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Motorola MOTOROKR S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones offer a comfortable fit for athletes.  (Source: Motorola)

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones are a solid stereo headphone offering and sport excellent sound  (Source: Audio-Technica)

V-Moda Bass Freq earphones feature a comfortable fit, good sound, and a wide array of attractive colors -- all at a reasonable price.  (Source: V-Moda)
Headphones and earphones, oh my! DailyTech has all the hottest in holiday music and audio, for you or...

Music lovers are living quite possibly the greatest era in history for their passion.  Today the music lover has a broad array of gadgets at his or her disposal with which to carry around a music collection in the palm of one's hand.  With many solid CD releases this year, and a wealth of undiscovered music -- whether you like rock, oldies, indie, rap, techno, electro, metal, glam, punk, funk or anything else -- the world is the music lover's oyster.

Part I of the guide covered MP3 players (both hard drive and flash) and music-ready cell phones.  This is the second part of the guide, which covers headphones and earbuds. 

There are two basic categories of listening devices.  The first is the earmuff/headphone style ones that go over your ears, which vary wildly in size and shape.  These headphones are typically just known as stereo headphones.

The other type of listening device sports plugs that go in your ears, typically known as earbuds.  Today users also have the option of either going for wired or wireless designs for either headphones or earbuds.  Most wireless design utilize Bluetooth, but a few feature RF transmission.  This much is pretty familiar to most.  However, the challenge is in find good stereo headphones and earbuds at a reasonable price. 

Traditional Surround Sound/Dolby headphones were skipped for brevity, as they are more tuned to the home theatre experience, while this guide focuses on audio.  Note that most headphone models can be found at cheaper than MSRP as noted, but the higher end models typically have no markdown.

Bluetooth Headphones
  • Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Simultaneously Source Phone and Music ($56.99 MSRP)
    These headphones are bigger, but are not ear-muff style.  They support Bluetooth 1.2, as well as A2DP and AVRCP profiles.  They also feature a battery life that is fairly good at 12 hours of music and 17 hours of talk.  They are relatively lightweight. 

    The sound quality is reported as average, but the headphones feature "audio sink" functionality, which can improve overall sound quality.  All around, these headphones are a solid choice for everyday music listening and interfacing with top of the line music phones.

  • Motorola MOTOROKR S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones ($129.99 MSRP, $73 Street)
    These are some of the trimmest stereo bluetooth headphones.  These MOTOROKR S9 support for HS, HF1.5, Bluetooth v2.0, A2DP, and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles.  They feature a play time of around 6 hours; talktime is around 7.

    The non-resizable arc may lead to some trouble for people with larger heads.  Sound quality is relatively good, but is reported to vary between output devices.  These headphones make a good choice for athletes who want wireless stereo.

  • BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset ($139.99 MSRP, $94 Street)
    The BlueAnt X5s are very comfortable and compact fold-to-store headphones.  They support stereo, with support for Handsfree, Headset, A2DP and AVRCP profiles.  Their battery life is rated around of 12 hours.  One standout feature is very good audio quality for a wireless headphone, but the quality still falls a bit short of many wired stereo headphones. 

    Overall this model is a solid choice for home music listening -- though not as good for athletics due to the larger earmuffs.

  • Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones ($109.99 MSRP, $80 Street)
    Logitech's phones are ready for action, being both flexible and durable.  They have average overall sound, but above average bass.   One downsides is the lack of built in playback controls, but volume control is conveniently located in the shell of earpad.  The blue tooth transmitter ransmitter works with any minijack headphone output.  The FreePuslse include a separate built in battery for the transmitter, with fairly good life.  Works from a range of 30 feet or less.  Athletes will appreciate this model's flexibility.

  • Sony DRBT50 Stereo Bluetooth® Headset ($229.99 MSRP, $150 Street)
    Who says money can't buy you love?  Sony's stereo headphones may be big (think Princess Leia), but they provide one of the best stereo sound experiences offered by a Bluetooth set.  Users report that this unit blows away such competitors as the previously mentioned Motorola S9, although this may be somewhat subjective.  The set supports Bluetooth headset and A2DP profiles.  

    The headphones sport a 24 bit D/A converter to improve sound quality and have specially designed
    40mm headphone driver units with Neodymium magnets.  Offer a solid battery life of 17 hours for music playback.  The phones have built in Audio control.  Overall this is a very solid choice for a nice sounding, but not unreachably expensive set of headphones for home music listening.

