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Thread: I-pods and the like - question for users.

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  1. #1

    Default I-pods and the like - question for users.

    I have a question for regular users of I-pods and the like (portable music). I would be most interested in your responces.

    A few years back I wanted a Walkman to hear music on the move - I duly got one for my birthday - was well chuffed. I had seen alot of people out with them and though I would join in the fun...

    Did not go well!

    To sum up, whilst the music was playing I found that not only was I not enjoying my favourite songs due to sounds of passing cars and the like spoiling the carefully created mood the musicians were striving to convey but I also found that I could also not hear the ambient sounds clearly enough to make them out - i.e. was that someone calling me or someone following behind with an unpleasant intent. I found that my favourite music was bringing me no pleasure as I was trying to 'listen past it' to the sounds of the real world.

    I see so many people out with ear buds in-situ, music playing and seemingly enjoying it - there must be something I am not doing right...

    So at this juncture I have made the following conclusions (probably wrong)-

    1. Users of portable entertainment prefer poorly conveyed music to 'real world' sounds.
    2. Users of portable entertainment are not listening to music with the intent of hearing the finer points and subtleties of each track.
    3. Users of portable entertainment are less interested in the real sounds around them.

    I am a great fan of all types of music - I try to get at least 1 hour a day of quality listening time, but music on the move - I just cannot make it work.

    Lets have your opinion - help me out with this one.

    Cheers - Ian, Uk

  2. #2

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    I have found that at times you cannot enjoy music while being around excessive noise without closed air headphones (ones that seal the air around your ear with vinyl etc.).
    These type of headphones are not commonly used with walkman/Ipod type players due to their non compact size and some you even need a 1/4 phone adapter to fit the 1/8 inch jack on players. I currently listen to music only on my 30 minute lunchtime. I do data entry but people are always asking me questions etc and other silly jobs so I have to listen to them all day sometimes it is rather irritatingly distracting. One time they were talking so loudly within 10 feet of me I put on my CD walkman just to drown them out so I could concentrate. I have been considering an Ipod but for now I wouldn't use it enough to justify the expense.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* swampgator's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Gatorville, Florida

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    I've used both: a Sony Discman which uses standard over the ear phones, and an MP3 player with in-ear buds.

    Better sound quality with the ear buds. Still, very loud noises are still audible. I only used the MP3 player while in the hospital. I didn't want the hassle of changing discs while impaired on pain meds. I use my Discman when mowing my yard. You have to turn up all the way to drown the mower.

    I think their both conveinence devices. I'm going for all the nuiances of the music. I want tunes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    West Michigan, USA

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    I think that if you really are expecting audiophile quality sound, it has to be with an audiophile pair of headphones and in a somewhat quiet environment. They do make noise canceling headphones, but I have not heard any high end ones to see how good the sound quality is. Same with ear buds that are custom fit to your ears in the attempt to seal out extraneous sounds. But the bottom line is, an audiophile system at home has high end speakers. You must have the same thing in headphones for a portable system to be high end.

    Then if you WANT to be able to hear outside noises, like people talking to you, it's nearly impossible to have it audiophile. You can't have it both ways. Quiet in a noisy environment and be able to hear someone talking to you.

    But for me, I enjoy music. So I would rather have reasonably good sounding music from an ipod and good headphones, than to not have any at all.
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  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    New York City

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    For me it's really about drowning out the monotonous sounds of riding the subway. The sounds of the trains moving along the track are interesting at first but soon become dull. So your conclusion #2 applies for me. I don't really listen for the subtleties of music when I'm on the move but rather it's something to enjoy on the go when there is lack of stimulus.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic speederino's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    I'm somewhat of an audiophile; my golden ears certainly perfer my $$$ speakers and amp in my 'listening room'. However, I still find my iPod useful and enjoyable. There is a difference to me between passive and active listening.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* X Racer's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Asheville, NC

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    Quote Originally Posted by speederino
    There is a difference to me between passive and active listening.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Sable's Avatar
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    Sep 2006

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    My iPod throws Apple Lossless out of some bog-standard Apple in-ear earbuds. They lack on the bass, but otherwise are quite good for casual listening. For more "serious" work, it hooks into my Pioneer Elite AVR to pound out the tunes - but it sounds great no matter what, to my somewhat-trained ears; I have played saxophone for nigh on twelve years but am relatively new to the mid/hi-fi scene.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    Check out Head-Fi, it's the CPF of the headphone world. Plenty of portable rigs to suit all budgets are discussed, suitable for every situation from commuting to working at your desk. I'm hoping to get set-up this Christmas; looking at a starter combination of a PA2V2 amp and a set of Grado SR-60 cans to go with my 4G iPod.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    l use an MP3 player with noise canceling earbuds to minimize the train sounds while commuting. l don't expect great sound simply because MP3 uses a lossy compression technique.

    l have a tin ear, so poor quality does not bother me.

    The koss NC earbuds are pretty good, but like most they are designed to block only part of the sound.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Tilburg, the Netherlands (perfectly reachable by USPS international services)

    Default Re: I-pods and the like - question for users.

    If you want a fairly cheap set of earbuds, that does a pretty decent job at blocking out ambient sounds, try a pair of Koss The Plug or Sparkplug earbuds... These are basically a combination of the regular noise blocking earplugs, but with a speaker connected to it.

    I have a pair of The Plug earbuds, and I love the soundquality and capability to reproduce deep bass sound, but they don't fit my earcanal all that well (I have pretty narrow earcanals). You should be able to get them for less than $20.
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