Talk to me about ear buds

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
27,789
right here
Echo Bods Gen 2 are on sale for $85 which seems like something I might want to jump at as opposed to the higher priced AirPods. Are AirPods really that much better to justify the $179 price tag? Any other buds out there I should be thinking about?

I'd be using them in the office to hook up to listen to music/podcasts/youtube/etc. I have a pixel and an ipad that they'd be connecting to at various times. Mostly the ipad.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
5,381
I really like my Samsung Galaxy Ear Buds which appear to run around $100 depending where you look. I have never used AirPods to compare, but the quality of these Samsung buds don't make me pine to look into the AirPods.

Have used these buds in my home office from just after the start of the pandemic and wear one at a time (so I hear goings on around the home or office) a large majority of my working day for my Teams/Zoom meetings, music, podcasts, etc. I usually go a solid 6-8 hours with one bud in before I get the low battery message, and then switch to the other ear while charging the first.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
15,703
Tuukka's refugee camp
I have the AirPods Pro that I love, especially when paired with my iPhone and Apple Watch. I also have some version of the Jabra ear buds that are a few years old. Functionally they work as well but I find the AirPods to be much more comfortable and fall out of my ears less. It took a little trial and error to find the right silicone tips but the AirPods have been great.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
21,593
I really like my Samsung Galaxy Ear Buds which appear to run around $100 depending where you look. I have never used AirPods to compare, but the quality of these Samsung buds don't make me pine to look into the AirPods.

Have used these buds in my home office from just after the start of the pandemic and wear one at a time (so I hear goings on around the home or office) a large majority of my working day for my Teams/Zoom meetings, music, podcasts, etc. I usually go a solid 6-8 hours with one bud in before I get the low battery message, and then switch to the other ear while charging the first.
Second these; I use them pretty much every day and they are pretty awesome. Battery life is terrific, never had a problem with them.
 

PC Drunken Friar

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 12, 2003
13,975
South Boston
I'll third the Galaxy buds. I found that they "fit" me ear the best and never fall out, even when running. The only negative I have is the "tap to pause" is very sensitive and I sometimes double tap it, causing it to skip to the next song/podcast.
 

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,191
Boston, MA
I really like my Samsung Galaxy Ear Buds which appear to run around $100 depending where you look. I have never used AirPods to compare, but the quality of these Samsung buds don't make me pine to look into the AirPods.

Have used these buds in my home office from just after the start of the pandemic and wear one at a time (so I hear goings on around the home or office) a large majority of my working day for my Teams/Zoom meetings, music, podcasts, etc. I usually go a solid 6-8 hours with one bud in before I get the low battery message, and then switch to the other ear while charging the first.
I'm sorry, you listen to music with one ear bud in?! Are you a serial killer? Do you hate guitar solos?

edit to add some substance: I have had two generations of airpods, and while they are fine, they are nothing special. I actually liked the old ones (without the rubber ear piece) better, but I've always gotten them as gifts, and I wouldn't spend the money to replace them if something happened to my current pair.
 
Last edited:

begranter

Couldn't get into a real school
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 9, 2007
2,341
I love my Jabra 75t's. Won't take a phone call without them, but the music sound is pretty good too. They go on significant sales pretty regularly, or you can get refurbished ones for like $50 from Jabra's eBay official store. This is what I did when I wanted a dedicated pair for the office and at home.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
27,789
right here
The Jabra 75t came up as well when I was looking around, interesting. No reason to be a little squeamish about buying used ear buds? They have some 85ts available for $80 too. Hmm.
 

changer591

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
778
Shrewsbury, MA
I have the Pixel Buds Gen 2 that came free with my Pixel 6. I like them BUT the biggest problem I have is that you can't control the volume on them...that could be a deal breaker for some.

Note: This would have been a deal breaker for me, but they were free.
 

B H Kim

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2003
5,614
Washington, DC
I’m using the Beats Fit Pros right now. I actually prefer them to the Airpod Pros I used for the last few years. Better fit and better battery life.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
14,799
UWS, NYC
I wear Bose SoundSport wireless earphones, because I just can't do without the cord connecting the buds when I'm running or biking and such. They sound great and fit me well.

