New earbuds near Times Square please!
November 20, 2008 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Where's the best place to buy good quality noise-reducing earbuds for my first-gen iPhone in the Times Square NYC vicinity?

Help! Left side of my fancy noise-reducing earbuds/mic kicked out on the way to work this morning. I can't stomach the idea of riding home tonight and having to listen to my fellow commuters. I work in the Times Square area, so I'm looking for recommendations on where I can purchase on a new pair this evening. Thank you!
posted by BillBishop to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
 
The Virgin flagship store probably has some. Isn't the JR music world showroom around there?
posted by mecran01 at 12:11 PM on November 20, 2008


First, you're just looking for any well-fitting earbuds with a 3.5 mm TRS connector. There are no iPod specific headphones, as iPods (and most portable music players) use the standard small jack (vs. the larger 6.3 mm or 1/4 inch jack). And are you actually looking for earbuds with noise canceling features, or just earbuds that will fit tightly enough in your ear to block external sounds?

If you're just looking for something to block most of the sound, you could get the cheapest thing you can find for today, and look for something of more quality when you have time. Go a bit more expensive and get something with the rubber gasket-type (kind of like Canalphones or IEMs, but not specifically designed for your ear canal), and you could be surprised by how much sound is blocked. My friend gave me a pair and the world disappeared.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2008


J&R is in the financial district, but you can check the string of Sam Ash stores on 48th St, between 7th and 6th Ave.
posted by greenland at 12:48 PM on November 20, 2008


It's not exactly right next to Times Square, but the obvious choice would be the Apple Store. I'm sure you're already aware that not all earbuds will fit into the iPhone's recessed jack without an adapter.
posted by designbot at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2008


There are no iPod specific headphones, as iPods (and most portable music players) use the standard small jack (vs. the larger 6.3 mm or 1/4 inch jack).

Actually, many headphones don't fit the first-generation headphone jack, as I mentioned, and some have an inline clicker/microphone specifically designed for iPhone compatibility.
posted by designbot at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2008


B & H Photo has such things, often well-priced, and is at 34th St & 9th Ave.
posted by yarrow at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2008


The closest best bet would probably be B&H - on 9th Ave & 34th St.

(or on preview, what yarrow wrote)
posted by andrewraff at 12:57 PM on November 20, 2008


Agreed on B&H fwiw.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2008


Aha! I totally mis-read that as "first generation iPod," and I was impressed about how long you've had it =)

Second Generation was improved, yes ... My apologies for being an uninformed know-it-all at first go.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:16 PM on November 20, 2008


Virgin Megastore it is!
Turns out they don't have the earbud/mic/clicker combo in stock, but they do have a ton of iAccesories and lots of earbuds to choose from from $10-$250 or so.
Thank you, Hive Mind, for supplying me with subway noise blockers.
posted by BillBishop at 2:34 PM on November 20, 2008


There are no iPod specific headphones, as iPods (and most portable music players) use the standard small jack (vs. the larger 6.3 mm or 1/4 inch jack).

Two things: the first iPhone had an annoyingly recessed jack that many plugs could not reach (generally the L-shaped ones or those with fat rubber padding).

And "iPhone headphones" can also mean headSETS, since it's a phone, and there's nothing more annoying than taking your headphones OFF to answer your phone. Since the OP says its his old "earbuds/mic" that died, I suspect he's looking for a headset now, too, not just a headphone.

And iPhone compatible headSETS are pretty damn rare, since the 3.5mm "audio" jack used on the iPhone is bigger than the whatever-size phone headset jack.

All that said, J&R is probably your best bet, followed by Virgin. But there are three Apple Stores in Manhattan, and even the furthest is one subway away. They have by far the widest selection.
posted by rokusan at 3:11 PM on November 20, 2008


slight derail, sorry...

rokusan: there's nothing more annoying than taking your headphones OFF to answer your phone.

I used to think the same thing until recently, when I realised I could leave my nice sound-isolating earbuds in while I take a call, and use the built-in mic on the iPhone as usual. Makes it much easier to hear the caller. No muss, no fuss.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 11:01 AM on November 21, 2008


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