Headphones buying guide
Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:22 AM
Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:33 AM
I explained in the article (in "Headset functionality and inline control modules") that many headphones include an inline module, on the headphone cable, with a microphone and remote button(s). In the recommendations lists, I've noted which models include such a module, and whether it has one button or three.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:13 PM
Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:36 PM
As noted in the article, we focused on headphones that sound great directly from the weak headphone jack of a computer, iPod, phone, or tablet. Many of the "best" headphones require a dedicated headphone amp to show what they're capable of—and even the ones that are efficient enough are often overkill for listening from a laptop, iPad, or iPhone.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:21 PM
The JH13 and JH16 are both very well-regarded. I've been looking at them seriously for a while.
One reason for the lack of specific recommendations concerning custom in-ears—in addition to what Dan said—is that we wanted to avoid recommending models we that we haven't had the chance to test for ourselves. I'm curious about the JH models, but I'm not going to recommend that our readers spend over $1k on them if I can't vouch for them personally.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:54 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:21 PM
FWIW, I've personally tested the Plantronics 603 and the Jabra Sport while running—and sweating a lot—and they're both going strong after more than a year. (Both are designed to be sweat resistant.) I've tried the Plantronics Go a few times while exercising and so far, so good. Did you contact the vendors about getting them replaced? They should definitely last longer than that.
I tested the S10-HD and, like you, found them to be uncomfortable with mediocre sound quality.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:51 AM
The sonics have an iPhone-compatible inline volume and mic though. That's nice. Especially since Macs (at least some Macs) will use that inline microphone when connected.
I think I might try those monoprice in-earbuds to backup my Apple "earpods" (by far what I use the most.)
Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:50 PM
What's the source of your discomfort with over-ear headphones?
The Monoprice 8320 is unbelievably good at that price, but only includes one size of ear tips (medium). If they fit or if you're willing to track down an extra set that do fit, I think you'll be quite happy.
The Monoprice 9396 do include three sizes of tips and should work for anyone. They're not unbelievable like the 8320, but they are still quite good for the price, and hold up well against $30 models.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:40 AM
Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:48 AM
I've tried several Bluetooth headphones, and I still haven't found one that I liked; perhaps the Jaybirds will do the trick. As with the others, however, I find the controls on the Jaybird less than optimal. I don't know why the manufacturers make it so difficult to turn the headphones on and off. Is it a part of the Bluetooth standard? They typically are these tiny little buttons that one has to hold in for several seconds to turn on; likewise for turning off. You often can't even tell whether they're on or off. Apple needs to design and put out Bluetooth headphones, that would raise the standards a bit.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:47 AM
The challenge is that most Bluetooth headphones are so small that there isn't room for a separate power button. Instead, the "action" button performs a slew of functions—including, as you noted, acting as a power button if you hold it for several seconds. Most also avoid a power indicator because of space constraints and to conserve battery power. (I agree with you here: One of my biggest beefs with Bluetooth products in general is figuring out whether they're on or off.)