The constant search for the perfect (and cheap) earphones

Being someone who always has music revolved around her literally 24/7, I really need a good pair of earphones. Not only good, they also have to be cheap because I suck at earphone maintenance. I’m not saying I keep a low disregard of my things (let’s just say, selectively) but there’s just something about earphonesย—I always have bad luck because they break so fast. That alone makes me discouraged and I feel that it’s a waste if I buy expensive ones because, what if they break again right?

I’ve probably tried almost all the recommended brands out there. Sony, Philips, Creative, the Apple ones which come with my iPods, Sennheiser, Koss, JBL, Audio-Technica.. I’ve had all of those in my 7-year span of extensive music listening. I’ve yet to try the more expensive brands like Shure but I feel like right now it’s not worth my money because I’m a girl and I have other needs you know? SHOES BAGS CLOTHES WINE AND DINE scream out my name all the time. I’m beginning to have personal finance issues, I swear.

I’m currently using a Sennheiser MX 471 which I got as a gift and has lasted for more than a year now (GASP), the longest I’ve ever had working earphones. I usually only get the entry to middle level products from each brand because yeah, I’m very clumsy with them. Apple earphones are standard and produce a fairly good sound but the thing with them is, they break too easily, so fragile and basically have low durability.ย  The thing with me is I’m really picky with sound. My 471’s are great but only with ear foams. I lose ear foams all the time and I hate it! My Koss Jams were really cheap and I had a good run with them, they sounded good despite the price but due to the price too, they didn’t last very long. My Audio-Technica C500M on the other hand, the sound was too thin in my ear and felt like tin cans, and the durability wasn’t very good either–it barely lasted for 2 months. Crazy, my cheaper Koss’ lasted more than it.

If there’s one thing about earphones I don’t like, it’s those in-ear ones. The thought of sticking something into the depths of my ears is horrendous and kind of gross. I think it’s also the reason why I’m having a hard time finding the right earphones these days because most of the ones in the market right now are in-ears. I hope they don’t make the earbud types obsolete. What will become of me and my listening habits? If you could recommend me good and affordable earphones, that would be great! ๐Ÿ™‚

18 Comments

  1. Keng
    August 22, 2011

    I freaking hate in-ear earphones, too!!! Ugh. I remember trying Skullcandys when they were just new and everyone was all “ZOMG THEY’RE THE BEST!!!!!!11111~*~*,” but it felt like someone was poking into my brain the. entire. time. >__>

    I’m pretty bad with earphone maintenance as well, hahaha. Pretty notorious for breaking mine all the time. For me, though, what matters more is that the earphones work, lol. And that they’re comfy. I’ve never cared about sound quality and bass and all that other technical audiophile mumbo-jumbo. As long as I can listen to my music, I’m good to go! Haha. XP I found these cheap Sony ones for $10 at my uni’s bookstore that I ended up liking waaay better than the Apple iPod ones, so I’ve just stuck with buying them whenever I need a new pair (which I actually need to do soon, heh). ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply
    1. Justine
      August 22, 2011

      Can you tell me the Sony ones you’re currently using? ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember buying Sony earphones before too which I liked and cost me about $17 Singapore dollars so it could be in the same line and maybe I’d buy them again.

      Reply
        1. Justine
          August 23, 2011

          Yup!! It’s exactly the same one like I had before I had the dark green ones ๐Ÿ˜€

          Reply
          1. Keng
            August 23, 2011

            Ahahaha, awesome. I used to see them aaaallll the time on people whenever I’d ride the bus in Gainesville, and it always amused me to no end, for some reason. Lol.

            But aaaahhhhhh Justine I’m so mad at this post because now I feel like trying out other earbuds and the search is so frustrating!!! Hahahaha. I’m definitely hating on the bajillion in-ear choices that I have to comb through just to find the non-in-ear ones. XP

            YOU KNOW WHAT I’M JUST GOING BACK TO THOSE CHEAP SONYS THAT I LOVE. SCREW THIS SEARCH. lol.

  2. Helga
    August 22, 2011

    I like noise-canceling/isolating earphones ๐Ÿ™ The ones you stick in hehe. My friend gave me pink JVC marshmallow ones for Christmas and I loved them but I have this bad habit of either chewing on the wire or taking out the ~marshmallow~ and putting it back in through the “wrong” hole. Ayun, a bit fell off so nasira na sya lol.

