Does anyone know about the Bang and Olufsen earphones ( I think it is the model A8)....they sounded great oin the store demo but they are very expensive..$160

Posted by Howard on February 16, 2004 at 5:34 AM (PDT) Comment 81

Bought these (among others) but keep coming back to the original set. I wear them upside-down, facing forward and looped over my ears. Haven't found ANY small earphones that sound better when I use the Ipod set this way. Unfortunately, it's takes this type of maneuvering to get good sound.

Posted by Dre F. on February 16, 2004 at 9:43 AM (PDT) Comment 82

I bought a pair of Etymotic ER-6s a couple of weeks ago and they do sound great. If you want big, completely unnatural bass with 'some' noise isolation then go for 'can' headphones and look like be a wanabe DJ. But if you want to sit on the subway/train/plane and actually hear recordings as they were originally intended, you can't go wrong with the ER-6s.

The noise isolation is excellent and the bass is tight and not boomy. Listening to Eminem on the subway, for example, and hearing every detail just gives his lyrics so much more energy. With normal earbuds you just don't hear this unless you're in a perfectly quiet environment, and even then it's not as good.

High quality in-ear earphones are the way forward my friends - they sound great, you cut background noise (much more than 'noise cancelling' earphones) and they fit in any pocket. But please note, I'm not putting these new Apple earphones in this category, as they don't actually go fully inside the ear canal.

BTW: the person who said they didn't get any bass from the ER-6s either didn't have a proper seal (VERY important), or is used to very unnatural, boomy bass. Think about it - do you think there was that much bass coming out of the reference speakers in the recording studio?

Posted by crofty on February 17, 2004 at 3:23 AM (PDT) Comment 83

didn't someone make some headphone covers that go over the stock apple earphones and convert them to in-the-ear earphones? sounds like the best of both worlds.

Posted by Jeff on February 17, 2004 at 9:01 PM (PDT) Comment 84

I hope the people complaining about suck sound from the Apple buds are taking the time to play with them -- I initially hated mine, but after I turned them upside down and then into my ear canals, I was extremely happy.

By the way, the Sony A44L's are good phones for jogging duties -- on a band over your head so they don't fall out. Pretty good sound, too, and only $25.

Posted by Piranhahaha on February 18, 2004 at 7:49 AM (PDT) Comment 85

I purchased these headphones the day they came out. "Tinny" is an inaccurate description. These things are "crap". I actually like bass in my music. These phones sounds hollow and clearly were launched just to say that they in fact had in ear earbuds. I returned them and bought a pair of Sony studio headphones. I was really upset. First, the introduction of the 40GB just after I bought the 30GB, now this. I can't think of anymore ways to waste money...

Posted by byrd on February 18, 2004 at 12:05 PM (PDT) Comment 86

Got my iPod got home put songs on there then put the earphones that came with the ipod in my ears one word: Ewwww, they hurt like hell Not evryone ears are the same size and I'm glad they got these news ones. Only broblem they are too much.

Posted by FabuTee on February 19, 2004 at 7:05 PM (PDT) Comment 87

after reading the comments on the headphone reviews it would do some service to the readers of this site to investigate some dedicated headphones sites.

for a cost effective experiment with in-canal phones check out the mods on the Koss Plugs at:

interesting forums regarding headphonphilia:

interseting addition to your stock earbuds:
slicsound bud covers

Posted by foot on February 20, 2004 at 1:55 PM (PDT) Comment 88

I got these headphones one day because I grabbed my Ipod, and not my headphones. I was all excited when I saw them, got them, and then....dissapointment. They were terrible. The sound is really bad, all highs, no treble. You need to set your Ipod settings to Treble low, and they pop out of your ears. I returned them the next day. Too bad I had to pay the Apple store a $3.50 open box fee...what a waste. But, I ended up getting a pair of the original headphones with the remote. Much better.

Posted by Taryn Vernon on February 21, 2004 at 4:11 PM (PDT) Comment 89

*IF* you can get them to fit with a good seal, I think these have a nice smooth sound. Not too bright, not too bassy. And you hardly feel them in your ears.
Not sure if I want to be pulling on my ears in public all the time to adjust the fit, though. Seems like the seal doesn't last, but is that the same deal as the EX71's?

Posted by elricky on February 21, 2004 at 10:08 PM (PDT) Comment 90

After listening to two songs on my new iPod mini with the apple in-ear headphones I packed them up and returned them. Very tinny sound and low bass response. The standard ipod headphones sounded 100% better. I thought i was paying an extra $40 for upgraded sound quality...not.

