Best under $175 in-ear earphones WITH microphone for iPhone 4?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by majordude, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. majordude macrumors 68020


    Apr 28, 2007
    I just bought an iPhone 4 (Verizon of course :p) and can't stand the ear buds that Apple provided. :mad:

    I found an interesting link that summarizes a bunch of earphones:

    I want in-ear earbuds because I like the noise isolation and comfort when I lay down and listen in my bed.

    I've owned Apple buds in the past (they SUCK! they have NO BASS and they tend to slip out while sleeping) as well as V-Moda somethingerothers which weren't terrible.

    I want good sounding buds for music (with highs AND lows) but also have a mic for phone calls.

    Any recommendations? :confused:
  2. Roadking macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2008
    I got a custom ear mold for my Jawbone bluetooth headset. It made a huge difference. If I ever get headphones, I plan on doing the same thing.

    I used Averysound.

    They make them for all kinds of different manufactures.

    Highly recommended.
  3. jsilas macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2010
    Washington State
    Ultimate Ears has some fantastic earbuds. I've been using the Triple.Fi 10 Pros for a couple years - they're phenomenal.
  4. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 28, 2007
    Their response is only from 20 Hz – 21000 Hz. Maybe not low enough for good base?

    And do the fat, flat cords make a lot of noise or are they stiff? I have a set of Ultimate Ears that have cords that are so stiff that I can't use them because they make so much noise.
  5. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    They have strong bass and even better with Comply foam tips. Nope, don't have any issues with the cord making noise. It isn't too stiff.
    The price tag is well worth trying them out.
  6. Grolubao macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2008
    London, UK
    I love the Yuin PK3 and they are cheap as well. One of the best you can buy
  7. TapHappy macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    I love Ultimate Ears headphones too. I figured some of the engineering that goes into their professional models has to trickle down to their consumer grade units.

  8. Rattle&Hum, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011

    Rattle&Hum macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2011
    20Hz is at/near the lower threshold of human hearing. 99.9% perceivable BASS is in the 12Hz to 500Hz range. Don't let frequency ranges guide your search - but let your ears. The only way to find what you're looking for is personal trial.

    I personally tried the a-jays four. LOVE the design and everything about it (flat, matte wires, great buttons, and ultra-stylish) but I wasn't impressed with the sound. Decent treble and upper-mid frequencies but nothing spectacular. I did find the bass (mainly warmth) to be somewhat lacking, but that could also be due to the fit in my ears. I returned them. YMMV.

    Right now, I'm using Klipsch s4i (black). VERY nice headset. To me, they are much warmer, fuller and present than the Jays. The soundstage is wider and closer too. The Jays seemed distant and focused too much toward the center. My only gripe with the Klipsch is the cable is thin and tangle-prone.

    Ultimately, no one can tell you what's good when it comes to earbuds - individual physiology plays too big a role in determining which headset sounds best to you.

    Good luck!
  9. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 28, 2007
    Okay. Just ordered the white ones. :apple: I'll let you know what I think when they arrive! :)
  10. SR Steve macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2010
    I'm loving mine... currently using the double-flanged tips which fit my ear canals great and remain in place during work outs. I used the small tips on an 11-hour trans-Pacific flight, wearing them during most of the flight with no discomfort whatsoever... they worked well to isolate me from the ambient noise. I'd definitely recommend getting an airline adapter if you spend much time flying.
  11. ascNYC macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Custom Tips

    The Klipsch are a good choice. I have the Etymotic hf3s and love them. I went one step further and purchased the custom molded ear tips for my headphones and they make all the difference in the world with regard to isolation, fit, sound, base, etc. They are well worth the extra $100. I know the company that makes the tips (ACS) also makes tips for the Klipsch too.

    Check out their website here:

  12. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    1+ this i have tried several IME's finally happy and at $70 US it's a fair price. :D Love the flat cable tangle free. and controls are great and even work with Pandora and a few other music apps. :D and sound great!
  13. mtnbkr macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2011
    Klipsch S4i. Same experience as one of the posters above. Only gripe is the thin tangle prone cord. I use them almost daily in winter temps commuting on my bike. They have withstood minus 25 temps and sound great. I get phone calls on them all the time while biking and the microphone and remote work beautifully. I guess the only other gripe is that luckily, the largest ear tips fit. I do not suspect my ear canals are larger than normal. Not sure why the tips provided are so small. There is a HUGE sound improvement using the right sized tips.

    Easier to use, more comfortable and better sound than Shure SE-115s (that I own as well).
  14. Psant macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Klipsch S4i for sure. I picked them up from the Apple store last week for $99
  15. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    I have been using the Apple ones... not the basic ones that are included, but the 89.99 ones that come in the little triangle case. They have really good base and are in-ear for noise reduction. And when not in use can store in the included triangle case. They also come with 3 different size ear pieces.

    For top of the line though, I'd go Bose.... I just can't afford that much for a pair of headphones right now lol
  16. 328iGuy macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    I use the V-Moda Vibrato model and can't say enough great things about them. I also have the Apple In-ear ($89.99) model as well as tested againstvthe S4i and there was no comparison in clarity and/or bass response.

