Headphones vs. Earbuds

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Which do you prefer-- Over the ear headphones or earbuds?

Headphones
123
61%
Earbuds
49
24%
Neither (speakers?)
14
7%
Doesn't matter
7
3%
Otter
9
4%
 
Total votes : 202

Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby nyeguy » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

I prefer circumaural headphones if I'll pretty much be in one place doing work, like in the dorm or on a plane. However, nothing is more convenient than earbuds, so I normally carry those with my mp3 player. If you get ones with the right tip size, they can be comfortable enough.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby styrofoam » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:59 pm UTC

Headphones. My ears are too small; earbuds don't fit my ears properly, particularly the kind that get close to the eardrum (the good kind).
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Kizyr » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:23 pm UTC

Earbuds, always.

Headphones are always uncomfortable for me. They're either too tight on my head or they slip off far too easily. They feel like earmuffs and irritate the rest of my ear. And, they don't fit on my ears if I'm wearing a hat in winter. Not to mention I can't fit them in my pocket.

I've had a lot of lousy earbuds, though. Most of the ones that are $15 and less were adequate (they were comfortable enough, but the sound was average, like radio-quality). The ones I'm using right now are some $40 ones I picked up in Tokyo; they're super-comfortable, in-ear and provide an perfect seal (there are also different cover sizes in case your ears are smaller/larger), and provide a good range of sound. KF
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:48 pm UTC

styrofoam wrote:Headphones. My ears are too small; earbuds don't fit my ears properly, particularly the kind that get close to the eardrum (the good kind).

If by "close to the eardrum" you mean the in-ear buds, then no, those are the bad ones. Sure they have a higher sound quality, but, as far as I'm aware, they're really bad for your ears.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby styrofoam » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:38 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:If by "close to the eardrum" you mean the in-ear buds, then no, those are the bad ones. Sure they have a higher sound quality, but, as far as I'm aware, they're really bad for your ears.

I'm refering to ones I got from Skullcandy. They don't go all the way into the ears, but they go farther in than most, and sound aweful to me because they don't fit right.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby darknut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:22 am UTC

head phones win

earbuds - i've always found them uncomfortable and a lot of em just fall out unless i actualy hold them in?

headphones - the cheap ones suck, need a pair that don't just sit on the ear but surround the ear and are comfortable, some people may find them to big n' bulky but i dont ussually take my music with me so I don't have that problem. Though they're generaly expensive buying a good, comfortable pair of headphones that'll last several years is worth it.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Steax » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

The earbuds included with my iPhone have satisfied me so far. I rarely listen to music at home, usually only while on the move, and wearing giant headsets isn't common where I live. Probably the biggest factor is that it has a damn microphone, volume control, and pause button right on it, meaning I can receive calls or make minor adjustments without pulling out the phone itself. Maybe it depends on what device you're using to listen to music? I just bring along these earbuds because they're easy to carry, small, inconspicuous and also work on my laptop if I need to use them there.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby flying sheep » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:37 am UTC

well, using a device supported by rockbox allows you to control the volume without even switching on the screen. (there is a setting allowing you to specify which controls still work when the device’s “hold” swich is flipped.)

so a good OS like rockbox allows you to useful tasks without requiring special hardware which is crappy apart from it’s special features (i want headphones which only let me hear my music, so people in e.g. the train are not annoyed by my loud music and which are loud/noise cancelling enough so i can actually hear my music myself if i am in a louder area. the iphone/-pod earbuds can do neither and have crappy sound quality on top.)
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Dissident Love » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:44 am UTC

I PREFER headphones.

