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Portable Wireless Headphones - Recommendations?

giradman

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Hello All - I'm in the market for a new set of wireless, i.e. Bluetooth (BT), 'headphones' - so, would like to introduce a new thread directed at this topic - also would suggest to a mod that the title of this forum should be changed by at least eliminating the "....1, 2, and 3..." since there are so many more recent iPad models.

Now I've not done an extensive search to see if this issue has been discussed in another thread, but would like this to be a 'general' discussion of 'headphone' choices and limited to wireless BT options only (just the future), and also an ongoing thread as 'new' devices are introduced.

What prompted creation of this thread was: 1) My old Rockfish BT headphones (first image below) are 'falling apart' (now 4-5 years old); and 2) AirPods introduction (although a 6-week back order on the Apple website!) - just read several reviews of these new wireless 'ear-buds' in the newest edition of MacWorld (arrived yesterday on my iPad Zinio app) (second image below).

My criteria for this thread are few: 1) Wireless options only, i.e. BT; and 2) Portability, i.e. to take on a trip and/or to use in motion (e.g. fitness center). The term 'headphones' is an umbrella description that can include any of the devices listed in the quote below (Source) - and the link given actually lists more 'variants' - another issue is standard 'headphones' vs. 'sound cancelling' devices - SO, this will be a thread about 'Ear Gear' - wireless and portable - please participate - what do you have now, like or dislike, preferences as to types of 'headphones', and any other pertinent comments. Thanks for any posts offered. Dave :)

Earbuds Headphones
In-Ear Headphones
On-Ear Headphones
Over-Ear Headphones
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twerppoet

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My current favorite are Apple's AirPods. I don't suppose that's a surprise. Like every bluetooth headphone I've owned, they are not perfect, but the benifits have outweight the occationaly problems. Those problems have been limited to Siri occationally not working. It's genrealy solved by putting the Airpods back in their case, and then back in my ears. It seems to be the equivilant of a restart.

The only other bluetooth headset I actually liked were the iFrogz Audio Coda Forte Bluetooth Headphone that I picked up for sale at Staples. These are medium sized over the ear sets. Despite not being ideal for walking and exercising, I liked them enough to wear them anyway. Unfortunatly I had a tendence to move them above my ears when not listening, Micky Mouse Ear style. They would go flying when I forgot they were there and took off my hat. Eventually they broke.

Every other earphone I've tried has had one or more of these problems, to the point of being seriously annoying.
  • Sound/vibration conducted to ear when cable rubbed on neck or collar.
  • Sound of cable vibrating in slight brezze conducted to ear.
  • Difficult or impossible to find controls on headphones, and didn't do what you expected them to do.
  • Random noise caused by my phone being in a pocket, or just a bit too far away.
  • Muddy sound, like it's slightly muffled.
 
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giradman

giradman

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My current favorite are Apple's AirPods. I don't suppose that's a surprise. Like every bluetooth headphone I've owned, they are not perfect, but the benifits have outweight the occationaly problems.............

Hi TP - thanks for your excellent response - reading the reviews on the AirPods emphasized that the devices stayed in your ears despite your activities - just hard to believe that one size fits all? Would you agree? I'd loved to carry a less bulkier set of 'headphones' on a trip that would work as described in the reviews that I just read. For myself, these would mainly be used on a treadmill at a moderate walking pace. Thanks for any additional comments. Dave :)
 

twerppoet

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If you have a set of Apple's EarPods, the fit is similar. Experience shows the AirPods are less likely to fall out, probably because there is no cord tugging on them.

As for the fit, it depends. They happen to fit me quite well. I've heard others claim that EarPods are terrible fits. I've also heard a few say thart despite not being able to tolerate EarPods, the AirPods are working for them. Again, probalby because the lack of cords lets them sit more naturally in the ear.

Because AirPods and EarPods don't seal in the ear, the fit is a bit less finicky than the usuall rubber tipped earphones; but, in the end, there really isn't any way to tell without trying them. If EarPods are an toleralble fit, the odds are decent you'll find AirPods reasonably comfortable.
 
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giradman

giradman

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Below are two posts in Poisonivy's closed thread that are pertinent to this one - just wanted to include here - Dave :)

Poisonivy Post: Hi all,
I'm thinking of being some head phones.
I don't like in ear ones and any I buy would need to be comfy as I will wear them laying in bed mostly.
Hopefully Wireless and not madly expensive.

Any suggestions/advice would be great.

Twerppoet: I liked these, while they lasted. They broke the forth time I forgot they were on my head, took off my hat, and sent them flying. But that shouldn't be a problem around home and in bed.

iFrogz Audio Coda Forte Bluetooth Headphone

I got then on sale at Staples about a year ago. They are a bit harder to find now; but generally les expensive.
 
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giradman

giradman

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AirPods - Checkout Twerppoet's excellent thread HERE, if this 'headphone' option is of interest - thanks TP - :) Dave
 
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giradman

giradman

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Listening Using 'Ear-Gear' and Hearing Loss - Some Basic Facts

With the increasing use of headphones/ear buds/etc, some understanding of potential hearing damage is important - about 20% of teens these days have some degree of hearing loss (Source), and in one study, 38% of rock musicians have damage to their ears (Source).