  • iMuffs Bluetooth Wireless Headphones for iPod ($179.99 MSRP, $170 Street)
    This model by iMuffs offers stereo support for A2DP profile and operates under Bluetooth 2.0.  These headphones are among the only Bluetooth ones to support noise cancellation software.  They also utilize Clear Voice Capture (cVc) echo technology to further reduce noise pollution.  They have an audio battery life of around 16 hours.  They operate from up to 30 feet away.  Their profile is slimmer than some, which may be a draw.  While the most pricey, these headphones are reported to have sound quality rivaling competitive $100 earbuds. 

    The sound quality is consistently reported as a big upside for this model.  This would be a terrific choice for people like business travellers who wants to listen to music in a noisy setting such as an airport.   
Wired Headphones
  • Sennheiser HD 202 Headphones ($29.95 MSRP, $24 Street)
    These stereo headphones fall in on the low end, but as with most Sennheiser products, they don't disappoint.  They provide reasonable noise insulation and offer up high quality sound, particularly in the treble and middle ranges.  Bass sound can be a little weak in terms of thump, but is acceptable.  The headphones come with long 10 ft y-style cord, for plenty of freedom. 

    The phones are very comfortable and have nice cushiony padding.  Durability, particularly in the cords and contacts, has been reported to be a bit low.  Overall, this lowend model is a bit of a surprise in terms of packing a good audio punch and makes a great buy for the price-concerned shopper.

  • Sennheiser PX 100 Collapsible Headphones ($59.95 MSRP, $34 Street)
    The PX 100s feature a slim and lightweight design.   They also feature suprisingly good sound isolation.  They are similar to the HD 202 in capabilities except they feature much superior bass, in addition to the already good audio quality.  Bass notes and tones are surprisingly crisp and sharp.  Midrange is noted as a bit airy, but overall good.  Between the great sound quality, improved bass and comfort, these headphones are a really solid choice for the music listener.

  • Koss PortaPro Headphones ($49.99 MSRP, $35 Street)
    These headphones aren't the prettiest looking stereo headphones, but they are comfortable, utilizing a unique comfort fit headband design.  They also feature a wide audio response of 15 to 25,000 Hz.  The sound quality is great, especially with the bass.  Across the spectrum it is solid with little complaints.    The headphones fold up neatly for easy storage.   One complaint is that the speaker is rather prone to damage and develops tears in the membrane fairly easily.  This is a good pick for those who are looking for a lower price, quality sound option that they are not going to beat up too much.

  • Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Canceling Headphones ($79.99 MSRP, $36 Street)
    These stereo headphones are a step up from the previously mentioned offerings in that they offer noise reduction.  Background noise is reduced 70% or more.  This requires and extra AAA battery, which last for 30 hours, and can be turned off at any time.  Sound quality is overall quite good, but typically the noise cancellation overshadows this feature.  Some people compare these to Aiwa HP-CN6 (Aiwa is owned by Sony), however the noise cancellation is significantly better in this model.  Pick this set of headphones if you are looking for a solid but affordable set of headphones with easily enabled noise cancellation.

  • Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones ($219.95 MSRP, $123 Street)
    These headphones could be called snazzier Sony MDR-NC6s because, while differing in physical design, they offer the same draws as the MDR-NC6, but just offer more.  The noise reduction is up to 85%.  High and mid range are superb, and even demolish pricey industry stalwart Bose in this area, according to many audio purists.  Bass is well done, but falls short of only Bose offerings in quality.  The headphones have a solid feel, and are durable.  The battery life for the noise cancellation is up to 40 hours.  Pick these headphones if you have a reasonable budget and want great sound and solid noise cancellation.

  • ULTRASONE HFI 700 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones (MSRP $249.99)
    A unique feature of this model is that it supports "natural surround-sound" using a technology called S-Logic to create 3-D sound effects.  This also involves the use of pricey custom designed gold-plated drivers.  The headphones are also sealed to isolate the wearer from outside noise.  The headphones provide a really nice and full soundstage that operates well at all levels from bass to treble. 

