@Ankita Katdare • 25 Jul, 2015 • 1 like

I am specifically talking about in-ear headphones here.

I hope I am not the only one around here who thinks that the In-Ear Headphones (or earphones) hurt your ears too much after a while of use. It is a wonder how the accessory that's used by thousands on a daily basis has seen so little innovation on the comfort front (or may be I am too ignorant?). Now again, I am looking for a not-so-costly option so the choice is limited.

Anyone remember that when the first earphones came they had the cotton earbuds on them? Something like what you can see in this picture:


With time, they got replaced with the plastic-like earphones (See picture below)17674-Screen%20Shot%202015-07-25%20at%206.29.18%20pm.png

I hate these style of earphones. They don't even stick in your ears, fall too often and are not even a comfortable fit. I only use headphones for the last 6 months, but wearing them outside is not feasible as they are too big.

I also found that people these days use a new style of earphones that have a malleable foam type material. This part can be squeezed together to place into your ear, which then expands "plugging" your ear. Some friends also suggested that I give up using earphones and go for clip-ons.

But I want to know what earphones hurt the least and which one have you been using. Have you experimented with different earphones?

@Ramani Aswath • 25 Jul, 2015 • 1 like I had worked on silicone rubber ear plugs for hearing aids. They can be custom molded for a specific wearer. Since they are custom made one does not feel them at all. Rather expensive. May still be an option. Check with a friendly audiologist on where it can be done in your town.
@Ashraf HZ • 25 Jul, 2015 Interested to know as well. The earbuds (2nd picture) quite uncomfortable after long use.
@Ankita Katdare • 25 Jul, 2015 No suggestions, yet? Has anyone tried these?


Do they hurt less?
@Kaustubh Katdare • 25 Jul, 2015 I've come to a conclusion that unless you pay a lot of attention to the size of earbud, it will hurt you. I've JayBird bluetooth, and it took me a while to figure out which size fits my ears. I also have the latest earbuds from Samsung, and they start hurting in a minute or two of wearing.

I'd rather believe that instead of the earbuds, any serious music lover should 'upgrade' to headphones that cover the entire year. I'm tempted to check out Xiaomi Headphones, but not sure when will I have the access.

In short -

Headphones > Earphones when it comes to Audio quality, comfort and overall experience. Portability might be an issue.
@Jatin Kumar • 26 Jul, 2015 • 1 like samsung._original-samsung-handsfree-earphone-with-3-5mm-jack-whiteline
Original Samsung Headphones
i suggest you to use these ,these little pointing out headphones are easy fit,and also comfortable,Not much costly
or this one.
@Aashish Joshi • 26 Jul, 2015 • 2 likes
Kaustubh Katdare
I'm tempted to check out Xiaomi Headphones, but not sure when will I have the access.
Check out Sennheiser's PX-100. I love 'em. Don't hurt the ears unless you're constantly using them for > 4 - 5 hours continuously.

The audio quality is great - better than some of the desktop speakers I've owned in the past. 😁 They're not very big and can even be folded for storage (comes with a box). I've had mine for over 4 or 5 years now and had absolutely no problems (apart from the foam cover needing replacement).

The one's I have (PX-100) have been replaced by mark twos (PX-100 II). I haven't tested them so I'm not sure if they're better than mine but even if they're of the same quality they should be good! 😀

I got mine on sale between 2500 - 3000 INR.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 26 Jul, 2015 If I ever buy a new pair of headphones, I'm going to get the noise cancelling ones from Bose. Btw, we've a headphone expert on CE - @Deepak Gopalakrishnan . Hope he checks in to enlighten us.
@Ankita Katdare • 26 Jul, 2015 Looks like no one here is much of a fan of earphones/earbuds. I personally hate them, but am finding it un-comfortable to use ear-covering headphones outside while going for a walk or on the bus.

I am guessing that some people have really small ears and therefore such earbuds hurt more, because not everyone around here seems to have a problem using them for as long as 1 hour at a stretch.
@Ankita Katdare • 26 Jul, 2015 In my search, I also came across an earphone design that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.33.02 am

There are several companies that manufacture such earphones in recent times. But from the looks of it I don't think they're comfortable at all. How can one fit such a big structure inside the tiny hole of our ears? 😖 Anyone here tired these?

Still looking for suggestions.
@Jatin Kumar • 27 Jul, 2015 try these not too big ,good sound ,easy to wear .

using on phone not able to upload pic
@Ankita Katdare • 27 Jul, 2015
Jatin Asija
try these not too big ,good sound ,easy to wear .
using on phone not able to upload pic
Look worth a try! However, on Amazon it says they have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
@Jatin Kumar • 27 Jul, 2015
Ankita Katdare
Look worth a try! However, on Amazon it says they have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
not sure about there availability in India,because I was not able to find them on flipkart ,and on amazon I think its available in forgein domain,but you can ask for them on Philips store and about the price ,when i bought them about 2-3 year ago it was of around 450INR.
@Ankita Katdare • 30 Oct, 2017 I've been using the F&D headphones for a while now and I feel that there is no replacement for headphones. Earphones totally suck. Even now, when I go for a walk or a run, I hate wearing earphones because they sit very awkwardly on the outer ear part and just doesn't give me the full blown effect I'm used to while working at my desk.

