comments

I'm using the Shure E2's which are about $85 and just blow me away by how great they sound. Much more accurate and you can actually hear the difference between a AAC and a regular CD.

Posted by Chomper on January 20, 2004 at 6:42 AM (PDT) Comment 6

These in-ear buds are much better than the original buds than come with the iPod. I can tell a difference when I listen to my music, it sounds much clearer and cleaner. The only thing I don't like is that there is not much bass, unless you push the buds really far into your ear canal (which probably isn't good for you) so I just set the EQ to 'Small Speakers' and this makes it sound much better.

The fit is good, I have not experienced the buds falling out of my ears yet, they seem to stay in fairly well. The ear pieces are made out of silicone so they are a little slippery, but I think they will hold up to use very well. They do take a little work to get them in the right place and they block outside noise fairly well, but not completely.

Overall I would recommend these in-ear buds to anyone who is looking for a good quality replacement to the original buds.

Posted by mike on January 20, 2004 at 7:34 AM (PDT) Comment 7

Yikes! Kind of a harsh review. I agree with mike on this one. I've been using the Apple in-ear buds and have no gripes. They're very comfortable, and I believe the sound quality is better than the Sony buds.

Posted by Atomic Bomb on January 20, 2004 at 7:55 AM (PDT) Comment 8

I gotta say again, Futuresonics my fav of the pack. I went right out to get the new Apple in-ears and they just aren't in the same league. Give me my bass without the boom and I'm a happy camper

Posted by Jockomo on January 20, 2004 at 10:19 AM (PDT) Comment 9

I was very excited to see the release of this item, but I agree with the review, they slip out of the ears. I did not notice an appreciative difference in the quality. In fact, I find them to be a bit more shrill. Even when setting the EQ for Bass Booster, it doesn't help much and adds some distortion.
Also, it may just be that I have a unique angle to my ear canal, but the phone sticks out and the wire loops out. I keep catching the wire and pulling the plug out of my ear if I adjust my scarf. It probably looks pretty silly, too. The other plugs used to hang straight down and stay close to my head.

I'd love to know where to get the Sony EX-71's in white.

Posted by LaNev on January 20, 2004 at 10:40 AM (PDT) Comment 10

I've tried most of the high quality headphones and nothing, in my experience, compares to the Etymotic ER4s at $330. The ER6 is about a third the price ($99 on the PalmOne site under accessories) and sounds nearly as good. It works better than the Bose at reducing noise and has incredible sound. It really is the most economical solution around because it may just be the last earphones you buy they are so good.

Posted by gordon on January 20, 2004 at 10:40 AM (PDT) Comment 11

Gordon's exactly right! The ER-6's from Eymotic Research are great, and the ER-4's superb. It is striking to me that Apple doesn't give you a credit towards better ear-buds like the ER's. Their, i.e. Apple's logic seems to be to build a killer device, the Ipod, have you spend hours loading all your music into your computer, more time figuring out iTunes or MusicMatch, paying for Audible books, and then selling junkiy earbuds that take away from rather than enhance the experience. The Etymotic ear buds are really even superior to the Bose noise cancelling headphones in my book because the deliver a superior result, no weight, no batteries and no need to drag along another case. While this may sound like heresy on an iPod site, I have been using mine with my Treo 600 and they work great on it too!

Posted by Buzz on January 20, 2004 at 10:53 AM (PDT) Comment 12

Slightly off-topic, but -- does anyone know how/where to get replacement caps for the Sony EX70's? The "small" size fits me perfectly, but one of them fell off one day after getting caught on something (didn't realize it till later). Ever since then, I've been using the mediums, and they just don't fit me as well.

And/or, would anyone be interested in swapping a (used) set of mediums or (unused) set of large plugs, for some small size plugs? That way you'd have a backup set in case you lose yours like I did smile.

Posted by notyou on January 20, 2004 at 11:28 AM (PDT) Comment 13

sony ex70 replacement earbuds:
http://www.audiocubes.com/index.php?cPath=22_83&osCsid=cbe99f91ea8ae60dcf1ad0214f071ef1

Posted by tariq on January 20, 2004 at 12:17 PM (PDT) Comment 14

Sony sells replacement plugs at $6.95 EACH. According to their web site, they are not in stock.
$6.95 sounds like a fair price for a full set of 6. Anybody know an alternate source?

Posted by Jeff on January 20, 2004 at 12:17 PM (PDT) Comment 15

Being out of stock on a key part of a current product, is one more reason to deal with someone like Etymotic, i.e. they have people who answer the phone. Try that with Sony sometime!

Posted by Buzz on January 20, 2004 at 12:57 PM (PDT) Comment 16

So I'm looking at the Sony MDR-EX71SL Fontopia Earphone which is what I assume everyone is talking about when they say "EX71". So is that to you, in white, the best earphones you could buy for the similar price of a pair of Apple's In-ear Headphones? It looks nice and I've heard good things about it. How about the Pioneer SE-CL30 Encapsulated Earphones in white?

I'm trying to find in-ear headphones that are well fitting, looks similar to the iPod headphones, great sound, and similar price to the Apple headphones.

I've got crazy ears that don't hold in the original iPod earbud phones, and from what I hear from this review, it looks like I'm not going anywhere near the iPod in-ear headphones either!

