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pjp
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:45 am    Post subject: The Horror of Earbuds Reply with quote

The Horror of Earbuds
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They fit wrong, they fall out, they get covered in gross earwax—can’t someone design something better?


A couple of interesting suggestions, but mostly nothing new. I agreed with the general discomfort and lack of fit until I bought my in-ear Sennheisers. The soft plastic (or whatever it is) which comes in multiple sizes seems to be the best mass market solution.

I've heard of some professional model which is custom fit to the ear, but comes with the appropriate price. Sound was supposedly amazing as well (a lot of well known, well off musicians use them).

My main problem with price is that I want to be certain of comfort and quality. With $20-$30, I'm much more flexible with expectations.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sennheisers are great. I want some wireless ones, though.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend the Klipsch S3s. They go for $20 or so on sale and have pretty good noise isolation. They have a 16 ohm impedance, which makes them work great with (ultra) low voltage headphone outputs often used in mobile equipment nowadays but can make the frequency response go really lopsided (in other words, weak bass) with capacitively coupled outputs and tend to emphasize the noise level. Some 100 ohm or so series resistors (easily added in an adapter) easily fix that. You'll also need a (somewhat hard to find) adapter to use the microphone part with a PC.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew tired of earbuds. IMO unless you spend some serious money they're only good for isolation. Now I use a pair of Koss KSC75. They look like shit, but are incredibly cheap, very comfortable and they (audiophile warning) sound awesome, way better than any pair of in-ears I've owned.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a nice set of jays, really comfortable (couldn't justify the price of shire buds)

That said yes there are issues with them. I'm waiting for for the vibrating bone type to drop in price
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NiHaoMike wrote:
... They have a 16 ohm impedance, which makes them work great with (ultra) low voltage headphone outputs ... but can make the frequency response go really lopsided (... weak bass) with capacitively coupled outputs and tend to emphasize the noise level. Some 100 ohm or so series resistors ... easily fix that.


This seems... counterproductive. If you're adding resistance, isn't it be better to go with a higher impedance transducer to begin with? Put the impedance to work in the form of extra coils of wire where it might do some good toward improving sensitivity and efficiency, especially in light of low voltage headphone outputs. What am I missing?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unsure, headphones are usually 10s of kR as it is low power - we are not talking about a pair of tanoys strapped to your head
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just want something that stops in during exercise and also manages to cut the horrible gym-base rap out.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NiHaoMike wrote:
I recommend the Klipsch S3s. They go for $20 or so on sale and have pretty good noise isolation. They have a 16 ohm impedance, which makes them work great with (ultra) low voltage headphone outputs often used in mobile equipment nowadays but can make the frequency response go really lopsided (in other words, weak bass) with capacitively coupled outputs and tend to emphasize the noise level. Some 100 ohm or so series resistors (easily added in an adapter) easily fix that. You'll also need a (somewhat hard to find) adapter to use the microphone part with a PC.
I know they were once known for quality, but I've more or less written them off since being purchased by Audiovox. They may still be good, and Audiovox may not screw it up, but I think that would be unique among such buyouts. I'll try to keep them in mind. Though having to buy accessory packages isn't my preference.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fran wrote:
I grew tired of earbuds. IMO unless you spend some serious money they're only good for isolation. Now I use a pair of Koss KSC75. They look like shit, but are incredibly cheap, very comfortable and they (audiophile warning) sound awesome, way better than any pair of in-ears I've owned.
I didn't like any earbuds until my pair of Sennheiser. Others will literally uncomfortable to the point of minor pain. That was my main reason for being reluctant to spend more money. Now that I've experienced the soft rubber that contacts the ear, I've not had any discomfort. My complaint of on ear headphones is the sound quality is low as a result of outside noise and the sound not entering the ear well. The volume usually needs to be cranked, at which point I might as well use speakers. The one or two pair of the style you prefer just didn't fit me. They wouldn't stay on, making them pretty useless (for me).
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
I got a nice set of jays, really comfortable (couldn't justify the price of shire buds)

