The iPhone compatible earbud market is depressing.


macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
The stock buds don't fit me.

I have the Rivets. Mediocre to ok sound. Horrible cord microphonics. Bothersome lanyard. Almost non-existent L/R markings. Fatiguing to wear for prolonged periods.

I just received the UltimateBuds. They hurt my ears and the lack of bass is glaring. Going back.

I bought/returned the V-Moda Vibe Duos. Ridiculous bass and muddled mids, not to mention no button. They said a button model was coming in August. August is going.

Sennheiser just announced a new crop of CX300 (my favorites) based buds, but none with an iPhone compatible jack or mic/button.

Sony just announced a bunch of new buds, some with a mic/button, but none with an iPhone sized jack.

All I want is CX300s with a tiny mic/button, or something comparable. I don't want 7 feet of garden hose with a rocketship sized mic (Shure). I don't want Jean Paul Gaultier bra shaped flanges poking my brain. And I can't solder to save my life (found that out 1 pair of CX300s later).

There are a hundred different iPhone cases in all shapes and sizes. But there's exactly 1 pair of compatible jack earbuds with a built in mic/button (Rivets), 1 pair of customized buds (Ultimate), and a handful of adapters, most of which offer no button/mic, or in the case of the bulbous Shure adapter, a mic which will be conveniently located at your bellybutton with all but the shortest corded earphones.

There's a bunch of buds with an inline mic/button and a 2.5mm jack...all it would take is making a new jack. I just can't understand why we're not seeing more options. And yes, this is my second post on the topic. I'm frustrated. So frustrated that I bought another pair of CX300s and am going back to carrying my Nano until more options come out.



macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
I'm waiting for some decent $99 buds, with the mic and button. Please someday make this? :)


macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2007
you could always sand down the prt that plugs into the iphone... I did that with my shures and it worked perfect. :)


macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2005
New York, NY
I have the Etymotic er6i's, (had) Etymotic er4p's, and now Shure SE530. With both etymotic's, you have to have a good seal to hear things right, and (imo) a good seal makes the er6i's 85% of the $500 (msrp) SE530's. The ER4p's were probably my favorite out of the 3. Too bad my dog ate them :(

Use the bass booster EQ and practice inserting the tri-flanges the right way. There is a diagram on their website and manual that shows you how to put them in. It is a bit uncomfortable at first but give them a week or try on the foam tips (or buy Shure's flex tips and use those... same fit). It takes about a week to get used to any headphone.

The convenience of the stock iPhone buds is really the best solution for the iPhone (imo). I have the stupid Belkin adapter, I was considering the MPA-3C's to go with my SE530's, and I've looked into every other solution, before figuring out that the stock iPhone buds were the best length and the mic is great. I wear my headphones inside my shirt, so the MPA-3C wouldn't have reached my neck, without it dangling outside. I'm really considering the UltimateBuds, but I'm waiting to hear if anything like those with the ER4P headphones are coming out.


macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
Tampa, FL
I like my bass. Headbanger Audio Ear Subs are my old standbys. My whole family has a set, and we're all musicians (who love bass).

Read the review here:

You can find them on Ebay, or at your local Best Buy...BUT, you'll need the universal version with the normal plug....which will of course need to be filed down a bit to fit iPhone, but no big deal. For under $30, these things have beat every other earbud I've listened to...included several of the over $100 range.

If you like bass, try a set. You won't be disappointed.


macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2007
Its hard to find white cx300, anyone has good sources where I can find more of these?


macrumors member
Jul 23, 2007
for people that want some better sound and better fit with the stock headphones, i bought these. They keep the buds in my ears and improve the sound. They could be a little stiffer though, but they do the job for now.
Strange. I bought those and they didn't even fit the iPhone's ear buds. Not even close. They were so loose they just fell off. And since they aren't tight enough to seal around the buds, there is no change to the sound. It would have been nice if they worked though. Then I wouldn't have to suffer with my Rivet iPhone buds.


macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2007
Strange. I bought those and they didn't even fit the iPhone's ear buds. Not even close. They were so loose they just fell off. And since they aren't tight enough to seal around the buds, there is no change to the sound. It would have been nice if they worked though. Then I wouldn't have to suffer with my Rivet iPhone buds.
I bought those as well. Definitely not worth the money. They just fell off every time I'd take the ear buds out of my ears.

chopper dave

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2007
Shure head sets and they are $99! I wish someone would buy these and post a review :confused:
I bought these last month. The earbuds are exactly the same as the E2c, so if you have tried those they will not be a surprise. They sound incredibly clear and don't have that overpowered bass that a lot of the earbuds seem to suffer from. The mic, according to my callers, sounded clearer than the Apple mic, which makes sense considering it's about 3x bigger.

I returned them, mainly because the earbuds are just too big to fit in my ear canal comfortably. Maybe in 40 years when I am old with huge ears I can get these. Also, the cord is very thick, long, and heavy. This is ok when you're sitting down, but when you're walking around it tends to really get in the way and pull on your ears.

The thick cord, huge connector between R and L buds, and huge microphone all combine to form a style that is the same as hanging a sign from your neck saying "I am a huge nerd- please punch me." I didn't actually get punched, but my gf said she was embarrassed to be seen with me when I was wearing them.


macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2006
Ellicott City, MD
Shure E2c was recently on sale for $39 at Ordered a pair and the Sure iPhone adapter/cable thing. Still waiting for the earbuds to come, but from my previous experiences with Shure products I'm sure they're amazing, especially at that price ($110 MSRP).