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New earbuds = No Like

The_Chief

Accept no imitations!
  • Nov 17, 2009
    15,953
    18,787
    Manchester, Tennessee
    I don't know what it is with the push to further miniaturize truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds. They seemed to be at the good balance a few years ago: a balance between small & unimposing and functional. Perhaps it was the Apple Airpods, with the little white dingalings hanging out of people's ears, that have driven innovation to extremes.

    At any rate, I haven't found a pair in years that didn't fall straight out of my ears. I had the Sony WF-1000XM3s, which were a good balance of function and fashion. I then tried the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which are little dots that, once in the ear, have to fall out or I can't pull them out. I decided to move up to the Sony WF-1000XM5s, which aren't much better. The little dots for control surfaces are small targets... and they quickly work their way lose and I have to catch them before they fall to the ground.

    Are there any earbuds out there that (a) have the latest advances in connectivity and quality; (b) don't have dingalings hanging out of ears; and (c) actually stay IN THE EARS while being easy to control??? Or am I asking way too much? I've tried various eartips and they're either too big or end up stuck in my ear canal after I remove the earbud. It doesn't bother me if people notice that I'm wearing earbuds... I am, after all, wearing earbuds!
     
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    I don't know what it is with the push to further miniaturize truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds. They seemed to be at the good balance a few years ago: a balance between small & unimposing and functional. Perhaps it was the Apple Airpods, with the little white dingalings hanging out of people's ears, that have driven innovation to extremes.

    At any rate, I haven't found a pair in years that didn't fall straight out of my ears. I had the Sony WF-1000XM3s, which were a good balance of function and fashion. I then tried the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which are little dots that, once in the ear, have to fall out or I can't pull them out. I decided to move up to the Sony WF-1000XM5s, which aren't much better. The little dots for control surfaces are small targets... and they quickly work their way lose and I have to catch them before they fall to the ground.

    Are there any earbuds out there that (a) have the latest advances in connectivity and quality; (b) don't have dingalings hanging out of ears; and (c) actually stay IN THE EARS while being easy to control??? Or am I asking way too much? I've tried various eartips and they're either too big or end up stuck in my ear canal after I remove the earbud. It doesn't bother me if people notice that I'm wearing earbuds... I am, after all, wearing earbuds!

    I agree with you 100%. I gave the earbuds I got with my Pixel 6 to my wife.

    I'm back to my wired USB-C earbuds I got with my Pixel 4

    Amazon.com
     
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    I have two sets of Bose earbuds. The older set I believe were called SoundSports and the newer QuietComfort. Both sets deliver excellent sound and I have worn them through my work day mowing lawns and countless miles riding my bike with zero problem of them falling out of my ears. All ears are different so they come with a variety of sizes to fit the ear. Your mileage may vary but if I lost a set I'd immediately buy back the same buds.
     
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    Thanks @olbriar I tried Bose but, for me, the whole brand is just too bass-y. Bose just doesn't have the midrange and crisp highs that I prefer in my music. It's great that they stay in once in place... and I'm glad they work for you. I appreciate your suggestion.
    I suffer hearing loss Chief. I need the bass that Bose provides. I never thought about them being heavy bass units but I suspect they are. They are perfect for me in sound and wear. I'd sure not pay the price they are asking if they didn't sound great to me. If you have a chance to try some other top line offers, I do think they are better designed for sound reproduction and fit vs the cheaper offerings. Good luck in your quest and I wish I had a suggestion to offer.
     
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    Thanks @olbriar I tried Bose but, for me, the whole brand is just too bass-y. Bose just doesn't have the midrange and crisp highs that I prefer in my music.
    That describes my reaction to Sony's XM5 over-ears when I tried them: muddy, bass-heavy and lacking in detail (they may not actually be lacking, possibly they've just over-cooked the bass so much that it overpowers the rest). The XM4s definitely sounded better to me.

    Of course you can probably EQ these things out, but testing in airport electronics stores doesn't let you experiment with that. And that's the catch: it may be that you can use something like Wavelet to correct the sound of the Bose to your tastes, but you won't know without buying them. So yeah, safer to buy something that works for you out of the box.

    (Wavelet is a system-wide EQ app that includes profiles for a wide range of headphones to bring their response to the Harman target curve, plus a 9-band EQ to further tune to your tastes. So while most manufacturers' apps include EQ options Wavelet is more flexible. I've always been sceptical of equalisers, but with some headphones I've found this useful).

    Unfortunately I can't wear earbuds at all (the skin in my ears is too sensitive, and I rapidly suffer irritation or even infection if I do), so I'm afraid I can't offer any recommendations myself.
     
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    My over-ear XM5 cans will look kinda geeky in the gym... but what do I care? I'm not there to impress anyone or pick up women LOL so I'll get some extra use out of them... and yes, I use the Sony Headphones app to adjust the EQ to my liking. I don't think there's a set of headphones or earbuds out there that will sound perfect to everyone out of the box. Thanks for the tip about Wavelet, I'll have to check it out.
     
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    I still use my Buds Live. They still work, and while needing cleaning sometimes to avoid the 'one is louder than the other' have stood the test of time for me so far. They're just the right fit for me, and have no noticeable battery degradation yet. I have had them oulast any other true wireless types, including AirPods. I think the longest I've had them in between charges was 5 hours, and I haven't heard how they say 'low battery' yet as I haven't been able to drain them enough.

    Thankfully they aren't obvious enough to attract curious animals. I have heard people's stories of having lost an AirPod to a dog, and have seen some swallowed by deer at a petting zoo, but I haven't had that issue just yet.

    I got a set of Bose SoundSports Pro, but they lacked a useful feature that I would have expected from a $299 set of buds to have standard, and that's voice control. I can't tell you how useful having the ability to just say 'hi bixby pause music' is.
     
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    UPDATE:

    The XM3s crapped out and I returned them. I went ahead and bought both the WF-1000XM5 earbuds and the WH-1000XM5 headphones (the Darling Bride wore out her XM3 headphones and broke them: I passed my XM4s to her). Now she's complaining that the XM4s are too tight on her head and hurt* - so I had to order her some XM3s and I'll sell the 4s. All I can say is that the reviews aren't kidding: the noise canceling on these things is almost scary!

    *- I suppose that means the 4s is strong with her :p
     
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