“For the gadget aficionado, Apple’s iPod portable music player is a must have. Simply go to your local Apple store and pick out the color of nano or iPod you like. Done. Enjoy the iPod for what it is — a marketing triumph disguised as a gadget. But headphones for iPods? That’s another story,” Jonathan Blum writes for TheStreet.com. “As much as Steve Jobs has redrawn the digital landscape with his iPod and other Apple products, he has turned a deaf ear to his headphones. iPod headphones, like all things Apple, certainly look cool; those little white earbuds are as ubiquitous as they are iconic. But as headphones, they are a disgrace.”
“The good news is there are excellent aftermarket choices for high-quality headphones for portable music players. These headphones sound better. They fit better,” Blum reports. “[Personal monitors] are not earbuds. They are actually high-quality small speakers that fit inside the outer part of your ear canal and sit flush to your eardrums, providing better sound at lower volumes… The three brands to know for [personal monitors] are Etymotic Research, Shure Electronics and Ultimate Ears. I tested three of the better units from these companies: the Etymotic ER-4 ($330), the Shure E4c ($299) and the UE super.fi 5Pro ($249)… The audio quality in all of these units was solid. Really solid. But even good things are not created equal. For me, audio equipment is like red wine — you can go and on about the stuff, but you know right away what’s best. And the standout in this group was the Ultimate Ears.”
Full article here.
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Review: Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator black earphones – February 04, 2006