But then again, you asked about ear pods, so I guess this post was just a harmless waste of time...
 

Bozo Texino

still hates Dave Kerpen
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
11,092
Austin, Texas
I try to stay away from bluetooth headphones as much as I can. I don't want MORE compression, so I use cables when possible.

That said, I use a pair of Jabra Elite Active 75t at the gym. They're great for working out - they can deal with sweat just fine and they've only fallen out a few times when I've done bent-over lateral raises.

Word of warning about the 85t - lots of people have issues with the fit. It looks like a lot of people prefer the 75t. Cheaper, too!
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,038
Rhode Island
I really like my Samsung Galaxy Ear Buds which appear to run around $100 depending where you look. I have never used AirPods to compare, but the quality of these Samsung buds don't make me pine to look into the AirPods.

Have used these buds in my home office from just after the start of the pandemic and wear one at a time (so I hear goings on around the home or office) a large majority of my working day for my Teams/Zoom meetings, music, podcasts, etc. I usually go a solid 6-8 hours with one bud in before I get the low battery message, and then switch to the other ear while charging the first.
You might want to consider Aftershokz bone conduction headphones. They're not in your ears so you can still hear ambient noise.

Personally, I hate having anything in my ears for an extended period of time. I wear mine all day long and they don't bother me. Plus I only charge them every few days.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
5,381
I'm sorry, you listen to music with one ear bud in?! Are you a serial killer? Do you hate guitar solos?

edit to add some substance: I have had two generations of airpods, and while they are fine, they are nothing special. I actually liked the old ones (without the rubber ear piece) better, but I've always gotten them as gifts, and I wouldn't spend the money to replace them if something happened to my current pair.
Heh heh, I will put both in when I'm really getting into an album. And I lean 80/20 podcasts to music, as it is easier for me to think and do work when I'm not uber-focused on great music. Nothing worse than starting and re-starting a song several times when getting interrupted by a work call.

You might want to consider Aftershokz bone conduction headphones. They're not in your ears so you can still hear ambient noise.

Personally, I hate having anything in my ears for an extended period of time. I wear mine all day long and they don't bother me. Plus I only charge them every few days.
Thanks for the tip, it seems these get very good reviews on the average. I never wanted anything in my ears before these buds but these are comfortable. But maybe your earphones are even better for the long duration listening sessions.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
18,059
Santa Monica
what do people use when going to bed at night?

I like going to sleep at night to Spotify of Calm, but find earbuds/headphones uncomfortable.

Is that just me?
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,111
Rogers Park
The advantage of the Apple airpods comes if you use them with multiple Apple devices, as they have added some stuff on top of bluetooth to simplify the pairing/unpairing experience for devices that are connected to the same icloud account.

If you were just going to use them with your phone, vanilla bluetooth would be completely fine — you'd pair them once and forget about it. But if you plan to use them regularly with a phone, a mac, a watch, an Apple TV, etc., then that convenience is likely worth the premium.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
15,703
Tuukka's refugee camp
what do people use when going to bed at night?

I like going to sleep at night to Spotify of Calm, but find earbuds/headphones uncomfortable.

Is that just me?
No idea how good they are but Bose has Sleepbuds that are basically smaller earbuds. They're also $200 so not cheap.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
11,255
I have the Pixel Buds Gen 2 that came free with my Pixel 6. I like them BUT the biggest problem I have is that you can't control the volume on them...that could be a deal breaker for some.

Note: This would have been a deal breaker for me, but they were free.
What, what? You should be able to swipe forward/back on them to adjust the volume. Does that not work on yours?
 

Tangled Up In Red

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nov 8, 2004
4,387
Bernal
Another vote for the Jabra 75t. Great fit, great sound and, as stated, you can get a great deal if you're patient. I got them new on Amazon one day for $70.
 

changer591

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
778
Shrewsbury, MA
What, what? You should be able to swipe forward/back on them to adjust the volume. Does that not work on yours?
Sorry, I think I was mistaken...I have the A-Series, not the "Gen 2"...the A-series is the newest and the feature was removed...directly from their support website:
50206
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
11,255
Sorry, I think I was mistaken...I have the A-Series, not the "Gen 2"...the A-series is the newest and the feature was removed...directly from their support website:
View attachment 50206
Ah, that makes more sense then. Yeah, those are their slightly 'budget' ones, so they pulled some of the features.