    Vibrato all the way! :cool:
  17. puckhead193, Mar 12, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

    puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I have the klipsch s4i and i really like them. Recently they broke and i'm sending them in for repair/replacement. I was thinking of getting a second pair. As I use them for my iphone/touch for music as well as work to monitor audio from my camera as well as editing in FCP. If you can't tell I use them a lot..
    I was thinking of getting another pair for work related activities. But I was thinking of other brands. Anyone use Etymotic HF3 how do they compare to the klipsch's. How does the whole custom tips work with the Etymotic?
  18. toliman, Mar 12, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

    toliman macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2007
    i'd say the klipsch S4i, s5i or the newer models may help you out at the high end of the price bracket, easy and comfortable to use, and about on par with the ety HF3's in my opinion.

    the phonak PFE's are apparently good quality earphones, probably not on par with the etymotic HF3's or the shure se420/se535 or the UE tripleFi 10vi's, but you can get them cheaper than US/amazon/retail, maybe on ebay or via EU/UK/HK/CN sites.

    comply foam pads will probably be the best aftermarket for high end headsets anyway for removal/reinsertion, and any reviews should include those for comparison and quality concerns, and if they work for those headsets or cause problems. custom moulds are fantastic, and they do improve sound, naturally, which makes any brand sound great, relatively speaking. but it's really cheating in comparing a custom mould vs the retail of another set, as head-fi probably often does just to 'baseline' $100 models against $400-900 models.

    that said, the ety triple flange is okay at noise reduction and reinsertion comfort, if you don't mind the squish factor (i'm a er6i and hf2 owner) . overall, the comply or alternative branded foam tips are way, way easier if you need isolation, but a decent olive or single flange that fits will work just as well for isolation and mechanical noise (train/bus/airplane/traffic), if it fits. if not, the foam tips may help a lot to make them usable in public places.

    especially important if you just want to buy the one pair of headset earphones, is any review that discusses build quality and common faults.

    i went over this last year, and after a bit of dithering, bought the Shure SE 115m+ that were cheaper and do the job, and have a fairly thick cable that doesn't tangle too badly or warp the plug wiring if you keep your iphone in a pocket. good for everyday, and those have replaced 5 other iphone headsets for me so far, just for convenience.

    the sennheiser MM50IP are also cheaper, with thinner wires, which are pretty good cheap models, the mm70s, i dont think are as good. the pair i had were great, but did not meet the curious feline test all that well. (very few earphones do, sadly)

    there's the Ultimate Ears 4vi/5vi's, but they break quite often due to poor manufacturing, and i've bought 3, all dead due to intrinsic build quality within a year (faults with wiring at joints). any quality assurance or improved build n the 4's and 5's is whisper thin, mostly due to the highly insulated, replaceable wire cord that the 5 pro and the 10 vi's have, is not an option for the mid end models or the low end models. which is unfortunate.

    while the triple Fi 10vi's are the best of the range, people either love or worship them, and for the price, it may be justifiable to worship them, especially at the first sign of trouble.

    as for the rest of the 3 button headset + mic series (for iphone/ipod), not many companies send them to reviewers for comparison, so it's hard to really find a nice handle on what they sound like or how they work after a few months of daily use.

    i hear mixed reviews on the v-moda series of headset earphones, i like the designs, but that's not the main factor for earphones once you've bought a few.

    the jbuds, and the monster beats/turbines, to me have a similar rep to those of the v-modas, some are great, some are great for 20 minutes, some just look great. i just don't know if i'd buy them.
  19. BruceyBruce macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    iBeats....Black/Chrome from Best Buy

    I personally love these! haters will hate, but the sound is great! I keep my iPod settings on my ViPhone flat. They are very comfortable. They come with many different sizes for in ear buds. I bought the black/chrome ones from Best Buy for $99.99 I use them daily and have had no issues with quality or performance. They come with a handy iBeats carrying bag. The cord they use is great and it fits perfectly in my Element Case Vapor 4 Satin Nickel. Also, I haven't had any trouble with the cord getting tangled. The mic is great for handsfree while driving. I commute 45 mins each way to work. The look, the feel, the comfort, all great! 5stars monster!
  20. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    A-jays don't tangle. I wrap them around 3 fingers and throw them in a case.
  21. RickG macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    +1 for the Klipsch S4i- I have had a pair for awhile now- love them- my friend just got a pair and is happy with his- you can go wrong for the 99$ price
  22. Shenaniganz08 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010

    Ive had them for about a month and I can't go back to any other headphone now

    You don't appreciate how good having 3 drivers is until you get some really high quality music that has crisp highs low lows. You can push the volume to ear drum damaging levels and there is still no distortion (you can't say that about any single driver headphones)

    I would wait for them to go on sale.


    get the non-headphone ones for$190

    and buy the Remote/mic cable for $20
  23. phillq23 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    I have these and can't get them to stay in my ear. I have tried every size of the gel tips too. Any ideas?
  24. Shenaniganz08 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    Use the foam tips (gah they are pretty expensive now that i think about it)
    You can buy additional ones too. They actually last a really long time, as long as you avoid moisture ( I had a pair last me about a week after using them at the gym + running laps around the track)

    The tx-500 comply tips are stupidly expensive, but I have to say it does even out the highs a bit vs the standard t-500{48}500&strModelName=Triple.Fi-10{47}10vi#

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