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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I never really have had any decent headphones because I'm typically cheap and didn't really know if they would be worth it for iPod listening. However, the cheap earbuds that I have are starting to fall apart and I am interested in a decent pair of earbuds now. I really have no clue what is considered good for these so I'm looking for suggestions. I'd be looking at around $20-30 range. However, if you guys think spending more than $10ish is pointless, that would work for me too.
 

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Well I decided to try out these. I'll let you guys know how they are when they get here.
Hopefully those work out for you. If I had come across this thread yesterday before you bought them, I would have recommended these (JVC Marshmallows). I tried my friend's pair of these a couple weeks ago. They sound absolutely astounding for the price.

And that's coming from someone who owns (and loves) these (Shure SE530s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hopefully those work out for you. If I had come across this thread yesterday before you bought them, I would have recommended these (JVC Marshmallows). I tried my friend's pair of these a couple weeks ago. They sound absolutely astounding for the price.

And that's coming from someone who owns (and loves) these (Shure SE530s).
Wow those Shures sure look nice. I don't think I could ever pay close to that amount for earbuds! Do you have a good source you listen to them with? I can't imagine letting a ****** iPod drive earbuds that nice.

Thanks for the recommendation, and if the ones I got don't work out I'll try out those Marshmallows.
 

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Wow those Shures sure look nice. I don't think I could ever pay close to that amount for earbuds! Do you have a good source you listen to them with? I can't imagine letting a ****** iPod drive earbuds that nice.

Thanks for the recommendation, and if the ones I got don't work out I'll try out those Marshmallows.
First of all, I didn't pay nearly that much for my pair :biglaugh:. I got a really good deal on them.

As far as my source... You'd be surprised. My iPhone (which actually has quite a nice DAC in it compared to some of the other iPods) can drive them perfectly fine. I know a dedicated amp would be better, but for the sake of portability, there's no reason for me to carry more equipment for the incremental improvement.

Besides, these Shures were designed to be driven by portable sources. I'm looking to upgrade from them sometime in the future... probably to these. But I guess even those play really nice straight out of an iPhone, but improve much more than the Shures do with a good amp. I used to live over at Head-fi.org before I came here, and they were the hot new thing. Everyone kept calling them a bargain for how much performance you get at that price. Which I started to believe when long-time headphone veterans started selling their expensive, full-sized headphones after getting the JH-13s going, "What's the point of having extra headphones? These earphones sound better." :biglaugh:
 

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If you want in-depth headphone reviews, from $20 to $500, head-fi.org is a great resource. I have used ~$70 Shures and some $100 Ultimate Ears (retail $400, found a good deal) and really like them. But even at the lower end, my brother has some $30 Sennheiser CX300's and likes them a lot more than the stock earbuds.
 

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I would also suggest checking out head-fi.org .I learned a lot from the forum.

I was able to pick up a pair of Ultimate Ears tripleFi10's from a forum member for $100 . They retail in the $395 range .
Apparently a few years back Amazon had them on sale for $100 and a lot of people grabbed more than a few pairs .

I absolutely LOVE them . I use them mostly when working in the yard and the source is my ipod .
Having an IEM ( in ear monitor ) instead of an earbud completely changes you ability to hear the music , the notes , the instruments and so on .
Save a few bucks , don't waste your time and money buying something that will most likely not improve your sound quality at all.
When you have the $$$ in hand , jump in and get yourself some nice IEM and be prepared really hear some music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would also suggest checking out head-fi.org .I learned a lot from the forum.

I was able to pick up a pair of Ultimate Ears tripleFi10's from a forum member for $100 . They retail in the $395 range .
Apparently a few years back Amazon had them on sale for $100 and a lot of people grabbed more than a few pairs .

I absolutely LOVE them . I use them mostly when working in the yard and the source is my ipod .
Having an IEM ( in ear monitor ) instead of an earbud completely changes you ability to hear the music , the notes , the instruments and so on .
Save a few bucks , don't waste your time and money buying something that will most likely not improve your sound quality at all.
When you have the $$$ in hand , jump in and get yourself some nice IEM and be prepared really hear some music.
I will definitely check out the place. I would love to have some great IEMs, but for right now thats not where my priority is. My current earbuds are falling apart and I need a replacement (likely in ~ 1 week mine will be totally done). I was basically trying to decide on a cheap alternative that sounds relatively good. I know the ones I ordered will be a step up from the el cheapos that come with iPods, so I shouldn't be disappointed. Hopefully in the years to come I can try out some real good ones like what you have to really see what I'm missing.
 

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I bought the UE super.fi 5 pros a few years ago. I really liked them, but had to sell them because they didn't fit well (lost a seal too easily). Then I tried the Westone UM2s: Liked the fit, but HATED the sibilance, so I returned those and got my Shures which I've had ever since.

Honestly though, if those JBuds don't work out for you, the JVC Marshmallows are sincerely amazing for the price, and highly regarded over at Head-Fi for that reason. Hell, for $12, get a couple of them. At least they'll hold you over until you decide to get a higher-end pair.
 

