Confession: I hate my Apple earbuds
I've come to a realization: I hate my Apple earbuds. They're more like a medieval torture contraption for my ears than a comfortable manner in which to listen to music. Apple has Jonathan Ive and some of the most sought after designers in the world on staff, taking chunks of glass and metal and molding them into a devices that aren't just phones or players or tablets but works of art. Yet the standard earbuds that come with these beautiful pieces of art are ungainly, ill-fitting, and just plain annoying to wear for any length of time.
Here's the the thing -- the Apple earbuds are just way to large for a smaller person's ears. After a few songs, the large round earbuds start causing me a good deal of pain. I end up with the choice of either suffering through the pain or placing them so lightly in my ears that the earbuds are about to fall out (not that they don't fall out eventually anyway!)
The shape and size of the earbuds for iPod and iPhone has not changed in years. The diameter and roundness of the earbud is not anywhere close to ergonomic. You would think that over the years, and with all the complaints, Apple would have redesigned them into something more inspired. Even the Apple mouse has been shown more love over the years! To add insult to injury you can buy some Apple in-ear headphones for $80, which means that someone at Apple knows that this would be preferable to the circular torture disks that come in the box.
Now it's not all bad. For a pair of stock headphones I do find that the sound is acceptable and, since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has added a mic and control button with increasing amounts of functionality. It's just that they get so much right it's especially frustrating when they get something wrong for so long.
So am I just being difficult in wanting them to also be comfortable enough to use for more than a few songs? How do you feel about your Apple stock headphones?
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Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at anxiety-videos.com.
I have no idea how people can use these every day.
I don't know anyone who likes the Apple earbuds. It's either bad quality or painful fit.
Now running sometimes they are difficult to keep in my ear, so maybe I'll invest in a pair made for activities.
I'm not an audio snob though, it sounds pretty decent to me. I've sold a lot of iPhones over the past couple years and am getting a nice pile of the headphones as well.
I have to use foam cushions to fit the earbuds in my outer ear.http://instagr.am/p/CXOq5/
I can wear them this way for hours and hours (and sleep on them).
The sound... well I'm not an audiophile, therefore I'm OK with the sound.
I hate using any earbuds that go into the ear, they never fit properly and are a pain to refit once removed - if you need to pull you your earlobe to get earbuds to fit property, I've got no interest in them.
I mostly use them for talking on the phone or listening to music while exercising. If I want to listen to music as a primary thing, use large, over-the-ear headphones, which sound much better.
I use Klipsch Image S4's and they're amazing!
Obviously you shouldn't be expected to listen like this (or cram them in) and apple should offer the choice of in ear headphones with any iPod/iPhone product. If they don't want twice as many sku then just pack them separately. Also, white headphones and cord for a device which has a default colour of black just shows no thought have gone into them since before the iPhone was released!
The Apple headphones are too expensive for something that should already be in the box!
I've always used Creative's EP-630 (same as Sennheiser CX300 but with 50/50 cable) and think they're great but they don't have the remote/mic unit.
I also use the klipsch image s4 and they're amazing
i simply HATE apple earbuds. the only thing i like about them is the mic and volume/voice control. otherwise these things can burn in hell!! sh*tty sound quality+total discomfort= epic apple failure.
Oh did I mention the official iPod/iPhone cables selling at crazy price tags? They are just a USB cable. You can get a good third party cable for as low as $1.25.
Audiowise, they're not nearly as bad as some audio snobs on here are claiming. They work well for phone calls and walking to class, boosting the midrange so vocals are the strongest. Any other time, though, and I use a pair of studio headphones.
they're the best headphones that come from the own manufacter that i've ever tried.. they just suit me and they're very smooth, and i don't have large ears! they're in a good standart size
I'm surprised that Apple hasn't released something so much better. That poor excuse for in-ear-headphones that they offer both stock or their "premium" option should've been gone. If you're using Apples stock headphones or any bad headphones, I feel for your ears. I've always tried to find great headphones. I listen to music all day, everyday.
