Which (blank) do I get for (blank)?--Ask the Editors
CNET editor Jasmine France answers a variety of questions about which headphones and MP3 players are good for certain people, uses, and prices.
Q: Can you help me to choose an earphone? I have $150. For the sound, I like an earphone that has great bass and clear sound. Which one is the best between Dr. Dre Tour, Shure SE210 and Bose earphone? -- Yudanto, via e-mail
A: Personally, I would not go for any of those, though for the Dr. Dre Tours, it's more a matter of fit (the earpieces are very long). As for the Shure SE210s, those are not the best model for thumping bass. And the Bose In-Ear 'phones have had lukewarm reviews overall from users and editors alike.
I'm not sure what the availability is like in Indonesia, but my recommendations for you are as follows, in order:
- Ultimate Ears Super.fi EB (if you have a little extra to spend or can find a deal)
Q: My girlfriend is getting a gift for a relative who likes to read, so I recommended a Sansa Clip and an audiobooks gift card. Before she goes through with it, I wanted to check with the MP3 queen to see your thoughts on the Clip as an audiobook player, and your favorite audiobook purveyor. If you've got a better idea for a gift, I would appreciate it, but keep in mind that her budget is $75 (preferably less). -- bereezy, via e-mail
A: I would go with the Sansa Clip+. You can check out our list of top choices for audiobooks; as you can see, the Clip+ is the best option in her price range. It also leaves plenty of the budget left over for a gift card.
Q: I am a frequent listener and watcher of your podcast and reviews. I would like your opinion and suggestion about what earbuds I should buy. I am looking for a pair that is durable, preferably with a cloth-covered cable. A strong plug is also a plus. I would like some moderate sound isolation to block out sounds on the bus, but I do not want to be deaf to the outside world. I need good/above-average sound quality, and strong bass is a plus. My budget tops out around $100. Thanks a lot. -- Anonymous, via e-mail
A: I think themight be exactly what you are looking for.
Q: What are the best inexpensive earbuds for about $20-40? -- Willson, via e-mail
A: Check out our roundup of headphones for less than $25, paying particular attention to the JVC Marshmallows. At the higher end of that price range, I'd recommend the Woodees earphones or the that I mention above.
Q: I am e-mailing you because CNET says you are the one to talk to about iPhone earphones. I need some recommendations from a super smart* person. So, if you can spare a minute, I would like you to shoot some info my way. Some excellent earphones, good quality, excellent features, etc. -- Eli, via e-mail
*Editors' note: In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it is imperative to note that if you refer to me as "super smart" or any related combination of terms, I will nearly always feel compelled to reply and/or post your question here.