I will say that I bounced off all other bluetooth ear buds, and was a devoted buyer of wired buds (and a frequent buyer, as I ruined all the time by catching the wires on things and yanking the cord, generally at the gym) but switching to Pixel Buds made a convert out of me.

Given how many pairs of Marshall Mode EQs that I went through, I'm saving a lot of money.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
18,059
Santa Monica
thanks. I ordered. $20 downside feels like a no brainer

No idea how good they are but Bose has Sleepbuds that are basically smaller earbuds. They're also $200 so not cheap.
thanks.

All day I use headphones, AirPods & reading glasses - my ears are pretty sensitive by nighttime

I'm probably being a delicate flower. Just dread earaches

Spent an hour researching, found this pillow that plays smartphone APPs. I'm on the fence.
 

changer591

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
778
Shrewsbury, MA
Ah, that makes more sense then. Yeah, those are their slightly 'budget' ones, so they pulled some of the features.

I will say that I bounced off all other bluetooth ear buds, and was a devoted buyer of wired buds (and a frequent buyer, as I ruined all the time by catching the wires on things and yanking the cord, generally at the gym) but switching to Pixel Buds made a convert out of me.

Given how many pairs of Marshall Mode EQs that I went through, I'm saving a lot of money.
They aren't budget....they are the new version of the old Pixel Buds.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
11,255
They aren't budget....they are the new version of the old Pixel Buds.
They're the budget version: the original Pixel Buds have that feature. The Pixel Buds 2 were meant to be the new version of the original flagship Pixel Buds: they debuted at the same price point ($179). The A were then a new line, akin the 'a' series of Pixel phones (Google's been using the 'a' for affordable thing for a while now).

The only question is if Google is going to entirely kill the flagship version, and only do the A series, or release a new flagship this year. It appears to be the former at the moment, which sucks.
 

wibi

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,743
You might want to consider Aftershokz bone conduction headphones. They're not in your ears so you can still hear ambient noise.

Personally, I hate having anything in my ears for an extended period of time. I wear mine all day long and they don't bother me. Plus I only charge them every few days.
This is my goto anymore. Now that I'm back on airplanes these plus a great set of earplugs are way better than any earbuds/noise cancelling headphones I had (other than the OG Bose that would literally cancel everything out)
 

changer591

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
778
Shrewsbury, MA
They're the budget version: the original Pixel Buds have that feature. The Pixel Buds 2 were meant to be the new version of the original flagship Pixel Buds: they debuted at the same price point ($179). The A were then a new line, akin the 'a' series of Pixel phones (Google's been using the 'a' for affordable thing for a while now).

The only question is if Google is going to entirely kill the flagship version, and only do the A series, or release a new flagship this year. It appears to be the former at the moment, which sucks.
Ah I get what you are saying...I got confused because you can no longer purchase the regular Pixel Buds from Google, so my faulty assumption was that the A-series "replaced" them...which they kind of did, but would be considered a budget version (lol at $99 ear buds being considered budget)...regardless, not being able to control the volume on them kind of sucks. Other than that though, they sounds pretty good, but I also don't love the fit in the ears. I swap between them and some Bose SoundSports, which are wired between the two buds, which I like the fit better. I also have the Amazon Echo Buds, which kind of suck, but have some cool noise cancelling, and then I also have a pair of Libery ear buds I Kickstarted ages ago which aren't half bad.
 

saintnick912

GINO!
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 30, 2004
4,884
Somerville, MA
I've had some Jabra 65t Active for 3-4 years now. The first set had a defective left one, but they replaced it in warranty. I don't use them super often in the last two years, but the battery has been good and they fit well. I don't worry about wearing them outside in weather.

Also got some Anker ones for like $30-35 at some point when the Jabra were in for repair, and they were fine. Worse fit, worse sound, worse battery, but fine and especially for the price. Might be worth trying out something like that if you're not sure about the form factor.

