I want AWESOME earbuds; please advise.

The buds that came with my Fuze are better than what my wife got with her iPod, but I still want something better.

I find the included buds lack clarity, separation, and definition. I most often listen to rock and blues. All my MP3s are 320kbps.

I’m will to go up to a couple bills, but I really want something that kicks butt. I don’t want to have any regrets later on.

Can you recommend something good? Thanks!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/464185-REG/Westone_79271_UM2_Dual_Driver_Earphones.html

Ultimate Ears

Article listing the best earphones:

http://www.music1online.com/beeaforip.html

The Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro: better than the oft mentioned Shure SE530 on price as well as quality.

If they don’t impress you, then there’s always the custom-made monitors worn by professional musicians.

Along with your earbuds, I recommend this

http://www.fiio.com.cn/en/showproduct.asp?id=309

Spend some time looking around here – a lot of very good user information to help guide your decision:

Head-Fi – Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors

I have a set of Bose that I wear at work to block out sound, the fidelity is awesome. Also If you are looking for something cheeper but still awesome SkullCandy makes an awesome product. I use the Skullcandy in the radio studio so I have faith it would work for you

@g33z3r wrote:

The buds that came with my Fuze are better than what my wife got with her iPod, but I still want something better.

 

I find the included buds lack clarity, separation, and definition. I most often listen to rock and blues. All my MP3s are 320kbps.

 

I’m will to go up to a couple bills, but I really want something that kicks butt. I don’t want to have any regrets later on.

 

Can you recommend something good? Thanks!

Any particular reason you want “buds”?  I am a musician by trade and have to wear buds on occasion due to circumstances beyond my control: but I find regular headphones more pleasing to my ears – both in comfort and in fidelity.  That is, if you pick the correct headphones. :smiley:

Message Edited by fuze_owner-GB on 12-06-2008 04:07 PM

personally I’m beginning to prefer headphones over earbuds… the sennheiser hd 202s are apaprently really good for their price.

The tradeoff in comfort versus isolation makes a pair of regular headphones the hot ticket for relaxing at home.  Most headphones I’ve tried are of the 32 ohm variety, meaning the volume has to be ramped up a bit, but the Fuze can drive them pretty well.

Sennheiser and Grado make some pretty decent regular phones.  These usually come with 1/4 inch plugs on them, so a short adapter cable is needed.  Sony and JVC have phones with 1/8 inch plugs, and a removable 1/4 inch adapter.

I like a simple pair of Macally (made for the e200 series) headphones that have a built in cradle for the player, moulded into the left side speaker.  Maybe they will make a plate for the Fuze someday.  These are not “cost is no object” audiophile phones, but I am pleased with the sound.

If you find that the larger headphone is your cup of tea, there are several very nice headphone amplifiers available.

I use the Maximo iMetalsdaily, they’re not very expensive, and they have a lifetime warranty.  They are interesting: when first used, they sound anemic, and after a day of listening, they have a warm sound with controlled bass.  And they’re chrome!

The JVC Air Cushions are also worth looking into, for in-ear monitors.

Happy listening!!

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

@eaglle1337 wrote:
personally I’m beginning to prefer headphones over earbuds… the sennheiser hd 202s are apaprently really good for their price.

Yep.  They are one of the best bargains out there.  In addition to their great sound quality, they are one of the most effecient (115 dB/1mW).  Even though I have far more expensive headphones at my disposal, I find I grab these more often than any pair of 'phones I have.

There are over-the-ear (supraural) headphones, earbuds and IEMs. You’ll get the best spaciousness and separation with headphones, and there are a lot of choices in the $100-$200 range, but Grados are pretty great.  SR125, about $120 or less if you look around, work great with my Fuze. But they’re for home listening–way too big, plus a heavy cord, to be portable.

