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’m not quite sure why people seem to be bashing these things. Unless you have a defective pair of Apple earbuds, they should be just fine. Certainly not audiophile quality, but what do you want, they’re “earbuds”. Although the fit did take some getting used to as they are uncomfortable at first, the sound quality was average if not better. A decent sound for the little things that they are. If you want performance, get some nice in-ears from Shure or some headphones designed for a full range sound.

Posted by HOBMONGUY on April 10, 2004 at 3:43 AM (CDT)


My girlfriend can’t even fit them in her ears!

Posted by dmo on April 10, 2004 at 2:27 PM (CDT)


I bought Sony EX71’s. Sound better and more comfortable. Haven’t tried the high priced buds, but don’t want $150-400 earbuds anyway…

Posted by MidPack on April 10, 2004 at 3:41 PM (CDT)


drewmcd24 and greg have got it right, no-one should expect the iPod earbuds to be very good, all stock earbuds that come with any audio player are usually crap, and the iPod’s are the best of the lot. People who buy discmans and walkmans generally aren’t as fussy about sound quality as iPod users, so they keep their crappy stock earbuds and it doesn’t worry them. iPod users are more likely to be audiophiles, and they will go out and spend $100 dollars or more on better headphones. So don’t anyone whinge about how poor the iPod earbuds sound quality is, what do you expect from an OEM earphone?

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on April 10, 2004 at 3:43 PM (CDT)


The iPOD earbuds are fair when compared to other stock earphones.  However, my Bose QuietComforts will kick their a$$ any day that I don’t want to hear outside noise or get amazing sound.

Posted by TK on April 10, 2004 at 10:09 PM (CDT)


I don’t have a problem paying for new ones at all. However, I’m sure it’s an issue for some people who may have had their budgets stretched in buying the Ipod in the first place. It’s not a case of whinging really, more just voicing disappointment that they’re not that good - esp when the Ipod itself is fantastic.
And what are ‘gay’ headphones sennheiser? Interesting concept.

Posted by munky in Manchester on April 11, 2004 at 3:49 AM (CDT)


Guys, you dissing apple. Be glad they even give you headphones! And in my opionion i LOVE the ones they give you and i LOVE even more the in-ear ones. I never want to use another pair of headphones than the in-ear headphones!

Posted by Nick Rodriguez on April 11, 2004 at 9:53 AM (CDT)


I’ve got the noise cancelling Bose and the non-noise cancellng Bose.  Both are great when not on my Harley.  I’m looking for something for my rides.  Will the Er 4’s or 6’s do the job.  I would like to cancel most of the the Harley noise (sweet as it is) so I do not have to have the volume up to the max.  This has got to have an ill effect on my hearing.

Posted by Doug Andersen on April 11, 2004 at 2:42 PM (CDT)


Why are these comments starting to sound a lot like posts by the manufacturers? Audio is subjective and people will like what they personally like.

My point was simply that the iPod is an amazing audio device that deserves to have the best earphones (open/closed/in-ear) possible.

For my particular taste, I am happy with the choice that I made in Sennheiser’s IE3. I found out that they are, yes, the same as the Futuresonics so I didn’t get that deal posted here a while back. I’m happy and would go down that road again.

Maybe the better question is “what do you like about the earphones you use with your iPod?”

Great information and I think everyone posting has a point. It seems like it is about what works for you, not for everyone.

Posted by Guru on April 11, 2004 at 9:08 PM (CDT)


I’ve seen a couple of people mention the Etymotic ER-4’s and their $250 price tag - I have the ER-6’s that are about half the price, and I love them.  They are billed as “isolation” ear buds, and sure enough they do rather cut you off from the outside world (they fit inside and seal off the ear canal), and their placement makes them awkward to take them on and off casually, but I do like them for use on aircraft for the noise isolation.

Oh, and Sennheiser - if earbuds are gay, then your “proper” closed headphones are, what, homophobic?  Pissant.

Posted by Ken on April 11, 2004 at 9:25 PM (CDT)


Im looking for a good pair of headphones to use with my iPod, but unfortunatley havent had a lot of success. Could anybody make any recomedations on portable (seeing as the iPod is a portable device) headphones.

Posted by neodoxy in Sydney on April 12, 2004 at 1:13 AM (CDT)


I only changed mine after my dog ate them. I found the sound quality good enough but they were uncomfortable to use. I bought the inear’s and found they slipped out and fiddley to put in.  I bought Shure E2’s.  These are fantastic.  Good if you run or cycle.  The wire going back over the ear keep these bad boys in place. I recommend them.

Posted by Jonathan Seath on April 12, 2004 at 3:01 AM (CDT)


Senheisers for me. Great sound, not too expensive either.

Posted by Pedlop in Blighty on April 13, 2004 at 8:48 AM (CDT)


I use the Bose Triports and the sound is good but at higher volume the low end frequencys are non existant this even happens with my friends Sennheiser HD 650s. All my music is in wav format because mp3s cut of the high and low end frequencies and I find the Ipod’s frequency response to be poor to begin with.

Posted by Damien on June 20, 2004 at 12:47 AM (CDT)


I finally got amazing sound while on my rather loud Harley.  They are Shure E-5’s.  Do not know they are even on your head.  Total freedom with or without helmet.  There is no thumping noise when the cord is rattled or bumped. (not sure what the concern was on that one was).  They list for $640, got mine for $420 in Salt Lake City.  I have both pairs of Bose, no comparison at all.  The sound seems to form from inside your head.  Try a pair.  A little confusing first inserting them, but it comes very fast after that.

Posted by Doug Andersen on June 20, 2004 at 8:05 PM (CDT)


hello i am doing market reserch, and i am trying to produce a more comfortable, affordable and not as easily recognised ipod earphones. do you think that apart from changing the design of the earphones i should also change the colour from white??please give me some feedback on the message board if possible thank you

Posted by michelle on September 15, 2004 at 1:12 PM (CDT)


I would like it to be white.

Posted by pollyg in San Diego on September 15, 2004 at 4:30 PM (CDT)


I bought the “in-ear” phones from the Apple store. They are really crap. It produces this ‘hissing’ sound, only if I really press the things deep and hard in my ears do I get any bass tones. I tried all the three different sizes but nothing helped. Another EUR 39,- down the drain since the shop does not allow one to return ‘m.

Posted by bartski on October 7, 2004 at 7:29 AM (CDT)

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