Get a pair of Sennheiser CX 485 earbuds for $19.99
Designed for smaller ears (but still "compatible" with larger ones), these in-ear headphones offer noise isolation and an inline volume control.
Are you still using the earbuds that came with your smartphone or MP3 player? I'll wager they're not the most comfortable headphones to wear, and I guarantee they don't help block outside noise (unless you crank the volume, which is ruinous to your hearing.)
Do your ears all kinds of favors and switch to in-ear headphones. Like these: Newegg has the Sennheiser CX 485 in-ear noise-blocking headphones for $19.99 shipped when you apply promo code EMCNDHD65 at checkout. (As always, you need to be a Newegg newsletter subscriber to use the code.) That's a full 50 percent off the regular price.
The CX 485s are designed for smaller ears, meaning the 'buds themselves are physically a hair smaller than most and therefore easier to snug into your ear canals.
However, because they come with the usual small/medium/large sets of tips, they should be able to fit even larger head-holes.
I'm actually not sure what constitutes "smaller ears," but I do know that typical iPod-style earbuds hurt my ears after about 20 minutes. A good set of in-ear 'buds, on the other hand, I can wear indefinitely. And because they form a noise-blocking seal while they're in there, I can keep the volume at a reasonable level while still keeping the world's irksome ambient noises at bay.
The CX485s have an inline volume control, a great perk if you're using them with something like the Kindle Fire, which lacks external volume buttons. Sennheiser also supplies a carrying case and a Y-splitter so you can share your audio with a friend.
The majority of Newegg customers rated this set four or five stars, though I will say that earbud fit and sound quality tend to be highly subjective. At least $20 is a small price to pay to find out if these satisfy your aural needs.
Bonus deal: TigerDirect once again has the refurbished Vizio VSB200 sound bar for $49.99 shipped. That's after redeeming a $30 mail-in rebate (PDF). Offering a marked improvement over built-in TV speakers, it sells new at most places for around $100.
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