Did you replace your iPod earphones? | iLounge News

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Did you replace your iPod earphones?

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Thursday, April 8, 2004
News Categories: iPod Accessories

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Marcus Lillkvist writes not about the popular iPod, but it’s mostly unpopular white earphones. Many users think the earphones are uncomfortable and produce mediocre sound and have replaced them with better, aftermarket alternatives. “Still, some customers are quick to dump the Apple-supplied buds. High-school student Austin Agarwal took $390 in birthday money last year and treated himself to an iPod. But when he slipped on the headphones that come with the device, he says the the bass was fuzzy, and the high notes muffled. It sounded “like an old boom box,” he says. Less than a week after the 17-year-old who lives in Easton, Conn., bought his iPod, he plunked down $150 more for a pair of higher-end headphones.”

“It’s not clear how many iPod owners discard their ear buds. ‘We chose the 80-20 rule, as we think that the supplied headphones satisfy the big majority of our customers,’ says Stan Ng, director of iPod product marketing at Apple Computer Inc. The company recently introduced a $39 a la carte option, designed to address the fit issue. It comes with three different size caps, to ensure a snugger fit.”

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Comments

1

I can’t really get the included apple earbuds to fit, and they get all waxy and the pads fall off.  I love my Sony G72s.  They sound really good - not great, but really good.  They fit like a dream and fold up better than anything else.  I tried the sony earplugs, and they sound better, but get too tangled in my pocket.

Posted by amighty on April 8, 2004 at 8:10 AM (PDT)

2

I’ve tried the iPod replacements and find them only marginally better fitting.  I’ll be looking for recommendations.

Posted by wstork on April 8, 2004 at 8:16 AM (PDT)

3

The earbuds that come with the iPod work just fine for me. To get the best sound I have to press them against my ears, though. That isn’t really practical most of the time. I bought a pair of the new in-the-ear headphones from Apple hoping they would sound better, but they don’t sound nearly as good. I use them on airplanes because they do block out a lot of noise. They’re pretty disappointing though.

Posted by Thoeme on April 8, 2004 at 8:21 AM (PDT)

4

I can’t believe anyone would keep the ipod’d earbuds fro more than a day, they just sound terrible and don’t fit well at all

Posted by Scribble on April 8, 2004 at 8:21 AM (PDT)

5

I can’t believe anyone would keep the ipod’d earbuds fro more than a day, they just sound terrible and don’t fit well at all

Posted by Scribble on April 8, 2004 at 8:21 AM (PDT)

6

The Apple buds work great for me. The sound is great. I wish the little pads wouldn’t fall off so easily, but that would be my only complaint. My first pair did sound distorted, but Apple sent me a new set in a few days and it solved the problem.
I think that some people may have a bad set, or don’t know how to place them in the ears properly.

Posted by Carl on April 8, 2004 at 8:32 AM (PDT)

7

I guess I am kind of a headphone whore. I have the Sony G56s (really nice), the Sony MDR-EX71SL earbuds (excellent, the low end falls off a bit but the highs are crisp and tight. Really good for acoustic music) and the Sennheiser HD457 for work. They are easy to take on and off and won’t hurt your ears by the end of the day

Posted by Eric R. Ortega in Las Vegas on April 8, 2004 at 8:32 AM (PDT)

8

well i agree the only reason for wanting to keep the apple earbuds is to complete the iPod “look”

i can imagine how bad the in ear buds are…i was just at the apple store in chicago and i wanted to test them out and see if all the people who complain abou thtem are correct…wel they must be since the store didnt have on the floor ...i guess they didnt want anyoen to hear how bad they are…

i use my cheap sony’s but as soon as i can find 199.99 ill have my sure e3c’s!!!!

i cant wait….any other suggestions…the bluetooth earbud ones in the lounge news the other day sound good too…cant wait!

Posted by rivlinm on April 8, 2004 at 8:33 AM (PDT)

9

I have the white EX71SL earbuds. I have no plans to buy any other headphones.

Posted by Biff on April 8, 2004 at 8:37 AM (PDT)

10

Carl & amighty - can pick up great replacement pads from RadioShack.  Four of them for $1.99.  They really stay on well, I’ve had a set on my Apple buds for the past 8 months and I have yet to lose a single pad.

