Ear buds-cords or wireless?

bykfixer

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For years and years I listened to music through ear covering Pioneer head phones. They were great. Big ole coily wire with a 10' extension cord. But that was the technology of the times.

Then one day I acquired a pair of "open air" walkman headphones by Sony and wow, wow, wow!! Nice high's, near perfect mid's and the low's weren't bad at all. Best part was I could hear the world too. At least some anyway. Nice, thin, lightweight straight cord. Now for my Denon gear I needed an adapter to plug into the gigantic cord plug hole. Again, it was the technology of the times.

Those didn't last very long so old faithful Pioneers went back into action. Then one day my son had these little deals plugged into his ears. If not for the cord they looked like black hearing aids. "Let me try those things, please?" I said. Not bad. Not bad at all. He had Sony brand that came with his Walkman cd player.

I bought some Shure ear buds and really liked those. Then one day decided to try wireless. What a great invention. Will they cause brain cancer? Alzheimers? Cause my ears to grow? Ferilize nose hairs? I dunno. But they sound wonderful. And with active noise cancellation or pass through one can decide to use them as hearing protection while cutting grass or choose to hear the world around them.

Recently I acquired a pair of wireless ear buds with a pass through feature and the option to replace the transmitter with cables. Cables? Really? Well yeah. Sometimes pairing can be an issue. Sometimes the battery can be dead mid-playlist and waiting on them to charge sucks. Sometimes one may want to use them plugged into a jack on an airplane to listen to a movie.

As much as I like ear covering headphones, the ear buds are a really cool invention. For about $15 one can get really good sounding corded these days, but get 'em while you still can because it appears those are going the way of the VCR.
 

UFO

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I bought some cord ones from C.Crane a few years back. They don't make them anymore but I wish I had bought 2 or 3 pair. They sound great. I've never tried cordless but I hear they sound very good as well.
 

idleprocess

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Ah, Bluetooth - so much promise, so little delivery. Between pairing woes, unpairing for no particular reason, frequent random disconnects, discernible audio quality loss, battery management liability, and the pervasive "two volume dials" problem I'd rather use a cable and quality over-the-ear headphones when possible.
 

bykfixer

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I'm just now joining the 21st century for electronics and had heard a lot of pluses and minuses about bluetooth tech. When pairing a phone (for music only) with a work vehicle I was driving because it lacked the 3.5 jack it would skip or pause about once a week, maybe twice. Then I switched to another vehicle and it has not skipped or paused at all.

I tried a sansa clip and it skipped or paused a few times an hour. An Anker broadcaster plugged into the 3.5 jack of my fuze has not paused or skipped at all using the same ear buds. I did have to reset that one after it refused to pair with my wireless ear buds. That's what led me to buy some corded ones.

So when I saw Shure 215's were still being made with cords and there was an option to turn them into wireless……sold. Now if you could find just the broadcaster conversion kit it was the same price as the wireless 215's minus $10. So I opted for the wireless 215's and bought a cord. Shure has high end kits that come with wireless and wired components.

A $14.99 Sony MDR-EX14AP sound almost as good as the Shure. The $7.99 JVC gummy's, not so much but for $8 they do sound pretty good. Way better than the $2 check out counter numbers. They just fall flat at the high end. What I liked about the Sony's (in addition to the sound) was no microphone to snag on my shirt button.

I tried the Shure with cord and without and did not hear distortion with the cord where cordless I did notice a tiny bit of distortion at the low end of some songs. I had noted that with the Bose wireless but not the Sony wired (apples and oranges) so I figured why not do a red delicious apple versus red apple.

One thing I do prefer is the option to drown out the world (ie loud leaf blower) or hear someone wearing hard sole shoes walking up behind me. The Bose and Shure both have that tech, which they both do a marvelous job at. I suppose there are corded ones with that option as well but I also suppose they are probably 10x the cost of the Sony mentioned above.

I'm listening to mp3 at rates between 100 and 300 bps so the sound is not optimal to start with. Yet with a nice sounding set of headphones be it ear cover or inner ear it makes the best of the reduced musical impact.

Over the ear versus in the ear? I'm learning to like the over the ear thing but it's a bit clumsy to install the over the ear kind at this point. It's probably all about fit for some. And the tips matter too. I surmize some come with small and medium tips to keep dummies from walking in traffic, while texting or listening to a youtube in total sound isolation from the outside world. But plug up a pair of large tips and……let there be bass. Wow what a difference that makes.
 
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raggie33

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check out the panosnics cheap ear buds there tuned to rock and i know you like country and western but i still think you will like them im.loking for a link now
 

raggie33

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Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones RP-HJE120K Dynamic Crystal-Clear Sound, Ergonomic Comfort-Fit, 9mm, Black​

 

Olumin

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The only reason earbuds exist is to be portable, so logically ones without cable make more sense. I only listen to music at home, its a distraction everywhere else. I find listing to music in public discourteous and earbuds themselves uncomfortable and unhygienic. They also sound flat compared to any good pair of open back stereo headphones. Ive only listend on my HD600s for quite a few years, and when I first tried out the Airpod Pros I thought they were horrible. I guess they are good compared to other earbuds? They dont even really work with my old Iphone 6s. To each their own. Im staying in the 20th century for now.

