Did you replace your iPod earphones? | iLounge News


Did you replace your iPod earphones?

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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I use Sennheiser PX200’s when I go out, and Grado SR-60s when im at home.

The original earphones lack depth, although better than most earbuds.

Posted by Stasyna on April 8, 2004 at 8:16 PM (CDT)


The iPod headphones are merely a fashion accessory.
Those are the headphones to tell the world you have an iPod.
If you want to actually listen to the music on your iPod with quality, you use different headphones.

Posted by Cyantre on April 8, 2004 at 8:28 PM (CDT)


ipods aren’t bad but they are not crisp. i tried etymotic er4 ($250) but they didn’t have a good fit and so fidelity was not worth the money.  i really like the quality of my sony mdr-7502’s altho they are a little heavy.

Posted by bill on April 9, 2004 at 12:06 AM (CDT)


I actually like the headphones the only problem with mine is that they rattle when i turn up the volume past half. i like my music loud so this really sux. is there a way i can get the replaced?

Posted by Ivan on April 9, 2004 at 12:37 AM (CDT)


mine rattle too :(

Posted by billpod on April 9, 2004 at 2:30 AM (CDT)


I agree with Cyantre, they look good, but that’s it. I’m not even sure they look good either. I’ve found that the wire for my remote is going a kakky grey colour.  The white buds are just good for identifying other ipod owners and everytime I see someone wearing them, I just can’t understand how you can be in to music enough to buy an Ipod, and then ruin it by listening through those biscuit tins!

Posted by munky in Manchester on April 9, 2004 at 4:01 AM (CDT)


*Shrugs* I’ve only ever used the stock headphones that come with CD Players/Tape players, so the iPod earbuds sound fine to me. I do want to get some better headphones after seeing all these people talking about how crap the stock iPod ones are. 
Oh and..
“But they didn’t last long when the left earbud started making a buzzing sound”
Mine did that too.. but you shouldnt have bought a new pair.. I just went to Apple Customer support on their website and reported the problem, they sent me a new pair after two days.

Posted by Syph on April 9, 2004 at 6:40 AM (CDT)


Bose Noise Cancelling II (299.-)
Koss PortaPro (40.-)
Koss KSC-35 (30.-)

Never used the Apple Earphone Crap a single second, not even to try them

Posted by m. on April 9, 2004 at 7:06 AM (CDT)


Those things that apple give you with the ipod are just to get the thing running ... like when you buy a piece of hifi and they give you those 1mm thick interconnects. Nobody is actually ever gonna use that crap buy they’ve got to give you something so that when you get it you’re not like “oh, I didn’t realise I’d have to go out and buy more stuff to even use this thing out of the box”...

Basically it’d be moaning minnies like you lot that’d be kicking off whinging to your mummies for more pocket money.

Pull your finger out, don’t even open the shiny wrapper them apple phones come in - throw them immediately in the bin (without hesitation) and spend as much again on some proper headphones - NOT gay earbuds which are NEVER going to be any good compared to proper closed headphones.

Posted by sennheiser on April 9, 2004 at 7:21 AM (CDT)


I think the earbuds are OK… not awesome, but just OK.
When I’m at home (or when I feel like carrying them) I use Sony MDR-V6 headphones… now that’s quality. They don’t even rattle unless I’m past 95% of the volume. So usually I get loud music with excellent sound.

Sometimes I use the earbuds when I go outside or when I bike, because the sony I mentioned ARE big. Cancels any sound, though. :-D

Posted by SsnMx on April 9, 2004 at 7:32 AM (CDT)


I called apple up, complained about how the earbuds that came with my 40gb sucked…and gave them the serial on the back. Two days later they sent me a pair of the new 40 dollar ones. I suggest if you’re unhappy the slightest bit to try it.

Posted by Ryan on April 9, 2004 at 7:33 AM (CDT)


The apple ear buds, in my opinion, are the best sounding ‘ear bud’ brand of headphones. i had other ‘ear bud’ head phones thats sounded worse. i think the apple brand is the best in that department.

of course, i use Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones at home,  those are definatly better. but if im out walking around, the classic white ear buds are fine.

also, my ear bud’s started to make that rattling sound, but all you do is go to your local apple store, or through apple.com, report your problem, and you should get brand new headphones in the mail within 2 days. (as long as your under warranty

Posted by Tim on April 9, 2004 at 9:01 AM (CDT)


After about a week of using the included buds it sounded like I was making popcorn in the left one, so I ditched them. I wasn’t particularly surprised though; I go through cheap headphones extremely quickly.