That said, I have to use earbuds at work, and only in one ear, otherwise they get mad. And I can't use headphones when I jog or work out because they fall off in seconds. And I don't use them at home because I HAVE speakers. But still headphones, if I had to pick.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Noblesaur » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:30 am UTC

My right ear is like mis-shaped on the inside and so earbuds have never and will never stick well in there. Also, headphones are just classic.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Steax » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:33 am UTC

flying sheep wrote:i want headphones which only let me hear my music, so people in e.g. the train are not annoyed by my loud music


I have to say I agree on you most there. My #1 request when buying new headphones/earbuds to the guy at the counter is "which one of them minimizes the sound leaking out?"

I'm not much of a music lover and I don't have much money to spare for it, so I really don't know about how good these apple earbuds are. I've had good experiences with them and sound leaks, though; I can sit in a car with music at the maximum sane level (i.e. still enough to hear other people talk, though not able to hear what they're saying) and a person right beside me won't hear a thing.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Mazuku » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

I got a pair of Sony bluetooth stereo bud headphones with mic for Xmas and they are pretty good at blocking outside noise I can tell you.

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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby RAKtheUndead » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

Headphones, in circumstances where portability is not an issue, are vastly superior to earphones. The problem is that earbuds, even at the most expensive level, do more to damage your hearing than headphones do, by virtue of being closer to the ear. I won't purchase a pair of earbuds for more than €5.

That said, if I'm in a place where speakers are an acceptable option, I'll go for those. I'm not even an audiophile - I legitimately cannot tell the difference between 64kbps and 320kbps music.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Mazuku » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:39 am UTC

RAKtheUndead wrote:That said, if I'm in a place where speakers are an acceptable option, I'll go for those. I'm not even an audiophile - I legitimately cannot tell the difference between 64kbps and 320kbps music.


There is some truth in that statement but it can also depend on the software that made the MP3s and what music it is, at least with earbuds, high quality headphones and loudspeakers on the other hand, it is easier to tell somethings missing when it gets below 128kbps and even more so below 96kbps.

As for me, a good set of earbuds when I am using my walkman phone is enough.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby RAKtheUndead » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:34 am UTC

Mazuku wrote:
RAKtheUndead wrote:That said, if I'm in a place where speakers are an acceptable option, I'll go for those. I'm not even an audiophile - I legitimately cannot tell the difference between 64kbps and 320kbps music.


There is some truth in that statement but it can also depend on the software that made the MP3s and what music it is, at least with earbuds, high quality headphones and loudspeakers on the other hand, it is easier to tell somethings missing when it gets below 128kbps and even more so below 96kbps.


I recognise that most people can tell the difference between bit-rates below 128kbps, but my hearing acuity is insufficient to tell the difference between two samples of music at the same sample rate (44,100Hz) at 64kbps and 128kbps respectively. My hearing is crap.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Donkey Kong Country 3 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:40 am UTC

Of course the quality is going to be better on full sized headphones, but they aren't typically the most fashionable things around, if I dare say so. Sure, it's a little lame for me to be thinking of that, but for a near negligible difference in quality, it's just not worth it to look like any more of a neckbeard than I have to :P
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:10 am UTC

More like a lot lame.

Anyway, I recently got some earbuds that actually sound half decent: I was pleasantly surprised
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby archeleus » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:46 am UTC

For long time use at home, headphones. Good ones. When I say good, I mean good in both quality and comfort. (Sennheiser HD's/Razer Carcharias)

For travelling, earbuds, the in ear kind with a good level of noise cancellation. (Shure some series and if you want less expensive then the Razer Moray is pretty cool as well).

And oh, I can tell the difference between 128 kbps and 320 kbps audio, but I can't always tell between FLAC and 320 kbps mp3's.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Joepat » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:33 am UTC

Depends for me. I use my Headphones when I'm gaming because they have a mic, but I couldn't care less if i'm just listening to music. Actually, I prefer earbuds then, because mine are aweseome noise canceling earbuds with Base
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Babam » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:01 am UTC

I prefer large over ears for home/work. If I'm in school, I'll use a smaller type of over ear. When I'm running or biking I'll use my 5 dollar a pair ear buds. While they may not be the best headphones, my creative wow headset is the most comfortable thing in the world.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Griffin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

Headphones in all situations.