I think apple makes some actually good sounding wireless noise cancelling headphones. If I wanted to listen to music in public thats probably what I would use. I dont know anymore what theyre called, but I know they were really expensive. But no thanks.
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I came across a bluetooth controller/adapter for corded headphones it has a 1/8 stereo input and you can plug corded headphones into it and use the controller for your music. It works good and I was plugging my old creative buds in it till I
stumbled across some JLabs earbuds that are bluetooth with a cable/controller between them and was pleasantly surprised at the sound that they gave plus having the cord between them allowed you to remove one and let it dangle on your shoulder without losing it. Since I liked them I stumbled across some cordless earbuds that with no cable to them for $5 and liked them too also JLabs but they interfered with my wifi I think, it wouldn't work till I turned them off.
 

boo5ted

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I actually have two sets of wireless earbud that I use.

Raycon Performer

OnePlus ear buds


I use the Raycons when cutting the grass, leaf blowing, etc. They have noise cancellation and block out a ton of other noises. They do so good a job that I can't use them for conversations, at work, hiking, bike riding or around the house because they work so well. I can't hear anything from my surroundings which is good and bad. I also use them when I just want to zone out and listen to music when I get home from work to decompress from the day.


Now for the OnePlus buds I use these mostly at work, I'm a service manager for an auto repair shop and I'm on the phone 85% of the day. Talking to customers about their cars, ordering parts from vendors, conference calls from corporate, etc. I have a wireless phone at my desk that also has bluetooth and I keep the phone on my belt and one earbud in and can talk on the phone anywhere in the shop. Callers can hear me clearly no matter where I'm at and I can also have a face to face convo with my techs, customers that might be waiting with us, etc. I do use the OnePlus when biking or hiking so I can the music and also sounds from my surroundings( cars, people, animals/weather/waterfalls if I'm out in nature, etc)
 

bykfixer

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How do the RayCon's sound to you boo5? Do you ever use them just as hearing protection (as in nothing playing in the background)?

I hear commercials for them a lot and they tout price, battery life and isolation compared to that fruit brand.

I read where some say they jostle out of their ear while jogging. Over at the Shure site one can purchase foam tips. Either rounded tip kind or yellow foam like ear plugs. Both stay in better than silicone.

For over the ear I prefer the rounded foam tip to slide them in like the silicone type. But for times I want that little bit of hearing protection (like using a really loud, high pitched tool) I like to roll the yellow foams and install those like ear plugs since they expand a wee bit tighter just like ear plugs. It might add a dB or two, I dunno. I just "feel" a little better protected.
 

boo5ted

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They sound great to me, crystal clear and good bass response. I've never had an issue with the silicone tips, they stay put for me. My ears are pretty small so the smallest tips works great. If they're in I'm listening to something lol.
 

bykfixer

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This morning I was doing an apples and oranges compare with a pair of Bose QC ear buds and Shure Aonic 215's.
To be honest, the Bose are a little more pleasing to me listening a 128 bps mp3 of the Cave Singers "gifts and the raft", which is a fairly quiet number with violins, a snare drum with a gentle rim shot, and an electric accoustic guiter playing while the lead singer is quietly singing with back ground voices in the distance.
The Shure sound more realistic where the Bose add a bit of openness……a bit more spacious sounding. With the Bose the background vocals sound like they are behind me some 10 feet away where the Shure they sound like they are right behind me. The sound stage of the Shure sounds like it's about as wide as my eyeballs where the Bose about as wide as my ears.

But both sound almost monotone. Low notes on the Bose are bit more pronounced at low volume, yet that interferes with the mid tones a little. The low tones of the Shure are there, and a bit more "pure" sounding, but nowhere near as audible as with the Bose that sound like they add a tiny bit of ambience to the music. It's a Bose thing that is pleasing in general. Yet if I were the recording engineer I would definitely prefer the Shure. And I would fire whoever chose to squish the overall sound of the recording so badly. No left, no right, it's all in the center.
Sheesh!

The Bose reach a few paces farther away before complaining of signal loss. They are rated at IPX4 where the Shure rating is not given. I feel like the Bose would be more suited to endure heavy sweating since the whole package is sealed where the Shure have a connection point behind the ear I feel like could potentially allow sweat to enter. The Bose are much easier to install one handed. Push in the tip, twist it forward a bit and a clip pops into the channel of your ear just above the ear canal. They stay put just like over the ear type in normal use. I would suppose the Shure over the ear would stay better if one were jumping on a trampoline or playing football.

Both are pretty comfy. As much as I like the Cave Singers music I now prefer to hear them from speakers instead of headphones. Barry White on the other hand sounds great with ear buds. "Loves Theme" sounds like I'm there. I can close my eyes and almost imagine a bunch of symphany people wearing 1970's rock and roll outfits with Barry acting as part meistro, part singer. ColdPlay is another pleasant experience with ear buds. Again the Bose are more pleasing and more "airy". But the Shure sound more realistic if that makes any sense.

