The Most Durable Earbuds Out There

Although sound quality is often our number one priority when it comes to buying headphones or earbuds, a lot of people can’t simply look for good sound quality, and have to take other aspects into account, one of those aspects is the durability. If you often go running with your earbuds, or head to a skate or BMX park, or go to the gym for a workout, yours probably take a bit of a beating. Lots of people out there have had some really bad experiences finding durable earbuds, so I’m on a mission to help you out.

Earbuds or Headphones for Durability?

Firstly, a few words on Headphones Vs Earbuds for their durability, I would definitely go for the latter. Headphones which come in a can style, have an over the head band and are made of plastic are more likely to break, and there’s nothing worse than snapped headphones. Earbuds are much more flexible and fit right into your ear, if you drop them they’re probably not going to crack.

So what are you looking for? A sturdy material, flexibility, and a build quality that means they’re not going to break on you after a few days of use. If those are the qualities you’re looking for in durable earbuds, look no further and try on one of these bad boys for size:

Even though the audiophile in me doesn’t always want to recommend Skullcandy for their audio abilities, they do make some pretty decent models, especially in the price bracket. These are called Titans, so you’d hope you can rely on them! The build quality is great and their metal housing means they’re not going to break on you after being dropped on the floor. They also have a thick cord which stands the test of being pulled about. These definitely live up to the name (I’m just waiting for the “Spartan” model to be released now).

These JBudz are truly built to be durable. They’re not going to give the same sound quality as some models you can buy but you can see just from the photos how sturdy these really are with a rugged cord and metal buds. Not dissimilar in looks from the Skullcandy model, these are not as well reviewed, but you can bet your bottom dollar this model will take some punishment, and are definitely built to last.

If you’re looking to retain as much sound quality as you can from your durable earphones, these Klipsch buds fit the bill. There isn’t as much of a reason I can recommend them as being durable, but I have heard people use these for years in some testing circumstances and they’ve stood the test of time. They’re sturdily built, I’m not sure they’d pass the “will it blend” test, but if you want to retain as much audio capacity as you can they get my recommendation.

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The Best Graffiti Headphones

Graffiti is officially cool. There was a time when it was mainly considered a nuisance, and in large portions of society perhaps it still is, but nobody is doubting the artistic merit of Graffiti. It is an art form no matter what people say, just ask Banksy and other street artists. Of course with the popularity of these guys there has been an influx of products onto the market with graffiti designs, and lets face it, they look cool. I’m writing this to show you the best graffiti headphones on the market, I’m sure you’ll agree there are some really cool designs in here!

I love these headphones! You might need to click on the image above where you can see a zoomed-in version and look at all the amazing detail. Whether you’re into indie rock, heavy metal or hip-hop, these headphones are not only a great way to listen to your tunes in style whilst on the go, but they’re a way to make a statement. These cans are functional too, a built in microphone means you can talk to people on your smartphone as well as listening to songs. Described by the manufacturer as both lightweight and durable, these also have a long cord so you won’t have to worry about keeping your device close to be able to listen.

Calling all beats fans! The above are not a set of headphones, be warned, and if you have read through my site you may know that I’m not the biggest fan of beats, and think that there are other headphones and earbuds on the market that are far better quality available for less money than Dre’s beats. That said, they’re certainly not poor cans, and this awesome cover means you can make your beats look amazing (whilst still displaying the logo, I know you guys love to show it off).

I couldn’t include the earbuds in my site title if I didn’t accommodate them, so here’s a cheeky, subtle design of earphones as opposed to bigger can styles, but don’t be fooled, these aren’t just in the list for their little bit of graffiti in the design, these are amazingly reviewed on amazon, check out what people have to say about the iFrogz on Amazon. Not only are they really well reviewed, they’re an absolute bargain, usually selling for between $10 and $15 – they’re not going to be seen in every recording studio from now on, but they’re definitely perfect for those looking for some cool-looking, budget earbuds to listen to in the gym or on the go.

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Are Headphones Bad For Your Ears?

headphones_damage

Since the digital revolution brought us the iPad and now the tablet and loads of other devices that encourage the use of headphones, there has been much talk about the health implications of earbuds and headphones, and whether they might in fact be doing a lot of damage to your hearing without you even noticing it. I’m not a doctor but I do know a fair bit about the technology involved, and I’m here to give my verdict (and that of most health professionals) about whether headphones are bad for your ears or not.

