The standard Apple iPod earphones are okay… but they are basic. I’m no audiophile (some would say audiophiles wouldn’t listen to MP3s) but I find them uncomfortable, the foam covers fall off and get lost, they fall out of my ears and I have to turn up the volume to the maximum whenever I’m listening to a podcast in a noisy environment (like on the tube). Oh yes, and the bass on my iPod Mini “blew” the right earbud within days of purchase.
As I’m increasingly using my iPod, either on the parts of my commute which don’t allow me to sit on the train and write for this blog or on the stress-busting walks which often take me out into the Buckinghamshire countryside, I figured I’d get some new earphones. My criteria were simple:
- Inexpensive (i.e. less than Â£30);
- White (to match the iPod);
- Reduce impact of ambient noise (noting that noise-cancelling headphones were unlikely to meet my first criterion – i.e that of being inexpensive).
Some basic research led me to find that there are some excellent ear-canal phones available (like the Shure E4Cs) but they will also cost me many of my hard-earned pounds, so I decided to buy the white Sennheiser CX300 ear-canal phones which were on offer at the Apple Store and also received great reviews.
They only arrived on Saturday (so haven’t been used much yet) but so far I’m impressed. I’m still working out which of the three supplied ear adapters is the best fit but they are definitely more comfortable and they stay in place, even whilst lying in bed taking a pzizz. I’ve also found that I can turn the volume way down, hopefully reducing the damage that I’d doing to my hearing, and the in-ear placement really does cut out a lot of ambient noise (haven’t tried them on the tube yet though). Of course, they will work with any audio device that uses a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, not just an iPod.
Now, the more discerning reader will notice that the link above is to Amazon and not Apple. That’s because I’ve found out that, whilst I spent Â£29.99 on mine (and they are back up to Â£39.99 now), they are only Â£17.80 at Amazon (and even less if you plump for black or silver). So, if you want some, please buy yours using this link and earn me some commission (albeit expressed in pence, not pounds) to pay me back for my complete lack of pre-purchase price comparison!