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At RMAF JHAudio was using ipods to demo there headphones.... some with small battery powered amps.....

I got to listen to the 13's last year, probably worth every penny, but was actually very impressed with the 5's. They had the 16's there this year but didnt get a chance to make it over there.

= I'm looking to upgrade from them sometime in the future... probably to these. But I guess even those play really nice straight out of an iPhone, but improve much more than the Shures do with a good amp. I used to live over at Head-fi.org before I came here, and they were the hot new thing. Everyone kept calling them a bargain for how much performance you get at that price. Which I started to believe when long-time headphone veterans started selling their expensive, full-sized headphones after getting the JH-13s going, "What's the point of having extra headphones? These earphones sound better." :biglaugh:
 

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I heard about the 5's and heard that they are very good. But if I'm going to (eventually) go custom, I'm going to go all out so I don't end up saying "what if." I considered the 16's, but if I'm spending that much, I might as well get reference quality, which the 13's are supposed to be and the 16's clearly aren't.
 

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I heard about the 5's and heard that they are very good. But if I'm going to (eventually) go custom, I'm going to go all out so I don't end up saying "what if." I considered the 16's, but if I'm spending that much, I might as well get reference quality, which the 13's are supposed to be and the 16's clearly aren't.
I havent seen anything on the 16's so are they not that good?
 

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It's not that the 16's are "not that good." In fact, they could be better than the 13's depending on you preference. It's just that the 13's and 16's were designed for different purposes. The 13's were designed to be reference quality across the spectrum. The 16's, with their 2 extra low frequency drivers per side, are meant to provide extra bass headroom. This is useful for stage-performing musicians and anyone else who listens in a noisy environment but still wants to be able to more clearly hear deep, detailed bass. Take a look at this review that compares the 13 and the 16 toward the middle. That should give you a better understanding of what I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I just got the JBuds today and definitely am very disappointed with the first impression. There are a few things that I must say I don't like:
  • Earbuds must be pressed deep into the ear to get desired sound quality. This is also hard to make sure the earbuds are in the same place every time.
  • There is a terrible noise introduced when the cord is hit. I have just been sitting around and noticed this right away. After trying them out while walking I'll update on this.
  • When in use at fairly loud volumes, they are loud externally.

If the noise introduction doesn't go away while walking/after more use, then I will definitely be trying out the marshmallows. I hadn't gotten these yet before the Monster Turbines were on sale for just under 60 on Amazon(which I have read good reviews on).
 

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Sorry to hear you're not liking your JBuds. I guess the first question I have for you is, have you ever had in-ear-canal-phones (often called IEMs) before? The reason I ask is that all IEMs are somewhat susceptible to cable noise (often called microphonics). To minimize this, IEM makers often design them to be worn over the ear, like mine. This reduces the microphonics because the cable vibrations themselves are reduced before they reach the earpieces. So before you give up on this pair, if it doesn't bother you too much, I would recommend you flip them upside down when you wear them and drape the cable over your ears to see if that helps with the cable noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No I had not had any that had been designed for in the ear canal before. I will try that and see if that helps. I guess I didn't have any clue on flipping them before.

Why is it IEMs are susceptible to cable noise?
 

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Well unlike typical earbuds, the key behind getting good sound quality out of an IEM is forming a good "seal" with the tips. Anyone who has used a set of IEMs for a while should know what a good seal feels/sounds like. A good seal is also the key to getting good isolation, which is what IEMs are often touted for. Unfortunately, a good seal can also be an IEM's achilles heel because the seal is (obviously) IN the ear canal. So any vibrations induced on the cable are basically going directly into your ear. With earbuds (and other types of earphones/headphones), the vibrations that reach the eardrum are being decreased by contact with the outer part of the ear, so it's much less noticeable than with IEMs. Of course there are a lot factors that play into microphonics, including the cable material and length, but that's the basic reason why there's cable noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I tried going around the ear for a little bit and did notice much less noise being caused. It was almost totally eliminated and made it much more enjoyable. Only more listening will tell, especially since I'm not used to them being in the ear canal. It is definitely a totally different listening experience than I am used to. I did read alittle on the net and found that for non in-canal earbuds, AKG K 319 are some of the best. It just so happened that I caught the sale on the AKG K 430 headphones for a decent non-earbud headphone. Looks like I'm gonna have some extra listening I'll need to do!
 

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Hah. Sounds like fun :rock:

Yeah, IEMs definitely aren't for everyone. If you do want to stick with earbuds but still want good sound quality, if you're willing to spend a little extra, take a look at YUIN's PK series earphones (the PK3, PK2, and PK1, with the PK1 being the 'ultimate' model). I can't say I have any experience with any of those earphones, but I used to hear good things about them all the time over at Head-Fi. So if you're still considering other options, it wouldn't hurt to give them a look.
 
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