In-ear versus Cup headphones

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Tulani, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Tulani macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    What would you prefer? Any specific mention of the best out there to use with the portable Apple devices?
  2. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I don't really like the classical in-ear. They hardly ever really fit well. But they are lighter for daily commuting so I use them.

    In the past I loved a Motorola SD9, in-ear but with some holder to keep them in place. But constant trouble with Bluetooth; maybe congestion ? The comfort to wear is great.

    For travel and longer conference call via mobile I use cup headphone .
  3. Gofre macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    I will use on/over ear headphones whenever possible, they tend to have better price : performance ratios and typically have a wider soundstage, universally so in the case of full size, open back headphones. I did love my custom in-ear monitors back when they still functioned though, planning on picking up another pair in the new year.

    Regarding the best option, that really depends on a lot of factors. How much are you willing to spend? What's your taste in music? Where will you be using them? If you can provide a bit more info I can provide some suggestions [=
  4. neodrew macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I realize I might get shouted down for mentioning this brand, but I have been very, very happy with the BOSE IE2 in-ears. With a portable device, the sound is very good, I like that they are somewhat open so I can still hear what's going on around me, but the best part is the design - BOSE provides two kinds of tips in S, M and L sizes with the headphones, so you can pick the best fit and comfort for yourself. I love the "StayHear" stability tips - they are made of a very comfortable and flexible material, and they have a wing that fits comfortably into the upper ridge of your ear to hold them in place. I can wear them for quite a long time with no fatigue
  5. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    It depends on your uses. The right kind of In Ear Monitors definitely have way better price/performance compared to full size headphones, including better frequency balance and detail/speed. You'll never get an in-ear-monitor to match the natural and spacious sound of a full-sized though, especially an open full-sized.

    Full-sized open headphones that go completely around the ear are more comfortable as a whole and probably a better choice for at home listening, while in-ear-monitors are for when you need noise isolation and portability.

    There's a lot of garbage out there in the full-size headphone market-- even among 'audiophile' brands. I'd only trust a select few lines of full-size headphones.
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    To some extent, I agree with you as I've had the BOSE IE2 in-ears in the past, and am of the view that they are some of the more comfortable in-ears around. However, in my experience, in-ear headphones are not comfortable, especially for long journeys or extensive use.

    Personally, for comfort, (and sound quality) I generally prefer the cup head phones. However, some of the Cup headphones are massive, taking up a lot of space, which, as I travel a lot, and space is an issue, is also something I feel I have to take into consideration.

    This year, I bought two sets of head-phones, both from the up market (and expensive) audio company Bowers & Wilkins, firstly, the recently released P3s, (fantastically compact and portable - more an 'on-ear' than a full ear Cup, beautifully designed and offering an excellent sound), and, later, in autumn, I also bought the P5s (wonderfully comfortable, extremely beautiful, very portable and offering an excellent sound experience).
  7. nharrietha, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    nharrietha macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2012
    All depends on what your budget is. I like universal IEMs (in ear) with Comply tips which improves the seal and in turn gives you a better fit and sound. If your budget is higher, you could check out a pair of custom IEMs, but judging by the fact that you're using your iDevices to listen to music, that may not be what you're looking for.

    Oh yeah, Bose should be your last choice for both options, in ear and over ear. For that price you can find way better headphones. Assuming your looking for a consumer pair as opposed to audiophile, I'd check out Klipsch. Otherwise, let us know what kind of music you listen to for a better recommendation.

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