I still think the Airpods "cigarette hanging out of your ear" look is ridiculous.
 

Marceline

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
6,384
Canton, MA
You might want to consider Aftershokz bone conduction headphones. They're not in your ears so you can still hear ambient noise.

Personally, I hate having anything in my ears for an extended period of time. I wear mine all day long and they don't bother me. Plus I only charge them every few days.
The Aftershokz are great for running (so you can still hear traffic/surroundings) and listening to podcasts. I use them a lot. But they are not my 1st choice for listening to music due to the poor bass/low end response on them (a limitation of the technology).

It's worth noting that many of the newer earbuds also have an "ambient sound" mode that passes external sound through so you can still hear stuff. So there is no need to have just 1 earbud in, if you are finding yourself doing this, just get one of the ones that has the ambient sound function (Apple Airpods Pro will do this).

I've been using the Sony WF-1000XM4 and they're great. They have the option for noise canceling and for ambient sound passthrough so depending on what I am doing I can just tap to switch what I want the behavior to be. And the sound quality is excellent. It would be my first choice for anyone not 100% in the Apple ecosystem.
 

glennhoffmania

meat puppet
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 25, 2005
8,410,574
NY
I just got the Galaxy Bud Pros and there are issues. Sometimes tapping to pause or start music doesn't work. Taking them out doesn't always pause. I read that these are known issues but they seems to have been known for a long time with no fix. Does anyone have these and have any fixes?
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2008
3,891
New England
I am an AirPods Pro fanboy. I was gifted a pair. The noise canceling microphones are perfect if you’re on Zoom calls all day from a Mac or iPhone. The noise canceling earbuds are great for drowning out the din of a noisy house or office. The audio quality is… fine. My only regret is that the battery doesn’t last all day, so I bought a second pair. I’m not mad.
 

begranter

Couldn't get into a real school
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 9, 2007
2,341
The Jabra 75t came up as well when I was looking around, interesting. No reason to be a little squeamish about buying used ear buds? They have some 85ts available for $80 too. Hmm.
As others have mentioned, don't go to the 85ts. I looked into them with the desire for wireless charging, but the reviews were consistent that they were a big step back, in particular their size, shape and weight. I originally had the 65ts for a while and they're great but, in addition to a couple extra features, I appreciate the 75ts have usbc charging standard. One less cable to carry around.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
11,255
Ah I get what you are saying...I got confused because you can no longer purchase the regular Pixel Buds from Google, so my faulty assumption was that the A-series "replaced" them...which they kind of did, but would be considered a budget version (lol at $99 ear buds being considered budget)...regardless, not being able to control the volume on them kind of sucks. Other than that though, they sounds pretty good, but I also don't love the fit in the ears. I swap between them and some Bose SoundSports, which are wired between the two buds, which I like the fit better. I also have the Amazon Echo Buds, which kind of suck, but have some cool noise cancelling, and then I also have a pair of Libery ear buds I Kickstarted ages ago which aren't half bad.
To follow up on this, we finally have clarity: the Pixel Buds 2 was in fact discontinued, and the new flagship Pixel Bid Pro will launch this summer (and touch volume adjustment will be included, as will noise-cancellation) at a $199 price point:

https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/11/23065104/google-pixel-buds-pro-features-price-release-date-io

View: https://twitter.com/verge/status/1524464759361478656
 

McBride11

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,379
Durham, NC
Highly enjoy / recommend the Beats Powerbeats Pro. They are over the ear style, Airpods and other non over ear buds always fall out for me. So these are great for exercise. Also work great for phone calls, sound quality is good and other people don't have issues hearing even when I'm walking outside / down the street.
 

cournoyer

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2012
503
Enfield, Connecticut
The Aftershokz are great for running (so you can still hear traffic/surroundings) and listening to podcasts. I use them a lot. But they are not my 1st choice for listening to music due to the poor bass/low end response on them (a limitation of the technology).

It's worth noting that many of the newer earbuds also have an "ambient sound" mode that passes external sound through so you can still hear stuff. So there is no need to have just 1 earbud in, if you are finding yourself doing this, just get one of the ones that has the ambient sound function (Apple Airpods Pro will do this).

