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Earbud recommendation please

Discussion in 'audio' started by Sue Pertwee-Tyr, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Hello all,

    I had a pair of diddy Sennheiser PXC 250 travel headphones which have bitten the dust. It seems I am about to become the proud owner of a pair of PXC480s which, while undoubtedly superior to the PXC250, are also a fair bit bigger. Probably not going to be ideal when I'm riding my bike.

    I'm looking for recommendations for a pair of earbuds, preferably sub-£70, with decent audio performance. I haven't used earbuds before, so have no idea what expectations might be as to cost and performance. If there are any around with any of this noise cancelling technology like the various PXCs have, so much the better.

  2. Dougunn

    Dougunn pfm Member

    I've had great results with Etymotic Research in-ears - I can't remember the model but the were c.£100 5 years ago.

    My experience of earbuds has been that the only ones which really perform well are those designed to have a tight seal in your ear canal. Presumably as this provides a direct air-coupling of your eardrum to the driver. This is initially a bit weird (and even a bit sore to start with) but the difference in sound quality (particularly the bass) is night and day. All earbuds that just sit in your outer ear have sounded awful to me - but presumably there are some that don't.

    The downside to these 'tight seal' designs is that it is not so easy to quickly whip them in and out and, if unexpectedly pulled out, it can be painful (and I suspect possibly damaging to your eardrum).

    If that has not put you off, actually getting a good seal can also be a challenge - better manufacturers will provide a selection of different size/material tips for their earbuds for this purpose. Of course if you don't mind paying, a custom-fit moulded earbud is ideal.

    On the upside though, well fitting, 'sealed' earbuds can sound incredible and provide a connection to the music unlike anything else.

    Oh, another point . . . 'sealed' designs also block ambient sound significantly - so are great to hear the music, but not good if you need to hear a bus bearing down on you!

  3. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Thanks, I'd discounted Etymotics for the reasons you mention, though I could still be tempted by them for more serious listening as I've heard (pun intended) lots of good things about their SQ. But for cycling I was thinking about some of the Sennheiser Momentums, and wondered if they were worth the premium over something like the PMX 686 (I like Sennheiser, as you may have noticed).
  4. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    First consideration do they fit comfortably in your ears and stay in place?
    Do the wires ( don’t mention cables) allow them to remain in place when moving your head
    Are the wires durable enough

    I tried Apple buds just to see and gave up. I love my PX200 II so stuff fashion. Enjoy.
  5. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

  6. richie60

    richie60 pfm Member

    Etymotic hf5s. Fitted with comply p100 professional tips provide the best isolation and SQ for me. Didn't get along with the triple flanges.
  7. AKG

    AKG pfm Member

  8. Ryan2tawfiq

    Ryan2tawfiq Member

    A good pair of earbuds can give you what you need to improve your experience. Everyone has different factors which they consider in a pair of earbud before they purchase and we have a variety of headsets for you.
  9. flowjm

    flowjm pfm Member

    +1 for a pair of Etymotics. Note that different sized tips are available, and there are options other than Etymotic's own. I use small sized Shure olives with my ER4SE's and find that they give excellent isolation and comfort. Their newer models offer detachable (and therefore, replaceable) cables, so represent better vfm.

    Edit: just noticed the reference to bike riding. I'd caution against using Ety's in that case, since the isolation is so good that you'll be effectively deaf to other sounds.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  10. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

  11. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Worth a look at the Sennheiser Outlet:

    https://en-uk.sennheiser-outlet.com/shops/list.php?order=price ASC
  12. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Went with the Momentums as it happens. Been very satisfied with them. :)
  13. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    I personally would not feel happy with any kind of ear bud or headphone if I am on my bike in traffic.

    I have enough problems with people walking along multi-user paths with headphones etc or even talking on their phones.
  14. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

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