I have a new obsession today: earbuds.
You probably remember about a year ago when I went on a similar mission with over-the-ear headphones and eded up with the terrific Sony MDR-V6 studio monitor-style cans. I still love them, no regrets.
But I do get tired of folding them up, putting them in their carrying bag, toting them to and from work in my backpack, taking them on and off when I want to listen to something at work or at home. I’ll always take these to the studio. I’ll always use them for headphone-based music practice at home. But for everyday listening? I could use something a little smaller.
If they are affordable and sound great!
I already know that this is possible. I found Connie’s SUBJEKT “HerPhones” petite earbuds for women around the apartment a few days ago. She says she got them a while back on deep discount, like $6.
Wow. They’re definitely colored, mid-scooped, compared to my Sonys. And they don’t have the same clarity. Still, for cheap earbuds they definitely passed my listenability test.
Armed with the knowledge that cheap earbuds can be good, I went to Amazon to find a few options. In-ear-style earbuds. Under $20. Excellent reviews–reviews that specifically mentioned their faithful reproduction of a full range of frequencies.
I took delivery of my Panasonic RPHJE120D earbuds this evening. In orange. I could instantly tell the audio wasn’t as good as with the SUBJEKT earbuds. The very tail end of the bass frequencies were shelved off–as were the crispest of the high frequencies. Basically, not very hi-fi sounding earbuds. I did A-B them with the SUBJEKTs just to make sure. No mistake. I should have spent more money.
Fortunately I’m only out $5 and change. Maybe I’ll throw these in the car glove box or give them to a homeless person. Then I’m going back to the drawing board.
One obvious answer is to just order the SUBJEKTs. It isn’t their “for women” moniker that deters me. It’s that they aren’t technically available anymore. There’s a newer model, earbuds that include a mic for talking on the phone. But how do I know they’re of the same audio quality? And they do cost $20, not $6.
Sony and Philips both have well-reviewed models around the same price point.
Not sure what to do.