Posted by Yvette on April 9, 2004 at 9:57 AM (CDT)


the included apple earbuds are just something the excited joe blow consumer can use for listening to the ipod right out of the box. it’s just like my digital camera that came with an 8MB compact flash card. no one is going to stay with the provided 8MB compact flash card with a digital camera. it’s just there for instant gratification.

these earbuds are a little better than most that come with music players, but still unacceptable for the amount of money you pay for an ipod. we all know that apple overprices their products despite “innovation” and “quality engineering” and “design.”

the company’s new management has many former execs from the gap and target. now more than ever, apple is promoting their products and retail stores as fashionable and luxurious (expensive).

that aside, i’ve given these earbuds away to a friend that was more than excited to have them. bought sony ex71 like many people on this board. surprisingly good sound quality, but i got freaked out about damaging my hearing. returned those and after a lot of research, now have the very affordable sennheiser px 100, which sounds great, are very comfortable, fold up to a nice compact size and even have a hard, sunglass-like carrying case.

Posted by Dan on April 9, 2004 at 10:59 AM (CDT)


I agree with SsnMx - the earbuds are okay, but certainly not exceptional, unless you compare them with other stock headphones.

There are a number of earphones or headphones that are a lot better, but which ones are best for you?..... The ones that are best for YOU.

Personally, I love my Grados - they really open up the sound and remind me of why I spent so much money on an iPod - to enjoy the music!!

For buds/plugs, I love my Etys, but others will furvently preach the quality of their Shures. Listen to a number of options (if possible) and pick the ones that sound the best to YOU.

Posted by Bill Clinton on April 9, 2004 at 1:25 PM (CDT)


I own 4 pairs of headphones: First,  $10 Sony Ear Buds I bought for my iBook. Then my wife got an iPod and I tried the Apple Ear Buds on my iBook. Blew away the Sony’s. When Apple came out with the in-ear headphones for $30, I thought I’d give them a try. At first, I was very disappointed. I though the ear buds were better. The in-ear sounded great for Jazz, but lack bass response. I fly a lot, and found all the headphones unusable on aircraft. So I did a lot of research and plunked down hard cash on Etymotic ER-4P’s. You know what? Not much difference from the Apple In-Ear, except the sound isolation is MUCH better, but they take a litte getting used.

Bottom line: After a while, the Apple in-ear became my favorite for all around general use. The in-ear buds still aren’t bad. If you gotta have the best, try something like the Etymotics.

Part of the problem is there is NO PLACE you can try or buy any decent selection of headphones, except online.

Here is the best place I have for headphone:


Posted by Rick on April 9, 2004 at 4:26 PM (CDT)


I agree with Bill Clinton. The Apple In-Ear headphones are good value. My $80 Denons are better, but they’re over-the-ear and cumbersome outside. Plus they’re twice as expensive. The In-Ears took some getting used to and I wouldn’t wear them running (they’d fall out), but…they sound great when I’m just walking around. Because they fit right in the ear, the sound is pretty detailed. The bass is tight (so great for jazz and acoustic, but not for trance, hip hop, etc.) and the high end is crisp (not “tinny” as others have suggested). Maybe Etys or Senns sound twice as good. But they also cost over twice as much.

Posted by Digitddog on April 9, 2004 at 6:59 PM (CDT)


Exactly the discussion I needed - earbud miseries. Not being an experienced audiophile, it seems to me that the iPod buds sound OK, but don’t fit very well.  I’ve tried silicone wraps from Radio Shack - no improvement, and the cheap Koss, which fit and stay in-ear much better.
But I’m almost seduced by the ads for the expensive high-end buds.
So tell me iPodders, what’s your opinions for a good pair of buds for jogging??

Posted by newrunner on April 9, 2004 at 7:59 PM (CDT)


I have some sony ex71’s and some big ass DJ headphones but I still use the stock ear-buds when I ride my bike because they don’t block out ambient sound as much, which would be a bad thing when riding a bike in traffic.

Posted by jr on April 9, 2004 at 10:16 PM (CDT)


“Mine did that too.. but you shouldnt have bought a new pair.. I just went to Apple Customer support on their website and reported the problem, they sent me a new pair after two days.”

i tried to find the costumer support can you plase give me a link?

Posted by Ivan on April 9, 2004 at 10:32 PM (CDT)

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