document updated 16 years ago, on Jun 13, 2006

KOSS Earbuds (the "sparkplug")

Reasonably priced ($20). Sounds decent. Lots of bass. Used to be able to get them from Best Buy, but apparently not anymore. Online sources say they're possibly still available from Target and others.

Sony Fontopia MDR-EX51LP

More expensive ($40). It has a better fit though (no hard plastic actually touches your ear, so there isn't a spot on the ear that gets the dull pain from being compressed for long periods of time). Also, I really like the way the cord splits off to one side of the head, this lets me wear the ipod in my shirt pocket, and realistically loop the rest of the cord behind my head to the other ear, resulting in a very compact-looking setup, with minimal cord exposed. Personally, it sounds more tinny to me than the KOSS, but I'm not an audiophile, and maybe I don't have them fitted properly (most sites seem to suggest they have good sound quality). I do tend to hear more details in the mids and highs than I was able to hear with the KOSS, for what that's worth. Also, it comes with a black shell and black cable, so it matches my black iPod.

Later: Actually, the bass on my MP3 of Simon and Garfunkel's PSR&T is really particularly pleasant. I don't know what the difference is with other songs, but at least in some cases, the earphones are more than capable.

Oh my god, this flash, playing at 30Hz with the headphones, is so cool. It feels like your head is shaking.