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Best headphones for Ipod (unamped)

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I have the following Headphones after much trial and error:

Street Style: Another vote for iGrado's. Surprisingly good.

IEM: Futuresonics Atrio M5 are great.

Buds: Yuin PK2

I have lottsa others but those are the ones that get used through my unamped Zune 80.

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On my train commute, the Ipod and Etymotic ER4P serve me well.

Pretty good isolation (I sometimes just have them on without music when I want some quite).

The Ipod can drive them to plenty loud levels even with the ERP4P/S adapter, but it sounds strained. I ordered a fiio amp to see if it makes an improvement (since it is ~10$ and weighs less than the AAA battery, it is almost qualifies as non-amp for most intents and purposes so I slipped it in).

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I like Etymotic ER6is they are designed to powered sufficiently from a headphone jack and won't break the bank. If you need more bass (Though I'm personally satisfied by their bass) then maybe something by shure or ultimate ears. I kind of want to check out something by Westone but... ehh....

I personally think portable amps are a waste of time unless you frequently take long rides on public transit, trains or planes.

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I've been using the ATH-ESW9 and ATH-ES7 from the Ipod and they work good. I also used the ER4P, ER4S, Shure E5c and E500. They all worked fine, but I really liked using the headroom micro or total bithead with the Ipod and those IEMs. It made them sound much better IMHO.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I actually find over the ear type headphones (like the KSC75) to work much better at the gym than anything that goes in your ear, even if it isn't in the canal part.

Hmm. She might go for those. Or maybe the B&O A8, which is kind of in between the two. Thanks.

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Wife wants one of the new Nanos for the gym and doesn't like IEMs. As far as simple earbuds go then, it seems like the Yuins are pretty much the only game in town? PK2 or PK3?

Who cares about SQ for the gym? I just want some music to take my mind off of what I'm doing. So I use stock earbuds for the gym. They sound good enough and I don't care when my sweat finally destroys them. I also don't like over the ear stuff in the gym, so Nate's solution wouldn't work for me.

When you care about SQ, I would recommend the PK2 over the PK3 straight from an iPod. However, Yuin has released a new line of earbuds, the OK line. I haven't heard any of them so can't make a recommendation, but you probably should check them out too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
someone with more IEM experience should step in, but I enjoy my ER4P directly of out my 1G shuffle.

I believe in most circumstances with IEMs an amp really isn't necessary. i'm not the IEM expert though. :)

Love my Etys either amped or unamped out of my 5.5g Imod. Have most of the higher-end IEMs and all sound very enjoyable either amped or unamped. Seems the higher quality IEMs--and Ety is one of these--can be enjoyed either way

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ooooh....how did I miss this thread. I actually know this one:

Closed portable:

ESW9s. First choice of all my recommendations except UE11s as I plan on becoming a shill for them.


PX100s - decent for the bucks.

SR60 - my second headphone. sounds quite good out of an ipod, so much so that my boss swiped them.


PK1 with an amp.

PK3 without (I've never heard the PK2)


Ety ER4P/S -- I loved these and had them for years thinking I'd never replace them, but had to mess around with different tips until I got it right.

Shure 420s or 530s. Don't bother with the lower models.

Sleek SA6. I really liked these for the few minutes I heard them at CanJam.

UE11s if you're willing to spend some bucks. I unabashedly admit to loving these.

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