    Some high-end treble-heavy headphones will surpass the HFI-700 in terms of quality in treble-heavy rock.  Overall, though these headphones provide a unique and outstanding experience.  Pick up these if you are willing to lay down a tidy some or if you enjoy novel technologies.

  • Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (MSRP $349.99)
    Bose is the king of the audio hill and most other headphone makers strive to reach near to Bose quality.  As previously stated, some like the ATH-ANC7 by Audio-Technica nip at the heels of Bose or even surpass it in some respects. 

    These headphones are luxuriously comfortable and very lightweight for their size.  The unit provides crisp and clear audio quality across the board.  The only downside, a common problem for most Bose headsets, is that audio quality gets a bit cloudy on the low end.

    The QC 3 reduces noise incredibly well and its audio line is detachable, so you can use it purely for noise reduction if you want to sleep in a busy setting like on a plane.  The set also features a generous battery life of 20 hours. 
Bluetooth Earbuds

Note Bluetooth earbuds/earphones are small and wireless, which means reasonably good audio quality is very hard to achieve.  That said, they're still pretty neat and if you aren't compulsive about your audio quality, you might enjoy them.
  • Sony Ericsson Bluetooth Headset HBH-DS970 ($149.99 MSRP, $94 Street)
    The Sony HBH-DS970 is a stereo earphone set featuring support for Bluetooth 2.0 and the A2DP profile.  If offers caller ID for compatible phones and music browsing controls.  It features talk time of 6 hours.  The unit automatically pauses music when receiving calls.  Audio quality received slightly mixed reviews, but for the most part is cited as good, though a bit week on the bass.  Pick this choice if you want earphones with fuller calling features than the JBuds.

  • Panasonic RP-BT10 Bluetooth Headphones ($199.99 MSRP, $132 Street)
    The RP-BT10 works with both iPod or cell phones.  The unit has a good range of around 30 feet.  The battery life is 5 hours of music.  The unit has remote control playback controls.  Sound quality is decent.  The units sports a stylish design.  The units have certainly been selling well, so they may be a bit hard to find.  Pick this one if you want a phone and mp3 compatible set of headphones with decent all around features.

  • Etymotic Research Ety8 Bluetooth Stereo Wireless In-Ear ($299.99 MSRP, $200 Street)
    If you feel okay with having a rectangle next to your ear, you may embrace this strange looking, but impressive design.  The design itself is rather modern and some will find it exciting and artistic, while others will find it downright ugly.  What most users will appreciate is the solid sound quality and noise cancellation technology built-in.  Sound is very good, though bass is a bit weaker than on say, Boss wired earbuds.  The unit sports a terrific battery life of 7 to 10 hours and is very comfortable. 

    One weakness is that the range is not very good.  Past 10 feet and many users report it to have problems.  The unit supports A2DP and AVRCP profiles and Bluetooth 2.0.  Etymotic claims the Ety8 to be the first Bluetooth earphones to feature noise-cancellation.  Pick these ones if you want Bluetooth and noise cancellation and are willing to drop a good deal of cash for it.
Wired Earbuds
  • JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds ($49.95 MSRP, $18 Street)
    JBuds are a very cheap way to get your earbud fix.  At a going online price of about $18, they are hard to pass up for those curious.  They are pleasantly comfortable.  The sound amazingly draws great reviews and is characterized as crisp and clean. 

    While certainly not the best audio experience ever they do a lot with just a little to work with.  For a great deal on good sounded earbuds, these are a solid pick.

  • Skullcandy SC-SBB3.5 Smokin' Earbud ($29.95 MSRP, $24 Street)
    Skullcandy pleases the music lover's sweet tooth with this solid low-end offering.  The Smokin' buds feature stylish design and good noise isolating plugs.  There have been some customer gripes on fit and durability, though.  Aside from these gripes, though, the sound is crisp, clear, and full.  It is another very solid offering in terms of audio quality at a low price.  Choose this one if you are willing to treat it with care, and are looking for a cheap good sounding pair of earbuds.

  • V-Moda Bass Freq earphones (camo) ($50.00 MSRP, $30 Street)
    The V-Moda Bass Freq buds are stylishly covered with multicolored styles, comes with various ear inserts to find the optimal fit.  These earbuds are among the lowest price models to feature noise isolation technology, and do a reasonably good job of it. 