Someone please help!!

Posted by Me on January 20, 2004 at 1:16 PM (PDT) Comment 17

So I'm looking at the Sony MDR-EX71SL Fontopia Earphone which is what I assume everyone is talking about when they say "EX71". So is that to you, in white, the best earphones you could buy for the similar price of a pair of Apple's In-ear Headphones? It looks nice and I've heard good things about it. How about the Pioneer SE-CL30 Encapsulated Earphones in white?

I'm trying to find in-ear headphones that are well fitting, looks similar to the iPod headphones, great sound, and similar price to the Apple headphones.

I've got crazy ears that don't hold in the original iPod earbud phones, and from what I hear from this review, it looks like I'm not going anywhere near the iPod in-ear headphones either!

Someone please help!!

Posted by Me on January 20, 2004 at 1:17 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I prefer sound of the Apples but the fit of the Sonys. May swap the rubber bits.

Posted by Jackson on January 20, 2004 at 2:26 PM (PDT) Comment 19

These headphones suck and all you who are trying to stick up for Apple, ESPECIALLY the reviewer, need to stop being pussies. Who the #### TRIES to like something that sucks, just cause they think they should? And that part about buying TWO headphones and switching the pads so you still have the "Apple styling" made me want to stick AIDS needles in my eyes and #### broken glass.

...and #### Madonna

Posted by BOSS on January 20, 2004 at 2:48 PM (PDT) Comment 20

Yeah, BOSS, you go ahead and do that.

Posted by mafo on January 20, 2004 at 4:00 PM (PDT) Comment 21

like what want and buy what want.... mafo is right on... go ahead BOSS, do just that.

i think the apple buds lack some bass, but you can compensate by enhancing base in the eq and it more than makes up for it in the ability to reproduce clean trible.

Posted by stretchingcanvas on January 20, 2004 at 4:47 PM (PDT) Comment 22

What I want to know is, do these produce the same echoing effect that the EX71's do? I would think it's cause the EX71 cord is so thin, if they don't then I might considering getting a pair and getting replacement holders from audiocubes.

Posted by steve on January 20, 2004 at 5:11 PM (PDT) Comment 23

Someone please help? I need prof. advice from you folks... Please smile?

Posted by Me on January 20, 2004 at 5:55 PM (PDT) Comment 24

prof, get the 71s, i got them and now cannot use the ipod ones (partly cos they feel like they cut my ears). if anything, the comfort is 10x better than the apple stock buds and atleast twice as good.

Posted by timmy on January 20, 2004 at 7:08 PM (PDT) Comment 25

good review. boss has issues. decent buds for the money but obviously not the best out there. fit is different for everyone so everyones gonna have a certain opinon.

Posted by Q on January 20, 2004 at 7:42 PM (PDT) Comment 26

Yeah I guess that's the problem ("fit is different for everyone"). So, I will be purchasing a Sony MDR-EX71SL Fontopia Earphone.

Do people prefer this over any other earphone for this price? Or do they prefer the 51s, or the 70s?

What's the 71s echoing effect?

Thanks people, your advices are greatly appreciated!

Posted by Me on January 21, 2004 at 3:23 AM (PDT) Comment 27

I'm looking into an alternative to the ear buds that come with iPod. Sony, Shure, etymotics...etc. why wouldn't the old fashioned "over the head ear cupped headphoneds" work better. what are the drawbacks. Who makes a good headphone? What about the Bose?

Posted by rich on January 21, 2004 at 4:00 AM (PDT) Comment 28

Oh my God, these things suck!! I bought mine and listened to them. They're terrible compared to the stock earphones. I'm no audiophile, so I thought maybe it was just me. I let an audiophile friend of mine try them and he concurred. I sent them back to Apple that day.

Last night I bought a pair of Sony earbuds. Sound quality is much better than these, and marginally better than the stock earphones, but the ergonomics of the Sony pair is bad.

Posted by rdlink on January 21, 2004 at 9:51 AM (PDT) Comment 29

I agree with "Q" and "Me", fit IS different for everyone.

However, I've used the Sony EX70 and EX71 for a while and now I use Apple's in-ear earbuds. For me, Apple's fit better AND sound better than Sony's. I do not have any problems with the Apple version falling out. Since I've been using in-ear earbuds for quite some time now, I'm quite comfortable with inserting them a little deeper than I used to. This has made a tremendous difference. With all in-ear earbuds, it is extremely important to get a good seal with the ear canal.

I've also spoken to other people using Apple's in-ear design who were not as happy with them as me and I mentioned the ear canal sealling issue to them. Some of those people who tried it again were much happier with the sound quality after inserting the earbud deeper. Etymotic has some useful instructions on inserting earbuds on their webpage:

http://www.etymotic.com/musicians/more6.asp

Just scroll down about half way and you'll see their instructions.

It seems that it is partly a matter of educating people to properly use in-ear earbuds. But, clearly, some of the people above are experienced in using this style of earbud and should know what their doing. As mentioned above, fit IS different for everybody, and some people may never be happy with the fit... but I'm a happy camper. For the price, I prefer the Apple version.

Posted by Ben on January 21, 2004 at 9:55 AM (PDT) Comment 30
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