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Bluetooth Earbud Recommendation

Old 04-12-17, 10:21 AM
  #1  
Hypno Toad
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Bluetooth Earbud Recommendation

I'm looking for new Bluetooth earbud to use in my office and while riding. I'd like something waterproof - but I've never had an issue with 'non-waterproof' earbuds. For reference, here are examples I currently have and use:

Savor M1100 | Plantronics - I've had it for years and like it, but the battery life is getting very short.

Marque 2 M165 | Plantronics - this is my newer one but the mic is cutting out and it has weak connectivity.

Here are my requirements:
I do not want stereo earbuds
It must have the ear-loop option to secure it
I don't want anything completely covers the ear (no noise isolation).

Anybody have a recommendation that's better than the linked options?
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Old 04-12-17, 11:07 AM
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I really like mine. They perform as the specs and descriptions for the product says.
Mic is great, never had a problem with connectivity.

Canbor Bluetooth Headphones 4.1 Wireless Earbuds with Mic

EDIT: Sorry, these ARE stereo earbuds. My bad.

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Old 04-12-17, 11:30 AM
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Plantronic backfit beats (avail @ Costco last time i checked). Rugged, waterproof, allow ambient sound while riding so you can hear traffic, works fine for calls. https://www.costco.com/Plantronics-B...100292021.html One touch to hear how much battery life is left, a majorly important feature.
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Old 04-12-17, 01:11 PM
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I personally use headsets like the LG Tone, which are necklace sorts of things with normal earbuds to go up to the ear. I use these because they work nicely on the bike with just one earbud in (the right), but also because I can wear them while running power tools with earmuffs (ear defenders) on and they don't catch or ram into my ear as the two that you linked to would.

http://a.co/hiribRJ

Downside: The microphone on mine is mediocre. But mine are also quite old, several generations back. New generations may have fixed that.

I have some cheap $30 "TaoTronic" headsets coming to play with. Mainly because they promise to stay in my ear when running, and they look like they could also have ear defenders on over them comfortably.

http://a.co/hEKdv1j
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Old 04-12-17, 02:47 PM
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I'd stay away from the earbuds for on road usage. The Afterskokz Titanium head set is helmet compatible and uses bone conduction instead of ear buds. You have complete situational awareness at the same time. I have them and they work great for on the bike.

https://aftershokz.com/collections/w...ant=7698984833

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Old 04-13-17, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I'd stay away from the earbuds for on road usage. The Afterskokz Titanium head set is helmet compatible and uses bone conduction instead of ear buds. You have complete situational awareness at the same time. I have them and they work great for on the bike.
Bone conductive speakers have had my attention, but wasn't sure who was making quality products. How's the sound quality and do you use it for phone calls? Thanks!
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Old 04-13-17, 01:41 PM
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I use Bragi The Headphone(there is also the more expensive dash with more features) https://www.bragi.com/theheadphone/

They are in ear buds but they have microphones on the outside that pump outside noise in if you want to hear the outside world. You could use only one headphone.
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Old 04-13-17, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I'd stay away from the earbuds for on road usage.
I actually find that, given that I only use a single bud in my left ear (away from the road), I can hear my surroundings MUCH better if I use a bud that seals out as much sound as possible. If it doesn't, the wind noise in my ear causes me to crank up the volume to almost painful levels just so I can barely hear the reader. This is very distracting.
With a well sealed bud in the right ear, I can have the volume very low and still hear. I have used this method for years and I can hear cars at least a quarter mile away with one bud in.
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Old 04-13-17, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Bone conductive speakers have had my attention, but wasn't sure who was making quality products. How's the sound quality and do you use it for phone calls? Thanks!
Sound quality is excellent. I have used them for phone calls in my car and they were fine but I haven't used them for phone calls on my bike. Probably would work fine but rising is my "me" time so I don't take calls then.

It's a bit of a strange sensation - you can hear your audio perfectly but you also have complete situational awareness.

J.
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Old 04-16-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by logical View Post
I use Bragi The Headphone(there is also the more expensive dash with more features) https://www.bragi.com/theheadphone/

They are in ear buds but they have microphones on the outside that pump outside noise in if you want to hear the outside world. You could use only one headphone.

LOL I was going to post this also . Great little earbuds. Plus if you want you can just use the right Bud by its self .
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Old 04-16-17, 07:38 PM
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+1 for Plantronic Backbeat fit. They do a really good job at not isolating you from the outside world, as this is that they were designed for. 8 hours battery life and waterproof. Very durable and great sound.
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Old 05-08-17, 08:24 PM
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Se 535

I recommend not using Bluetooth. Bluetooth sucks down battery that can be better used playing music/phone depending on the music source. Put your money into Great earbuds like Shure SE 535. Very spendy but well worth it if you still have good ears.