    The sound has drawn rave reviews and features excellent overall character.  The bass can be a bit too loud at times and the treble can lack a bit of crispness at times, but overall these earphones offer a rich and full audio environment.  Pick these if you want a solid, comfortable, good sounding affordable offering.

  • Sennheiser CX300-B Earbuds ($89.95 MSRP, $36 Street)
    The CX300-B Earbuds offer a variety of plugs to fit different ear sizes.  A snug fit is a must, for this and other Earbud models, especially in a pair like this with own passive noise isolation.  Sound quality is decent, with the bass being its greatest strength.  These headphones represent another solid low-end choice.  Pick these ones if you want passive isolation and decent sound quality, or are a Sennheiser fan.

  • Shure E2c Sound Isolating Earphones ($99.99 MSRP, $73 Street)
    The E2c are another one of those earbud models that is either a bit weird looking or stylish depending on your tastes.  It comes with a broad array of fit sleeves, which help to ensure and extra comfortable and well sealed fit.  Once such a fit is accomplished sound isolation from the outside world according to most users is nearly complete -- which can be good and bad. 

    These headphones are sturdily constructed as well and should have a nice lifespan.  Sound quality is very balanced, and is overall a good performer.  No particular section particularly pops out at you, but there are few complaints.  Pick this if you want a well built headphone, with excellent sound isolation and balanced sound and are willing to pay a bit more.

  • Bose In-Ear Stereo Headphones ($99.95 MSRP)
    Bose and their Stereo Headphones provide a solid middle-high end option.  They come with a small assortment of ear inserts for fit.  The fit is relatively comfortable for most users.  The sound quality is excellent, but the bass is a bit up and down at times.  Some users report the bass to be too low and murky, while others report it to be too loud and jumpy.  However most say the sound is really good and particularly shines on the mid to high end.  Pick these if you want a comfortable and proven solution at a slightly higher price.

  • Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones ($499.99 MSRP, $430 Street)
    These headphones are very pricey, theres no way around it.  They almost didn't make it into this guide because of this.  However, it is good to show at least one very high end offering and discuss its merits versus its lower brethren.   One place where the extra money goes is to offering a unique design, yielding fuller sound.  The headphone actually features three separate mini-speakers -- one tweeter and two woofers.  They also feature modular cable design, with different lengths of cable that allow for easy length adjustments.  The earphones are extremely comforting in ear and can even be worn when sleeping with no discomfort.  The headphones are very durable in construction with thick and reinforced cords and earbuds. 

    The phones also feature a neat mode called push-to-hear, which utilizes a mini-mic to pipe your voice and immediate surrounding noises into your ear, to allow you to have a normal conversation, which the earphones' excellent seal and noise cancellation would usually prevent.  Lastly, the most important aspect of these earphones is the incredible audio quality.  Bass and treble are unbelievably good, and the middle end is solid.  This model blows away the competition.  The three speaker design, really shows its muscle here.  Pick these if you are willing to spend a lot of money for the best performance and a solution that will last a long time.

Comments     Threshold

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Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By 996GT2 on 12/15/2007 11:27:02 PM , Rating: 5
Why do you have to repeat that Bose is "king of the hill" multiple times in the post? To people in the know about audio equipment, they aren't nearly as good as they are hyped up to be...

I mean, look at some reviews of the Bose In-Ear Headphones. An abysmal 5.7/10 from CNET and a B- rating from ilounge, to name just two.

Perhaps the OP should stop drinking the Bose Kool-Aid

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Anh Huynh on 12/15/2007 11:37:10 PM , Rating: 1
Bose speakers are typically terrible, but their head phones are quite good. The noise cancellation QC models had the best noise cancellation until the Sennheiser PXC450's came out, but even then, the Sennheisers cost $450.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By KristopherKubicki on 12/15/2007 11:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
HD-600s for life! Seriously, you only need to buy one pair ever! :)

By Anh Huynh on 12/16/2007 12:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
I don't use headphones enough to justify spending the money for the HD 600s and an amp :p.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Chocolate Pi on 12/16/2007 12:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
You told me to get a HD-555 a while back, and it was one of the best product recommendations I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. (No pun intended?) Computing pi to X million digits in under Y seconds is nice and all, but at the end of the day I think we can all agree... we just want to kick back and listen to "Still Alive".