Stationary? Nice big noise cancellers.

On the move? Compact little clip ons.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Vash » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:49 pm UTC

hotaru wrote:my $40 earbuds are better than any headphones i've seen for less than $120. a larger driver can get better sound quality, but that doesn't mean that larger is always better. you have to pay a lot more to get the same sound quality.


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As you may now know, headphones.

Donkey Kong Country 3 wrote:Of course the quality is going to be better on full sized headphones, but they aren't typically the most fashionable things around, if I dare say so. Sure, it's a little lame for me to be thinking of that, but for a near negligible difference in quality, it's just not worth it to look like any more of a neckbeard than I have to :P


Headphones are stylish (especially if you choose the right ones). Have some balls and individuality. Even my 50's-looking ones can be worn in the right way (well, probably because they are 50's looking).

Edit: replaced fashionable with stylish. IMO, fashion has a less individualistic connotation. By the way, when I say this, I do not mean to say you should put on headphones and wear hipster clothes. If you were really to take it to the furthest extent, you would design your own stuff (well, you would need some artistic talent) or at least find a way of being somewhat more unique (not that there is no uniqueness merely in your specific arrangement of clothes).
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby c0smic » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:34 am UTC

For around school, I have my in ear, ear buds I use. They have a great bass and are really durable.

For home use, I have my Bose around-ear headphones.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby buddy431 » Tue May 10, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

Speakers, if no one is going to be bothered by them. Otherwise, headphones. Ear-buds are always uncomfortable for me, and they fall out all the time.

I don't listen to music when I'm out of the house or car - it's so much more interesting to listen to what's going on around you.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Drakohel » Tue May 17, 2011 12:20 pm UTC

Headphones all the way... because I got my tragus pierced and can't fit any decent buds in my ear now :S.

It also makes my inner audiophile much happier. That and I don't break them anywhere near as often.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby AvatarIII » Tue May 17, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

in my experience on a low budget, ear buds are better, a £10 pair of ear buds is in my experience better than a £10 pair of headphones,
i generally use the kind of earbud that sits loosely in your ear and has a hook, since i cycle, and i pair of proper earbuds would block out too much sound and would probabyl be dangerous,
at home though i have a £60 pair of wireless headphones that i rarely use because they are kind of uncomfortable, they sometimes chafe and make my ears feel hot and sweaty :( i only bought them because my girlfriend was working odd shifts and i had to find some way to watch TV or listen to music, or play games when she was asleep,
if i could afford a really good pair of headphones though i'd probably go with them, for most use, but id still use earbuds for cycling.
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Re: Headphones vs. Earbuds

Postby Father Creamy » Sat May 21, 2011 12:05 pm UTC

I prefer headphones over earbuds mainly because of an incident at school. When I was sitting at school with some metalheads, one of them insisted that I check out this song (he probably thought it was so good that it would change my music life), and he pulled a single earbud out from his ear and handed it to me. So I took it, and I almost dropped it in shock right when I saw how much loose ear wax was on that bud, but I continued to raise it towards my ear to be kind, and held it just a few centimeters away from my ear. I started nodding along with him as he listened along with the other earbud (even though I didn't really care for the song much), and he insisted that I actually put it inside my ear. Not wanting to seem awkward, I hesitantly let the earbud sit so loosely in my ear, that it was borderline falling out. After the song was through, he wanted me to listen to more songs, but I decided to hand the earbud back and to tell him that he should send me youtube links on facebook (which he never did, so that's good).

So that's one of the main problems I have with earbuds, even though it has to do with individual hygiene, it still disturbs me to the point where I have developed a slight phobia (I always have to inspect an earbud before placing it in my ear). But right now, I use a cheap pair of headphones with earclips, because I like the kind that stay in place and don't shift around (as long as they aren't too tight or annoying to wear).
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