SE535 Sound Isolating? Earphones | Shure Americas
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Old 05-09-17, 05:28 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Bl...AF8WSECR6D67WJ

I've been using these lately. They stay in and work well with my iPhone
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Old 05-10-17, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BBassett View Post
I recommend not using Bluetooth. Bluetooth sucks down battery that can be better used playing music/phone depending on the music source.
Man I wouldn't go back to straight headphones. It's not like I'm going to get good audio quality on the bike anyway. With straight headphones on a phone I've got to be concerned with getting the thing wet. Even sweat I've had drip down into MP3 players and destroy them over time.

Also, no matter how I tried routing cables, occasionally it'd fall down into a loop and I'd catch it when reaching to wipe sweat off my face or something, and my MP3 player would go flying out of a pocket and skid down the road. Sure wouldn't want that to happen with my phone.

Gimme bluetooth anytime. I put the phone in the waterproof rack trunk and don't worry about it.

The batteries on my new phone last almost 2 full days even when using it with bluetooth and accelerated podcast/audiobook playback heavily all day. Accelerating the speed draws WAY WAY more power than bluetooth does. The most I've managed to get my batteries down in a day is about 47% by bedtime, if I use bluetooth all day long.
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Old 05-10-17, 01:38 PM
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The blue tooth gimmick

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Man I wouldn't go back to straight headphones. It's not like I'm going to get good audio quality on the bike anyway. With straight headphones on a phone I've got to be concerned with getting the thing wet. Even sweat I've had drip down into MP3 players and destroy them over time.

Also, no matter how I tried routing cables, occasionally it'd fall down into a loop and I'd catch it when reaching to wipe sweat off my face or something, and my MP3 player would go flying out of a pocket and skid down the road. Sure wouldn't want that to happen with my phone.

Gimme bluetooth anytime. I put the phone in the waterproof rack trunk and don't worry about it.

The batteries on my new phone last almost 2 full days even when using it with bluetooth and accelerated podcast/audiobook playback heavily all day. Accelerating the speed draws WAY WAY more power than bluetooth does. The most I've managed to get my batteries down in a day is about 47% by bedtime, if I use bluetooth all day long.

I bet you're the same kind of person that used and invested in VHS tapes too, more video volume, but it also looked like crap. Quality sound doesn't come from a cell phone, or from the crappy little "noise" files that most people consider to be music today. FLAC's are best, trust me. Also, every blue-tooth set on the market now is more susceptible to sweat than a high-quality earphone. As far as battery use, I wasn't talking about the batteries in your multipurpose noise source, I was talking about the tiny lowgrade nonreplaceable batteries in the BT buds. How long do those last, few hours at most? How long to recharge? How long before they degrade to the point that you can't play a full album? You have a problem wearing something with a wire but haven't had a non-tethered bud slip out while riding? Hmmmm, you seem blessed. Here is the single most.... let's be nice and just say "silly" thing you conveyed, "It's not like I'm going to get good audio quality on the bike anyway." True VHS user thinking. The sound quality I get on my bike when using my Sony NW-WM1Z Walkman and Shure SE535s Earphones would put a smile on any "true" audio aficionado face I can assure you. Of course, you didn't mention the one common sense fact, that riders shouldn't wear any type of in/over the ear sound production device while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. Can't hear anything around you. That's why most states don't allow them to be used while operating a motor vehicle. Most of the time I am riding I listen to my Fugoo XL. It's heavy, has average frequency response for today's standards, gets loud enough to enjoy the music over wind noise, and still, allows me to hear approaching traffic or a charging momma moose once in Canada. Wireless headphones will have their place someday but it's not today and it's not going to come from a cell phone.
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Old 05-10-17, 03:14 PM
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@BBassett, different people have different needs. I want the audio quality to be mediocre so I can hear ambient sounds. I use a $25 over the ear headset that doesn't make a tight seal. I use my headphones every day for up to two hours, and I only have to charge them every two weeks. This headset is two or three years old.

Sometimes low quality is a good thing.

In NY State, it is legal to have audio in one ear when cycling on roads. To be safe, I tend not to use anything on roads or streets but I ride a lot on trails where risk of serious injury is lower, so I use both earphones there.

