Stock earbuds are the nasty surprise that come packaged with almost all MP3 players. Sure, they let you listen to your new purchase, but they're not particularly comfortable and they certainly don't sound all that good. The best solution for this problem is to upgrade to a pair of decent headphones, but if you're one of many people who balks at the idea of dropping even more cash when you've just purchased a new gadget, there is now another option.
When you've just dropped a wad of your hard-earned cash on a new MP3 player, purchasing an accessory to help make the most of it may seem counter-intuitive, but that's exactly what you should do: upgrade those headphones. You needn't spend a lot to get a pair that's a noticeable improvement over the stock set that came with your device.
Case in point: the Sony MDR-EX36V Stereo Headphones. These earphones will set you back only about $25, and they offer a sharp improvement in sound quality and comfort. The construction quality isn't the best, and … Read more
There is such a thing as too much multitasking, but we understand the urge to make the most out of your gadgets. Listening to music and taking calls while working out is just one of many possible combinations. For that, you need a music phone and an active-style headset with an inline mic and a secure fit.
The $30 Coosh Headset fulfills that last requirement nicely, although it's neither the most comfortable nor the best-sounding set of earphones we've come across. Still, it gets the job done at a fair price.
It's not difficult to get your hands on a good pair of full-size noise-canceling headphones, but if you prefer earbud-style 'phones, finding this technology built in is a bit more of a challenge.
Such sets do exist, though. One example is Phitek Systems' Blackbox C18 Noise Cancellation Earphones, a $129 pair that combines passive sound isolation with active noise canceling. The headphones offer very good sound quality and superior noise-hushing capability, but the lanyard-style design may not appeal to all users.
In what can only be considered a wise move in the current economic climate, Ultimate Ears is expanding its line of noise-isolating earphones to include a $49.99 pair, the MetroFi 170, and a $79.99 pair, the MetroFi 220. The new earbuds will replace the MetroFi 2, which were previously UE's cheapest set at $80. The company is also offering smartphone-compatible models with microphones built into the cables. These versions, the MetroFi 170vi and the MetroFi220vi, will sell for $59.99 and $89.99, respectively. I'd say that 10-buck increase for call-answering capability is as easy to … Read more
Fitness-friendly headphones come in a variety of shapes and styles--from earclip to behind-the-neck--and finding a pair that stays put on your head while you're active can take some trial and error. Once you get past fit issues, you may find yourself wanting some more advanced features, and built-in Bluetooth technology often tops that list, as it eliminates the need for cumbersome wires tethering you to your MP3 player.
The latest pair of active-style earphones to hit the market is Sony's DR-BT160 Wireless Stereo Headset, which comes in two models: the $130 BT160AS, which includes just the headphones, and … Read more
After shelling out $100 or more for a new MP3 player, dropping more of your hard-earned cash on a pair of headphones may not appeal to you--especially given that a working pair is generally packaged with the device. However, that stock set isn't doing you any favors in the sound (or comfort) department, which is why we always recommend upgrading, even if it's only to $15 earbuds.
Or you could aim a little higher and pick up a set of JLab's JBuds J2 earphones, which carry an suggested retail price of $80 but list for $30 on … Read more
For the last couple weeks, I've been playing with Griffin's TuneBuds Mobile. Compatible with iPods but designed with iPhones in mind, the TuneBuds combine noise-isolating earbuds with a talk-ready microphone and a play-pause control.
I like them. A lot. They're not perfect, but I was all set to tell you that they're worth the $39.99 list price. Then I remembered my job title and went digging for deals. And sure enough, I found one: OnSale.com has the Griffin TuneBuds Mobile for $16.99, plus $5 for shipping.
The TuneBuds come with three pairs of … Read more
If you can't get on board with the extra-long earpieces of Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre Tour earphones, perhaps the new Turbine In-Ear Speakers are more your style. The earpieces on these aren't the tiniest I've come across, but they're compact enough to fit into my small ears comfortably. And in true Monster fashion, the Turbine earphones have a nice, sleek look going for them. Each earbud is encased in a "black chrome" all-metal housing, which gives the set a sturdy feel and fashionable look. I also dig on the thin, color-coded ring … Read more
If you're the type to go gaga over the cute and kitschy, TrueBlue Wireless has the headphones for you. Ironically, they aren't wireless and they don't contain anything approaching advanced technology. Rather, they are $4 earbuds suitable for replacing your stock pair with something a little more...interesting. I'm talking about the Candeez Earphones, and you can find them in a variety of campy flavors. See below.