The Technology Itself is Not Damaging

I remember a lot of talk not long ago about cell phones and mobiles causing problems to your brain, there are always conspiracy theorists who will tell you that there is a similar deal with other technologies, and though there may well be truth in it when it comes to telephones or other equipment I can tell you that the technology of the headphone itself will not hurt you, there is nothing about the way they work or connect with your ears that will cause you damage (unless you buy some that are made out of knives or something). So where does the potential danger come from?

Volume

A lot of people don’t realise that the volume at which we listen to music has a big effect on our hearing. Every time we blast our music out at an ungodly level we are potentially doing permanent damage to our ears. Not good at all. The problem with headphones is that they are so close to the eardrum that this risk is even more prominent.

Volume Capping

A lot of MP3 players and audio devices, to their credit, do cap the volume at which they transmit the music and try to discourage you blasting your tunes too much. The same can’t always be said for headphones, and some go up to decibel volumes that when played in your ear are comparable to a pneumatic drill, so you obviously need to be careful.

Resting Your Ears

It is also true that listening for a prolonged period of time, especially when music is very loud, increases the likelihood of our music being bad for our ears. You should make sure you take regular breaks from listening. This doesn’t mean you can listen extra loud as long as it is in short bursts!

Avoiding the Volume Up Switch

The most effective way to make sure your headphones aren’t bad for your ears is to make it easier to hear them, so how can you avoid the temptation to turn the volume up? I have two top tips.

  1. If you’re in the gym or another loud place when you listen to your music, buy some noise cancelling headphones to block out that sound instead of just turning yours up. Think about it, if you’re trying to drown out another sound you are not only turning your headphones up but combining it with the original sound you were hearing, a recipe for disaster.
  2. Get your ears syringed. This is a professional procedure to make sure your ears are clear and you don’t have any wax or unsightly distractions in your ear preventing your hearing from being effective. A simple procedure can make your hearing feel 10 x better.
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How to Use Headphones As a Microphone

microphones

Need a microphone to record an audio note or to talk to somebody over the internet but not got one to hand? Not to worry, you can use good old fashioned headphones as a microphone. Yes you heard right, headphones will do a more than capable job as a mic, one of the many benefits of having a good set of cans.

How to Use Headphones As a Microphone

  1. Plug your headphones into a microphone jack, they won’t work in a normal headphone jack as they won’t know you plan to use them to record.
  2. Check that the headphones are recognized, you can do this via the control panel and look at the audio devices on your computer or mac.
  3. Head over to your recording or speaking program of choice, most computers have an audio recording program installed when you buy them but if not I recommend something like audacity for beginners (it’s free you know).
  4. Check that the sound is working and speak/record away to your hearts delight. It’s that easy!

How does it work?

Don’t worry I’m not going to go all scientific on you, but basically speaking both headphones and microphones do the same thing backwards. Both trade in vibrations, and as well as being able to amplify the vibrations of music and other sounds, headphones are able to monitor those vibrations and submit them the other way up the cable to be recorded on your computer. Unfortunately Microphones only have the technology to record, so you can’t use your microphone as speakers if you get really stuck for a listening device!

How Does it Sound?

Really this is just a party trick or a way to still be able to record if you’re stuck for a mic, and you shouldn’t expect to see commercially released tracks being recorded on a set of iPhone headphones but it’s great for skype or other such things. The manufacturer and make of headphones will have a big impact on how good the sound quality is as they are more accurate and will be better at monitoring the frequencies you’re recording. An expensive set of headphones will be a lot better at recording than cheap earbuds (earbuds are tough to record on, too).

So there you go, that’s how you can use your headphones or earbuds as a microphone. You will have either already known that you could do so or your mind is now blown! Either way, happy recording.

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Earmuff Headphones

Earmuffs and Headphones, two variations of ear apparel, both with very different uses, that spent far too long without being married together. Nowadays, fortunately, you can buy the two together in the marvellous invention that is earmuff headphones. Of course it solves the issue of not being able to use both at the same time, which sometimes you can do (with small earbuds underneath your earmuffs) but unfortunately if your headphones are of any size, you can kiss goodbye to your warmers, unless of course, you buy a set of these…

These headphone earmuffs are pretty nondescript, which will suit some people down to the ground, they are great for use during winter activities or even winter sports and have a detachable cable so they can just be used as earmuffs if you so desire. There’s no pattern on these and they are in no way novelty as some earmuff headphones are, so you won’t get laughed at for wearing these if you’re male (or female of course). They boast a ‘one size fits all’ description so it shouldn’t worry how big or small your head is! Okay, the sound quality is not what you would get with an amazing set of the top headphones from the best headphone brands in the world, but they suit the purposes and get the job done, though you may not choose to listen on them when in the warmth of your own home.