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By sxr7171 on 12/16/2007 11:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you like the HD555 then you HAVE TO try the HD580 or HD600. The HD555 are decidedly weak in comparison. Seriously.

By Drexial on 12/17/2007 11:21:01 AM , Rating: 2
i fee the HD-595s are a good compromise, between the cost of the 600s and the quality. Amazon has the 595s for around $160 where as the 600s are close to $300. I should be picking up a set of the 595s as soon as i get the work on my car settled.

By LeviBeckerson on 12/18/2007 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Meh. I'm still using HD500 Fusions I bought six years ago or so. The appreciable difference in sound quality for the price point simply isn't there.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By gevorg on 12/15/2007 11:59:46 PM , Rating: 3
Bose QC series cancel out the noise so much that it makes them sound as bad as their speakers. Sennheiser HD-280 is studio grade, cancels out noise, has significantly better sound quality, and just under $100.

The only thing Bose is good at is marketing.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Anh Huynh on 12/16/2007 12:18:35 AM , Rating: 2
Try sitting in a plane for 13 hours and then tell me your HD 280s are noise cancelling. Even my cheapo Sony noise cancelling earbuds made a world of difference compared to my Sennheiser CX300s or HD 570s.

By CottonRabbit on 12/16/2007 12:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
HD 570's are open, of course they wouldn't cancel any noise at all. And from what I've read, the CX300 do a pretty good job at isolating for the price. While I haven't had any Bose phones to compare to, HD 280's were pretty good at canceling noise on a plane in my opinion, though I wouldn't wear them for 13 hours because they are pretty tight.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By phideo on 12/16/2007 10:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
Sennheiser HD-280 is studio grade, cancels out noise, has significantly better sound quality, and just under $100.

The HD280s don't cancel noise. Noise cancellation is an active process. They attenuate noise passively. And what is "studio grade", by the way?

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By gevorg on 12/16/2007 3:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
The HD280s don't cancel noise. Noise cancellation is an active process. They attenuate noise passively. And what is "studio grade", by the way?

Yes they do, get your facts straight. HD-280 cancel out 15db of outside noise by passive process (shell & foam design, no batteries). This means unlike Bose, it doesn't interfere with the actual sound and modify certain frequencies that horribly reduce sound quality. Studio grade simply means that HD-280s are normally accepted in pro audio environments which has high standards for quality sound.

By phideo on 12/17/2007 2:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they do, get your facts straight. HD-280 cancel out 15db of outside noise by passive process (shell & foam design, no batteries).

Didn't I just say that noise cancellation is an active process? It requires a transducer to pick up outside noise around or near the ear and electronics to invert the phase of that signal and insert it into the signal path.

By your logic, any potential reflective, absorptive or diffusive barrier between the tympanic membrane and the outside world is "noise canceling". Open cans, closed, IEM, earbud, wooden box, milk dud, celery stalk...all noise canceling, right? Even the venerable AKG K-1000 "ear speakers" are noise canceling headphones if the qualification is that some outside noise is attenuated (even if only a tenth of a decibel) by means of some sort of acoustic barrier between the source of noise and the ear drum.

A milk dud might attenuate 7kHz by about 6dB SPL if you stick in in your ear, but that doesn't make it "noise canceling" (because it isn't canceling the noise). Get it?

By Rampage on 12/16/2007 3:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Studio grade in my experience (everytime I've bought headphones with this recommendation attached) means it doesn't sound very good. But might sound ok if you were trying to critically analyze music in a studio.

Usually 'studio headphones' seem to replicate the basics of sound without the impact most of us are looking for.
I was disappointed with Sony V6's and other "studio headphones", and don't really like any Sennheisers.

No headphones offer the bass of a 10inch+ subwoofer so I don't like headphones. :) But Koss KSC series suffices for me when I do need some.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By MADAOO7 on 12/16/2007 12:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
To people in the know about audio equipment, they aren't nearly as good as they are hyped up to be

I wouldn't generalize it that far. The in-ear earbuds are always a hit or miss with reviewers because everyone has a slightly different ear. But if you bothered to read what he gave other Bose products....

Bose Sounddock - 7.2/10 Very Good
Bose QuietComfort 2 8/10 Excellent
Bose QuietComfort 3 8/10 Excellent
Bose Wave Music System 7.3/10 Very Good

and the list goes on.......