Posted by T Brogan on February 23, 2004 at 8:21 PM (PDT) Comment 91

Just opened these up and popped them in with the iPod playing. Comparing to the stock headphones only. Here are my impressions:
1. Sound is MUCH more clear and crisp, but almost tinny and metallic-like compared to stock. Like someone said before, I am hearing things on some songs I didn't know was there.
-Sound overall seems to be quieter than stock as well. I have to turn up the volume to actually get the same amount of sound compared to the stock.
2. Bass on the other hand is a little weak, it's there, but it's definitely on the weak side. I'm not too worried about the bass because if I want bass, I'll jump in my car or listen at home on the system.
3. Fitment for myself, right out of the box with the medium sized slips, was a perfect fit. Again, as discussed before, everyone's ears are different, so it's just trial and error.
4. Outside noice is drastically reduced compared to stock, but not completely gone, which is good, because I like to be aware of my surroundings (I walk around DC for school/classes). I'll have to wait to see what they sound like when I am on an airplane or riding the metrorail.

For $35 (student discount) I think these are a decent deal. Not the best deal, but enough to suffice for the avg. listener like myself. If I had $160 laying around, I might have gotten the B&0 A8's (for bling factor) but to be honest, the two sound pretty much the same. I have not tried the Shure's or Sony's so I don't much of a comparison, but for those with stock earphones looking to upgrade to these, I hope this helped some.

Happy listening!

Posted by Preppy on February 24, 2004 at 5:21 PM (PDT) Comment 92

More people would be satisfied with their Apple In-Ear Headphones if they knew how to wear them properly. To get the right fit, you have to use two hands to insert each earpiece. The one hand holds the earpiece, and the other hand reaches over your head to grab the top of your ear and pull up slightly. This crucial second step is what allows the earpiece to get a good grip just inside the ear when you let go. I'm surprised Apple didn't include a diagram demonstrating proper fitting. I was at first skeptical (this is the first time I've paid over $10 for headphones) and I was especially wary because I have never worn "earbuds" that didn't make my ears hurt. These In-Ear Headphones are well-worth the money spent, if only for the little sliding bit that keeps the wire from snagging. I also really enjoy the way it keeps out ambient sounds in the office. I've also been surprised to hear things I never noticed before in music I listen to all the time.

Posted by Mike on February 24, 2004 at 5:37 PM (PDT) Comment 93

I haven't got any in-ear phones, but rom the comments so far it sounds like people generally have different kinds of ears. Its just uncool to say no-one or everyone should get them just coz of your opinion,.

I still use apples original buds, and they are fine for me except for noisy environments, so i am considering getting a pair of the apple in-ear buds, mostly because I prefer apples company philosophy to sonys, though the etymotics are tempting.

Posted by flonejek on February 25, 2004 at 11:16 PM (PDT) Comment 94

I have the Sony's but they are not quite as loud as the original ipods earbuds. Can anyone say if Apple's in ear buds are louder than the Sony 71s?

Posted by mowens on March 1, 2004 at 5:00 PM (PDT) Comment 95

Well guys, i bought these apple earphones and indeed i felt they are worse than the original in terms of music fidelity. I guess there should be a proper label regarding their signal/noise ratio and their frequency reponse to be able to differentiate all the brands you are all talking about.
A medical answer to the so many ideas about the bass problem is the following: Because the old ones are big, when they are pushed inside the earcanal in a way that they face the eardrum (not sidways) they create a small chamber of air between them and the earcanal. This will act as a bass enhancer. This way we get the feel of a better bass. The new ones deliver the music without added effect.

We must ask for the technical details of these products before delivering an objective answer.

Posted by zaatour on March 6, 2004 at 5:26 AM (PDT) Comment 96

Terrible earphones. Can I return it? :-( Slips out easily and all the while giving me an earache from too much readjusting. Btw I bought the Bose headphones instead.

Posted by treopod on March 8, 2004 at 5:38 PM (PDT) Comment 97

I bought them and hate them very tinny sound I have several cheap pairs of sony earphones that sound much nicer for less. I looked at the documentation that came with them and there is no spec sheet or details. Obviously when you are selling crappy $5 earphones for $39 plus tax you don't want to add any detail on quality just platitudes

Apple should be asshamed of themselves for taking advantage of its customers and putting its logo on this product

Posted by EarBud Ripoff on March 11, 2004 at 4:16 PM (PDT) Comment 98

Just received my Apple pair yesterday.

