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QotD: Headphones

Question: What headphones do you use with your iPod?

My Answer: I use the stock ones, but then again, I rarely use the ear buds or headphones. I have some $300 noise-cancelling headphones (Sony) downstairs in a bag somewhere, and when I'm on a plane or a train I'll take those instead.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

8 Responses to "QotD: Headphones"

  1. I use Etymotic ER-6 phones for Airport/Planes and other high-ambient noise environments. These little phones bowl me over whenever I use them; in my own completely imprecise comparison, these passive earbuds are more effective at cancelling noise than Bose's active noise cancelling headphones.

    At any rate, the ER-6s work too well for work. At the office I use Apple In-Ear phones.

    Cheers, k.

  2. I have some ~20-year-old Sony in-ear headphones that I got with an old yellow "sport" Walkman. I prefer those to earbuds.

  3. Just the plain old earbuds are good enough for me.

    I usually play in iPod in my car anyway via a cassette adapter. If we are at a church retreat or a conference of some kind where I am responsible for providing the music, I hook it through the sound system using a headphone-1/4" adapter, and then directly into the system or into a microphone cable with a XLR adapter.

  4. I think mine are called Porta Pro or something. They're made by Koss. Good value, good sound, and they fold up nice and small. I got them because I don't like sticking things into my ears.

  5. I use a set of Sennheiser HD270's. They're big (well, as in the cover the ear, and go over my head), but they have a nice egg-shape over the ears so are really comfortable for long listening sessions, and more importantly they do a really good job of filtering out all the noise I don't want to hear.

  6. I have a $20 pair of Sony's that I use, I personally hate how the earbuds feel although I think they sound fine. They tend to make my ears hurt within about 10 minutes. Maybe I just have ears a little too small.

  7. Sony MDR-EX71's.

    I use them at work, at home... everywhere. With the middle-sized earbuds on it blocks out all other noise. With smaller ones you can hear when the phone rings or someone walks into the office.

    The only thing I don't like about them - the left ear cord is sometimes too short when doing yardwork. The main cord is too short, and with the supplied extension cord, the whole thing is almost too long.

    But they sound great.

  8. At work I use Sennheiser PXC-250s. Excellent sound quality, and fairly good active noise reduction. Very light and comfortable -- I think they have better sound quality than Bose QC2s but not quite as good isolation as the Bose model. The only drawback to this headphone is that it comes with a battery pack halfway between the headphones and the end of the jack, so they're ideal for a situation in which I will remain stationary for a while.

    I had tried the Etymotic ER-6is prior to buying the Sennheisers, and while I liked the sound quality, I was unable to get decent bass out of them. That's usually ascribed to a poor fit with my ear rather than a technical deficiency of the product, so don't take that to mean these aren't great headphones. If they didn't cost me $120 I wouldn't have sent them back and gotten the Sennhesiers. (Also they were intended for work, and they're kind of a pain in the nuts to put in and take out, and since I often have to stop and talk with a teammate, they weren't really ideal anyway.)

    When running or at the gym, I only use the iPod freebie cheapies. The sound quality doesn't suck, but they also don't stay in my ears once the sweat runs down into them. Pretty bulletproof, though, I accidentally dropped them into a glass of water and they still work fine.

    When traveling or if I need more-portable noise reduction than the Sennheisers, I use Sony EX-71s (see poster above). The sound quality is not very good, but they were only $20 on and unlike the Etymotic ER-6is (which cost $120, or $80 if you get lucky and can find them on, I could actually get some bass out of them.

    I might buy a pair of Koss Portapros (see poster above) at some point, they are supposedly phenomenal headphones for the money. I'm just concerned that they might let too much outside noise in -- not that I expect them to be fully noise-reducing, but rather I bought a nice pair of Grados for work and then to my dismay found that they let all the outside noise in so I couldn't 'lose myself' in the music sometimes. So the Grados stay at home, they are my "home stereo" (since I live in a bedroom, my only source is an iPod or a PowerBook, and I can't really justify buying a nice set of speakers).

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