Walk through any semi-crowded area and you are bound to see several people with headphones in, on, or somewhere in between. Back in the day, music wasn’t portable. There was no way to carry around a band in your pocket. Now there is. People have taken this option. Now we as a society listen to music far more then we used to, and much of it is through tiny ear buds. And yet a very small percentage of us actually give any thought to our headphones. We tend to think of them as “just headphones” nothing particularly special. When in fact they are so much more then that.
The fact of the matter is that, although you may not realize it, you are missing out on a lot by using that pair of headphones that came with your iPod. They are cheap, easily breakable, and don’t have very good sound quality. If you don’t care at all about the sound, then I guess it doesn’t matter. But if you are even slightly inclined to have good sounding music, I suggest you listen to what I have to say.
Headphones for the Masses
The earbuds that come with an iPod are cheap. This is the best way to describe them. They were designed to provide acceptable sound quality to millions of people who did not realize that there was anything better. This is sad. Very sad. Because those Apple earphone users sure are missnig out. Audiophiles tend to spend hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of dollars getting great headphones. Thankfully you don’t have to spend this much.
A Shift in Perspective
I recently graduated from cheap headphones myself. It started out as a durability problem. All the headphones I got (for the most part $15 Skullcandy), were flimsy and broke quickly (I wasn’t very nice to them, but I didn’t realize this at the time). So I went on a search to find a better pair. My efforts lead me to SOL Republic, a new company that was recently started by the son of the founder of Monster Cable, the company behind the well known Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones. I had heard good things about them. So I decided to try out their $60 of in-ears known as the Amps.
The difference was incredible. Having listened to cheap headphones for quite a while, I had never realized how much better music could be. The problem with cheap headphones is that they do not really deliver music the way it’s supposed to sound. From what I have heard, this pair is quite cheap ($60) for the sound quality they produce.
But How Much Better Can They Be?
The most noticeable thing was the bass. Have you ever listened to a speaker system with a subwoofer? If you have you know that you can get some very powerful bass that shakes you were you stand. Now obviously no pair of earphones can do that in the way a large subwoofer can. But they can still give you powerful bass that you can feel, not just hear. That is exactly what this pair did. But that was not all. Clearer vocals were also noticeable, as well as just an all-around better experience.
Music is a ubiquitous part of many peoples life. But most never experience what it really is. I challenge you to try something new out. It may seem silly to spend more then a few dollars on headpones. But trust me, if you like sound, you will appreciate the extra bucks.
Great Sound Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars (which about %99.9 of us), there are plenty of options. From what I have heard, SOL Republics headphones tend to sound like others at a much higher price point (yes they have other models that cost more, including on ear headphones), so they might be a good place to start. But I would also suggest this article from Cnet that runs down the top (in their opinion) headphones for under $100.
And tell me what you think. Did it make a difference?