Good headphones
July 31, 2007 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Help me find some good quality headphones that are small but tough!

I loved my Sennheiser PX 100 headphones that have been recommended on here a few times. They sounded awesome for the size, but were flimsy and I went through two pairs because the wire or the plug started to break (The wire would always get caught on things and start to pull apart after a while). Instead of getting another PX 100, I would like to get more sturdy headphones (The cheap headphones that came with my mom's CD player had an L plug instead of a straight plug the PX 100 had and had a thicker wire) that sound good. I prefer them small and over the ear like the PX 100 but am also open to other types and slightly bigger headphones. Any suggestions? My budget is $150.
posted by daninnj to Shopping (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have the Shure E2Cs and I know they've been tossed around MeFi quite a few times, but I just wanted to bring it up again. I love them beyond belief - using any after headphones after a year of the Shures makes me cringe, and so far I've had no problems with them despite previously destroying a standard Sony set every two months or so.
posted by Phire at 7:17 PM on July 31, 2007

Damn, were you looking for actual headphones, rather than earphones? >.>
posted by Phire at 7:18 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: I prefer over the head headphones, but am open to all other types.
posted by daninnj at 7:20 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: Seconding Shure E2Cs, for the same reasons as Phire, although I haven't owned them as long. The sound quality is amazing, and the materials are quite robust without being bulky (good wire / insulation thickness, sturdy plastic casing on the earbuds themselves, good variety of in-ear materials, etc.) Here's a review on iLounge.
posted by ZakDaddy at 7:42 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: The e2c's are good, I have some, but I am definitely disappointed with the low end. sometimes if they are positioned just right I get a big bass boost but mainly it's pretty lacking. Sound definition is amazing, though, it's really true what they say that you start noticing new things in your music, even in mp3s that are supposedly low quality.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:44 PM on July 31, 2007

The Ultimate Ears Super-Fi 5 Pro is a great in ear phone. The Grado SR-125 is a great regular earphone, but you will need an adapter for an mp3 player as it comes with a 1/4 inch plug. The SR-80 and SR-60 cans are also great.
posted by caddis at 7:58 PM on July 31, 2007

i dont know much about actual "headphones" but the sony fontopia ex-71s are amazing for the price (about 30 bucks on amazon).
bass response, fit, noise levels, and treble are all amazing. highly recommended.

however, they do tend to crap out after 3-12 months, in my experience.
posted by kneelconqueso at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: Thirding Shure for their amazing warranty. For two years they replace them, no questions asked. Then they charge you a flat fee for any repairs.
For any of our earphone products the replacement fee is the same. The reasoning is that you already spent the money once, so you should always have the ability to replace the product at reasonable cost. Those who buy an E2c for $99 might not be happy that the replacement fee is the same as it is for the $499 product (E5c), but that's the policy.

Same thing for our dynamic microphones - $55 gets you a brand new one, no matter what the state of the microphone is. Drive over it with a Mack truck, send it in to us, if it can't be fixed, $55 gets you a new one. For our more expensive microphones (condensers) the fee is $80, but still quite good IMO.
You can email them at personalaudio shure com.
posted by stereo at 8:34 PM on July 31, 2007

I've got a set of Bose in-ear headphones. They look kind of like earplugs or rubber hearing aids, most of the unit fits inside of your ear. They seem to be VERY sturdily built, the cord's very thick and the plug is well-formed and large (but not overly so.) I got them as a gift, but I've seen them for $99. They sound excellent.
posted by SpecialK at 8:44 PM on July 31, 2007

I pack my Bose Triport all the time - I love these headphones, their quality, comfort and design. I even fall asleep with them on sometimes (which is crazy, because these are around-hear headphones) and they resist - gotta love kevlar, I guess. I do recommend them wholeheartedly (and they should fit your budget).
posted by fredoliveira at 9:41 PM on July 31, 2007

The Grado SR-125 is a great regular earphone, but you will need an adapter for an mp3 player as it comes with a 1/4 inch plug. The SR-80 and SR-60 cans are also great.

I loved my SR-60s when I got them, but they degraded (or de-Gradoed) pretty fast. I've had them for a year or two and it's a pain to use them now because bass frequencies distort the right headphone and the left one keeps detaching from the headband.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:02 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: Nthing Shures. I've owned both the E2 and E3 models, and they're both constructed in herculean fashion. Amazing sound quality, too, although the in-ear design is admittedly love-it or hate-it. If complete sonic isolation works for you, it's a no-brainer.
posted by flod at 11:10 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: Nthing Shures, I've got 5 sets of E2Cs in my kit for stage monitoring that have been beat up by musicians without any adverse effects.

I use a set myself for my iPod. Amazon has the E3c for $129 and the E2C for under $70.
posted by jjb at 11:20 PM on July 31, 2007

Seconding the Bose In earphones - great sound - amazing bass, and they're apparently indestructible
posted by chickaboo at 6:54 AM on August 1, 2007

Response by poster: I got the Shures...I gotta get used to the way they feel but otherwise they're great! Thanks for all your suggestions!
posted by daninnj at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2007

If you ever want a backup, try the Sony Fontopias mentioned above. I bought them for 15$ off of amazon and they're really good for the price. I've wanted to try the Shures, but I've already destroyed about 4 sets of earphones by snagging them on stuff. It makes more sense to buy multiple pairs of 15-20$ earphones.
posted by stavrogin at 9:06 PM on August 1, 2007

@daninnj: do learn how to insert them properly, by pulling on your lobe and opening your mouth slightly. It makes a world of difference in confort. I think they have a video on their website.
posted by stereo at 5:10 AM on August 9, 2007

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