Inevitably, I have to mention some of the louder and more extravagant types of earmuff headphones. These are really cute and come with an awesome snowflake design and are lovely and soft, they look great in a winter setting (you’d look pretty weird wearing them in summer anyway). A microphone is attached so they can be used to talk to people as well and attach to a lot of different smartphones for all of you chatterboxes.

These are possibly my favorite mentioned, the cute faux fur version (no animals harmed) are adorable and very loud, you have to have a certain style to pull these off but they make a great accessory and a fashion statement. Again, they’re not going to make road hardened audiophiles particularly happy, but that doesn’t mean they’re no good, and even though the sound quality would probably not fit into a studio setting they’re great for listening whilst out and about in the cold. They definitely have my seal of approval.

In general, earmuff headphones probably wont be ridiculously good quality, but as good as any budget or mid range set of headphones or earbuds, and most importantly they keep your sensitive ears nice and warm!

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Best Wireless Headphones for TV

Wireless Headphones for TV are an amazing invention, great for couples, especially for keeping noise to a minimum whilst still being able to listen to your TV shows at whatever time you feel like without disturbing anybody else. You can chill out and watch television at nobody else s expense. Wireless headphones have undoubtedly saved a lot of sleeping hours in recent years, but of course if it is you that’s going to be using them you definitely want the best quality sound and the most reliable headphones on the market, so we’ve put together a guide about the best wireless headphones for watching TV.

How they work

Wireless headphones work via a transmitter which plugs into an audio output on your TV, either in the RCA slots (red and white usually) on the side and back of your TV or through a headphone out slot. As long as you have a relatively modern TV then you should definitely be able to connect your cans.

My trust in the Sennheiser brand is pretty high and their range of wireless headphones is very good. The product description boasts that these headphones travel through walls, not much good if you’re trying to watch the TV but impressive nonetheless and proof that you shouldn’t be disturbed in your listening. As you’d expect from Sennheiser these have an excellent bass response and good sound quality, making them great for anything cinematic. They’re perhaps a little bit on the expensive side but you pay the extra for the quality. Fear not though, there are more affordable options if you need them.

These also come with a rechargeable dock so that you won’t be splashing out on new batteries every day or two!

These are the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to price. A set of two so perfect for listening in pairs, these are exceptionally cheap. You would expect therefore that these were a no-frills budget model but in fact they very much impress and have a huge amount of good reviews on Amazon. They even give models three times their price a run for their money and it’s always good to have a spare even if you will usually be listening alone. These can also be used with a range of other devices including MP3 players, DVD players, tablets and more.

These Sennheisers are the very definition of luxury when it comes to audio for TV. Boasting an incredible audio response and surround sound system which puts you right in the middle of the action when watching films and TV shows. Reliable and an immense level of quality, though you do pay a premium for it.

These are probably my recommendation for anybody looking for a simple but reliable set of wireless headphones for television purposes. A great set of cans, they won’t chill your beer or bring you refreshments but they will deliver good quality at a price that you can’t really quibble at. Probably represents the best value in the whole Sony range and are positively reviewed everywhere. Bargain.

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Headphones Brands – List of the Top Headphone Brands and Manufacturers

As with all audio equipment there tend to be a selection of brands which become the real market leaders when it comes to a certain piece of gear, and headphones are no different. Whether you are looking for a set of earbuds to listen to in the gym or on the train or you are after some high quality, expensive headphones for composing your own music, there are a few headphone brands whose names crop up over and over again.

AKG
AKG are a European manufacturer of audio equipment with a famous range of amazing headphones. Not available on the cheap, but you certainly get your money’s worth. My current weapon of choice, I have sworn by my AKG’s since I bought them 5 years ago and never looked back.

Beats
I have to mention Dr. Dre’s beats, but I should also mention that they aren’t particularly popular with audio professionals. You probably wont see a pair of these in a studio (unless you visit Dr. Dre’s studio) but they do look cool, and there is no denying that the branding of the Beats range of cans has turned them into a key player in the industry. Most in the know will tell you that you can get a better set of headphones from a different brand for a fraction of the price.

