Received my new ear-canal headphones today. First thing I noticed was how comfortable they feel. Wow. I'm stoked!
This was always the biggest problem with other headphones that are inserted into the ear. Some would make my ears so sore after only 15 or 20 minutes that I could't wait to yank 'em out.
Sennheiser uses an extra soft moldable rubber that feels like you're wearing slippers.
Over the years, I've tried a dozen different styles of in-ear headphones, and these sound the clearest (by a considerable margin). Listening to a sample of test-songs, I'm hearing things I've never heard before.
Some reviewers complain of excessive bass. While these do have the strongest bass I've ever heard (in a canal headphone, which normally have weak bass), I don't find their bass excessive at all. Rather, it seems just right. (Listening to Pinback now.)
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Let me say I would never pay $50 for these headphones (M$RP, tho many places have them listed for $80), cuz this type of headphone is too easy to break. However, I feel $30 is a reasonable price, and $15 (after rebate) is excellent, especially if you use headphones much as I do.
The only negative I can see is the cord seems a little short. I would've liked another 6 inches, maybe 12, tho no more.
I've also never worn headphones that seal your ears so completely (from external noise). I mean, when the music stops, I can hear my breathing. Eating would not be pretty with these puppies.
So I'd have no problem recommending them (especially at only $15). Great performance at a bargain price, and I never expected them to feel so comfortable. That's what really got me stoked.
I noticed, if I lift my ear slightly (with my other hand) like I do when inserting ear-plugs, the headphones slide in and seal perfectly. Here's a good primer on "canalphones" from Macworld, written January, 2007. A quote from this article (at HeadRoom) says:
Ear canal headphones (ECH) are nothing like lowly 'earbud' designs. These miniaturized cutting-edge microdriver speakers actually lessen the listening level required to achieve ultra-clear musical detail and full sonic impact. In truth, high-end ECHs are amongst the world's very best sounding headphones at the price.
I'm starting to realize the other in-ear headphones I've used over the years were known as ear-bud headphones, not ECH. So this would be the first pair of ear canal headphones I've tried.
Sennheiser is a German company (est. 1945) with a stellar reputation for the design and manufacture of high-end audio components (such as headphones). Hard to go wrong with anything they make. So when you find a bargain... The only questions remaining involve durability and,
"Will I get the rebate check?"
For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » ear canal headphone