General Question

Atacama's avatar

What should I look for in a relatively good, yet cheap set of earbuds?

Asked by Atacama (203points) October 26th, 2010

Nothing over $25 please. I destroy them way to fast for anything pricier. On packaging I always see things like:

Driver Limit: 9mm
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 98db +/-3db at 1KHz
Frequency Response: 30Hz to 20KHz

Which stat listed above matters most in terms of sound quality? I once had a pair I loved that I knew had 10 ohms impedance. Did that matter over a set with 16 ohms? I am so sick of buying crappy earbuds, please help.

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10 Answers

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muppetish's avatar

I am not going to be any help regarding specs, but I own a pair of Sony MDR Headphones that are inexpensive and have (to my ears) great sound quality. If you aren’t dead-set on getting earbuds and don’t mind traditional headphones, I seriously recommend them.

One of the reviews lists the specs as…
“Bandwidth response-18Hz to 22000Hz

Atacama's avatar

@papayalily I do now. I could go to Best Buy and spend an identical amount of money on 2 sets of headphones and have one be awesome and the other sound like a blown cellphone receiver. I figured it’s time to educate myself further. is seemingly without a clue as to what all that stuff means so I figured I’d see if any audiodorks frequent fluther.

xxii's avatar

I have the Sony MDREX36V. They were definitely less than $25 (a Google search prices them at $17) and they’re pretty good quality. Not as good as my Sennheiser earbuds ($60) but definitely a step up from the Apple earbuds (if those help with standardisation). I think I got more than what I paid for. The only gripe I have is that the wire is pretty thin and flimsy, so it gets tangled kind of easily.

toaster's avatar

Just steer clear of ultra-cheap -$5 headphone from china! I swear slight condensation and humidity alters the glue-stick like bondings obsolete and they fall apart.

Atacama's avatar

@muppetish I would love to have those, but one of the requirements is that they be scarcely noticable. I wear them at work and that would be a little obtrusive.

El_Cadejo's avatar

skull candy makes some nice cheap ear buds. Dont know if they meet your specific needs, but Ive had a couple pairs and liked em and im a bit of an audiophile

lonelydragon's avatar

Although I can’t provide any guidance about specs, I like JVC’s marshmallow headpones. The foam earbuds are soft and comfortable to wear, and they cancel ambient noise pretty well. The sound quality is pretty good, especially for a $20–30 set of headphones.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I have a pair of Samsung ear buds that came with my new phone, and I love them. Don’t know where you can get them though.

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