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#135329 - 04/11/06 02:54 PM Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
KC23 Offline

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 212
Loc: Southern California
Sennheiser Pk100. About $40 US.

I have a creative lab 6gb Zen mp3 player and while the ear buds did sound good, I found the comfort level to be bothersome. Especially on the 14hr flight to Sydney.

During my recent trip to Australia I decided I needed to get them replaced ... especially since I left my ear buds in Australia.

Did my internet research and came up with the pk100. Extremely comfortable and the bass blows my previous ear buds away. Very tight for MP3 player unpowered headphones.

Very comfortable. They do allow outside sound in (not terrible, but someone can get your attention) and others close by can hear your head phones, but for me that was okay. I mostly use them for the gym and I like to know if someone is trying to talk to me.

They don't look that durable, but I'm hard on headphones and no problems so far. They also come with a hard case for travel.

I can highly recommend them, especially at that amazing price.

Edited by KC23 (04/11/06 02:57 PM)

#135330 - 04/11/06 04:13 PM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
sonicfox Offline

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 906
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Any recommendations for earbuds? I need some for running. I've currently got the Sony model MDR-EX71LP, and while I like the sound, I absolutely hate the cord. The left side is short and the right side is long (it wraps behing the head). This I don't mind as much but the cord to the plug is way too short. When I clip my mp3 player to my waist, the cord barely reaches...and I'm short with a short torso. There's an extention cord, but it's way too long! It's a rediculous design. If they would have made a standard length cord in the first place, it would be fine. I'm looking for alternatives, but it's been difficult because the reviews are so mixed.
Marantz SR6003
Samsung LN52B550
Oppo DV-980H
Insignia NS-WBRDVD

#135331 - 04/11/06 05:14 PM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
AshBoomstick Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Richmond, VA
couldn't you just open your windows, crank your stereo really loud, and run around your neighorhood?
Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

#135332 - 04/11/06 05:25 PM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
F107plus5 Offline

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Probably the best resourse right now for answering all your questions is the "Head-Fi" web-site and forums.

It's a dangerous place to visit, however.

Best advice is to go there; put in a forum search to find out JUST what you need to know to make your purchase. Then leave the forum never to return again!

Your financial advisor will thank you.

#135333 - 04/13/06 12:40 PM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
alan Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3194
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi sonicfox,

At an amazing budget level, look for the Koss "The Plug". They are about $15 and if they comfortably fit your ear canals (that's a big IF with all such earbuds), you'll get amazing bass, some sound isolation, and quite neutral and detailed mids and treble, though not quite as detailed as the M2s, M22s, M60s and M80s.

But I much preferred them to the disappointing $139 Etymotic Research earbuds, which had little bass, and an overly sibilant midrange peak. Plus I found the Etymotics uncomfortable even after trying different sizes of tips.

The ear canal fit is crucial, in my experience. Whatever you try, get a selection of different-sized tips. Even the cheapo Koss Plug comes with a variety of different tips.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#135334 - 04/13/06 11:19 PM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
AdamP88 Offline

Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 639
Loc: Omaha, NE
Wow. I have quite a different opinion of the Plug vs. Etymotic (I'm assuming you mean the ER-6 or ER-6i). I found the Koss to be extremely bass-heavy. While it could get the toes tapping and the head bopping, it was anything but neutral (okay, more like exagerrated/bloated). The fit was relatively easy, and they were comfy to wear.

The Ety's, by comparison, are quite neutral and much more detailed. The trick is definitely in the fit, though, as even a little difference in how good the seal is will affect the bass significantly. If the seal is a little loose, then the bass will admittedly be weak, but with a good seal, the bass won't be slamming, but it will be there. I've found the foam plugs to work the best - the silicone flanges bothered my ears and it was hard to get a consistently good fit. I do find the midrange a little dry, but the highs are extremely good and overall it's a much more balanced presentation than I got from the Plugs.

Plus the Ety's block out a little more sound (I believe), and every little bit counts when you're flying or in a noisy environment. I never go flying without my Ety's, they really do make a HUGE difference in flying fatigue.

Anyway, just thought I'd give my two bits. Although, given the price difference, if you're not going to be listening critically, go for the Plugs.

#135335 - 04/14/06 12:41 AM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
sonicfox Offline

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 906
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Thank you for the suggestion. However, I actually already own the Koss 'plugs'. I have one of the first generations and the foam plugs won't stay in my ears. I heard the newer plugs come with better foam. I actually think they don't sound too bad, but it's really dependent on the fit. If they aren't in the ears quite right, they will sound terrible. I recently found on a few websites that there are some mods that you can do to make the 'plug' sound better. One was to tame the bass so it's not so boomy by closing the ports with a small piece of tape. Surprisingly, it really helps! Another mod was to use regular foam earplugs in place the current plugs. Maybe I'll try this option as well.
Marantz SR6003
Samsung LN52B550
Oppo DV-980H
Insignia NS-WBRDVD

#135336 - 04/14/06 03:09 AM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
curtis Offline

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 1501
Loc: Manhattan Beach, CA
I have the ER-6i's and the MDR-71's. I like the 6i's sound better, but they are not that comfortable to me. I used the MDR-71's when I was the beach with my iPod.

What I recently got and love a lot, just for sheer comfort, and on top of that, they sound great, are the Sennheiser PX 100's. These things now go wherever my iPod goes.

I now only use the MDR-71's when working out. The ER-6i's don't see as much use nowadays....probably would get more play if I flew as often as I used to since they block out a lot of noise. The PX 100's, like I said before, are always wherever the iPod goes.

Edited by curtis (04/14/06 03:13 AM)

#135337 - 04/14/06 05:04 AM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
danmagicman7 Offline

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467

These are on sale on Amazon. I highly recommend them. From my research, people tend to like these guys better than the Koss Plug. I havn't heard the Koss Plug's, so I can't really comment there.

They have a nice tiny protective case, and three silicone sizes to fit your ear. They block out sound moderately well too.

They have great bass, very surprising, not bloated at all. However, the highs can get a bit tinny at times, but I'm used to axioms. The midrange is excellent.

Sometimes if I don't get a good fit (The best way is to reach your other arm over year head and pull up the tip of your ear) they get irritating. However, picking the right size helps a lot too.

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

#135338 - 04/14/06 10:39 AM Re: Excellent MP3 Player headphones ...
LightninJoe Offline

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
I have Ety ER6i's and Ultimate Ears 5 Pro's. The Etys are great walking/jogging/runaround use, pretty nice and detailed. You can get them as low at $70US. The UE's are great IEM's with bigger soundstage, better highs, and tighter lows. They are really great with a headamp. Great for travel, 23 or do dB noise reduction.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22." "It's the best there is." M22ti VP150 EP350 QS8 M3Ti

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