Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

iPod/iPhone Default Headphones Suck

Posted in Apple,iPad by Elliott Back on July 11th, 2010.

I quoted the following from Charles Stross‘ latest novel, The Fuller Memorandum, which resonates deeply with my experience as NYer, riding the metro everywhere:

“the asshole behind me is playing something very loud on a pair of tinny headphones”

See, the standard headphones that come with your iPhone / iTouch / iPod are terrible (16% GdGt approval rating). They fit so badly, the hard plastic mauling your ears, that someone designed a foam casing to make them easier to wear.

The earbuds themselves do nothing to block out background noise, causing anyone using them in a high noise environment (outside in the city, riding the subway, etc) to crank the volume up to the max. Because the earphones leak sound horribly, everyone around is forced to listen to your music. Second, the earphones themselves don’t handle high volume without clipping and distorting, so the quality of whatever you tried to listen to is shot to hell.

If you just bought an Apple product, throw away those cheap $1 headphones and pick up something better. Here are a few suggestions (in order of quality, decreasing in price); note, these are personal recommendations, as I own and have tried all of these:


Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 Noise Isolating Earphones – $250


Shure SE115-K Sound Isolating Earphones – $65


Sennheiser CX300-B Earbuds (Black) – $25

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 6:35 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

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