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  1. #1
    Senior Member toegnix's Avatar
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    Question Headphones / Earbuds Suggestions

    BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, READ THIS!
    I tried searching the forums and saw some threads on this subject but they all had sparse suggestions and plenty of people crapping on the thread about how they think you shouldn't ride with headphones. PLEASE GET PAST THAT FACT and simply post your suggestions as to which headphones work and why.


    I'm looking for suggestions on a good set of headphones / earbuds for riding, with the primary quality being that they stay in the ear and secondary quality that they don't block out too much outside sound. I'm not likely to choose a set with an around-the-ear clip, just an in-ear set.


    I have some KOSS "Sparkplug" earbuds with a soft expandable cushion but they isolate too much outside noise and still work their ways out of my ears.


    These are on sale at Circuit City this week and look like they might be good: Sony Fontopia Ear-Bud Headphones Model: MDREX71SL. Anyone use these?


    And finally, since sound quality isn't all that big a deal with all the wind noise, I'm considering getting one of the more typical earbud sets and augmenting them with Jabra EarGels. I've used a two-way with a Jabra EarGel and can't recall it ever coming off in a race, even without tape. Has anyone else tried this?

    WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    I have sures, but for riding I just use an old pair of iPod ones with one earpiece cut off. An in-ear isolating headphone is dangerous, imo for cycling. I like that the ipod ones loosely sits in my right ear without knocking out all the other sound.
    One Less Car
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  3. #3
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    Do the ipod earbuds block out wind noise?

  4. #4
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I had been using the slip from slipsteam. They do two things. They cut down alot on wind noise because they create a spoiler of sorts in front of your ear. They also can hold an ear bud. With the wind noise greatly reduced you don't need to pump up the volume so much to hear what you are playing. That is especially nice if your speed varies alot. When I tried other alternatives I'd end up with the sound blaring too much when I stopped and too quiet when I got really going.


    slip page

  5. #5
    Senior Member intrepidbiker's Avatar
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    I use regular sport (behind the neck) headphones instead of earbuds. The headphones cut out windnoise without blocking out traffic noises. Also, they stay in place.

    The "Slip" looks pretty awesome and I might buy a set to try them out (although one of the online reviews weren't too kind to them). The only problem I see with them is that your earbuds are going to be somewhat permanently attached to your helmet which would be a pain in the butt if you get off your bike and remove your helmet frequently

  6. #6
    Senior Member Plow13's Avatar
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    i use ipod ear phones with one one ear in....the other ear bud gets wrapped around my helmets ear piece so it doesnt flap around
    Cervelo S1 2010 (road) Lemond Alpe d'Huez 2004 (road)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymee View Post
    Do the ipod earbuds block out wind noise?
    You can still hear wind when you're really moving. I don't think that's a bad thing. When I riding I just want to hear the music, news, whatever. I don't care about sound quality on the bike.

    For riding and running I perfer the old style iPod earphone. The new ones don't stay as well in my ears.
    One Less Car
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Plow13's Avatar
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    you could also try slipstreamz...
    http://www.slipstreamz.com/content.asp?subID=8

    Cervelo S1 2010 (road) Lemond Alpe d'Huez 2004 (road)
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  9. #9
    Member Ryoku Hunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plow13 View Post
    you could also try slipstreamz...
    http://www.slipstreamz.com/content.asp?subID=8


    those look really cool. currently i just use IPOD earphones..just one in my right ear..and the other one just wraps around the back of my ear and kind of falll over in front of my left ear. sometimes i do that with both, because i only want the music as kind of "background music"
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    MDREX71SL are the nicest inexpensive sounding earbuds out there but I would not
    necessarily recommend them for cycling because they do tend to block out outside
    noise fairly well. But standalong off the bike, they sound terrific. I wear them with
    an iPod in a back jersey pocket when I do trainer rides in the off-season.

  11. #11
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I use the nike / phillips headphones and they work well.. They are in your ear enough so you can hear your music but not so much to cut out traffic noises behind you.. A good balance.. I think the earbuds that go in the ear canal cut out all outside noise that they can be a little dangerous.. You can find them on ebay pretty cheap, I have also found them at sports authority

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nike-Flight-Spor...QQcmdZViewItem

  12. #12
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    The slip from slipstreams isn't that big of a deal if you want ot keep your music all the time. It never got in the way when I was taking off my helmet or hanging it off my bike when I went into work.
    If I didnt' want to listen to music though I was either stuck with earbuds and a cord plugged into nothing or I had to annoyingly remove them. I dont' think they are built for alot of on/off cycles as the plastic was white at hte flex points after just a few.
    I am probably going to buy a spare helmet and have one for music and one for without. That is if I can find someone who sells m y helmet. I swear everytime I buy anything I like it goes off the market.

  13. #13
    Member Ryoku Hunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    I use the nike / phillips headphones and they work well.. They are in your ear enough so you can hear your music but not so much to cut out traffic noises behind you.. A good balance.. I think the earbuds that go in the ear canal cut out all outside noise that they can be a little dangerous.. You can find them on ebay pretty cheap, I have also found them at sports authority

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nike-Flight-Spor...QQcmdZViewItem
    OOOH, i really like these. I think these will be my nxt set of earphones.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
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    Check out these: http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...s-p-16307.html

    They are the etymotic ER-6. You can find them cheaper but they're still pretty expensive. They CAN block out almost all sound but you can adjust that by how deeply you seat them in your ears. I use them on my bike and I use them on my lawnmower. I can hardly hear the mower when they are fully seated but have no problem hearing cars coming up from behind when I leave them out a bit. They are the most comfortable in ear phone I've ever used and the sound quality is unbelievable.

