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Broken buds ain't my buddies
August 15, 2011 4:54 AM   Subscribe

I need a pair of sturdy earbuds. Can you help me find a pair that will survive my pocket?

Can anyone recommend a pair or sturdy earbuds for me? I'm super harsh on them and have broken many pairs recently. Two have had their jack snapped off (not sure anyone can help me with that) and others have lost the sound in one or both ears within months. I'm looking for earbuds (ideally with iPhone controls and a mic) that won't be easily broken in my pocket when I'm carrying them around.
posted by inturnaround to Technology (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
It would help if you specified a price range.

But I have found these to be very tough - the cables are kevlar, the headphones are steel cased. Plus, the sound is excellent. Pretty cheap right now, too - $68 on Amazon.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:02 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Under $75, preferably under $50 unless the sound quality is markedly better.
posted by inturnaround at 5:14 AM on August 15, 2011


I was JUST about to post a very similar question. My problem is that in addition to stuffing my headphones in my pocket, my cat also has an unnatural fascination with thin headphone cords (not thick cords, just the thin ones... go figure) and has chewed 4 pairs to ruin so far. I don't know what the BEST durable headphones are, but these and these seem to be frequently recommended.

Maybe the ones that His thoughts suggested, with the keval cables, would solve my cat-chewing problem...
posted by Cygnet at 5:52 AM on August 15, 2011


Cygnet, the J4Ms are the ones that I've broken twice in a row. The first suddenly lost sound in the left and then the right. The second's jack broke off 2 weeks after I bought it. So I'm staying away from JBuds for my next purchase.
posted by inturnaround at 5:54 AM on August 15, 2011


Yikes... thanks for telling me! Maybe I won't get those.... I hope some other people have better ideas.

Oh, and sorry - this was the second pair I meant to link to.
posted by Cygnet at 6:00 AM on August 15, 2011


Here are two previous askme threads on the same topic in case they're helpful.
posted by samsara at 6:04 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you willing to put them into a little pinch-open change-purse-like keeper before stuffing them into your pocket? It comes with, and it opens easily with one hand and is very flexible. If so, these Sennheisers put out very good sound, and I've found them to be pretty resilient so far, though I've only had them about seven months (I use them when I work out though, and I'm impressed that they're still in perfectly new condition). The price fluctuates on Amazon, I've noticed, so I just waited until it went to about $26, and then I bought. Very happy so far with them.
posted by heyho at 6:25 AM on August 15, 2011


My current in-ear phones from Etymotics are outside your price range, but they came with a nice zippered sleeve that keeps them from getting into much trouble in my pockets or bag. (I can only imagine the mess they'd be in if I didn't have the pouch to keep them in. But it seems to me some kind of carrying case might be key to the survival of any earbuds you buy — if anything, I'd be more worried about the "better" earbuds being more fragile.

If you can't procure a pouch of suitable size, maybe a crafty friend could whip something up for you. I was concerned about a shiny new digital audio recorder getting scratched to hell in my pockets and such, and my wife whipped up a custom pouch for it using a smallish piece of felt with a flap over the top and a single red button.
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:28 AM on August 15, 2011


I've had great success with JVC headphones (these ones seem to be closest to what I have). I had loads of pairs of really nice in-ear Sennheisers that generally fell apart after 5-9 months - these ones have lasted me a year and a half and they're still going strong. Really solid cabling and construction for the price.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:47 AM on August 15, 2011


MeElectronics MxP-series. I have the M6Ps and apart from some weirdness at the beginning, they've held up just fine for everyday and workout use.

I have to warn you, though, that the problem is not easy to stave off no matter what brand and model you choose. The problem with pretty much anything that has inline controls (the mic and phone button) is that it's two extra cable joins to mess up.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 AM on August 15, 2011


Teh V-Moda earbuds that His thoughts were red thoughts linked too have survived a year jangling around loose in my purse so far.
posted by WeekendJen at 7:13 AM on August 15, 2011


I second the pinch-open coin purse idea. You actually have two problems here, and conflating them when you can solve one of them for $2 will make you unhappy.
posted by mhoye at 7:23 AM on August 15, 2011


there's this kickstarter earbud project
posted by duckstab at 7:31 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I only buy sub-$20 earbuds because I always manage to break them after a month or so.

I've had the MeElectronics M2B-PKs for six months and they're still in great shape. The braided cord and heavy plastic coating makes a HUGE difference.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:00 AM on August 15, 2011


You actually have two problems here, and conflating them when you can solve one of them for $2 will make you unhappy.

Yeah, these earbuds come with a case, but I never use them because I'm often on the road and just put the iphone and earbuds in my pocket when I reach my destination.

I know me, I won't use a case, so the sturdiest earbuds are my best solution.
posted by inturnaround at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2011


The earbuds that His thoughts were red thoughts mentioned are actually only $33 if you order them in red compared to $68 for black. Done and done.

Thanks everyone!
posted by inturnaround at 9:33 AM on August 15, 2011


I would highly suggest getting a little zipper case that can hold your earbuds and music player. I got a $7 case (current price for the black option), and I make sure to properly wrap my cables. They don't stay put as well as the self-tied method, but that's where the case comes in handy. Also, no worry about pocket lint or any other weird bits getting stuck on or lodged into the earbuds.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on August 15, 2011


If you like the styles, the Sennheiser/Adidas cobranded ones look to be pretty durable.
posted by box at 4:16 PM on August 15, 2011


The earbuds that His thoughts were red thoughts mentioned are actually only $33 if you order them in red compared to $68 for black. Done and done.

Sadly, Amazon will no longer ship them to Australia, or I would be buying another pair. Glad I could help!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:56 PM on August 16, 2011


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