To me the Bose QC are well worth the $279 price tag if one can stand forking out that kind of dough for some wireless ear buds. The Shure sound like they would cost a lot more than $149. Both do well at cancelling outside noise. The Bose gives you 3 options of cancellation. The Shure gives you two. On/off. The Bose gives you a medium setting too. Both provide very good pass through technology. Turned to zero (in their supplied app) results in the ability to hear the world around you with music at low volume. I don't know how either work for phone calls. I just pause the music and answer the phone like normal using the phone ear piece through the ear bud (in pass through mode).


The photo shows the way the Bose fastens inside the ear channel very well.
3-C10-EF3-A-BEB3-44-B3-BDF7-37045-B08-D1-D8.jpg


Mrs Fixer told me she had tried all sizes of the Bose tips/clip combo and hers kept falling out. I showed her how to twist it some so the clip pops into the ear channel and shazam! They did not fall out regardless of which size tip/clip she chose. She chose the medium saying that the ear buds sounded a litter better with the medium. She does not like the over the ear thing so I know my Shure's won't become her Shure's at some point.
 
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bykfixer

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A few months have passed and life got so busy I had forgotten to enjoy some tunes on the headphones.
This afternoon I plugged the Shure earbuds into the appropriate orifices and sat back to listen to a playlist I have been enjoying through the speakers in my vehicle. Oh My!! These things sound marvelous at a volume just a bit louder than ambient room noises (with pass through activated). Say 65 DB.
Just a bit louder than the sound of the bird squawking in the distance. I hear stuff in songs I've listened to hundreds of times.

Bryan Ferry "slave to love" for example is a song I've listened to since the 1980's but I had never heard some of the guitar riffs trading sides like some kinda guitar fencing dual. Incredible!! Then a band called VAST doing "touched", and onto a series of the smooth jazz magical tunes of Paul Hardcastle. Bass is a bit thin at this volume compared to Bose ones but the details are well worth it. It's almost as if you can hear the bass players fingers plucking and thwapping the strings you just don't feel the thump quite like with Bose.

Turn them up enough to drown out people nearby talking and suddenly things get real. Say 90 DB or so. I mean real like you are in the room with the band. Like you are in the center of the stage with drums behind you, singer in front and guitars etc all around you. Suddenly Paul Oakenfold Planet Rock/Swordfish theme begins and it sounds thumpy enough to imagine a quarter would bounce on top my dome. Gyah!!

Now it's time for some Dire Straits. Oh heck yeah Mark Knoffler time. "on a tunnel of love, yeaaah…love" a song about being in Vegas and gambling on a dame that probably won't work out, but ya never know. Now onto Romeo & Juliet. Man, Dire Straits was such a great band.

These things are a bit pricey but well worth it in my view. I just need to take the time to enjoy them from time to time.
 
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raggie33

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i always wondered when you use bluetooth does the quailty of the player or headphones matter most? is the player just a slave passing the info to the earbuds
 

bykfixer

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From what I understand the signal from player to speaker does matter but the player itself probably matters more. The recording is where good reference speakers really shine. In other words the speaker can only speak as well as the sounds that are input.

I have two players, one of which is a sandisk fuze from about 2009 and the other a "google" mp3 app on a motorola M6 unlocked phone from 2019. The mp3 app sounds noticeably better with bluetooth. At first I figured that is because the fuze broadcasts blue tooth from an Anker transmitter plugged into the headphone jack of the fuze so signal may be degraded some but then I plugged headphones to both the phone and fuze and the phone still sounded better.

My gut tells me the software or whatever in the 2019 app is more accurate than the 2009 fuze. The main difference is app makes music sound a wee bit more open, like the band is playing in an indoor stadium where the fuze is like they are playing in your living room if that makes sense.
 

kerneldrop

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i always wondered when you use bluetooth does the quailty of the player or headphones matter most? is the player just a slave passing the info to the earbuds

Bluetooth sound is mostly mids. But the best built speaker will still produce the best sounding mids that Bluetooth mostly pushes.
Most speakers have their own sound....it's like a flashlight temp I suppose. Folks prefer different brands for their sound.

The highs and lows that can be heard on a high-fidelity CD are cut out during the Bluetooth transmission.
And the song downloaded with not have the highs and lows in the downloaded file.
Same with XM satellite music... the high-fidelity sounds are cut out.
I believe Apple allows you to download a high-fi version, but it's a massive file size.
I never got into the downloaded music because I wanted the high-fidelity sound.

My old truck had a crazy sound system....sounded like a movie theater. My kids loved it. But i traded in the the truck and just left it all in there. My new truck has factory sound but has room under the seats...I do miss the speakers when a good song comes on. Factory sound just can't replicate getting punched by base and super clear highs

Now about the only music I listen to is over knock off bluetooth ear buds while at the gym
 
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