Friday, May 07, 2010

The Search for the Perfect Headphones: Earbuds

I recently purchased and returned a number of different headphones in my search for the perfect pair. Since I listen to music all day at work, this is especially important to me.

Years ago, I got a second generation iPod. At that time, they came with earbuds which would actually stay in your ears, most of the time, and had listenable sound quality. They also came with covers. I would give them 1 out of 5 stars.

With newer iPods, they changed the design (shown at left), apparently in favor of designing them to fit in the ears of some other species. They certainly weren't designed for the human ear. This is an even worse problem with the new iPod Shuffle, since you have to use the buds that came with them or buy expensive replacements. I give the newer iPod earbuds 0 out of 5 stars.

Those are absolutely awful, so when I got my iPod nano, I had to get some new earbuds.

I settled on the Sony MDR-EX35LP model. They are billed as having better bass than other earbuds--and headphones are known for having poor bass due to the small speaker size, so this is important. They also have two different colored rubber cushions, which is nice because you don't have to look very closely to decide which goes in which ear. They are also comfortable, and stay in your ears as well as any earbuds.

The problem with any earbuds with the rubber plugs--a necessary feature for a secure fit--is noise from the cord. Though they isolate you from outside sound very well, any slight bump or move of the cord makes annoying sounds in your ears. There really is no alternative for working out, and the portability is unsurpassed.

The Verdict: I give the Sony Bumpin Buds 3 out of 5 stars. At the under $20 price range, I don't think you can do any better.

I wasn't happy with this option for work, though. Next week I'll review the first set of headphones I tried.

No comments:

Post a Comment