non-earplug headphones compatible with hat and sunglasses
June 15, 2005 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I finally have an MP3 player. I hate sticking things in my ears. I'm pale and don't go out in the summer without a hat and sunglasses. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas about how to fit headphones into that mix?

I haven't tried the wrap-over-your-ears-and-around-the-back-of-your-head kind (is there a better name for that?) but I don't know if they'd work with the sunglasses. Yeah, I know I'm piling up mutually conflicting constraints here; that's why I'm hoping you lot can come up with something I haven't thought of.
posted by Zed_Lopez to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IME, the wrap-over style you're referring to interferes with glasses of any kind; it's uncomfortable to wear such headphones for an extended period. At the least, you might hear an irritating clicking noise from the headphones hitting the shades as you walk around.

If you got regular headphones with a low enough profile, you might try wearing the hat over that, though you'd probably need some trial and error to get it comfortable without looking silly.

Good luck!
posted by staresbynight at 9:58 AM on June 15, 2005

Conventional ones fail the hat test because of the headband, but typical behind-the-head ones fail the glasses test because they clip over your ears. You might find that Koss Sportapro work: the band can go behind your head, but they still clamp on rather than clipping on. They press against your ear and your temples so they'll stay on pretty securely. I'd want to try them with your sunglasses to make sure nothing bumps into anything else, though. You can see the gap between the earpiece and the temple pad if you enlarge the picture on Amazon.

They also have the added benefit of being terrific-sounding headphones; the Koss PortaPro on which they're based (but which doesn't have the behind-the-head feature) regularly makes it to best-headphones lists ahead of some cans that cost hundreds of dollars.
posted by mendel at 10:01 AM on June 15, 2005

Oh, also, what kind of hat do you wear? If it's a baseball cap, then you can always just put the headband of conventional headphones over it rather than under it.
posted by mendel at 10:03 AM on June 15, 2005

I just read about Oakley Thumps in some stupid men's mag at the gym. They sure look stupid, are very expensive, and have a very stupid name but I can't vouch for them otherwise.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:09 AM on June 15, 2005

I wear KSC-35's with glasses all the time. The clips fit a bit higher up on the ear, above the bows of my glasses. Much like mendel's SportaPros, these are generally regarded as being some of the best-sounding inexpensive headphones available.
posted by Galvatron at 10:12 AM on June 15, 2005

I wear glasses constantly, caps and helmets fairly frequently, and I've got fairly large earlobe piercings. All this is by way of saying that I feel your pain.

I'm happiest with either clip-on earphones (examples: cheap versions from Koss and Sony (and another), expensive versions from Audio-Technica), or huge DJ headphones (I like the Sennhiser HD-280 and the Sony MDR-V6, but there are plenty of others out there). The former are best for athletic activity, but offer very little isolation, while the latter are nice for home use and mass transit, but are hot and heavy, not well-suited to motion and probably not what you have in mind.

On preview: Yeah, KSC-35s sound good, especially for the price, though I personally find the A-T clip-ons more comfortable for long-term use, and the Sony Sports clip-ons preferable for sweaty and/or athletic activity. Comfort-wise, of course, YMMV.
posted by box at 10:29 AM on June 15, 2005

I wear glasses and use the clip-on behind-the-ear headphones from Sony with no problem. In the winter I add a hat to that mix with no issues.
posted by Julnyes at 11:14 AM on June 15, 2005

I have a pair of these Nike-branded headphones. I think they would work in conjunction with glasses, but they do go into your ear somewhat. The band rests on the back of your neck so hats are definitely non-interfering. I really like the sound and comfort, but they don't stay in while jogging or biking if you turn your head quickly. I got them at Circuit City for something on the order of US$20.
posted by mzurer at 4:39 PM on June 15, 2005

Ah - there is a picture of them in the ears of a good looking gentleman in this pdf file which is linked from the site I linked above.
posted by mzurer at 4:42 PM on June 15, 2005

Bless your fuzzy little hearts, every one of you. I think I'll start by trying the Koss Sportapro, but I greatly appreciate all your advice and suggestions (and might try some of the others depending on how the Sportapro works out.) (Oh, and the hat has a 4" brim all around -- I'd've just gone over the top with a baseball cap.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 5:07 PM on June 15, 2005

One word of warning with the Koss Sportapro - I used the previous incarnation of these (when they were called Portapro or something) and they did the trick with hat and glasses, but they used to pinch the front part of my ears something fierce. Lots of pain there. I recently bought the Sony lightweight behind the ears and as long as I put my sunglasses on before hooking the headphones over my ears, they work fine. Good sound, nice and light, great for jogging.
posted by Cyrie at 9:05 PM on June 15, 2005

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