It shouldn’t bother me when I see dozens of people every morning on the subway listening to their iPods through the terrible white earbuds included when you purchase the player …. but I do get bothered.
The situation is understandable – if you’ve never used great headphones, you’re below average ones seem to be doing the job fine (or if we can jump ahead 6 months – if you’ve never used an iPhone, your Palm Treo 650 seems perfect.)
If you wanted to, you could spend up to $500 dollars on headphones, but I’m not CNET and I’m not going to break down all your options – Shure, etc. I’m just going to tell you that for about $50, the Sony MDR-EX71SLA/B headphones are a great upgrade from your default iPod earbuds. They fit in your ear like earplugs, they don’t rest in your ear like the iPod earbuds. By plugging into your ear, they accomplish 2 things: a) they block out a lot of ambient noise (subway cars, people, important alerts at the airport…) and b) by ‘plugging’ into your ear they achieve better bass – the bass doesn’t escape into the open air around your ears. I’m not a physicist, but trust me, it’s a scientific fact.
Apple should include better headphones with their iPods – it’s like Ferrari deciding to include factory tires on all their cars and then making you upgrade to high performance tires.
Yes, $50 might be more than you’d like to pay for headphones, but you’ll realize it was money well spent.
Sony MDR-EX71SLA/B headphones at Amazon