Damage to hearing from sound relates to a number of factors but most importantly to the source, power level (measured in decibels), and the duration of the exposure. Sources of sound are ambient, environmental, or from sources listen to with or without 'ear-gear' - the first two pics below show a variety of sources and their intensity (i.e. 'loudness') in decibels (dB); the decibel is based on a logarithmic scale - a doubling of sound is only a 3 dB difference; going from 10 to 20 dB is a 10X increase in loudness, and from say 20 to 60 dB a 10,000X intensity increased. A critical level is 85 dB (see third chart) - finally, the higher the intensity of sound, especially beyond 85 dB, the more attention should be paid to limiting the duration of the exposure (last pic below).

SO, if 'ear-gear' is used, be careful of the sound levels set and the duration of listening - and for devices that do not completely eliminate ambient noise, then be careful about 'turning up' the sound to hear better - just might in a more dangerous intensity level. And for other activities, e.g. job or hobby related, mowing the lawn, etc. wear some type of ear protection - for myself in my basement shop, I have well over a half dozen ear protection devices and usually use 'over the ears' muffs when using my louder tools. Dave :)
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Diane B

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If you have a set of Apple's EarPods, the fit is similar. Experience shows the AirPods are less likely to fall out, probably because there is no cord tugging on them.

As for the fit, it depends. They happen to fit me quite well. I've heard others claim that EarPods are terrible fits. I've also heard a few say thart despite not being able to tolerate EarPods, the AirPods are working for them. Again, probalby because the lack of cords lets them sit more naturally in the ear.

Because AirPods and EarPods don't seal in the ear, the fit is a bit less finicky than the usuall rubber tipped earphones; but, in the end, there really isn't any way to tell without trying them. If EarPods are an toleralble fit, the odds are decent you'll find AirPods reasonably comfortable.

I really like my Airpods for the reasons mentioned in Twerppoet's posts. I have a pair of Sennheiser's over the ears and loved them but gave to my husband because the convenience outweighed the somewhat better sound. Still, i find the Pods pretty decent.

Being able to pull one to stop the audio is very convenient when someone wants to talk or you need to hear something else. If you don't like to use Siri to adjust volume if you have an Iwatch you can use the playing now app in your dock to use crown of watch to control volume and the app to tap for next song. If using for podcasts it changes to allow you to forward in podcast as. In normal controls for podcasts. There is also an app called Louder! That can be used as a complication on face of watch to adjust volume.

I am able to use while doing pilates on a machine or gardening--bought the STM silicone cord to attach them 'just in case' but have found they fit my ears quite well and have found no need to use the cords. I wasn't crazy about the EarPods comfort but I find I forget I have these in--go figure.

A friend who had the Air Pods also just bought the Beatsx wireless and likes them because they have the adapters for your ears, have the controls for volume and calls on the cord. So these may better suit you, they have the same chip to make pairing effortless or switching from device to device,
 
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giradman

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Well, I started this thread at the start of 2017 and several have responded about liking the Apple AirPods - now I've not visited a 'mortar & brick store' to try out this new Apple offering nor the many other 'in the ear' options (i.e. ear buds, etc.) - just have never liked these stick in the ear offerings, just a personal issue, I guess.

But my old BT headphones needed replacement and spring has arrived - time for Susan & I to start traveling again and I need 'something' new, BT, and portable - tonight, went to a local company across the VA state line, i.e. Crutchfield, and placed an order for the set shown below - had some credit ($10 only) - 2 day free shipping to me. A BT 'on the ear' headphones that fold and comes w/ a soft travel case - reviews good there and also on Amazon - hope to enjoy, and looking forward to their arrival on Thursday - we're going to Florida Saturday, so will take along and try them out! Dave :)
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Thomas1977

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I think the Apple AirPods are way to expensive. I was looking around Walmart today and saw EarPods for about $30. I wasn't really looking for anything but I like looking at technology.
 
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giradman

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I think the Apple AirPods are way to expensive. I was looking around Walmart today and saw AirPods for about $30. I wasn't really looking for anything but I like looking at technology.

Thomas - you really need to be careful w/ your terminology, i.e. you first mention Apple AirPods as being too expensive, then imply you saw the same AirPods for $30 @ Walmart - I'm assuming that the latter is not the Apple model - pictured below are screen captures from the Walmart & Apple websites (obviously Walmart using a 3rd party is cheating the public) - in the future, be more specific in what your are stating. Dave :)
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giradman

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I'm assuming Thomas meant EarPods.

Agree - so did I, but someone reading that post w/ the same terms used might think Walmart had a special sale on, just saying that as written the post is mis-leading to 'un-suspecting' readers? Hopefully, Thomas can do a simple edit. Dave :)
 

Thomas1977

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Ok like a whatever. I think it was EarPods then. I thought they were the same thing. They looked similar but nothing like the posted pictures. I did edit the post.
 
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giradman

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I think the Apple AirPods are way to expensive. I was looking around Walmart today and saw EarPods for about $30. I wasn't really looking for anything but I like looking at technology.

Thanks Thomas for the edit - for those interested in Ear Buds, just read a review today in my Zinio mag issue of MacWorld HERE on the BeatsX offering, for those interested - pic below - the reviewer seems to prefer these over her Apple AirPods (of course, Apple now owns Beats) - both are about the same price - might check on Amazon - my newest BT headphone addition is not as portable as thought. Dave :)
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