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Circle T on 12/16/2007 10:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
I would add the 901's to that list as well. I owned a pair of those for many years back in college and the years following. Sure, they weren't the ABSOLUTE best speakers ever. But damn, did they sound good. Bose does have very good marketing, but they do make a quality product every now and then.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Khato on 12/16/2007 1:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
The bose QC3 - just fine for making a loud environment quiet, not so good at audio reproduction and comfort. Really, the only bose product that deserves any kind of praise might be their aviation headset X. Was definitely comfortable, and made a small prop plane's noise go poof, but wasn't listening to music with it, so can't comment on sound quality...

As for their 901's - yeah, they were okay when they into'd almost 40 years ago. You do realize that they're still trying to sell pretty much the -exact- same speaker for over 1.3k a pair? Sure they put out 'spacious' sound, but it's so pathetic that they need a powered equalizer to get it at least halfway decent, which in turn throws out any claim of true audio reproduction.

Not that the rest of the bose lineup is any better. I wouldn't even say that their marketing is all that great, they just make speakers that look good/are very non-obtrusive, then charge enough to make people think that they're good.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Circle T on 12/16/2007 3:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yea. Note that when I spoke of the 901's, I did speak in past tense. They still make them, but yes, they are very old. The 901's that I had were my dad's before I got them. Like I said, they aren't the best thing ever. But they are a very nice speaker, in my opinion. I just powered them with a Pioneer receiver, and they sounded great. But no, with all that is available NOW, they aren't worth $1300.

But, about their marketing, you just said it. By making a product that looks good, sounds pretty good, and then charge a price for it that gets people to think they must be good, that IS MARKETING. Just like with Monster Cable, neither are BAD products, but there is better stuff out there, for much cheaper. But when people who don't know any better see them, they read the hype, then see the price, and just think it must be better. That is marketing. And they do it well.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By MGSsancho on 12/16/2007 7:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
901s are great speakers. too reflective for my applications. same with then 601 and the 301 arnt bad. everything else they are are alright. except outdoor speakers. absolutely horrible. Polk's entry level outdoor speakers are far better. over all they are over priced

I agree with all your comments on the marketing

By jacarte8 on 12/17/2007 9:14:34 AM , Rating: 2
I have Bose outdoor speakers next to my hot tub, and agree 100%... but my wife got them for me so I need to wait for a good excuse to upgrade to the Klipsch I want...

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By MADAOO7 on 12/16/2007 10:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
I also had a Bose system in my 2001 Nissan Maxima and I thought it sounded a lot better than my neighbors Excursion with a Sony X-plode system that cost him three times as much. It's really just a matter of opinion.

RE: Why all the extra praise for Bose?
By Khato on 12/17/2007 12:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
An interesting note on this is to look at all the different branches of Bose. I give them slight benefit of the doubt in that it's only their consumer segment that's slacking - because they can.

Haven't heard any of their more recent car audio, but the 1997 one I have isn't bad. Doesn't hold a candle to a simple home 2.1 system, but it doesn't have to. Car audio is about sounding good enough, and drowning out the noise of the road.

By Omega215D on 12/16/2007 7:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have the V-Moda Vibes, Shure SE310 and E3c along with the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 3 Studio and Super.Fi 5 Pro. I used to have the Bose IE headphones but returned them since it wasn't good at blocking outside noises which then leaves me no choice but to increase the volume which is not good.

The systems I use these buds on are my IRiver Clix2 and Cowon D2. The Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 are what I use the most and then the Shure SE310 since they provide plenty of bass and block out ambient noise so I can leave the volume at 9 out of 40. The other headphones went to grateful relatives who thought their iPod headphones were good until they heard the ones I gave them.

Still waiting
By Sylar on 12/15/2007 11:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
Ever since bluetooth, I've been eagerly waiting for the day the technology will be mature enough to be incorporated into earbuds(The in-ear types like the wired shure earbuds) for mp3 players. And now we have the ety8's from Etymotic... unfortunately they are ugly as hell and rather clunky. Now I eagerly wait for further miniaturization of the technology. Sigh! Lets hope that takes at most another year. The thought of not having to unravel the cords to listen to your music as you go to work daily would be a godsend.