Audio quality does matter. I have friends losing their hearing because of crappy headphones and the volume levels they listen at. It's a combination of a lot of things. Also the bit rate is a big factor for quality of sound. If you have 256kbps bit rate, great headphones, and sound check on your iPhone = Best listening experience ever! Great headphones allow you to have eq's on so you can really hear the difference between Pop, Rap, Rock, Jazz, etc.
Sound matters! Step ya game up and treat your ears right! Invest in some great headphones. You'll never go back to Apple's or anything close to that. haha
Thank you to all of you who posted better options. I'm checking them all out.
I hate to admit it, but I like them. I use them mostly for running, because they stay in my ears, they are comfortable, and I get a lot of use out of the in-line controls.
At home, I have a nice pair of Sennheiser's, and when I fly, I use Sony earbuds, which have a much better dynamic range, and block out way more noise than apple's.
I HATE that they're white. I know that it's almost iconic, but after all these years, I still hate the fact that they're white.
What's interesting here, though, is how misleading the comments can be. To read them, you'd think 95% of all people hate them. A posting like this draws exactly that sort of response.
That said, when I want to listen to high quality music, I either do it through the home stereo or use can-style earphones. I'm NOT going to pay $100s for some ear-buds, no matter how much better than the Apple ones they are.
I found a perfect solution with YurBuds (http://www.yurbuds.com/)
They slip over the standard Apple earphones and you get a size that fits your ear perfectly. They are design to avoid the typical pressurepoints in the ear, and are also great when running as they keep the earphones from falling out.
Initially I thought it sounded too good to be true (like another Home Shopping Network offer ;-)), but I took the plunge and are now enjoying my Apple earphones for hours at time every day.
That said, I've yet to find comfortable earbuds, while in-the-ear models are simply bad for you and, let's face it, headphones make you look like a dork.
It's a problem for mobile sound listeners - and Apple is not exactly striving to improve the situation - especially if it might cost more.
Much better sound and has the same controls as apple ones
Wired earbuds/phones are stupid.
I got some Senni's that are amazing, and the latest versions of iOS support advanced functions.
Lose the wires kids!
I never realized that my lovely earbud have a problem with a lot of people out there.
But here what I think:
Every person have their on ear, and those ears are have a various diameter of ear hole (i don't know what they called), so I think Apple make the earbud for the average diameter there is, maybe they make a research of something.
It's just seems impossible to make an earbud that fits perfectly for everyones ears around the world.
Oh about that in-ear earphone, Apple built that for the quality, while this earphone that comes out with ipods and iphones are built for a purpose, making ipods and iphones more cheap (than using the in-ear earphone).
But, that's just me.
The only problems were that they appeared to be partially smeared with curry or something, so I had to soak the wire mesh discs to get it off. And the medium-sized silicones were missing. Oh well, the smalls fit me fine. Your mileage may vary. Drastically.
When I wear em it's like life was put on mute and my music took it's place. Not to mention they hve control talk built in for when I get a call.
You can get em on Amazon for like $90 or less. I tired to use apple headphones once just to see the difference and it made Apple's headphones seem like something I would expect from a $1 store pare of earbuds.
Beats is all hype and mediocre quality.
If you think those rock, you ain't heard good cans. Period.
Yeah, they're better than Apple's offerings, but all they do is suck money out of your wallet and make you feel like one of the cool kids.
If you like them, that's cool, but they're NOT great cans.
You can call it hype. But for what I have heard, I would say they are amazing if not MORE for what they cost.
I'm a former professional musician and have been fitted with in-ear monitoring earpieces. So, I know that I don't have "small" ears. My sizing blank was actually a medium-large.
However, people being people, we're all a little different and not everybody has ears that accommodate the shape of the disc style earpiece.
