YAHQ (yet another headphone question) -- what's the best all-around pair, good for running *and* working?
March 15, 2012 5:03 AM   Subscribe

YAHQ (yet another headphone question) -- what's the best all-around pair, good for running *and* working?

I've gone through the various headphone threads over the past few years and none has exactly addressed my issues, so I thought I'd give the MeFi community yet another chance to weigh in on this topic of vital importance.

I'm looking for a set of headphones/earbuds/what-have-you that acquit themselves well both for running and for listening at work. This means:

* Something that stays put during running even for people with ears, well, like mine. (Most earbuds and in-ear phones I've tried bounce right out of my ears the first few seconds of running, even certain buds that are marketed as "fix-in-ear". The only kind that haven't have been the default Blackberry earbuds that came with my old Tour a couple of years back -- they're a good bit rounder than most, almost like little foam-covered bullets, and they did stay in well when I ran.)

* Something that has a mic and remote, so that I can handle calls coming in when listening at work and can quickly pause when I get a "drive-by" question at my desk.

* Something that doesn't have a garish neon color scheme (sorry, Sennheisers) -- or an absurdly steampunk-inspired method of attaching to my ear, so I don't look like a Borg at work.

* Decent sound quality would be nice.

* Ideally something well-built that doesn't give up the ghost in a matter of months.

* Price range is <$75.

What do you think, hive mind?
posted by sesquipedalia to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been using these for a few years. I, too, suffer from earbud-resisting ears, and I never had any problems with them. Only two complaints: The cloth cord gets a little noisy when you're listening to something quiet at low volume and it's rubbing on a zipper, and they're not that comfortable when you lay the side of your head down on a pillow. But look at that price! I think I might just buy a backup pair for myself...
posted by clorox at 5:19 AM on March 15, 2012

Oh, and I have no idea if the microphone's any good. The button works, though.
posted by clorox at 5:21 AM on March 15, 2012

(Just to clarify -- I've got an iPhone now, so when I say "remote" I mean "standard iPhone play/pause and volume-adjustment remote".)
posted by sesquipedalia at 5:25 AM on March 15, 2012

I don't have a specific recommendation, but you could take a look at www.head-fi.org, which is a site dedicated to headphones. It's very much biased towards sound quality, but you might some useful information in its sports section.
posted by daveje at 7:01 AM on March 15, 2012

I ran/worked with Skullcandy earbuds. They (1) stayed in my weirdo ears (2) have a mic though I never used it so cannot vouch for effectiveness (3) come in many colors including black (4) sound good to me but I am not an audiophile, YMMV (5) held up well until my cat chewed through the cords. and (6) are $70.

If it's not super urgent, I've seen skullcandy show up on RueLaLa or Ideeli on occasion for half the price.
posted by troika at 8:31 AM on March 15, 2012

I run and use an indoor rowing machine, though there was a time when strength training was in the mix. I can never get earbuds to remain in place. I've been beating the snot out of a pair of Sennheiser behind the head in the ear headphones. 2 years later, one speaker is starting to crackle. Mind you, I sweat buckets when I work out and occasionally immerse the speakers in hydrogen peroxide to remove all the sludge my ears put out . tTe sound quality/amplification is such that I actually turn down my ipod for these suckers(i have hearing loss from explosions/firefights. The longer cord is nice, though it does easily tangle. These things stay glued to your head(even when you fall down a trail in the dark). I never packed them carefully, I've sat, stepped, and fallen on them, so they are durable. The high viz orange color is nice too, for finding them in those bleary 5am runs.
The model I bought is the PMX 80, and since I can't figure out how to insert the link, the price is around 45 bucks.
I also realize that you are probably wondering just what, exactly, the stuff my ears extrude looks like. Fried cheese is all I am saying.
posted by Donkey_Unicorn at 4:16 PM on March 15, 2012

You're looking for the Etymotic mc3.
If you don't mind green, they're on sale at amazon right now.
posted by namewithoutwords at 12:38 AM on March 16, 2012

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