In Search Of The Perfect Headset
January 25, 2012 1:35 PM   Subscribe

What are the best in-ear, iPhone4s comparable, headphones with a cloth/braided cord cover?

So, it seems time at last to retire my V-Moda Vibe II's that I've had for years. They have served me well, but are getting where they echo constantly when I use them for calls. So what is the best in ear head set on the market right now for iPhone 4s users?

My requirements for a new headset:

* must have cloth covered cord all the way to the earbuds (plastic + my skin = bad)
* must not sound like shit (high dynamic range, good bass, good response range)
* must have a three button control for an iPhone4s (2 volume and 1 answer)
* must have a durable construction - I am very hard on headphones
* must be in-ear cones (not buds like the iPhone default set)
* must come in black, dark grey, or some other dark color (nothing loud or white)
posted by strixus to Technology (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a recommendation for a particular set of headphones, but if you can't find a pair that meet your cloth/braided cover requirement, you could always wrap or crochet yarn around a set that meets the rest of your needs so that the plastic doesn't touch your skin.

I've done that to mine to a) reduce noise from the cord smacking against my jacket while I walk, and b) stop from from getting tangled in my bag.
posted by burntflowers at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not sure about the cloth-covered part, but otherwise the Ultimate Ears 10vi is a very good fit. The cable is detachable, so you've got a better chance of finding an appropriate cable through a third party. The remote has one button rather than three (so no volume control), but I've found it works very well. Color is a dark metallic blue-green, which is not as subdued as it might be, but not really noticeable.

Also, it's possible to get the 10 (not the 10vi) fairly cheap right now, and converting it into the 10vi (which has the microphone and remote button) simply by ordering the 10vi replacement cable for $30 from Logitech/UE. Which their website tell you not do, since the 10vi costs about $250 more, but the earpieces are exactly the same -- only difference is the cable.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2012

If you know anyone who knits, it would be extremely easy for them to knit what's called an 'i-cord' that you could thread your headphones cord through. That would probably open up your options quite a lot.
posted by Kololo at 2:40 PM on January 25, 2012

Looks like paracord is what folks are using to DIY this.
posted by cazoo at 2:52 PM on January 25, 2012

How about these?
posted by jenny76 at 4:06 PM on January 25, 2012

Similar to the paracord idea (but no cutting anything off of anything and subsequent reattaching required), I did this embroidery floss modification to my husband's headset that came with his iphone. You could do that to any headset you like in whatever non-loud colors you'd like. It works wonderfully.
posted by pupstocks at 4:56 PM on January 25, 2012

I like Urbanears Medis line, but you may not think they offer enough in-ear-ness.

They come in many pretty colors and get decent reviews for the price.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:23 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

And also boring dark colors, natch.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:25 PM on January 25, 2012

VModa has an excellent warranty. Three times I've sent my broken ones back to them and gotten a brand new pair back, for free. Twice it was a model newer than what I sent them.
posted by Ookseer at 12:06 AM on January 26, 2012

I have an older pair of black Griffin Technology TuneBuds Mobile and I think they would meet your requirements. I'm not sure if the current version of these headphones still have the cable sheathed in nylon braiding though.
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:26 AM on January 26, 2012

I use Munito and like them. Fits all of your requirements except the button one.
posted by vivzan at 1:18 PM on January 26, 2012

The best one that i have used are Klipsch s4i and consistently rated higher than similar or higher priced headphones. Includes Iphone compatibility on music and voice.

As for not having plastics touch, couple of options
1. Paracord - tough yet durable.
2. Cloth - "feels" better not durable
3. Sugru - Can use any headphone of your choice and wrap this molded "rubber" around the cord. Best part you can make modifications to suit you: custom grip, clip to hold the cord in place etc.
posted by radsqd at 1:28 PM on January 26, 2012

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