Sennheiser
In case you couldn’t guess from the name, this is a German headphones brand. Sennheiser has a rich history dating back to the second world war would you believe! In that long chunk of time they’ve become a real front runner in the world of audio equipment, and much like many of the other brands mentioned they manufacture more than just headphones.

Sony
Sony are a huge company and have fingers in many pies (proverbially speaking). It is hard to review their headphone range as a generic entity because they offer such a range, from a budget range to an expensive “pro” range. Undeniably Sony have the luxury of a lot of money behind them to manufacture a good range of headphones, maybe not the coolest cans to rock up at a studio with but still a leading brand who have a big impact (and big sales figures).

Bowers and Wilkins
These aren’t just mentioned because of the fact they’re British (like me), honestly! These truly are an elite range of headphones, expect to pay top dollar for the brand but don’t let that put you off, Bowers and Wilkins offer an incredible audio experience. With a history rooted in the swinging 60′s, B & W (as it is often abbreviated) offer home cinema systems, speakers and monitors and of course, headphones. Check out this amazing promo video for their partnership with Maserati. Now that’s branding.

Shure
A relative newcomer to the Headphones business, these guys are no strangers to audio equipment offering the most popular range of microphones in the world. As you’d expect, they offer a good range of listening gear too along with many other pieces of sound gear and have become a very important part of the industry.

SkullCandy
These should really go next to Beats. A cool set of designs, sure, but not the best sound quality you’re going to get from a headphone brand. Have been described as “plastic toys” though I’d hate to comment on that particular synopsis.

Notable Mention:

  • Panasonic
  • Grado
  • Audio Technica
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Headphones Not Working? How to Troubleshoot

Headphones not working can be one of the most frustrating experiences, you’re all set to listen to your favorite tunes or talk to somebody online and for some reason they just won’t work. You’re probably here because you found this article on Google, so lets just jump into how we can solve this problem for you and get those headphones working again.

1. Check your connections

Sounds obvious I know but this could well be the problem with your audio. Unplug your headphones or earbuds from their connection and look for any abnormalities, check that it was properly connected, look inside the connection to see if you have anything stuck in the plug or even give a little blow to get rid of dust. If you are running headphones through an amp it is also worth checking your connection here. Some laptops and other devices will come up with a red light when your connection is not working, so this is a sure fire sign there is a problem.

2. Check your volume and device

I know, I’m insulting your intelligence, but we’ve all been there! Screaming at our iPods “why won’t you work?!” When really we just had it on mute…whoops. There may be volume on the headphones themselves as well as the device. This step is not just about checking that the volume is up though, it is also worth checking whether there are any other abnormalities on the device. Turn it off and back on again and find out if there is any way it will tell you if there is a set of headphones plugged in. This might be the root of your issue.

3. Check your Sound Settings

If you’re playing your audio through a laptop, you may be able to solve your problem by looking on your sound settings. The vast majority of headphones are plug and play, but it is worth looking just in case. Go to “Hardware and Sound” on your control panel and look for audio devices, see if your headphone is showing up, showing an error or not showing up. Remember that no-show is probably pretty normal so don’t get too hung up, but it may be the case that you have to select the audio device.

4. Try them in a Different Device

It might be a problem with your headphones, it might a problem with your audio device. The best way to find out is to plug them into a different MP3 player or laptop or anything that will play audio and see if the problem persists. If no sound is playing on multiple devices you can be pretty sure that it is in fact the headphones with the problem.

5. Speak to the Manufacturer

If you can’t get them sorted, you should speak to the manufacturer who should be able to help you, they’ll have specific troubleshooting options for the model you are using, and if they can’t help you and your headphones or earbuds are relatively new, you may have a good case for a replacement pair to be sent to you free of charge.

 

The above steps will hopefully get you nearer to solving your headphones not working. Remember that you get what you pay for and if they’re quite a cheap set they might not last a long time.

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Green Headphones

greenbeats

Headphones aren’t always just about the audio, as important as it is, they’re also an amazing chance to make a statement or to show your style. This post is aimed at people looking for Green Headphones.  You probably already know that headphones and earbuds come in all different shapes and sizes these days, and you can even get them made to order, so there is no limit to the features you can add to your cans.

Here, I’ve collated some of the best Green headphones you can buy in different price ranges so you can grab a pair that will suit not only your style but your budget too!

