Feb 07, 2013

What are good inexpensive earbuds?

I go through earbuds like they are free. I'm in the field quite often, and I also use them (1) at home, (2) in the office, (3) while traveling, (4) at satellite offices, and (5) everyday, everywhere. Unfortunately, I tend to lose them. I had a sweet pair of Klipsch S4s for about a week, until they were lost/stolen, which was a bummer because I paid almost $70 for them. Are there any good choices that are less expensive than Klipsch that still have good sound? I've tried a number of cheap earbuds in the past, and they were either uncomfortable, or sounded horrible.


I like the ones from Apple. $25 and they work pretty well.


The best cheap earbuds I've found are Panasonic RP-HJE 120. My cat has a taste for earbud wires apparently, and every time that slips my mind and I leave a pair laying around, I get to buy some new ones so I've tried a lot of brands and models. There are really two main things to consider, as you noted - how they fit and how they sound. I personally think the Panasonics are comfortable (as long as you like the in-ear type) and they sound decent. I think I paid $6 on-line for the last ones I got, and they sound better than anything I've found for $20 or less.

Keep in mind, you only get so much ice cream for a nickel, so don't expect them to sound as good as your Klipsh. The Panasonics drop off at frequencies below about 100Hz, but not too bad. I think the RP-HJE 120s were designed to match the iPod, so in addition to black there are a lot of bright colors if you like flashy buds.

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