Anyone has any new suggestions here? What am I missing?
@Amit Jha • 06 Nov, 2017 • 1 like I am a big fan of Audio Technica. I have used their earphones and headphones and find them very comfortable. You can check them out.
@Ankita Katdare • 06 Nov, 2017
Amit Kumar Jha
I am a big fan of Audio Technica. I have used their earphones and headphones and find them very comfortable. You can check them out.
Great. Can you suggest a model name or number? I'm specifically interested in earphones.
@Amit Jha • 06 Nov, 2017 It's better to name the models as the Amazon is showing pretty insane prices! otherwise, I would have given the product links.
1. ATH CKR - 10 Sonic Pro
2. CKR-7
3.ATH-ANC 23 (Noise Cancellation Earphone)
4. ATH-CLR 100

I have personally used ATH-CLR 100 (the cheaper one), CKR-10 (friend's) and their M50x (headphones) and I can only say one thing - they never disappointed me!
@Dipankar Ganguly • 06 Nov, 2017 • 1 like You can also try the Sennheiser CX275s. I am using it for past 2 years and it has impressed me in every way.
@Ankita Katdare • 07 Nov, 2017
Dipankar Ganguly
You can also try the Sennheiser CX275s. I am using it for past 2 years and it has impressed me in every way.
Sennheiser looks good for the price. Rs. 1799. Does not look like an earphone designed for ear comfort though. Might have to test it in a local electronics shop.

Audio Technica ATH-CLR100 is quite the reasonable priced one. Can give it a try immediately.

Anyone has any idea about the earphones that don't fall out of your ears? 😏😁 Amazon seems to have a whole section dedicated to that. Must check that.
@Jeannetta Fells • 21 Oct, 2018

recently i was looking for earbuds for my new phone, and i must say there are tons of options in the market, most of earbuds are low priced but quality is low too, i spent 265 on jabra elite 65t and i am satisfied with them, i would suggest you to follow up these two guides as they contain alot of information about which things to consider before buying any earbud. i hope my comment will help you.

1. https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-earbuds/

2. https://www.pollowers.com/best-wireless-earbuds/

@Kaustubh Katdare • 21 Oct, 2018

@Ramani sir, Bose won't hurt ears; but it'd hurt the bank balance for sure. ? 

@Ramani Aswath • 21 Oct, 2018

 @Kaustubh , at US$ 500, you are right. It is not released in India yet.

@kevin hart • 03 Nov, 2018

I was also searching for the best and less expensive headphones with good features. 

@Ankita Katdare • 04 Nov, 2018 • 3 likes

Here are a few new suggestions that have come up in the market.

  1. Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE BT NC Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancellation Headphone
  2. Plantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  3. Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones with Mic
  4. V2A Wireless Bluetooth V4.2 Earphones with Deep Bass Stereo Sound, Charging Box and Handsfree Mic

While still in the medium to high-end range, these earphones have received multiple great reviews by audiophiles for being the earphones that don't hurt or damage your ears. Especially suited for people who use them for long hours.

@Vinay Mishra • 31 Jan, 2020 • 4 likes

Sennheiser HD 4.50 is best among all. I have used it. Even after listening songs for 3-4 hours continue, it doesn't hurt ears. It's too relieving and comfortable. It is a over-the-ear headphone set that connects via bluetooth and utilizes high quality noise cancelling technology. Due to its large size, you can not put it in your pocket but you can enjoy listening songs without suffering from ear pain.

Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds is the second option you can go for.

@saandeep sreerambatla • 31 Jan, 2020 • 3 likes

I was using head phones most of the times for music or for all calls through my computer. Recently an year ago I bought apple air pods and I really love them. They are ideal for online learning, skype or online calls and music at home and office. If you want to use them when you have a lot of noise around then it doesnt work.

@Swarup Pan • 31 Jan, 2020 • 1 like

I would suggest the type of earphone that will be comforting to the ear as  well as your mind are in ear and headphones.

I would like to suggest you with my own experience that mivi, Boult, Boat. These 3 brans produce some really good quality earphones as well as headphones that are truely the best in the budged segment.

I never prefer bluetooth headphones, earphones or airpods as they are indirectly affecting the health.

@Kavya Burramolla • 01 Feb, 2020 • 4 likes

I've been using iPhone 6S earphones which I got along with iPhone 6S since one and half years and I found it's very satisfactory in terms of it's clear audio even in the high noisy environment. One problem I've noticed with iPhone earphones is that at higher volume mode the sound is audible outside at the higher rate. With 1.5K INR I think one can buy best earphones and I'd suggest iPhone earphones.

@Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran • 01 Feb, 2020 • 1 like

I had used many earphones from early models from sony,moto,skull candy,jbl  but i prefer iphones stock earphones which has an incredible audio quality and best comfort and reliability.

@Ashraf HZ • 02 Feb, 2020 • 2 likes

@Ankita I had planned to get the AfterShokz Trekz Air (the successor for Titanium you listed earlier) for sports. Apparently its more comfortable and lighter. The fact that it uses bone conducting compared to earbuds means it won't hurt the ears.

The only reason I didn't get it (yet) is because its bone conducting, it means one can still hear surroundings (so you can go running and still hear around you - its a safety function). So it isn't really suitable for isolating yourself from the world when you want to focus on reading/doing work.

Another earphone that you can check out is the wireless Elite Jabra 45e. The ear bud and wing tip design was pretty comfy when I had it for a year. Be sure to get the right sizes. The ear buds will form into your ear so that its snug compared to other typical earbuds that are rigid. 

@Kaustubh Katdare • 02 Feb, 2020

Shouldn't this discussion be about the earphone tips? Ear phones don't hurt - but if you get a wrong sized pair of earphone tips - you can't keep them in ear for more than 30 minutes. That's been my experience. I've used JayBird BluBuds X - and they are absolutely awesome. However, I went with the wrong sized foam tips for several months before trying out the right sized ones. The difference in comfort was beyond expectation.

I'm yet to try the ear pods from Apple. Not sure how good they are for extended use. 

@Anoop Mathew • 17 Feb, 2020 • 2 likes

Preface: Ever since i received the A2A for this from Ankita, i was having the same question in the back of my mind for almost two weeks. I'd drafted this response on Google Keep but couldn't make up my mind --> anyways posting it now!

I've been religiously playing with earphones quite a lot. Am a very rough user. I use headphones (particularly in ear headphones) almost 8+ hours on an average work day & 18+ hours on almost all weekends. There was a point where i would keep buying earphones just to try them out and see which ones are comfortable. So, having said that here are some of the models I've used and some of which I keep going back to (i.e. Buying new ones of the same model when i have lost/ messed up the existing one)

Disclaimer: There's no denying that you would have to find that right balance where you're comfortable with the driver size which is a major factor that affects your bass, the earbud size, the overall quality and robustness & the pricing. For sanity sake, i will mention only the earphones used by normal folks. Audiophiles can refer to some other thread as purity of the sound may not be something you get from these earphones.

My Go To Ones (Budget):

1. Sony MDR-XB55AP in-Ear Extra Bass Headphones with Mic. (Wired)

Retails for ~Rs. 1999 on Amazon. Am currently on the third one of this model after having spoiled and lost the other two.

Pro:- Great Bass Experience and you'd enjoy it if you're a bass lover. Built quality is quite good

Con:- Getting used to the size. 

2. Skullcandy Ink'd in-Ear Headphones with Mic (Wired)

Retails for Rs. 799 on Amazon. Have used three of these constantly for 4 years. Have only good things to say about this. 

Pro: Most comfortable In-Ear Headphones i have used.

Con:- Bass isn't punchy

3. JBL T210 Pure Bass In-Ear Headphones with Mic (Wired)

Retails for Rs. 979 on Amazon. Have used again three or these side by side with the Sony.

Pro: Clarity is really good.

Con: Low on Bass.

My Trails with Other Headphones:

I had also tried using:-
1. Philips Action Fit Earphones with Mic Rs.699 (didn't like the fit)
2. Boult Audio ProBass Curve Neckband Rs. 1399 - Bluetooth (didn't like it)
3. Sony MDR XB 450 Extra Bass On Ear Rs.1899 - (Okay, but ears heat up after long use.)
4. Sony MDR XB 650 BT Extra Bass On Ear Bluetooth Rs.6399 - Okay, but ears heat up after long use, and you need to remember to charge it)
5. Audio Technica ATH - S 100 Wired Headphone Rs. 1099 (Loved it and used it for almost 2 years till it broke)
6. Tried some other local brands as well which are not worthy to be mentioned here.

Would like to try:-

1. Audio Technica ATH-M50x
2. Klipsch R6I II

@Ashraf HZ • 29 Feb, 2020 • 1 like

@Anoop, nice post. You are a pretty heavy user of earphones! Maybe you should do video reviews of them 

@Kaustubh Katdare • 29 Feb, 2020 • 1 like

I got the AKG earphones with my new Samsung Phone (S9+). Seem to be good; but I'm having trouble fitting them in my ear. All the three pairs of ear-tips I got don't seem to fit in my ear canal properly. I've used them for ~30 mins straight; and my ears' still happy. ? 

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