a set of Etymolic MC5. I really like them and for less than $60 on Amazon they are a steal. I preferred their "older" brothers the ER6i, but they are no longer available (the new MC5's are supposed to hold up better tho).

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