Posted by schisamo on April 8, 2004 at 8:40 AM (PDT)

11

I don’t see what the fuss is about.  When have you ever gotten really good earphones with a portable music device?  Every time I buy a CD player or walkman or whatever, I always replace the crappy headphones they come with.  The apple headphones aren’t great, but I was suprised at how good they sound compared to other stock headphones I’ve gotten.

Posted by drewmcd24 on April 8, 2004 at 9:09 AM (PDT)

12

The white buds really hurt your ears. Plus I dont want my whit cord in plain view. Its a nice target for Thieves.

I prefer to get a nice set of DJ headphones with a coil cord. This gives me lenght on the cord that compacts nicely.

not to mention awesome quality.

I have these http://www.zzounds.com/item—SNYMDRV700DJ

Posted by Ed on April 8, 2004 at 9:28 AM (PDT)

13

There are so many options with headphones that any one is unlikely to make everyone happy. I don’t like the earbuds because they get tangled and are hard to put on. So I use a pair of vertical in-ear Sonys.

One problem is that the fidelity out of the headphone jack is limited. Compared to the dock’s line out the headphone is missing some bass.

Posted by brted on April 8, 2004 at 9:28 AM (PDT)

14

The white ear buds are the best stock headphones I’ve ever gotten with a portable music player. I’ve had my iPod for about a year and a half now, and I’ve always used the ear buds. They did hurt when I wore them wrong at first, but now they are fine. The main reason I don’t get a different pair is a money issue. It’s not that I’m poor, but if the supplied buds are working fine, I’m not going to replace them.

Posted by greg on April 8, 2004 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

15

I’m still unsure about which headphones to buy.  I’m using the earbuds now, but I’m quickly tiring of them because they don’t block any outside noise.  And I wish they were just a bit smaller.

I *want* the Bose QuietComfort 2s, but those are really expensive, and, other than the iPod, I’m not into spending a lot of money for a name; although I’m sure they are as good as everyone says.

Posted by dethbrakr in Tacoma, WA on April 8, 2004 at 9:58 AM (PDT)

16

rivlinm, I’m not sure what country you’re from, but I’m assuming it’s the US. Anway, you might want to check out a few places for your E3s before you buy them for 199.99. If you’re talking in US$, then you can get them for around $145-$150 shipped from somewhere like iDealSound. I paid $155 shipped internationally, so 199 is far too much

Posted by doctorjuggles on April 8, 2004 at 9:59 AM (PDT)

17

I replaced mine with Sony in-ear ones. The earbuds that came with my 30gb iPod weren’t comfortable at all and kept falling out too easily.

Posted by olsonbw on April 8, 2004 at 10:23 AM (PDT)

18

As far as OEM headphones go, the iPod’s are excellent.  Of course, there will be more audio nuts among iPod owners than the regular population- these people will buy headphones based on specific requirements.  I don’t think I’d have purchased an iPod if it were $100 more and came with high end earbuds.  I’d rather pick my own headphones based on what I think works best for me.

Posted by Chupacabra on April 8, 2004 at 10:24 AM (PDT)

19

I have always found the default earbuds to be adequate, but then again, I have a significant hearing deficit in both ears so I don’t really expect to much. Just last night, having seen a reference here to custom earbuds, I went searching through my dresser drawers to see if I could find the custom set I’d had made at Radio Partner in NYC in the late ‘80s. (This was before the Internet, but now you can find them at http://www.customearsets.com/.) I found them and they still fit perfectly. I expected that the design would mean that I could keep the volume lower than I do with the white earbuds, but that was not the case. What I was amazed to find, however, was that even with my hearing problems (significant enough to warrant the wearing of two digital hearing aids) I was able to detect nuances in the music that I hadn’t heard before. I’m not sure that “Nearly deaf guy says our earphones are the best!” is necessarily a motto that Radio Partner would like, but they really made a difference for me.

Posted by navamske on April 8, 2004 at 10:27 AM (PDT)

20

For decent cheap earphones, try the Koss “The Plug” ear buds. The have a foam insert that seal out exterior noise. I ditched the foam that came with them and used those beige foam ear plugs you can get at the drugstore. I punched a small hole in them with a leather hole punch, I’ve seen The Plugs onsale for $10.

I got a pair of Future Sonic ear monitor during their year end sale. They don’t have quite as much bass, but *every*thing is much clearer. I could actually hear the difference between the bead and gourd shakers on one song. Still if these die, I’d replace them with The Plugs just becase I can’t afford another pair.

Posted by Tere on April 8, 2004 at 10:41 AM (PDT)

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