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Old 09-27-06, 11:55 AM   #1
anonymouse99
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Have uncomfortable earbuds: need new comfortable earbud recommendations.

I just got a Creative Zen Nano Plus mp3 player and so far, I am as happy as a clam about it. It comes with a feature that allows direct mp3 encoding through an audio input port. This is in addition to the standard USB port for downloading songs from the computer. I wasn't aware of this feature until I saw it on the box as I was taking a reeaaally long time shopping for an mp3 player. As soon as I saw it, I threw it in the cart right away. This cuts out the middle man, and the quality is good, and for the price at 1GB, $69, you can't beat that. Now, the only problem I have are the headphones. They sound fine, but they are as uncomfortable as all hell. Any affordable but good sounding and comfortable earbud recommendations are needed.

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Old 09-27-06, 12:43 PM   #2
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Sony EX-71. Pretty much any of the silicone tipped sonys are good stuff. They do go slightly inside the ear canal, but the tips are soft enough to not be irritating.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:41 PM   #3
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I don't like any of Sony's newer audio gear. It... well, it's crap.

I actually picked up a pair of these things called "The Plug" by Koss. They're incredible for $20. I'm listening to Alison Krauss and Union Station through them right now. The sound insulation is amazing, they have suprisingly good lows, great mid, and excellent highs. They work so well, that I have to turn the volume almost all the way down or I'll go deaf. They also use that memory expanding foam so they custom fit right into your ear canal. These things have great quality and awesome efficiency.
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Old 09-27-06, 02:30 PM   #4
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The Plug is agood as well, it's just some folks don't like the feel of the expanding foam...and some folks (like me), have tiny ear canals, and had to cut their foam plugs down to even get them in.

Fit issues aside, I agree with you though.
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Old 09-27-06, 02:53 PM   #5
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gotcha. I went and happened to look for another pair at the electronics store. Now, the cheapest similar headphones you can get are $35. bah!
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Old 09-27-06, 09:17 PM   #6
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yep canalphones are not cheap.

My Shure E3c was definately NOT cheap (the foam plugs in those are perfection....they compress to about teh size of the end of a q-tip.)
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Old 09-27-06, 09:39 PM   #7
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The plugs are the cheapest piece of... argg.. I hate it. It sounds decent but it's so cheezy.

I've had a lot of headphones over the years. The sony line's pretty good, the fit is ok but it tends to get a little microphonic and rubs a bit, not too secure. The EX81's are slightly better, they're like ear buds with clips but they don't fit my small ears well.

I'm currently using a pair of shure E3's. My girlfriend has the E2 and E4's. Between them, in my opinion, the E3's fit the best, very secure, you don't really feel them and they sound pretty good. The E2's are ok, the size makes them slighty hard to fit correctly, they always tend to be a bit loose and stick out a bit more, its slightly nasally and bassy. The E4's are quite simply amazing, they sound better than her AKG's powered off a ray samuels amp and start getting pretty close to my sennheiser HD580's with a tube amp.

I'm very jealous and may someday kill her in her sleep for them.

For your price point, I'd try the etymotic ER6's. They're one step ahead of the shure E2's. The etymotic ER4's are really good too, in my opinion, colder than the shure E3's. The E4's share almost the same detail as the ER4's but the ER4's are god awful detailed but not too warm, fatiguing.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:42 PM   #8
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When you're done with the earbuds, you can get some of these-

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Old 09-27-06, 09:45 PM   #9
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When you're done with the earbuds, you can get some of these-

Bed pan?

Believe it or not, in big cities, earbuds are better than open air headphones. Since they block out external sound, you can play your music at a much lower volume, have it appear louder, and you can hear everything.

It makes me cringe when I'm sitting there on a subway, which is running at around 80dbA inside, with my shure's in playing music and attentuating 20dbA of noise, and I STILL hear the moron next to me blasting music from their cheap ipod earbuds.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:46 PM   #10
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Why would you need a bedpan from hearing damage? Rock music make you **** yourself?
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Old 09-27-06, 09:47 PM   #11
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Why would you need a bedpan from hearing damage? Rock music make you **** yourself?
It looked like a bed pan... you know, one of those avant garde designer bed pans.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:23 PM   #12
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I thought it was an artificial heart and two giant plastic and lucite claws.

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Old 09-29-06, 11:40 AM   #13
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Thanks all for your recommendations. As always, it is interesting to see what weird directions conversations go in here in foo. I'm going to look into any earbuds that have what many have described as expandible foam which inserts into the ear canal, which start at a lower price than Slvoid's recommendation. Irregardless all the recommendations, especially the Shure and similar, sound like very good headphones, well worth the money.
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Old 09-29-06, 02:13 PM   #14
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The etymotic ER6's or shure E2's only cost about 80 bucks online. It's a one time deal and your ears'll thank you for it.
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