    Currently using cheapy Philips earphones. Same model I had before na nasira ko kasi natanggal yung metal/net thing o_o

    Reply
    1. Justine
      August 22, 2011

      I also have this bad habit of chewing on wires!! Hahaha and whenever I had in-ear earphones I like to take out the ear thing too and sometimes it would get lost =|

      Reply
  3. Charles Ravndal
    August 23, 2011

    I just use the earphones that came with my iPhone and it’s still in good condition after a year. It’s gonna be replaced once I get the latest iPhone.

    I was also using Koss PortaPro which I really like, but quite chunky for me when I work out. I was thinking of buying a Monster Beats headset when we were in Italy because it looks wicked, but I ended up buying a leather tote hahaha.

    Reply
    1. Justine
      August 23, 2011

      I was considering the PortaPro’s once but it looked liked something out a cyborg movie and it wasn’t that girly so I didn’t =/ I really want to try the Monster Beats but the earbud kind because EVERYONE’s been raving about it. It’s basically the earphones to own and idk if it’s just coz it’s associated with celebrities hehe. It’s still in-ears though so I may have to try it out soon. Pretty expensive as well I usually don’t wanna go above $50 when it comes to earphones haha but we’ll see.

      Reply
      1. Charles Ravndal
        August 24, 2011

        I agree. I’d rather spend more money on bags or shoes than a headphone.

        Reply
  4. Eina
    August 23, 2011

    Ugh, I cannot deal with in-ear. I either have to have earphones or big-ass headphones. JBL headphones are great… and not what you’re looking for and are totally expensive haha. I’ve only used Apple headphones because every time mine broke, someone’s been kind enough to give me theirs.

    Good luck on your search though and let us know if you find the perfect ones? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
  5. Dre
    August 23, 2011

    I use my Blackberry earphones for my iPod. I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  6. Jeff
    August 24, 2011

    I was excited for like 2 secs when I read he title until i realized you didn’t like in-ears (and I doย–I’ve been using them since 2004 and haven’t gone back to anything else). Generally my advise is if you’ve found a pair that you already like, stock up on them or keep buying the same make/model until they stop making them. I once had 3 pairs of XtremeMac headsets for the iPhone that lasted me 1-2 years. The MX471 look good so just get another one of those, i can’t think of reasons why you shouldn’t. (fwiw, I’ve been using Klipsch S4i’s since Nov 2010)

    Reply
    1. Justine
      August 24, 2011

      I feel like I wanna try something new you know? Something I’ve never tried and hopefully I will be really satisfied. Have you ever tried TUNEWEAR? I’m thinking of getting the Tunesonic Crystal http://tunewear.com/tunesonic-crystal-with-mic/ (provided that I can find it being sold in stores). I know you like in-ears because we’ve talked about it before.. you even had Shures which you really liked right. Checking out XtremeMac products too as I type this.

      Reply
  7. Jeff
    August 24, 2011

    Nah never heard :c i just remembered seeing Ai Ai earphones/headsets at the Apple redistributors over here, maybe you’ll have them there too? They make pretty nice-looking pairs and i hear they don’t sound bad either, but they don’t sound like $100 sets from Klipsch/Shure. Sadly they don’t make the XtremeMac ones anymore: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/191848/future-sonics-xtrememac-fs-1 I got my sets in 2008 and even then they were being EOL-ed

    Reply
    1. Justine
      August 24, 2011

      Okay I’m looking at AIAIAI now and not bad! Around $60+ as well but still in-ears =/, will try to hunt for them here or when I’m in Singapore. I’ve also wanted to try Urbanears but I’ve been reading reviews that they suck? Well particularly from TheMacFeed, which I kind of trust.

      Reply
  8. Jeff
    August 24, 2011

    Ah yeah i saw the urban ears ones too but not too impressed with the quality of the build/materials used in the headsets. They look flimsy/must sound flimsy so I just never bothered

    Reply
  9. Nicolah
    August 24, 2011

    I use the ones that come with my iPhone. I’ve never had an issue with those. I also like the new Monster ones and Bose makes good ones.

    Reply

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