14 July 2008

More ranting about earbuds

Are there any human ears that the iPod earbuds fit into? Mine give me pain in one ear and just shoot out of the other one. Do these fit Steve Jobs and no one else? The ones that came with the little Coby player are better in a way—they are so big that there is no way to find out if they hurt, because I can't get them into my ear at all.

Apparently, thieves in the Washington, DC Metro system are grabbing MP3 players out of people's hands. The police say they are going after iPods by looking for white earbud cords. They advise commuters to get another color of earbud. Have these guys ever been in an ordinary store to shop for earbuds? The catalogs all show many interesting colors of buds, but your cord choices are typically an expensive black set, a cheap nasty-sounding black set, and 43 white sets.

The earbuds I like the best by far are the Skullcandy Ink'd. I think they have great sound and you can get them for $15 a pair. They have good treble and bass, plus excellent passive noise reduction. I am hard on them, so I keep a few extra pairs stuck here and there to avoid downtime when a pair dies. Their catalog shows a very serious black on black option, but the stores around here only carry an assortment of nano-colored buds with white cords. I have read that the sound of their Skullcandy Smokin' Buds isn't as good, but maybe I will give these a try next. This clever camouflage will surely convince the thieves not to steal the iPod classic in my hand while I am dozing on the subway.

The reason that I choose the canal-type earbuds is that I have significant hearing damage and I can't hear the music if there is too much background noise. I tried some expensive active noise reduction headphones, but they didn't work that well and were too bulky for commuting. The Ink'd reduce the noise almost as well and can go in my pocket.

Another consequence of my hearing damage is that I have to turn it up to 11 to hear at all in my left ear. (I jump in to add that this damage is from a mishap with a locomotive and not from loud music.) I would just like to say, FYI to every busybody out there: YES I KNOW THAT LISTENING TO LOUD MUSIC CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEARING. But I think my hearing is none of your feltercarbing business, thankyouverymuch. At least with the canal buds, I can push the left one in tighter than the right so I can even out the effective volume.

I will save cords that are designed to enhance tangling and knotting and the dorky Zune earbud cords look for a future rant.

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