I'm very particular about headphones. Not the sound, the sound is almost always fine anyway, but the fit of the phones. In the office, I have fancy over-ears that are large enough to cover my ears and soft enough so I don't have to worry about wearing them all day.
But for on-the-go, I prefer earbuds, mainly for their better isolation, both inwards and outwards. But when I'm moving, or speaking, or eating, most earbuds will fall out, or at least lose their fit so the outside world intrudes. I don't seem to be the only one with that problem.. Naturally, I want cables as well, and I prefer to have a microphone for calls.
Many years ago, I used Beyerdynamics fitted earbuds, which were perfect. They're molded to your ears by a specialist. But they're also quite expensive, and after breaking the headphones once and then losing one of the fitted pieces, I wanted a slightly less expensive optionOf course, if money is no object, there are much higher-end options..
Some years later I found a model of Soul Pulse Earbuds, and those were perfect, too. Waterproof, great fit, microphone, inverted-design so no chance of losing them, and not very expensive either. Naturally, when I wanted to replace my old ones, I found out that this model was discontinued. So after buying the last specimens I could find, I had a problem: what to do once those break.
Well, they're starting to breakor get lost, so I need to find good replacements. As any normal person would do, I ordered several different models that look good and am now testing them allYou'll notice that I won't compare on sound quality. This is because sound quality does not matter to me. They all sound equally good, or equally good enough, at least..
Amazon Basics Sport In-Ear Headphones
They are surprisingly not very cheap, compared to the other options in this lineup. However, they also bring with them everything that's necessary: earbuds, different ear fittings, ear wrap hoop and a carrying pouch. They come in an attractive brown cardboard box and there's an excellent manual that essentially tells you to put them into your ear.
Fit is good, not great, but I like them. They are very round, so I think I could wear them for a long time. Having worn them for a while, I noticed that they are actually too round, so they slip out of my ears all the time. Not exactly what I was looking for, and much worse than the JLab ones, which are rubbery and well-fitting.
There has come up a sound issue, actually. There's a slight rattle in one of the headphones. I'll have to wait a while until I'm sure it's recurring.
Avantree TR504 Wired Earbuds For Sports
I am very positively surprised by these. The cheap-looking site turned out a great product with excellent fit. They're quite bare, however: there is literally nothing in the box apart from the headphones. If you need different rubber earpiece-fitting-thingies, you better have some left from other headphonesAs you'd expect, I have a collection of about 100 of them..
Right now, I have also no idea where I put them... soo... good start?
They're also very round and comfortable to wear for a long time. And, so far, they managed to survive in my jacket pocket for some time, which is an important benchmark.
Finally, they are also blue.
I must say, as I'm wearing them more, I like them less. The very round form makes them slip out of my ears easily. So, not recommended.
JLAB JLab Fit
These ones are very branded, even on the rubber ear tips themselves. I'd thought that the rather sharp edges of the logo would be a problem, but so far, it's not. The added-logo-studdedness is balanced by their full rubber enclosure which I like very much. Unfortunately, they feel a tiny little bit too large for me, so I'm not sure I'll be able to wear them for a long time. There is a second set of rubber, uh, wrappings, maybe these will help. Funnily enough, the rubber covers don't fit the headphones very well, but they do fit my ears very well. They stick in and don't fall out, so that's nice. The rest of the assembly is a bit flimsy, but that's ok.
MEE audio, EP-M6PROG2-BK M6 PRO
The most expensive headphones in this lineup mark themselves as "in-ear monitors". The sound is brilliant, just like for each of the other ones. They have great features, like the pouch they come with, or the replaceable cablesnot that I'd know where to get such a specific cable without the headphones, or the second non-microphoned cable, or the included 6.3mm adapter.
The real gimmick however are the included ComplyFoam tips, which sounds like an excellent (and expensive) idea. And I'd say it is. The tips stay in my ears, they shield sound excellently and they don't become very uncomfortable during longer use. So recommendation on this one.
However, the actual headphone fit is not as good. The earpieces have rather sharp edges that become unfomfortable over time, so I'll have to give them a bit of a sanding. Also, they tend do slip out. I'm not sure I like them well enough for their price.
MEE Audio M6P2-WT G2
They are white. They fit ok. They sound ok.
I think I don't know where I put them, already.
Vivanco Sport Outdoor
I didn't even order this one right away, because there are so many other good ones. And the reduced price is not a good sign, given that I don't want to buy up the last few items again.
But now I've tried them and they are really good. Rubber coating all around, strong hang wire at the back, great fit for my ears. They even have volume buttons on the cable. They look quite silly, because they're much heavier than the other ones, but I don't really care about that.
In summary: I am surprised and astonished by the wide selection of great products, all of which fulfil my requirements. None have fatal flaws, except maybe the edgy pro onesI am referring to the price, naturally.. Most of them are fine, some are better, some less. The most important thing about them is still the fit, so they won't fall out of my ears, and there are some great options there.
For the foreseeable future, I'll have no problems with headphones, and that makes me happy.