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Recommend me Earbuds!


UrbanLegend
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So, I just burned through my fifth pair of JVC Marshmallow earbuds in less than two years. They had a good bass response, decent overall sound quality, and they were pretty inexpensive, but the left ear always, always fails eventually. And I'm sick of that, so I'm looking for a new pair of earbuds.

Any audiophiles on TPR? I don't even know what I should be looking for.

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I kept buying Sony - isolation ones similiar to what you had, that are around $15. Same issue. One bud ends up crapping out. I loved the bass response, and the highs and mids were good too.

 

Tried Skull Candy, and hated them. Hurt my ears and way too much mid range.

 

Just went to Radio Shack and picked up Auvio. It's an off brand, but I'm pleasantly surprised. They're on par with the Sonys. Personally, I think all these buds are cheap and disposable. If I get a year or two out of them, I'm happy.

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Can't say I'm an audiophile, but I freaking LOVE my pair of JLab J6 that I got for about $20 (sign up for their emails and add them on facebook, they ALWAYS have sales and deals to get their stuff cheap) and their return policy is really good.

 

I have the problem that my headphone port is on the front of my laptop, so the cord is always getting snagged and tugged out of the slot. Eventually they stop working, and I've had this happen with a pair of Bose headphones too, so it's not a manufacturer defect. Did JLab's troubleshooting online and in a few minutes, they sent me out a new pair at no cost to me, and I didn't have to even send them the broken ones first. Got the replacement about a week later.

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  • 1 month later...

Hifiman RE 262. I guess I'd be a new audiophile. They're $150, but they are worth every penny. Gorgeous sound, you can hear individual parts very easily, even in speed metal. Pretty durable, and they also come with three different extension cords (one switches Left and Right speakers, one has normal left and right, and one is a mono mode) five different ear insert sizes, wire clips, ten replacement earpiece filters, and it all comes in a very nice, if large, case.

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All really depends on if you're willing to shell out the cash for some quality audiophile headphones.

 

Really, mostly everyone calls themselves an "audiophile" these days... even though they're using iPods/iPhones w/ 256kbps .aac files or 320kbps mp3's. Make sure you're using .FLAC files (or .ALAC if using iTunes), it's not just the headphones you have, it's also the audio file quality and equipment used to play back the files. You can even find 24bit/48khz audio on audiophile sites such as https://www.hdtracks.com/, but beware, they're VERY large files (30mb average) so make sure you have a music player with a large hard drive.

 

Now, for headphones, IEMs (In ear monitors) are best for noise-cancelation (Not just isolation). I ride the subway every day here in Boston, and even with the subway noise, screaming children, and loud people, I can't hear anything but my music with my IEMs, and that's with the player volume set at 25%. I use WestOne UM2s that have dual drivers, one for highs/mids and a separate for low ends. The UM1s don't sound terrible either if you're looking for a cheap option (around $100 on amazon), but they now have a UM3 (around $500) that have three drivers (high, mid, and low) to give you a really representation of the music.

 

Now, I'm not really sure about more consumer based products like Shure/Sony/Bose... I'm sure they're good, but I've never seen a professional musician use them, but I have seen performers use UM2/UM3s. Matt Bellamy from Muse used the UM2s a few years back as his in-ears for a performance in London.

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So, I just burned through my fifth pair of JVC Marshmallow earbuds in less than two years. They had a good bass response, decent overall sound quality, and they were pretty inexpensive, but the left ear always, always fails eventually. And I'm sick of that, so I'm looking for a new pair of earbuds.

Any audiophiles on TPR? I don't even know what I should be looking for.

 

I've blown through a pair of JVC Marshmallows as well, a couple within about 6 months max. I then went on and tried out a pair of some $40 Sony buds that lasted a little over a year and finally kicked the bucket. Sadly I couldn't find them anymore (they had a nice, thick flat cord) and opted to try the Skull Candy Titans (which worked/lasted as long as your average $20 buds, don't get it).