RE: Still waiting
By Rampage on 12/16/2007 12:03:51 AM , Rating: 2
These are pretty small and sleek wireless headphones

If I had the need for wireless headphones I'd definitely get these. I might for my workout come to think of it.

RE: Still waiting
By Sylar on 12/16/2007 12:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
yea, there are tons of great wireless bluetooth headphones but I'm waiting particularly for the in ear canal type of earphones which the ety8's are the first I've seen of them. I'm not a big fan of headphones but I do have and use a per of Senn HD480's I got years ago at home but outdoors is another story.

RE: Still waiting
By cheetah2k on 12/16/2007 8:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
You should look at the Plantronics Voyager 855

Thats about as close as you're gonna get to stereo wireless headsets.

Non Battery?
By Hypernova on 12/16/2007 12:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
Are there any noise canceling sets that takes power from USB or something? Having to change battery often for home use would get pretty annoying I would presume.

RE: Non Battery?
By Sylar on 12/16/2007 12:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm confused, if you want something that takes power from USB, it would then require a cord but then that would defeat the purpose of a wireless headset(unless you're not talking about wireless) in which case you may as well get a wired headset.

RE: Non Battery?
By adam92682 on 12/16/2007 12:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
wired noise cancelling headphones still need a battery

RE: Non Battery?
By Sylar on 12/16/2007 1:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
ahh ok, learn something new everyday, thanks

Terrible list.
By DLeRium on 12/16/2007 1:55:45 AM , Rating: 2
E2Cs are overrated. Go check this list with the guys at Head-Fi. Failure to even mention UE's SuperFi 5 Pro is disgusting. Even then the Triple.Fis are stacked up pretty nicely against the E530s. What about Westone 2s and the upcoming Westone 3s? Etymotic ER4s?

RE: Terrible list.
By DLeRium on 12/16/2007 1:58:01 AM , Rating: 2
On that note the HD-280 is tried and true, and even as an old king, the AudioTechnica ES7s are freaking amazing and they're the new headphones to get for that price. I don't see how this list is any good at all.

RE: Terrible list.
By Dianoda on 12/16/2007 5:33:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have the same sentiments regarding Ultimate Ears' SuperFi 5 Pro's. I bought mine off Amazon a while back for about $150; my reasoning being that my HD280's were far too big for traveling/use in public (really big, think helicopter pilot big). But after auditioning the Superfi 5 Pro's, it was pretty obvious that they blew my Sennheiser's away. If you're in the market for a decent pair of IE headphones, you should at least check these out. They're almost unforgiving in their clarity, but if you give them a good source they will reward.

Decent amp
By SirLucius on 12/16/2007 10:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Seeing as it's in the same vein as the topic at hand, can someone recommend me a decent amp? I've been meaning to pick one up since I got my HD580's, but I haven't really had the time.

RE: Decent amp
By Mevolution on 12/16/2007 10:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
i've had a gilmore lite amp for about 4 years now and used it with countless headphones. grado 225's and hd580 would be the main phones. it's been worth the cost, about 50 dollars less that what it's sold for today. in hindsight, i would probably have went a DIY solution rather than sinking $300 on a headphone amp. you could probably find a good diy amp or a chinese tube headphone amp ebay for 100ish.

RE: Decent amp
By Operandi on 12/16/2007 7:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
Check out some of the Firestone Audio stuff.

As the owner of these headphones...
By chrispyski on 12/15/2007 11:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
I can say the V-Moda headphones are some of the best "cheap" headphones I've ever bought. But the critiques are true, they are really bass-y, and not really the most durable (the cord has got to be the most flimsy cord I've ever seen).

All that said, nothing better could be bought for the same price.

By ebrius on 12/16/2007 12:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that the V-Moda headphones are excellent for what you pay, however, like the original poster said they are very cheap, mine stopped working about 8 months after I got them.
I recently picked up a pair of Etymotic Research ER6's for about $60, they sound a lot better and are more sturdy. While the V-Moda have them beat in pure bass, the ER6's have superiors sound quality.

Greetings !
By crystal clear on 12/15/2007 11:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
Now is the time to wish D.T. staff & D.T. commentators-










RE: Greetings !
By ImSpartacus on 12/16/2007 10:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
Less caps. goodness.

RE: Greetings !
By crystal clear on 12/24/2007 8:29:41 AM , Rating: 1
Whats so bad about it-if used for greetings its ok !

