I take my iPod everywhere with me, but I just got fed up with the rubbish Apple earphones that fell out of my ears if I moved at all and generally sounded a bit tinny. I have had a couple of sets of Philips earbuds now. These are the ones I have at the moment and they've been going strong for 2 years.
~~~ Product Description ~~~
These earbuds come in a sealed white and clear plastic box which is sort of oblong/oval in shape - kind of looks like a giant pill. The neat, clean packaging was something which attracted me to them in the first place... along with the price. They were on offer at £7.99.
Inside the box you get the earbuds which are connected by a long and very, very thin cable; 3 sets of rubber ear-bud thingys in 3 sizes and a little rectangular carrying case.
The earphone bits themselves are black with little silver bits on the outside. The cables are black too and the main length is about 1 metre long which is huge! When I say they are thin, I really mean it. They are about 3mm thick. It feels like they could just snap in your hands. The good thing about them being so fine is that when you have the buds in your ears there is very little weight from the wires.
~~~ Using the earphones ~~~
The earphones connect to your Mp3 player/iPod/laptop etc using a 3.5mm mini stereo jack. This means that they will fit into any device which has a headphone connections.
On opening the packet I stupidly selected the larges ear buds - my logic was that the bigger they are, the better I can JAM them into my ears so that they don't fall out. Mistake. They were far too big to sit comfortably in my ears. They fell out easily. I changed over to the middle sized ones and these were much better, although I have since used the small ones too and these are great.
The largest ear buds are just over 1cm in diameter (for the Dumbo and Big Ears amongst you), the middle sized ones are about 7mm (for the average Joe) and the small ones (for dainty little Thumbelina types) are about 5mm approximately.
To put the bud on to the earphone you simply push it on. The bud is a little rubber cup shape which adheres to the moulded and ridged earphone very easily. To take a bud off and change it you simply pull it off. Easy!
When you've chosen your preferred size of bud, you just push it on to the earphone, plug the jack into your musical device and you're ready to rock and roll! (cliché I know, I couldn't resist)
To make sure that you are getting the correct stereo surround effect, Philips have very helpfully put little ridged dots on the phone that goes in your left ear. This means that you can tell which is which without even looking!
~~~ My experience ~~~
I'm no sound expert and there are people who are qualified to judge these things, however, I feel I should discuss the sound quality from my own novice and uninformed perspective. For a start, because the bud goes into your ear, it manages to block out almost all other noise pollution, thus making these a great choice for commuters travelling on busy busses and trains. I myself used them on the horribly busy morning train to uni and I could hear my music perfectly while being completely unaware of the din going on around me!
The quality of sound you get with these earphones is so much better than the Apple earphones I got with my iPod. Now, these guys are small...tiny infact which means less reverb/quicker vibration, so I didn't expect the bass to be particularly powerful. However, it IS powerful. No it's probably not the absolute best bass sound you can get but for the size of these earphones, it's pretty good.
The bass sounds rich enough to really pull you into the music - think smooth dark chocolate. The mid-range of these earphones is very good too and they do well in representing the tones and pitches in the music. The treble sounds towards the high end of the spectrum are very good as, I suppose, you can expect from a small earphone. These earphones do well in giving a clear, crackle free sound. The sounds blend really well and at no time has anything sounded tinny or of poor quality. I would say that these earphones really excel in representing the range of sounds realistically. All of my music sounds just as good through these as it does through my (very high quality) speakers. To be honest I don't think you could ask for more in a set of earphones.
One thing which these earphones lack which some may find off-putting is a volume control. However, it is no real loss because you can simply control the volume using your Mp3 player anyway.
~~~ Technical Specifications ~~~
Although I am not an expert, some real experts might find the technical specs useful.
From http:// reviews.cnet.com/headphones/ philips-shg5000-headphones/ 1707-7877_7-32340307.html (remove spaces)
Type Headphones: Binaural
Headphones Technology: Dynamic
Connectivity Technology: Wired
Sound Output Mode: Stereo
Frequency Response: -23494.0 Hz
Sensitivity: 102.0 dB
Impedance: 16.0 Ohm
Diaphragm Mylar - 0.4 in
Magnet Material: Neodymium
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
These are the perfect earphones for people on the go, travelling in busy situations etc. The earbuds stay in well when you select the correct size and the earphones produce excellent sound which have greatly exceeded my expectations for these tiny earbuds.
These are certainly a good purchase and will last a long time as long as you look after the very thin cable!
Mine cost me £7.99 on offer and they are available online for £14.99.