That said yes there are issues with them. I'm waiting for for the vibrating bone type to drop in price
I'm amazed that works at all. It seems like the nuance of sound would be lost. In case you didn't read all or any of the article:
Quote:
Instead, you could ignore your ears altogether by conducting noise through your skull. This is the approach taken by Aftershokz Bluez 2 ($99.95), which uses a headband that loops over your pinnae and rests on the outside edges of your cheekbones. The sound vibrates into your head, and the device even buzzes against your face during the most slamming of beats. (Not unpleasantly. It’s more a tickle, which creates a cool sort of physical connection to the music.) I was stunned by how clearly sound came through in this manner, and I loved that there was nothing blocking my canals. But a ton of sound leaks out. People sitting near me in the Slate office could clearly hear my music. Also, the bulky over-the-ear headband is less than ideal if you have long hair (which can get tangled) or wear eyeglasses (which can get in the way).
That they're loud enough for others to hear clearly pretty much makes them not likely to be something I'd choose. Also, I prefer to not have vibration numbness, so I'd pass for that reason as well. Otherwise it seems like pretty cool technology.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In-ear-buds all the way for me now. The clip-on-ear solution always hurts my ear, and I got tired of having full headsets, as you can't just fold them into your pocket. I did use them for many years, because the standard style ear-buds that come with anything you buy are horrible, falling out, sounding bad, getting broken easily. With the rubber thingy extending into your ear, you automatically get better results, and can even lower your volume, to spare your ears a bit. I'm sure there's a lot of horrible examples of those as well, but I'm happy with the ones I've tried.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the buds for years, with portable devices.
1st pair was koss's 20 years ago, one of the wires (channels) partially broke, so sound would come and go with movement
and I tried many others since. Never really satisfied with any of them until I picked up a sandisk zip mp3 player, the ones
that came with that just sit in my inner ear, without pushing into the canal, and the sound is the best even at low volume.

But for home use I picked up some over ear, audio techina, that are light weight, excellent sound, and a 10 ft cord.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arnvidr wrote:
In-ear-buds all the way for me now. The clip-on-ear solution always hurts my ear, and I got tired of having full headsets, as you can't just fold them into your pocket. I did use them for many years, because the standard style ear-buds that come with anything you buy are horrible, falling out, sounding bad, getting broken easily. With the rubber thingy extending into your ear, you automatically get better results, and can even lower your volume, to spare your ears a bit. I'm sure there's a lot of horrible examples of those as well, but I'm happy with the ones I've tried.

++
The kind that go deep into your ear canal and form a seal.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

arnvidr wrote:
fold them into your pocket
Speaking of... does anyone have any good solutions to keep the wires untangled?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
arnvidr wrote:
fold them into your pocket
Speaking of... does anyone have any good solutions to keep the wires untangled?


Spool.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluetooth

Unfortunately, then the sound quality is lacking, but that ought to change.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Akkara wrote:
NiHaoMike wrote:
... They have a 16 ohm impedance, which makes them work great with (ultra) low voltage headphone outputs ... but can make the frequency response go really lopsided (... weak bass) with capacitively coupled outputs and tend to emphasize the noise level. Some 100 ohm or so series resistors ... easily fix that.


This seems... counterproductive. If you're adding resistance, isn't it be better to go with a higher impedance transducer to begin with? Put the impedance to work in the form of extra coils of wire where it might do some good toward improving sensitivity and efficiency, especially in light of low voltage headphone outputs. What am I missing?

Modern mobile equipment (phones, tablets, some laptops) use ultra low voltage headphone outputs that operate at 1.8V or less. Those use a charge pump to develop a negative rail and are designed to run 16 ohm headphones. It just works as-is.

Pretty much all desktops use headphone outputs that run at 3.3V or more. They are often capacitively coupled and generally designed with 32 ohm or more headphones in mind. With 16 ohm headphones, the frequency response falls off earlier than expected, making the bass feel weak. Adding the series resistors flattens the frequency response. The effect on efficiency is basically nothing as they're just opamps.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Muso: Thanks. I was wondering about specifics.


Bones McCracker wrote:
Bluetooth

Unfortunately, then the sound quality is lacking, but that ought to change.
Ought to, as in you're hopeful, or something is actually in the works?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
@Muso: Thanks. I was wondering about specifics.


Bones McCracker wrote:
Bluetooth

Unfortunately, then the sound quality is lacking, but that ought to change.
Ought to, as in you're hopeful, or something is actually in the works?

Hopeful. I have no idea what's in the works.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
@Muso: Thanks. I was wondering about specifics.
I spool them around my player. These days lots of people use their phones as players though, so that might not work for you.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate in-ears.

Over the ear headphones for me. I don't like infections.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

arnvidr wrote:
pjp wrote:
@Muso: Thanks. I was wondering about specifics.
I spool them around my player. These days lots of people use their phones as players though, so that might not work for you.
I don't recall my phone supporting .ogg, but maybe I missed something. And unfortunately, I can't seem to obtain a correct sized OTG cable to work with the storage-neutered Nexus 7.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cnet.com/news/applecore-keeps-your-headphones-tangle-free/

Also : http://www.amazon.com/HandStands-Headphone-other-players-earbud/dp/B001EI3UDG/
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