Whats IMPORTANT is the GOOD intentions behind those greetings & not those those Caps........ the rest of the bullshit.

Some words of wisdom-WOW

"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself."

This is for the guy/s who votes me down-

Maybe SOME guys here have not been educated enough to have learnt the basic etiquette of sending greetings/good wishes/etc.....resulting from an ugly/unhappy childhood........lived a life full of depressions & frustrations.

This below is for those like me in business/es-

E-Greetings Gain Ground at Businesses This Season

Corporate etiquette consultants say traditional cards are always a good idea. Ann Marie Sabath, who runs a company that gives lessons in business etiquette, said clients should receive paper cards, and colleagues and other business contacts can get e-mail greetings.

merry christmas....(without the caps)

Shure E2Cs a disappointment....
By Goty on 12/16/2007 8:35:38 AM , Rating: 1
I bought a pair of E2Cs back when Amazon had the half price deal going for them, and now I wish I had my $50 back. The sound in incredibly tinny, with no bass whatsoever. Any attempts to correct this with equalizer presets or manual adjustments tends to wash out the top end and leave you with a muddy sounding mess. These headphones might suffice if you listen to primarily orchestral or acoustic music, but otherwise avoid them at all costs.

RE: Shure E2Cs a disappointment....
By DLeRium on 12/17/2007 6:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
They're decent. It's all about ACCURATE listening. Sure they lack a little on bass, but the sound signature of the E2C is a lot more accurate than what people "enjoy" listening to. Yeah, my Superfi 5 Pros are bass heavy and they're a fun pair to listen to. My friend grabs his SF5Pros over his Shure e530s just because they're fun to listen to. It's not accurate, but it's a good experience. I think too many people expect bass and that's why consumer products have so many bass boost features it's retarded. Music wasn't meant to be listened to like that. E2Cs for $50 are definitely worth it. $99 MSRP? Nope. I would definitely think about the UE 3 Pros instead of the E2Cs though. E2Cs are old. They were good back in the day, but not so much anymore.

RE: Shure E2Cs a disappointment....
By Goty on 12/17/2007 9:00:14 PM , Rating: 1
I listen to the original source material on my Dad's Martin Logan Odysseys and there's bass. It's definitely a shortcoming of the headphones, not an attribute.

Bose QC3
By adam92682 on 12/15/2007 11:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have these headphones and there is a crackling noise when I use them with my X-fi. I've tried other headphones with my soundcard and the sound is clear. The QC3 works fine with my other audio sources with no static or anything.

Koss KSC35
By Rampage on 12/15/2007 11:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've never found anything for the price that can beat my Koss KSC35s. They sound exceptional and I've purchased $150 Sony studio headphones that people have raved about and other brands. Tried some Sennheiser models that everyone raves about and they just don't sound the same.
Koss is the only way I go and probably would be for most people due to lifetime warranty (they actually honor it), and seriously understated sound quality for the cash.

I break things, and things wear out when you use them to go jogging with ect, so for me its been a great headphone to use. Not all Koss sound so great though, so do some research first on the ones that sound as good. I think the KSC75 is the newer model similar to mine that also sounds great.

Shure E2c?
By LeviBeckerson on 12/18/2007 12:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have to laugh that these even made the list. They are garbage. I had a pair I got with my wireless in-ear system and it didn't matter what sleeve I used, what I used to listen on or what I did to the EQ, they were simply terrible.

Last year I picked up a set of cheapo JVC in-ears for like $20, FV55B or something like that, and they are ten times better than those Shures could ever hope to be.

I honestly haven't been so disappointed in a piece of audio equipment ever. At least when you buy cheap stuff you expect it to be junk. $100 for junk, though? Stay clear folks, stay well clear.

By cheetah2k on 12/16/2007 8:23:55 PM , Rating: 1

I can't believe you didnt review the V-Moda Vibe Duo for the iPhone! Infact, are there any native iPhone compatible headsets listed at all?

Aren't there >1m + iPhone users out there craving for more than just the old stock pussy iPhone headphones?

I have recently just bought a set of V-Moda Vibe Duo's, and as a previously avid BOSE user, I have to admit that these wired headphones (with hands free for answering calls) give BOSE a run for their money.

Definately the best fully compatible iPhone headphones on the market right now.

My 2 cents

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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