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The big Headphones VS. Earbuds debate!



  • I prefer going to a concert in order to listen to my favorite music. Ususally the experience is quite extraordinary.
  • Scott's constant reminding that buds with ambient noise will kill the shit out of your ears has me seriously considering buying some isolation headphones that I can't afford right now. Considering the only time I listen to GeekNights is at work, in a factory for 8 hours straight makes me curious as to how badly damaged my ears are...
  • I use Ultrasone iCans (not to be confused in any way with the iPod of course). They're supposed to be really easy on the ears and I would tend to agree. They aren't noise isolation phones but I sit in front for a computer all day long and when I'm not on the phone, I'm listening to something. These really have seem to keep my ears and head from hurting by the end of the day.
  • I have probably every single kind of headphones/earphones made. As a matter of fact I bought a new pair for me to wear when I go to bed so i can sleep on a side. There really isn't one kind of headphone that is the best as each kind serves its own purpose. I got all of my different pairs for all the different situations I listen to my iPod.
  • Wow.
    Scott, sir, thank you. I picked up the buds you mentioned and linked to, and I love them. Geeknights FTW. I think a Jimi Wallet is up next.
  • I mostly use headphones but prefer speakers. Earbuds are very uncomfortable for me.

    Most of my at work listening (thus the need for the headphones) is podcasts, for which I use Panasonic RP-HS43 ear-clip headphones. Each side clips individually to the top of my ear, and can be flipped away from my ear to allow me to hear what's going on around me without taking them off. My actual preferences are for speakers large enough to have at least a 12 inch woofer (and separate midrange and tweeters) for music and movies, alas I have them no more :(
  • It's kinda sad, I usually only get headphones with portable system accessories, like Game boy Advance, Game boy Advance SP, or Nintendo DS.
    Right now I have a pair of DS Lite clip on headphones, and I really like them. So, you can see where my opinions are.
  • edited August 2007
    Due to heavy use the wire to the right bud on my etymotic 6i earbuds started getting worn out. The audio of the right channel would cut in and out when I jiggled the wire. I mailed away my earbuds for an RMA, and I realized that over the past two years of using the etymotics, I threw away every pair of shitty airbuds left in the house. So today I bought some crap $10 Sonys to hold me over until I get my real earbuds back.

    Let me just say, these Sonys are shit. I'm listening to a podcast at work, and I can still hear all the other noises from around the office. Regardless, the audio that comes out of these things is shit. It's like the difference between an HD plasma and a Zenith from the 70's. How the hell do people use these things?

    EDIT: WOW. Some podcasts that were listenable on my real earbuds sound like utter shit on these Sonys. I should listen to some GeekNights to test.
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • How the hell do people use these things?
    They're the same people that don't think dynamic frequency in music matters.
  • What sound setup I use largely depends on the situation. When I am going out I bring my earbuds for convenience, unless it is on an airplane or long trip, when the optimum amount of noise cancellation is needed. I wear the normal headphones to cancel noise when I'm around the house, but sometimes I wear the earbuds for comfort. Finally, I use speakers when I am home alone/when it doesn't bother my roommates, or when we all want to hear something (like a movie or a hilarious YouTube video).

    (Yay! 1st post!)
  • edited February 2008
    For those of you who don't have a stereo in your house, I can see why you would not prefer speakers, but I happen to have a pair of Technics SB-G920s that my dad gave me when he got his new speakers. Also, I have a Yamaha RX-V457. Really nice sound ^_~
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • Logitech Z-5500.
  • I tend to use earbuds, they can cause problems but the concealability negates that to a point. I have decided that I will no longer use any headphones other than these.
  • notperferspeakers
  • I use these nice padded headphones at my computer, and I like them because they keep my ears warm. Outside, though, I use earbuds because I can slip them inside my hoodie and nobody notices.
  • Hey Xenoc, what kind of sound quality do you get with bone conduction? I like my ER-6is but sometimes worry when I'm out and about as to whether I can still hear enough to be safe.
  • I use noise canceling earbuds when I'm on the train, plane, or other place I don't want outside noise (vacuuming sometimes). I use regular earphones when it's cold outside, or when sitting at my desktop (basically, anytime when I'd like outside noise, just in case someone needs to get my attention). Also, I find that earphones are more comfortable than earbuds.

