Looking for a single (1-ear) earbud
August 17, 2011 4:23 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a single earbud (1 earbud) for an mp3 player.

Greetings. I listen to a LOT of podcasts on my mp3 player (probably 90% of the time vs music). And, I find a lot of the time I am listening to podcasts, I am doing something else - at work, cycling, doing misc house work, etc. When I have both ear buds in, I find it blocks out a lot of background noise, which is mostly good, but at certain times, it would be good to hear what is going on in the background (ex - at work, or when I am riding my bike).

To date, to get around this, I have simply tucked one of my earbuds into my shirt to fix this issue, but I missing out on the stereo aspect of it. I am therefore looking for a good singe/1-earbud that will allow me to hear the full stereo in the earbud. I know you can get single buds for cell phones with mic's on them, but I am not looking for that.

Does anyone have any good recommendations for a single/1-earbud that I can purchase online? Thanks.
posted by dbirchum to Technology (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: One Good Earbud
posted by get off of my cloud at 4:33 AM on August 17, 2011 [7 favorites]

Your answer may be Bone Fones.
posted by No Shmoobles at 5:16 AM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry, but how can a single, in-ear earbud possibly be stereo? That's like buying 3D glasses for one eye. The "One Good Earbud" site looks like either a parody or brilliant scam.

You already have the best solution with what you are doing. You should actually set your player to output mono so that it will be sending both channels to the 'bud.
posted by quarterframer at 6:38 AM on August 17, 2011

There's also this little adapter, which will merge the two stereo feeds to one earbud. (On preview, not all players/sources have the mono output option.)
posted by yarrow at 6:41 AM on August 17, 2011

On the iphone, in 'accessibility options', there's an option to turn on mono sound. That will put both channels of audio into both ear buds.
posted by empath at 6:53 AM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

The adapter linked by yarrow is going to cause problems. You can use cheap little adapters to split signals, but should never use them to combine stereo channels to a single signal.
posted by jjb at 8:23 AM on August 17, 2011

I'm sorry, but how can a single, in-ear earbud possibly be stereo?

Picture a recording of an interview, where the interviewee is in the left channel and the interviewer is in the right channel. I think what the poster wants is to be able to hear the entire interview in one ear -- not to have one earbud in and miraculously hear both channels in both ears.

An earbud that mixes down two channels to one, in other words, which is what One Good Earbud appears to be.
posted by mendel at 8:37 PM on August 17, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, mendel, that is exactly what I meant.
posted by dbirchum at 5:44 PM on August 20, 2011

Response by poster: The One Good Earbud is exactly what I am looking for.

Tucking the other earbud into my bike jersey doesn't allows work. I have tried it and it slips out a lot. I was looking for one that was already made like that. YEARS ago, my grandfather used to listen to his transistor radio with one earbud. He could hear both channels mixed into one. I have tried it on my current set of buds, and depending on the song I am listening too, I am missing parts of it.

Thanks again for the comments!
posted by dbirchum at 5:47 PM on August 20, 2011

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