Green Gumy Earbuds

Gumy earbuds are a really popular choice for in-ear headphones. Inexpensive and decent quality, these green buds are really highly rated and well reviewed so represent really good value at less than 10 of your American Dollars. Small and subtle so they don’t make you look too lime green when you’re listening to your tunes.

Panasonic RP-HTX7-G1 Monitor Headphones

Panasonic aren’t the most high end of headphones but these round, can-style headphones are good quality for the price point. They’re not completely green and have a lot of black in them. They also come in a whole host of different colors. In the words of the manufacturer, “These headphones boast a neodymium magnet and large-diameter 40mm driver units, ready to pump out the kind of crystal-clear highs, present mids, and hefty low-end you’d find with more premium price tags.”

Beats Solo HD Headphones

Beats, you either love them or you hate them. I think it is fair to say that in buying Beats you pay a little extra for appearance. You can probably get an equally good set of headphones at a more affordable price, but that’s not always the point and there’s no denying that Beats do look very cool. They come in a variety of colors, Green of course being one of them, so you can mix up your style and sound with these bestsellers. As the manufacturer says; “Beats Solo HD headphones are made to be a lighter, on-ear version of Studios. Compact enough to fit in your purse, Beats Solo HD headphones carry the powerful signature sound Beats by Dr. Dre products are famous for.” Check out a review of some Beats headphones at Trusted Reviews and make your own mind up here.

Skullcandy Skullcrushers

Another set of headphones you may well be choosing for style, but these do pack a punch in the bass department and have a lot of cool features. They’re collapsible, have volume controls and a comfortable leather soft-touch ear pillow. A cool design that isn’t just your standard Green headphone and makes a great gift for alternative music fans.

Frog Headphones for Kids

I couldn’t resist the temptation to include these in my list. Don’t expect pro audio quality but these Frog design headphones are awesome for a quirky style or of course make great headphones for kids. Compatible with devices that can keep your kid entertained such as an iPad, portable DVD player or other piece of electrical equipment.

There are loads of cool headphone designs out there, and if Green is your particular color then the above list is bound to have something for you!

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Headphones Too Loud? You Could Be Doing Unnecessary Damage

Headphones are a godsend, make no mistake about it. Where would we be without the ability to zone out and listen to our own choice of music on the bus or in the gym? They’re not exactly a new invention but the use of headphones is far more common since the digital music revolution, and they often get a bad press (quite rightly in some cases), if you have your headphones too loud you could be doing yourself damage, and you might not even realize it is happening. However, we don’t believe that you should have to compromise your listening experience because of this, so fear not audio lovers…

Risks of Headphones Being Too Loud

Exposure to loud noises is not good for our ears. There has been a lot of talk about headphones for kids and the sensitivity in their young ears which could lead to permanent damage, but the truth is that we are at risk of damage whatever our age.

Tinnitus – Tinnitus is a ringing or humming noise which our brains perceive even if it is not there. Unlike the sound we hear after a loud gig, Tinnitus never goes away and there is no known cure, sufferers have to endure the annoying sounds forever. There are other ways Tinnitus is caused but one of the most common causes is listening to loud sounds for too long.

Hearing Damage – Other forms of hearing damage can occur if you are exposed to loud music a lot of the time, such as a loss of sensitivity to certain audio frequencies.

How can I avoid damage?

Usually when we are listening to music loud it is not only because we like to hear it in full and get a good solid listening experience, it is because of interference. I know that when I am in the gym I am often guilty of turning my headphones or earbuds up because of the other noises going on around me, and trying to drown them out, but this is unwise and can do a lot of damage as you are exposed to not only those other sounds but to the noise you are trying to drown them out with. To avoid this being the case I recommend you get a set of noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. These will create a seal that will stop you from hearing background noises and allow you to focus on the tracks you are listening to with no interference, so you don’t have to keep hitting the volume button.

Getting your EQ right

I talk a lot here about EQ, and it is a big part of the listening experience. EQ allows you to boost and cut certain frequencies and most iPods or MP3 players have a function to let you alter these settings. If you can’t hear the bass, just give it a little boost instead of turning the whole track up!

Give Your Ears a Break

If you are going to listen to loud music, don’t do it for a prolonged period of time, your ears are like a muscle and you need to give them a rest from time to time to avoid strains or injuries.

Conclusion

It can be really tempting to blast out your favourite tracks during a workout or after a bad day at work, and that is fine, but you need to take precautions. Remember that your long term health is more important.

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