looking for durable earphones £100~200.

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by seol1500, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. seol1500

    seol1500 New Member

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    Hello,

    I have been using Bose In ear headphones for a year now but I have to say I am extremely disappointed by the durability of their product. While I fully appreciate the quality of their sound for the price, LHS earphone went dead after 10 months and both side went dead again just now. That is 5 months after the replacement.

    I am looking for the high sound quality available for £100~200 and non-noise cancelling/isolating earphone with replaceable cables. I truly believe noise isolating headphones kill your ear way faster than the standard ones and increase risks while using it in outdoors. I only listen to music at a relatively low volume. (i.e. Max vol. of IPod set at 1/2) at a quiet environment. Hence unlike those 'open type' earphones, I do not want an isolated earphone to blast entire volume directly into my eardrum.

    I've seen fantastic reviews on Ultimate ears here but unfortunately all their earphones, except for cheap children ones have noise cancellation. What a shame.. Someone recommended Audio Technica as a durable earphone, but my previous experience with them 4 years ago - cannot remember the exact model name but it was around £80~100 and had distinguishable long and gold coloured design - went dead just after 5 months (left canal again.). It may be true that I do not treat the earphones worthy their cost i.e. using it while walking and running, pulling cables by accidents - dropping ipod etc.

    I really appreciate taking your time reading this,
    Many thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Durable earphones £100 to £200

    I share your concerns about Bose earphones. They really don't live up to the quality of build you would expect from such a premium brand.

    I'm not sure I share your concern about sound pressure levels with in-ear sound isolating earphones. I am quite sensitive about high volume levels and I find sound isolating earphones can be kept at sensible volume levels. It's really up to you how much volume you apply.

    In fact I would suggest that earphones that do not isolate (for example earbud style earphones or the Bose in-ears) need to be turned up higher in noisy environments (for example in a bus or walking down a busy street) and therefore subject your ears to higher sound pressure levels.

    In fact Phonak (one of the World's leading hearing aid companies) now make earphones and claim that the sound isolating design helps protect hearing. I am sure they would not claim this if there was a danger they could get bad PR from this.
     
  3. TheNameIsJambo

    TheNameIsJambo New Member

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    Ditto.

    I have the Bose TriPort On-Ear Headphones and I've never felt so let down. I usually use them every day in the office (Monday-Friday) and now, I can't stand them.

    The sound is loud and impressive from such small headphones. They boast a huge bass response, although, the sound (to my ears) is quite flat and lifeless. If I had to put it into context the sound is : Blurry/Foggy/Messy? I can pick out some minute details, a lot more than bog standard hi-fi headphones, although for the asking price, they should be producing near identical sounds from the tracks that are fed into them! That's what exponsief headphones/earphones are all about.

    But moving away from the lifelessness and the dullness - The build quality is brutal.They feel cheap, awfully plastic-like and fragile. And my housing also rattles when prompted to play deep bass.

    Alas, all is not lost. They're good noise isolators. I can have my iPhone at around 2/3 or 3/4 volume and I can't hear anything outside of my own skull. Aslong as the bass isn't turned up. I tend to just keep the EQ off anyway.

    When it comes to Bose the Cons outweigh the Pros and I wouldn't really recommend these headphones to anyone!

    I'd maybe purchase them to pose with, but definitely not to listen to my favourite music. Especially after my dismal experience with them :(
     
  4. seol1500

    seol1500 New Member

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    Thank you for your post, ShaunG.
    I agree that in-ear sound isolating earphones do help you in noisy environments, which quite some people do. I believe that is why Phonak claimed this design helps protect hearing.

    However, I do not need this feature because I never listen to music in such environments. As warned by many researches already, it is the most ridiculous thing for a person can do to his ear, especially if it is open-type earphone. For in-ear sound isolating earphones, people are still likely to turn their volume up since sound isolation is never perfect.

    So now in a quiet environment, Sound-isolating earphones do have much less hours available than any other types in a given volume above 50%.
    Please refer to this page for further info about max. hour you can listen per day before any hearing loss : Researchers Recommend Safe Listening Levels for Apple iPod
    Further some people claim the design of the in-ear isolating earphones cause pain to their earphones after one or two hours of usage.

    Despite the argument above I guess it does not matter which earphones we use if people can manage to keep it under that volume and duration guideline.

    Can anyone recommend me an Ultimate Ear headphone for £100~200 please?
    http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/ultimate-ears-man-24.html

    I was thinking of Super.fi 5 Pro but if Triple.fi 10vi Pro are much better I am prepared to take extra investment. How is the quality of the built-in microphone in 10vi (noise level etc for Skype) ? If it ruins the design and has poor microphone I rather have Triple.fi 10 Pro. Would I be able to use the microphone if I purchase 10 Pro and fit 10vi Pro replacement cable into it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  5. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Durable earphones £100 to £200

    That's really interesting research on physorg.com. It makes sense that a combination of volume level and listening time are the contributory factors to hearing damage - this is the way it works when listening with speakers.

    Ultimate Ears are excellent earphones and the Super.fi and Triple.fi models are particularly durable as they have replaceable cables. One item of not such good news is that Logitech bought Ultimate Ears over a year ago and have now decided to discontinue the Super.fi 5 Pro. The Triple.fi 10 Pro is still available.

    Another alternative would be the Westone UM2. These also have replaceable cables and are very durable earphones. Westone started out making earphones for musicians on stage, so they are really well made.
     
  6. seol1500

    seol1500 New Member

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    Thank you for your recommendation,

    But I noticed Tri.fi 10 Pro has 3 speakers while UM2 only has two.
    Considering you can get brand new Tri.fi cheaper than UM2 from e-bay due to 'black friday', I believe Tri.fi is a better option.

    However since Tri.fi is out for many years now, I am worried about UE discontinuing this series and hence its cable. Otherwise they wouldn't have sold that cheaply from Amazon right?

    p.s. Do these two male RCA fit completely to the standard (ie. completely flat surface) laptop mic and headphone sockets?
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cables-Go-80134-Value-Stereo/dp/B0020MLAFA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_4

    I can't find anything like this from Amazon:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/iPhone-Headset-...er_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item58865de586
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  7. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Durable earphones

    Yes, the UE Triple.fi has been around for many years and I suspect that Logitech may end up axing it in the not too distant future (judging by their decisions so far since buying Ultimate Ears).

    The Triple.fi is great value for money at the moment, but I would also be concerned about availability of spare cables in the not too distant future.
     
  8. patwoltenholme

    patwoltenholme New Member

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    It still amazes me how divided people are about Bose. Anyway I LOVE Westones so they get my vote for sure.

    Westones +1
     
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