 

Not sure if you can get them or not but I've been using the Philips "Specked" buds (co-branded with O'Neil) that I got at Target. For the price (I paid $25 for them), they can compare to the $40 Sony's I purchased a few years ago...the nylon cord is pretty durable and I had a pair last me almost a year. They are far superior to the Skull Candy Titans I was excited to try out. I'm not an audio expert by any means but do have an idea on what sounds good and these sound pretty great!

 

I use earbuds 5-6 days a week, almost all day at work...so considering how much use they're getting. In the end, you get what you pay for, and also, it's all just trial and error. I did not expect my Philips Specked to last more than 2 months but was blown away. While I do have a pair that's dying (not dead yet, both sides still work but sound fades a bit when cord moves), I decided to get a new pair as that got annoying. I expected the $40 Titans to be comparable to the Sony's I had but I got the same use as I got out of a cheap pair. I am curious though to try out the new Apple Ear Pods...Apple buds seem to last a long time and sound great! They are just flat out uncomfortable to use for extended amount of time.

 

Yup, these are them...you can find them (well, I found them) at Target. I probably should pick up another pair just to have on hand.

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I respect your knowledge KrakenKing, but I think that is well beyond what hes looking for.

 

I consider myself and audiophile, but I'm not at all an ear bud fan. You should check out NuForce though, they are highly regarded. I have a fiend who got some and he loves them and uses them when he is running n stuff. He has the more expensive ones ($70), but I'd assume the cheaper ones ($30ish) are better then just about anything else at that price.

 

http://www.nuforce.com/hp/reviews-headphones.php Those are what they make on the right. The 'expensive' ones are the 700X/700M, the difference between those being one has a mic n stuff for cell phone use.

 

Here is a review of the two cheaper models. http://www.head-fi.org/t/589730/mini-review-nuforce-ne-770x-and-ne-600-budget-earphones This is the important bit though

 

In other words, the only time my Denon AH-C700 ever come out to play is for comparisons in reviews, but with the NE-770X I'd be happy using them most of the time if I didn't have any better IEM. They have a nice musical quality to them that I would not normally equate with a $49 IEM. When I bought the Denon in 2007 I liked them un-amped with my 3rd Gen Nano and 5th Gen iPod video, and I paid the full $199 for them. Now in 2012 here is a $49 IEM that I'd rather listen to. I liked these with any genre, and with most of my source/amps, which is unusual for me without spending a lot more money. They're not a giant killer, but they do raise the bar for a $49 IEM.

 

Here is the 770X on Cnet http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/nuforce-ne770x-carbon/4505-7877_7-35303191.html honestly they sound like an amazing deal, plus the blue ones look kinda cool.

 

You can buy them directly from NuForce though amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RAXKYA/ref=asc_df_B006RAXKYA2193976?smid=A1X9RG1B24PGRW&linkCode=asn&creative=395129&creativeASIN=B006RAXKYA&tag=cnet_mp-3161-20

 

I am curious though to try out the new Apple Ear Pods...Apple buds seem to last a long time and sound great!

 

Lol, your opinions of audio quality are now invalid.

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I got a pair of Klipsch X10i headphones a few months ago and I'm loving them, they sound as good as they look and they are so comfortable I forget that they are there after about 5 minutes of use. I don't know what price bracket you're looking for but in the $150-200 range these are definitely worth a look.

 

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I do not know anything about Earbuds. However just something to hold you over till you get a really nice pair, try the new iPhone/Apple headphones. They are amazing. The sound that comes from them is just awesome, and the bass is great too. It is like having a concert in your head. Like I said, I do not know much about Earbuds, but these would be great to hold you over till you could find something you like more, and they would not break the bank!

~Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really can't suggest any brand or model in particular, but i would suggest you make sure where ever you buy them, make sure you have a decent return policy on them, hopefully more than 30 days and no restrictions on them being used, because i've had some pairs sound great but just stop working after a week or so but not be able to return them because of store policy.

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