Sunday, January 11, 2004

In-ear headphones

One new iPod accessory that has received no coverage are the in-ear headphones. In-ear headphones extend into the ear canal and place their speakers just a few millimeters from your eardrum. This has the dual effect of cutting out most ambient noise and making the music sound like it is inside your skull. Just the thing for noisy commutes.

I own a pair of Shure E2c in-ear headphones, which I would have called "fantastic" and "the best ear phones I have ever used" except they developed terrible line noise after a couple of months. I've sent them in to be replaced, but I have to do without them in the interim. I replaced my iPod battery about 2 days before the headphones stopped working, so I feel particularly robbed. I don't know if I just recieved a duff pair, or if it's endemic in Shure's products -- we'll have to wait and see.

Apple's headphones are a mere $40 compared to Shure's $100. I can't speak for quality, but I don't think there are cheaper in-ear phones on the market. If they had been available when I bought mine, I would definitely have checked them out.

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