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Friday, October 3, 2008

An Intro to Earphones, Earbuds and Canalphones

To be honest, I've been attempting to write this post for MONTHS now, but it originally started as a headphone AND earphone intro, and there are so many variations and styles that I couldn't get it organized into anything evenly remotely concise. I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that I didn't have to cover them all in one post!

Anyway, Tara and I have both prefered earphones up to this point, but as Shaina has shared before, she prefers her Bose Around-Ear Triport Headphones. Tara's considering these for her next set as well.

However, deciding between headphones and earphones is just the tip of the iceberg.

Earphones come with two different types of earpieces: earbuds or canalphones. Earbuds are placed inside the ear but outside of the ear canal and therefore do not provide much sound isolation. On the other hand, canalphones act as earplugs as well, creating a seal in your ear to provide some sound isolation. Most canalphone-style earphones come with several sizes of stock sleeves to help you find the best fit. There are some with double and triple flanges as well, which provide even more noise isolation. You can also have custom canalphones made that fit your ear, but with the number of times my children have removed – and even lost (or in the case of Tara's daughter, eaten) – the sleeves, this is not something I see myself spending money on anytime soon.

Another style difference among earphones is whether you simply insert them in your ear or if they have an earclip that goes around your ear to provide additional support. I used earphones with earclips for a long time but have recently switched to the kind without, and I actually prefer them because it's that much easier for me to get situated when I sit down to transcribe.

I'm currently using Koss KEB24 earphones, and I really like them, except for the fact that the earphone plug is straight, and because my jack is on the front of my computer, I've had to replace them twice (within the return period at Wal-Mart, thankfully) because it's gotten worn out or broken. Next time, I'm going for a plug that has a right angle in it to prevent this problem.

Amazon is a great place to search for a variety of earphones because you can read the reviews of other users as you make your decision.

Do you use earphones rather than headphones? What style or brand do you have? Do you like them? If you'd like to write a product review, let us know by emailing us at transcriptiontalk -at- gmail -dot- com.

1 Comment:

MakeLifeDelicious.com said...

I am NOT an earphone person! I prefer headphones way over earphones. It's hard for me to have anything inside of my ears, even ear plugs. I can never get them to fit just right and they are always uncomfortable!
I am looking into getting started with transcribing at home and my friend Southern Fried Dreams told me about you. You have a lot of very helpful information! Thank you so much for sharing this with the rest of us that would like to be able to make some extra money and potentially work full time at home. You will probably be hearing a lot from me! : )