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Best in ear phones for ipods

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Thanks to this site and Chris and other's great advice, I now have a Mac-based audio system and there is no going back - fantastic!


The discovery of computer-based audio and the fact that I have youngish kids has also led me to explore the world of ipods. I had written them off as playing crappy compressed music, but of course many ipods will play lossless files and I have been blown away by the quality of the Apple ipods. Now I am on a quest to maximise this quality with appropriate ear phones which can do the ipods justice. I am led to believe the "in ear" buds are best as they best exclude distracting external noises. Can anyone recommend some really good ones - I am not afraid of paying a few hundred dollars if necessary, but I guess I am looking at the $100 to $300 price range.






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Hi there Phil


I have great fondness for the Sennheiser CX300. They are comfortable and reduce external noise passively. I find them exceptionally musical and they reveal enough detail and sense of image and space to tick most "audiophile boxes".They also have a very respecatble deep bass reponse, sometimes delivering an almost tactile quality if it is in the recording. They are revelaing of different recording venues and mike set-ups but are not unkind to bad recordings. If they err, they err slightly on the warm side. I bought the Shure 530 and enjoyed them (they err on the cold, sterile side) but I always go back to The Sennheisers.

You do not need to spend a great deal. The Sennheiser CX300 can be bought for around $70 here in Australia.


My son also loves the same Sennheiser model and feels no compulsion to "upgrade'.


Enjoy your music,




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Hi Phil - That's great news! There really is nothing better than a great sounding computer based system.


As far as headphones go I use the Ultimate Ears ue11 Pro model. The price is a little outrageous, but I absolutely love them. I used to use a pair of Etymotic ER4-P earphones and the sound is fabulous. They also block external noise and have really good customer service.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Thanks Chaps, some useful pointers here. I may well go for the Etymotics as I have heard good things of them and there are some decent deals on ebay from the USA. Mind you, Sennheisers also have a great name and the more you pay is not always rewarded by improvements. The ultimate ears sound interesting - what a price though! Did you take out a second mortgage Chris?




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I just bought a pair of the etymotic er4-p. They are really nice in the midrange to high, but if your looking for a pair of bass bellowing headphones these might be a little weak for you. I know shure has a pair (SE530) that have two woofers in them that are supposed to be womderful but also come with a wonderful price tag of about 500 if you can stomach it. Some people say that their clear dynamics get a little muddy with all the extra bass though so its something to think about if your mp3 player doesn't have an eq. With the etymotics, though, you can switch between the 4-p and 4-s models with just one wire priced at about fifty. The wire just raises the impedence of the headphones to a stiff 100 ohms gain a more neutral response, yeah the sound better but you need the extra cord and a headphone amp to properly drive them. I went with the etymotics just becuase I could get two of their products in one. Anyway enjoy your search for new in ear headphones.



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Yes as Chris said they do work fine without an amp. HeadRoom sells the cord cheaper at about 50 http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-manufacturer/etymotic-research/etymotic-er-4p-to-er-4s-adapter.php and gives you a brief description of what it does and how it works. I have read a couple of reviews that directly compare the 4s to the 4p and then the 4p to the 4s with the conversion cord. Apparently the 4p with the conversion sound exactly the same as the 4s so the cord does work. hope this helps,



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Thanks Guys, have just ordered some Sennheiser CX300s as they are such a good buy (less than £20) so hopefully I can't really go wrong! I can always upgrade later.


P.S. Any advice on upping the volume out of my ipod - just a bit quiet on some tracks at max, but I am hoping new in ear phones may improve things?




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