I was doing some research on a nice set of in-ear buds mostly for iPod use. Thought I'd start here.

I had some shures that were pretty nice, but they broke (cable separated from bud) a while back and I am sick of my Apple buds. $150-250 price range. Ruggedness is a good thing.

any thoughts?

  • I am also looking for something of the sort. – C3Sound Mar 28 '11 at 20:28

I have used Sennheiser CX-300 II with my ipod, and they sound good, around 100 times better than the Apple earbuds, and better than other earbuds in the same price range. I think they are cheaper than the $150-250 price range, probably about $50-70, so they are probably not as good as the Shure buds or the Ultimate. But I tend to break my earbuds at regular intervals, so I like them cheap...

I like earbuds for stealth recording, it feels more natural for me to wear earbuds than headphones in the street.

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I was given a pair of Monster buds which were quite nice but they had that sort of "bass booster" boom box quality to them.

But, I prefer the Ultimate Ears collection - I own a pair of custom in-ear molds for stage monitoring as well as a cheaper universal-fit model. They come with 3 different sizes of ear bud fittings to best fit your ear.


They will have a booth at NAB this year if you want to wait and try their whole line.

Please do keep your Apple stock ear-buds, though. I keep a pair around to cross-check my mixes because this is what 90% of the people use on iPods. So they're still good to have a pair around.

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  • Bump this post for sure - Richard Devine talked highly of these earbuds during a guest lecture. – C3Sound Mar 28 '11 at 21:19
  • @C3Sound Thanks. Some of them actually have little speaker drivers in them. – Utopia Mar 29 '11 at 6:34

I agree with Morten. The Sennheiser CX-300 II don't suck and blow away the apple default phones. They are really good recommendation for the price range.

But for $150-250, I think you can demand a bit more. The Etymotic HF5 look pretty awesome. And, I cannot stress how awesome it is to have custom audiologist molded earbuds. I believe this set may come with a voucher for custom molds.

I recommend this website for reviews and info on all types of headphones. http://www.headphone.com

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I cannot recommend buds at all. They are too dangerous in terms of both completely blocking the sounds of the outside world and permitting spurious sound levels to get directly to your eardrum. Besides which, music is mixed as though people with entire ears (including the pinna) are listening. By bypassing the outer ears you are changing the sound of what you are hearing.

Buds for on-stage monitoring where levels are controlled by the engineer are another matter.

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  • I think they're safe for iPod use like he says because you can put a volume limit on the iPod. I've never had my touch spike me or have digital glitches - just make sure you aren't listening to random recordings that have questionable dynamic ranges. – Utopia Mar 28 '11 at 23:16
  • I've had in-ears before and never did any damage. And this isnt for pro use. Mixing on any kind of headphones is asking for surprises. – David Rovin Mar 30 '11 at 1:29
  • I am always listening to random recordings with spikes. :-) – robin Apr 1 '11 at 17:44

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