I've been using the Sony WF-1000XM4 and they're great. They have the option for noise canceling and for ambient sound passthrough so depending on what I am doing I can just tap to switch what I want the behavior to be. And the sound quality is excellent. It would be my first choice for anyone not 100% in the Apple ecosystem.
I strongly considered these. I also almost went with the Sony Linkbuds for the ambient factor in the office but they look a bit silly and I think a lot of people had fitting issues with them. Ended up preordering the Sony Linkbuds S which are supposed to come in Sunday. $80 less and smaller than the WF-1000XM4, albeit slightly less sound quality. Curious to see how they are, I love the features that come with it. Would you say the major feature for you is the ease of switching the noise canceling/ambient sound?
 

Marceline

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
6,384
Canton, MA
I strongly considered these. I also almost went with the Sony Linkbuds for the ambient factor in the office but they look a bit silly and I think a lot of people had fitting issues with them. Ended up preordering the Sony Linkbuds S which are supposed to come in Sunday. $80 less and smaller than the WF-1000XM4, albeit slightly less sound quality. Curious to see how they are, I love the features that come with it. Would you say the major feature for you is the ease of switching the noise canceling/ambient sound?
Yeah, the ability to just tap on the left earbud to quickly switch noise cancelling/ambient sound is great and I use it constantly. Like I'll be working with them in "off" mode (no ANC/no ambient sound), but then can just tap and go to ambient sound if I have to go upstairs and interact with wife/kids.

I bought my WF-1000XM4 as a refurb off ebay for $150. Couldn't even tell they weren't new, honestly. The full price on them is a bit crazy.

The Linkbuds S look interesting. Since they have a vent to pass through the sound I would suspect the ambient function would sound better. The reviews say the overall sound quality on them is worse though, so I guess I'd have to try them. Interested to hear your thoughts once you've tried them out.

Edit: no ebay deals on Linkbuds S yet, still too new. I may try them once they show up there so I can compare to the XM4s.
 
Last edited:

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2008
3,891
New England
If you're looking for a deal on AirPods Pro, consider the Beats Fit Pro. They're sonically and functionally identical to the AirPods Pro. They have the "ear flap" design so they stay in better when you're running/exercising. They're sweat resistant. They're typically available for $99 refurbished. The Android app allows for easy connectivity if you're an Android user. If you're an Apple user, it's got the same connectivity as AirPods.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
18,363
If you're looking for a deal on AirPods Pro, consider the Beats Fit Pro. They're sonically and functionally identical to the AirPods Pro. They have the "ear flap" design so they stay in better when you're running/exercising. They're sweat resistant. They're typically available for $99 refurbished. The Android app allows for easy connectivity if you're an Android user. If you're an Apple user, it's got the same connectivity as AirPods.
So I'm looking for an earbud to sleep with. I often listen to white noise type sounds or want to go to bed with the Celtics game in an ear. I have the normal AirPods 3's would these be better for sleeping on your side?
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2008
3,891
New England
So I'm looking for an earbud to sleep with. I often listen to white noise type sounds or want to go to bed with the Celtics game in an ear. I have the normal AirPods 3's would these be better for sleeping on your side?
Hard to say. I don’t sleep with buds in or have the AirPods 3, so I don't have much to compare to. I'd say that the Beats stick out from your ear about an inch, so it might not be comfortable for side sleeping. Also, the part that sticks out is the button you press for Siri/noise mode/volume control, so it's likely that you'll be continuously pressing that. Have you thought about ditching the buds and getting a HomePod mini for the bedroom? Or would that disturb your roommate/partner too much?
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
18,363
Hard to say. I don’t sleep with buds in or have the AirPods 3, so I don't have much to compare to. I'd say that the Beats stick out from your ear about an inch, so it might not be comfortable for side sleeping. Also, the part that sticks out is the button you press for Siri/noise mode/volume control, so it's likely that you'll be continuously pressing that. Have you thought about ditching the buds and getting a HomePod mini for the bedroom? Or would that disturb your roommate/partner too much?
thanks for the info that’s helpful. You nailed it on the last one, the wife not a fan of listening to anything at bed time so that’s out.