And I definitely have problems with headphone cords. I've tried really hard to be careful, but I snag them. And they get tangled. I don't know why, because I'm great at managing all my other cords. I strongly prefer a corded mouse on my computer over cordless one. I guess I just can't manage a cord that's above my waistline.
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Old 05-10-17, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@BBassett, different people have different needs. I want the audio quality to be mediocre so I can hear ambient sounds. I use a $25 over the ear headset that doesn't make a tight seal. I use my headphones every day for up to two hours, and I only have to charge them every two weeks. This headset is two or three years old.

Sometimes low quality is a good thing.

In NY State, it is legal to have audio in one ear when cycling on roads. To be safe, I tend not to use anything on roads or streets but I ride a lot on trails where risk of serious injury is lower, so I use both earphones there.

And I definitely have problems with headphone cords. I've tried really hard to be careful, but I snag them. And they get tangled. I don't know why, because I'm great at managing all my other cords. I strongly prefer a corded mouse on my computer over cordless one. I guess I just can't manage a cord that's above my waistline.
I'm speechless. This is a new experience for me. Normally I'd have explained that a lower audio quality would actually make it more difficult to hear outside sound sources. Then something about a headset costing $25 three years ago. I wonder if China actually has it's version of K-Mart. I do agree that low quality can be chosen and used on purpose at times, like using a $25 Balsamic rather than the $200 version, a lesser quality red wine for Sangria. A $500 escort for a friend when his divorce goes through instead of a great one. I would have then suggested running the cord under a jacket or shirt and out the neck like little kids do with mittens kinda. After that, I would have sent a link to explain the use of, and where to find, a cordless blue-tooth mouse that is way under your $25 acceptable price range. Finally, I would have jokingly pointed out that you are lucky that your umbilical cord attached above your waste. But how could anyone argue your logic?

Let me suggest the following. Not sure they are blue-tooth or how they will handle in the wind.
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Old 05-10-17, 04:00 PM
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@BBassett:

I think China's version of K-Mart is called China.
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Old 05-10-17, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BBassett View Post
I bet you're the same kind of person that used and invested in VHS tapes too, more video volume, but it also looked like crap. Quality sound doesn't come from a cell phone, or from the crappy little "noise" files that most people consider to be music today. FLAC's are best, trust me.
Dude, back off. I know. At home when I have a reasonable listening environment, I use a Fiio X1 loaded with FLAC files and either my Sennheiser HD598s or my Hifiman planar magnetics with a Fiio headphone amplifier.

I also make my own recordings at concerts, with the band's permission, and I record at 48 bit/96 KHz (best my equipment can do - Zoom H6 with usually a pair of large diaphragm cardioids and a pair of AT short shotguns to pick up the percussion from the back) and transcode straight into FLAC.

I know what good stuff sounds like. And sure, Bluetooth doesn't sound good, even the expensive stuff. It sounds at best alright.

And if you are talking about my mention of an "MP3 player" - it's a generic term. For casual use I run an old classic Sandisc Fuze, with actually pretty good DACs in it, running Rockbox and when it's playing music, they are FLAC files.

But we're talking about listening on a bike. In traffic. With wind noise and everything. A quality listening experience is not possible, even if I were using the Sony closed/balanced armature earbuds. Also I'm listening to audiobooks or podcasts, accelerated. And I'm only using one earbud so I can hear traffic.

The other times I'm using the BT headsets are when mowing the lawn. Again, a quality experience is impossible, and again, I'm listening to spoken word stuff, accelerated to between 1.4 and 1.8x speed.

And as I said, the bluetooth headsets are convenient. I only have to catch the headphone cable in a branch while mowing the lawn and have it just about rip my ear off (and does take the earbuds and usually the earmuffs over the top of them, and sometimes the MP3 player) with it and onto the lawn.

Complaining that someone listening to a podcast at 1.4X speed off a cellphone on a windy day in the rain in the middle of traffic is clearly a moron for not using high quality headphones is more than just a little bit ridiculous.
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Old 05-11-17, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BBassett View Post
Of course, you didn't mention the one common sense fact, that riders shouldn't wear any type of in/over the ear sound production device while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. Can't hear anything around you.
Completely false. I ride with a single earbud in my right ear, away from traffic. Every state allows riding and even driving with a single earbud in.

And I can hear just fine. I have tested this. I can hear cars coming nearly half a mile away with my earbud in

If you were going for the record for most wrong things said in one post, I think you might have achieved it. Call Guiness.
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Old 05-11-17, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
... someone listening to a podcast at 1.4X speed off a cellphone on a windy day in the rain in the middle of traffic is clearly a moron....