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Etymotics are gorgeous sounding buds but the Sony MDREX71SL's are the cheap version of the
    same kind of design in some respects.

    The sound quality is far better than the original buds that come with the iPods (which I find unbearably painful to wear, they're huge! My earholes aren't that big!).

    If you're a "money is no object" kinda person, the Etymotics are the way to go.

    If you want great sound on a budget, the Sony's are my vote.

  16. #16
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    yeah, Etymotics is a little expensive, but I think it's worthy.
    Recently I just got my Etymotic ER6i. They are inserted all the way into the ear, forming a tight seal which blocks out external noise but lets pure sound come through the integrated ear-speakers.
    And I got it at a pretty low deal price for $75. Here is it, maybe it can help some of you

    And it also has some reviews
    http://www.digitalmania-online.com/E...6i-Review.html
    Last edited by jan12; 08-18-09 at 02:58 AM.

  17. #17
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    In case you don't get all the info you're looking for here, head-fi.org has all anyone would ever need to know on the topic.

    Bring your wallet though. I've come away with no less than a half dozen buds/phones from suggestions there.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  18. #18
    Powerlifting cyclist.. momod's Avatar
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    ive had the Shure E5s and E2's they had great sound, maybe a little bright. They did seem to block the sound out pretty well though. Right now I have some Denon's.. They are a little muddy in the low end but they do alright. They have this damn asymmetrical cable though that drives me nuts. One of your first considerations should be price cause they start at $10 and go up to over $500.. just deciding that will narrow your choices.

  19. #19
    Biker looking for a ride!
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    I have a pair of these...

    http://www.v-moda.com/collection/mod...ss%20freq.aspx

    They work great and sound great..

  20. #20
    Senior Member toegnix's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback, but let me reiterate these important points:

    1. The biggest factor is getting a pair of earbuds is that stay in the ear during the course of a ride.
    2. Sound quality is a negligible factor since wind and traffic noise make up the background. This pretty much excludes the pricier earbuds since their primary selling point in sound quality.
    3. Sound isolation is a NEGATIVE factor since I still want to be able to hear my surroundings, especially traffic.

    I guess if I were to describe my ideal set of earbuds, they'd be like the sound isolation ones that go into the ear canal EXCEPT that they do so solely for the purpose of being secured in the ear, not to actually isolate the sound of the earbud. They would be constructed as to allow ambient noise to flow through the earplugs in conjunction with the speaker sound.

    Maybe I'm asking for something that doesn't exist?
    Anthony -- [this signature neutered by BF]
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  21. #21
    rain-forest commuter
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    I bought the Slipstreamz a few days ago based on feedback from this site and I love them. I went through 5 pairs of headphones looking for ones that fit all your criteria. In the end, the ones that blocked out the wind (canal phones) kept coming slightly dislodged. The wind noise became ubearable with the Sony headphones that wrap around the back of your ears and sit sideways in the canal. The volume on regular phones had to be adjusted for wind noise.

    Now with these Slipstreamz, I can use regular, decent headphones and I can hear them nearly the entire time without changing the volume. The sound isn't fantastic, since they don't sit 'in your ear', but beside it, but that's not a big deal to me since I listen to talk radio. I can now hear everything around me - in fact, I hold conversations at stop lights with the radio still playing. And best of all, that frikkin windnoise is down dramatically.

    The only drawback, as someone else pointed out, is that they are inconvenient if you want to remove them regularly. I have 2 helmets, so that's not a big deal for me.
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  22. #22
    GretnaBikes gretnabikes's Avatar
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    Check out skullcandy. Look at the smokin buds!
    GretnaBikes
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  23. #23
    Biker looking for a ride!
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    Quote Originally Posted by toegnix View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback, but let me reiterate these important points:

    1. The biggest factor is getting a pair of earbuds is that stay in the ear during the course of a ride.
    2. Sound quality is a negligible factor since wind and traffic noise make up the background. This pretty much excludes the pricier earbuds since their primary selling point in sound quality.
    3. Sound isolation is a NEGATIVE factor since I still want to be able to hear my surroundings, especially traffic.

    I guess if I were to describe my ideal set of earbuds, they'd be like the sound isolation ones that go into the ear canal EXCEPT that they do so solely for the purpose of being secured in the ear, not to actually isolate the sound of the earbud. They would be constructed as to allow ambient noise to flow through the earplugs in conjunction with the speaker sound.

    Maybe I'm asking for something that doesn't exist?
    The ones I linked to above do isolate a bit....They come with different size ear buds and I use a smaller one on the left and so it lets more sound through....I am sure the others do as well....I don't have an issue with the falling out....

  24. #24
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    Find a hearing aid clinic to make custom molds into which you can fit the standard earbuds that come with the iPod, etc. You may be able to specify "skeleton" molds that don't occlude. At the least, you can order them with large vents that will allow outside sound into your ear. Average cost is about $150. If your local clinic hasn't ordered these before, tell them they're available through Westone.

  25. #25
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    I hate to drag up an old thread and I realize that it isnít an earbud but I found a solution (for me anyway) to the headphone dilemma. I snagged a Saitek stereo speaker, a compact, battery powered speaker that fits nicely into a jersey pocket. Sound quality is surprisingly good and it will work with any music source with a 3.5 jack. I got mine at woot.com for less than 20 bux.
    http://www.shopping.com/xPC-Saitek-A-100
    http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-Persona.../dp/B000BPNUCY

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