For me I just bought a couple pair of Altec Lansing in-ear canal-style buds with interchangeable sizing collars and that worked for me. The kind I got let me enjoy pushing the button to change songs/pause/etc. and the microphone - so it replaces all the functionality of the Apple earpiece.
I'm surprised Apple didn't go with that solution? In ears with a couple changeable collars/tips?
It's not like we're worried about sound quality - they're compressed digital music files. They're only going to sound so-good anyway.
Hence this article was born =)
I recommend Sennheiser MM70. They have amazing sound quality (for a pair of commuting earphones). Much better than the overhyped klipsh s4i.
Regarding the headphones themselves, the sound quality, that is... They sound great, but only after I do this with settings:http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/1633/84807096.png
only then the sound quality is finally enjoyable. But, there is still the problem of headphones being extremely uncomfortable after some time.
Apple is very "smart" (or better, tricky). Sell devices for a high price, advertise them as the best, offer no or low quality accessories and rip everyone off if they decide to buy something decent. Playing this dirty game has "won" them millions in profit over the years.
i use ultimate ears triple fi 10. expensive, but GREAT earbuds. personally, i don't want huge cans on my head.
Even knock offs at those Chinese discount sites fare better. These things just HURT.
As someone who uses public transport regularly i also hate them because they let so much sound escape. I can actually hear other peoples music when I'm wearing my own headphones - so annoying
I was using the SkullKandy Ink'd replacements, since I could get them with the mic and end-call button. however, nobody carries them, or anything like them, anywhere near me anymore.
If I just want to listen, i have a set of Etmyotic ER6i, which are fabulous. I've had them for several years.
They fit in my ear like man earrings ( lol ) and I barely notice it if music isn't playing. Maybe I have big ears but when the 2005 iPod came out everyone who brought one raved how much better it was. I guess apple is making those headphones for generally big eared people.
i guess my ear oppening is huge u know
like the rest of my oppening :P
Headphones, like speakers, are a personal choice - even more so since they go in/on/around your ears.
They would be stupid NOT to include them, and STUPID to make them expensive.
It's very simple, and smart.
Try the foam covers, and concerns over sound quality, comfort, and staying put are reduces if not eliminated.
In-ear monitors have the potential to be much better (like my expensive Shures), but I wear these often when I need to hear the environment somewhat: airport announcements, people at work, etc. On an airplane, I wear the isolating in-ear types.
With that said, I too hate the Apple Earbuds for 3 reasons: (1) Ill-fitting, not comfortable and won't stayin my ears; (2) Sound quality is horribly unbalanced and tends to be mid heavy; (3) Teenagers (and even grown adults) like to turn them up so high that a quiet bus/train will be filled with sounds of indistinct treble sounds.
I have tried the Apple in-ear buds and those are definitely better than the regular earbuds but still not the best. I have/owned everything from Bose headphones and in-ear to some disposable Sony ones. I used to think that my favorite pair of over-the-ear headphones were Audio-Technica studio monitors (~$400) and my favorite pair of in-ear headphones were Sennheiser buds (~$200). I then found the Klipsch S4i ($70-$80) and these have always been my go-to pair. I replace the stock ear tips they provide and instead buy an after-market product from Comply Foam which is a memory foam ear tip. Someday I'll fork over for a custom ear tip but until I pay off my student loans, that's not happenning anytime soon.
Anyway, try those in-ear headphones with the comply foam tips. I promise you won't be disappointed.
If I can't bring my Grado headphones with me, I grab the stock earphones.
well i truly found my solution & i truly hope this helps you & i hope ear bud makers wake up!!!
i cut little triangles on the ear bud part itself out. keeping the rubber grippy part yet shrinking the size. altering it so that when scrunched & placed inside my ear.... they now fit :)
since the recent hot pink ifrogz i bought with mic have 3 sets of ear buds what did i have to lose by cutting 1 i thought??? so.... i came up with a plan & it worked for me.
i hope it helps you too :)
They are totally useless to me. Can anyone recommend a wonderful set of earphones.
earbuds for running