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Old 03-24-2011, 09:26 PM
dv8tor dv8tor is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 19
Default Best In-Ear Headphones for Gym (Shortlisted a few but open to suggestions)

Hey guys,

I am in the market for purchasing a new pair of IEMs specifically for use in the gym during workout. I don't do any cardio (running, treadmill, stair master, etc.) and I do pure weight lifting and strength training 3-4 days a week. My budget should be in the range of $30-$40. I will be driving them with a Sansa Clip+ (or sometimes a Cowon D2+) coupled with a FiiO E5 at times. I actually don't have the Sansa Clip+ yet but will be purchasing soon as I heard D2's don't fair that well in the gym for ease of use. I also would like to mention that I've never worn over-the-ear IEMs before. My previous pair which broke were Creative EP630s. I don't mind getting used to the new fit, but also am still open to using normal fit IEMs.

Here are my list of priorities:

1. Since the cans will just be used for the gym, I prioritize first and foremost the durability. I want something that will not give in to easy wear and tear.

2. Second, would be noise isolation as I would like to workout in peace (listening to upbeat music and heavy metal). I want as much noise isolation as possible.

3. Third, I listen to all sorts of music (except r&b, trance, party-music), but for these specific IEMs, I would just be piping out pure metal (all sorts from death and metalcore to prog and thrash) and any other upbeat music for working out. I don't mind if it's for bassheads, but I don't want anything sounding tinny and lacking in detail.

With these priorities, I have finalized my shortlist to the following (in order). Please let me know your insights on each and which would be the best option. I am also open to other options within the price range specified above so feel free to suggest more.

1. SoundMagic PL30
-I've read in other forums that these are good for the gym. There's no doubt that sound quality on these babies are top notch for the price. However, my only concern is the fit and durability. If I'm not wrong, these things are made of plastic right and the cord is just old-fashioned rubber. I also would like some comments on the ear-guides which go over your ear. I wonder if these would last in gym conditions. I like the range of accessories offered and various ear tip options. My other concern is also that the company is a Shenzen-based (China) one and quality-wise, I would like to know if these are disposable or durable in the long-run. There are no service centers and they don't seem to have an official website so customer care is out of the question.

2. MMElectronics M6
-These caught my eye due to the reinforced cording and tangle-resistant steel memory wire. The M6's are also designed specifically for sports use as seen in its marketing. They are a tad more expensive compared to the PL30s (where I'm residing) and do not have as vast a selection of ear tips as the latter. I have also read that they are not the best when it comes to sound (compared to the PL30s).

These last two options are really not solid options (and actually might get a lot of criticism), but I figured I'd ask anyway just in case they get some good comments:

3. H20 Audio Flex Waterproof and Sweat Proof Headphones
-I don't know how these are exactly durable because they don't look the part based on photos. But they are marketed as waterproof and sweat proof and can actually be taken for a swim. Sound-wise, I'm not expecting much, but for a regular beating at the gym, I'd expect durability.

4. SkullCandy Smokin Buds
-I never did or actually want to support this brand due to negative feedback they've gotten in audiophile circles. But they seem to garner a lot of positive feedback among kids, teenagers, and extreme sports athletes. Knowing that BMXers and skateboarders endorse these says something about durability, and the cord is of fabric material as well.

Anyways, I hope I can get some insightful suggestions and finalize my decision soon.

Thanks guys!
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