I'd been using a pair of the Sony EX71s for a while and just got sick of the totally retarded ergomonics.The Sony's cord is way too thin (tangles constantly), too short (necessitating an extension cord unless you have your iPod remote clipped to your lapel), and the cord is irritatingly shorter on one side. (And yes, I read the above comment from Alex: “the Sony's go around the back of your head not in the front". I have nothing to say, except that’s an awkward and counterintuitive way to wear earphones.)

My other gripe with the EX71s was that the sound was rather overly biased toward the bass and that the treble was rather muted, necessitating the “treble booster” EQ setting.

The iPod in-ear unit is a vast improvement on the Sony as far as the layout: the cord is the right length, the same length on both ears (duh!) and thick enough not to tangle. The bad news, and it’s not minor, is that the iPod ‘phones fit VERY POORLY in the ear. The taper of the earpieces makes them slide out constantly. The other effect of the poor fit, which a lot of people may not realized, is that it detracts severely from the bass response. Because the earbuds are loose and can’t push up and resonate against the ear, they sound tinny and anemic.

As suggested above, I fitted the iPod phones with the EX71 earpieces. It’s an easy switch, and now they stay more firmly in place and the bass response is VERY MUCH improved. They’re still a tiny bit weak in the really low frequencies, but much, much better than before.

(As a good side benefit, the Sony earpieces are wisely black and don’t look all filthy like the light grey Apple ones).

I don’t know if EX71 earpieces are easily or cheaply obtained, but this seems like a pretty decent solution, providing the improved ergonomics of the Apple earphones with the better fit of the Sonys.

Posted by Damian on March 13, 2004 at 7:33 PM (PDT) Comment 99


I am no audiophile either, but I think those of you looking for the best quality sound should be looking at full headphones as opposed to earbuds or in ears like these. I just bought these and they fit my ears fine. The bass response is good. The highs are a tin like but not entirely unacceptable. My normal pair of headphones for at home listening are Sennheiser HD-497s. Those sound great. Much better than these, yet, I will probably use these for the gym. Believe it or not, I actually have a bit of a hard time removing these things from my ears once inserted (and yes my ears are clean). They seal well and I can get good volume levels which is more important to me at the gym than absolute sound quality. I don't know why my 24 hour fitness insists on playing the likes of Brittany Spears when I work out, but these drown that out quite well. Not the end all be all by any means. Just not as bad as some say. Depends on your luck with how they fit.

Posted by Pumi on March 13, 2004 at 8:50 PM (PDT) Comment 100

I was trying to decide between the Apple in-ear buds and the similar Sony EX71's. In the end, being an Apple loyalist, I chose the Apple buds. I have had absolutely no problems at all with these buds. They fit perfectly in my ears and I am loving the sound I get from them. Some people are saying the sound is "tinny" or "thin" and that it lacks bass. I don't know if they have higher sound standards or what, but I have not experienced this. It was said somewhere above that you get much better sound if you insert them properly, by pulling your ear up and out as you insert the bud. This is the way I've always inserted all my earbuds, and I've never had a problem with the sound using this method. Doing this creates an excellent seal, provided they fit your ear, and may also help the low bass problem. Hearing about the horrible ergonomics of the Sony's, I'm very glad I decided to go with the Apples. I recommend them, because if you do hate them, you can just return them minus about $4.

Posted by Josh on March 18, 2004 at 8:25 PM (PDT) Comment 101

Sony does sell their buds as a spare part for about US$5 a piece - if you are interested to explore getting them

Posted by Scratchy Justinivixch on March 19, 2004 at 10:09 PM (PDT) Comment 102

i have the B&O earphones and they are crap. Absolutly no base. The only good thing about them is that they dont fall out of my ears when i go jogging!

Posted by mark on March 20, 2004 at 5:46 AM (PDT) Comment 103

I though they would be a good idea, and cut down on sound leakage, but, they are awkward to get into my earholes, and always feel like they're about to fall out. Two days ago (19th March), just over a week after I got them, the left one quit. I didn't stand on it or let my cat chew it, it just <poof> up and died. I'm really annoyed, they're not cheap (in Canada) so I'm going to try and get them replaced, since they're under warranty.

Posted by irish on March 21, 2004 at 9:15 AM (PDT) Comment 104

I got my sony EX71SL earphones today, and from what I've experienced, they are the best in-ear phones that I have used. Comfortable, can't feel them, good seal I have not, however, used the etymotics or the shure headphones. Anything IMHO is better than the stock iPod earphones.

Are the EX71SL and the EX71LP the same? What is different about them?

Posted by Ajmbc on March 30, 2004 at 6:08 PM (PDT) Comment 105
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