Finally, we agree on something!
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Old 04-30-18, 08:10 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I personally use headsets like the LG Tone, which are necklace sorts of things with normal earbuds to go up to the ear. I use these because they work nicely on the bike with just one earbud in (the right), but also because I can wear them while running power tools with earmuffs (ear defenders) on and they don't catch or ram into my ear as the two that you linked to would.

http://a.co/hiribRJ

Downside: The microphone on mine is mediocre. But mine are also quite old, several generations back. New generations may have fixed that.

I have some cheap $30 "TaoTronic" headsets coming to play with. Mainly because they promise to stay in my ear when running, and they look like they could also have ear defenders on over them comfortably.

http://a.co/hEKdv1j
It took a year for me to get back to this and actually buy new earbuds. I bought two options similar to the ones ItsJustMe recommended. Here's my thoughts on the two I got:

ToTronics TT-BH024 $26.99 on Amazon - I got these based on the low-price (low risk) and the good reviews on the mic quality. These aren't a great fit for my ear, they are kinda heavy on the ear, and the left bud hangs very heavy and hard to secure when only using the right bud. Sound quality is very good, controls are easy to work, the mic works well for calls and voice commands. I haven't had a chance to test the battery life.

Skullcandy Method $47.99 at Best Buy - I got these after testing Lisa's pair (I should have started here to save $26.99). These are the necklace style, keeping the battery, mic, etc on your neck and short cables for the earbuds. These fit very nice, keep the weight off the ear, keeps the right bud secure when your not using it, great sound, no issues with mic quality ... frankly I don't have a negative comment about these earbuds. I haven't had a chance to test the battery life.
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Old 04-30-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
It took a year for me to get back to this and actually buy new earbuds. I bought two options similar to the ones ItsJustMe recommended. Here's my thoughts on the two I got:

ToTronics TT-BH024 $26.99 on Amazon - I got these based on the low-price (low risk) and the good reviews on the mic quality. These aren't a great fit for my ear, they are kinda heavy on the ear, and the left bud hangs very heavy and hard to secure when only using the right bud. Sound quality is very good, controls are easy to work, the mic works well for calls and voice commands. I haven't had a chance to test the battery life.

Skullcandy Method $47.99 at Best Buy - I got these after testing Lisa's pair (I should have started here to save $26.99). These are the necklace style, keeping the battery, mic, etc on your neck and short cables for the earbuds. These fit very nice, keep the weight off the ear, keeps the right bud secure when your not using it, great sound, no issues with mic quality ... frankly I don't have a negative comment about these earbuds. I haven't had a chance to test the battery life.
Hmmm, that necklace style is appealing. At work, I went away from the ear buds to over the ear noise cancelling full sized cans because I was constantly getting interupted, having to pull out the buds, and then position them again when the interruption had left. I don't like the way full over the ear headphones feel on my head - I've got big, sticky out ears and a wide head, but it's just so much easier to throw them back on. A necklace style bud that keeps them localized might be a good solution.
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Old 04-30-18, 08:57 AM
  #24  
DrIsotope
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After struggling through... four(?) sets of BT headphones, and all of the associated drawbacks, I discovered the Griffin iTrip Clip. Allows me to use whatever earbuds/headphones I want, without being tethered to the phone. And I've no idea why, but the BT is just better than any wireless earbud I've used-- it's dropped out maybe twice in hundreds of hours of use. Every other set of BT buds I tried would cut out near any strong signal source-- fire stations, etc. Also works while charging, so with a small USB pack, it will last for days.

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Old 06-11-18, 08:21 AM
  #25  
Hypno Toad
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Skullcandy Method $47.99 at Best Buy - I got these after testing Lisa's pair (I should have started here to save $26.99). These are the necklace style, keeping the battery, mic, etc on your neck and short cables for the earbuds. These fit very nice, keep the weight off the ear, keeps the right bud secure when your not using it, great sound, no issues with mic quality ... frankly I don't have a negative comment about these earbuds. I haven't had a chance to test the battery life.
Quick update on the Skullcandy Methods: I tested them for 'rain-proof' in the heaviest rain you can image (like cars-pulling-over-to-stopping-on-the-highway-heavy rain*). I wore my earbuds on Saturday's Westside Dirty Benjamin, is was ~7 hours of non-stop rain punctuated with the-skies-opened-up downpours. They didn't sound good (like they were under water) when I got back to the car to call Lisa, but once they had some time to dry, they recovered fine.

* We needed to cross a major divided highway (HWY 169), the traffic was stopping on the roadside during the worst of the downpour, we took 'shelter' under a tree until visibility improved to cross.

One downside to the Skullcandy: there is no way to know the battery level. I like when the LED or audio at start up tells you the battery left on the earbuds.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 06-11-18 at 09:37 AM.
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