    Also, earbuds when biking. Of course.
  • I got some plain black earbuds for christmas that haven't disappointed yet.
  • I listen to music and podcasts 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Studio monitor headphones are wonderful if you need something for prolonged listening. As other people have said, with headphones there's no risk of ear canal infection, they stay where you put them, they're harder to lose, and they can double as earmuffs on a cold day. :)
  • I have a large pair of Senneheiser headphones that I like to wear at work or whenever I'm going to be in front of a computer for a long period of time. They are comfortable and keep my hair out of my face. You can't really beat earbuds in terms of convenience and portability (...not like you can walk around wearing studio headphones without looking like a douche). Though, for whatever reason, most earbuds start to irritate the skin around my ears after wearing them for an extended period of time.
  • edited February 2008
    I have a large pair of Senneheiser headphones also, I use mine at home, I usually watch anime on my ipod before I go to sleep. I have a pair of earbuds that I take to work. They block out other sound better which is a plus at work and they are easier to manage when I go for a walk at lunch.
    Post edited by am_dragon on
  • I'm posting while listening to Geeknights on my Shure E2c sound-isolating earbuds. I can't hear a thing outside of the show.

    Okay, so I'm in a library right now, but you get the point.
  • So my etyomics are really dead this time. They were expensive, but they lasted multiple years with a single repair. That's longer than any I've ever owned. WHo knows, maybe I can get them repaired again. The problem seems to be a loose connection in the stereo connector.

    I used my backup pair of normal cheap Sony headphones today. Boy do they suck ass! How do people use non-isolation non-noise canceling headphones? How can you hear anything? Unless you only listen to your music and podcasts in a really quiet place, you have to crank up the volume all the way. When I was on the train, I had to crank up the volume to more than 3/4 of the max to be able to hear at all. In the subway, even if it was up all the way, I couldn't hear at all. I turned it off until I got back to the office. Even in the quiet office, I need the volume up more than half-way. I see people in the subway with normal shitty earbuds all the time. Wtf are these people doing to their ears!?

    Anyway, I'm almost 100% definitely getting an iPhone in a couple weeks. Because of that, I need headphones that also have a microphone so I can pick up and talk while in the middle of a song or podcast. They're expensive, but I think I'm going to go for these bad boys. If they last as long as the pair that just died. I will be satisfied. Using the shitty normal earbuds removes any question that the price is worth actually being able to hear.
  • I am completely in love with my etyomics ER 6i headphones. The only gripe I have is that the rubber ear buds can fall off a little too easily.
  • I used to have a $25 pair of Sony ear buds; Best ear buds I ever owned. I could mow the lawn and still hear the podcasts. Although I've probably incurred some hearing loss...

    At any rate, I'd choose ear buds over big headphones for personal use, but for use with the computer, I'd choose big headphones.
  • I am completely in love with my etyomics ER 6i headphones. The only gripe I have is that the rubber ear buds can fall off a little too easily.
    You can buy replacement rubber bits. New ones stay on much better than old ones. If they start coming off in your ear, it might be time to replace them.

    One other thing I realized recently. The etymotics use suction to stay in your ear canal. The Sonys I'm using have over-ear clips. How is someone supposed to wear sunglasses, or other glasses, while simultaneously wearing any kind of headphone other than in-ear buds? It's either impossible or uncomfortable.
  • I have a pair of big headphones (Sennheiser HD 202) that I wear with my glasses without it being uncomfortable. Though it could possibly be that I'm not wearing them for long enough.
  • I have a pair of big headphones (Sennheiser HD 202) that I wear with my glasses without it being uncomfortable. Though it could possibly be that I'm not wearing them for long enough.
    So you just put the headphones on top of the glasses? Don't the glasses break the seal around your ear?
  • I answered other: all of the above. When I'm on home at my computer listening music or podcasts I use my computers speakers. If I play some fps games or I need to be silent because it's night or some other reason I use headphones with my computer. And with my iPod I use earpuds.
  • edited June 2008
    So you just put the headphones on top of the glasses? Don't the glasses break the seal around your ear?
    Nope. There's enough padding to completely absorb the glasses. If the headphones were smaller it'd probably be more of an issue.

    As to answering the question, mainly speakers or the big headphones at home, and when I'm out with the iPod mainly my set of psuedo-canal buds or the big headphones (I currently have a 2G Shuffle, and combining that with big headphones and a 3 meter cord is somewhat strange and inconvenient).
    Post edited by Tyashki on
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