You’ll get the best isolation with IEMs, inner-ear monitors, that go inside your ears like earplugs–a tighter fit than earbuds. Shures are very sturdy and they sound excellent. I have an old model, the Shure E4, that’s fantastic. They were replaced by the Shure SE 310, but you can still find E4s on Ebay for under $200.

Other people like Westones, Qjays and some people rave about the Etymotic, though I think the Etymotic cord (a spiral twisted pair, thin wires, not one thicker cord like the Shure) is awful: fragile and noisy in one combination. 

With IEMs you have to try every variety of plugs that come with them: foam, hard rubber, soft rubber, various sizes. At least seven came with my E4, and only one sounds good. But that one sounds incredible. 

The isolation is serious–better than noise-cancelling headphones (more decibels). If you have your music cranked up and you’re jaywalking in a big city, you won’t hear the horn of the bus that’s about to hit you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Message Edited by Black-Rectangle on 12-06-2008 06:50 PM

I hate in-ear monitors, can’t stand shoving stuff up my ear canals and IEMs generally lack soundstage, but if you want an outstanding quality portable supra aural headphone try the Audio Technica ATH-ES7. I have a lot of experience with high end headphones (Stax, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, AKG) and the ES7s are really, really good. Just make sure you buy them from a reputable dealer, there are some sellers on ebay and similar sites selling fakes.

@agnostic wrote:
I hate in-ear monitors, can’t stand shoving stuff up my ear canals

Not to mention the potential earwax infestation! lol :stuck_out_tongue:

@black_rectangle wrote:

The isolation is serious–better than noise-cancelling headphones (more decibels). If you have your music cranked up and you’re jaywalking in a big city, you won’t hear the horn of the bus that’s about to hit you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

There are times that in-ear buds are useful - busses, airplanes, very noisy places (including big cities). Open headphones and earbuds let in too much noise to be useful. 

I prefer headphones, though I don’t see the point of using a tiny player with big headphones. I use Sennheiser PX-100 which sound good and are very portable. I also have a pair of Sony EX-51 in-ear buds for use on airplanes. Neither of these sound “AWESOME”, I suppose, but having two means that I have something that sounds good in different environments. Really, I find that being portable means I’m not usually in environments that make the best of “awesome” headphones, anyway.

I second Black-Rectangle’s point though - in-ear buds make you essentially deaf to the world. At best, you’ll just be this obnoxious person who ignores everyone around them. I got lazy and left them on in an airport, and nearly missed a flight because the gate was moved and I couldn’t hear the announcement. This is why I recommend headphones - the only very good earbuds are in-ear, and you can’t hear anything else when you’re wearing those.

There’s another option, if you get a vented IEM design.  I happened upon this quite by accident with the Maximo iMetals.  They have an open port to the outside world, which is used for loading the driver, as compared to a completely sealed unit.

I wear them as sound suppressors in the workshop, with the Sansa often OFF, and I can hear the surrounding noises acceptably well.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know the difference between an IEM and an earbud. I don’t want full-sized headphones. I want something smaller, because I’ll be using this while I work away from my office. I like listening to music on-the-go; it keeps me from getting bored out of my skull.

I could see spending $200-300, if I’m getting something that will last and sound great.

I appreciate all the good advice and links everyone has posted. Thank you for all the help!!!

The generic term “earbud” can refer to either IEMs, that fit into the outer ear canal, or the little beasties that simply wedge into the outer ear.

The external type are like the ones supplied with all Sansas as original equipment.

Some use the term “canal phones” to refer to the in-ear monitor type.

IEMs:

…and external “earbuds”:

 

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

I swear by IEMs Skullcandy are maybe the cheapest and best retail available. I have also had Panasonic which didn’t have the same fidelity. I use the SkullCandy for everyday listening and my radio work. When I play live shows (Im not using the sansa) I use Shure. These are great at noise canceling with out completely cutting you off (I can still hear the crowd enough). I would recommend the SkullCandy for what you will be doing, why spend the $ for the same quality.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--SHUSCL3