A week or so ago, I wrote a BC item I called “Killer Combo” which
described how much I like working with Mobile GEO from Code Factory, a
Holux GPS receiver and an off-the-shelf Windows Mobile cell phone. I
neglected to include my one major complaint about the system, namely,
the earbud on the Jawbone.

Unlike most devices that use earbuds, the Jawbone comes with three
rubber earbud cover thingies in three sizes. I selected the smallest
of the bunch as earbuds always seem too big for my ear holes. Even
with the littlest one, the bud pops out with the slightest
provocation. This happens with virtually all earbuds that I have tried
from everything they come with ranging from my iPod Nano to my cell
phone and beyond. Fortunately, the Jawbone also has one of those loops
that wrap around one’s ear so when it tries to escape, I can rely on
its tether to avoid losing the pricey little device.

Over the past few days I’ve performed an entirely unscientific survey
of every one I talked to on the phone. I asked them the question,
“What do you think about earbuds?”

The answers ranged from, “Can’t stand them, if they come with a new
toy I just toss them in a drawer and use my Bose headphones,” to, “I
can never keep them in my ears,” to “I hate the fucking things.” I had
about a dozen more answers to my question and virtually all were

Do my friends, family and co-workers all have exceptionally odd ear
holes? Are we all using our earbuds incorrectly? Does anyone actually
like these things that seem to come included with every item I buy
that makes a sound? Should I start a support group for people with
mutant ear holes?

Inquiring minds want to know…

– End

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I'm an accessibility advocate working on issues involving technology and people with print impairment. I'm a stoner, crackpot, hacker and all around decent fellow. I blog at this site and occasionally contribute to Skepchick. I'm a skeptic, atheist, humanist and all around left wing sort. You can follow this blog in your favorite RSS reader, and you can also view my Twitter profile (@gonz_blinko) and follow me there.

4 thoughts on “Earbuds”

  1. lI don’t mind earbuds. They’re pretty portable, and I can carry them with me wherever I go quite easily, which is something that’s becoming more important for me to do these days. I do prefer some good quality earbuds that I’ve brought myself rather than the ones you get included with devices though.

    I wonder if there’s been any research done on this. Maybe it’s wroth checking journals, such as the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Ear and Hearing, Hearing Research, or Perception and Psychophysics, and conference proceedings, such as those from the Audio Engineering Society. Someone may have looked into this issue before.


  2. I think my answer would fall into the “I hate the fucking things category.” WHich is really frustrating, since almost all bluetooth stereo headphones I’ve found are earbuds (they also skip and distort and do all kinds of annoying things when listening to books with mss, but that’s a different story entirely). Also, just wanted to let you know: thanks in part to your blog post and my conversation with Gabe Vega, I have a Mac and i love it!(Still “cheating” by using jaws on a vm, but I’m sure time will change that).

  3. [rant]Arg I need JavaScript to post this??[/rant]

    Start the support group. Not only do I need actual headPhones to listen to my laptop without disturbing coWorkers, I can’t keep earplugs in either. They pop out and sit cupped in my ears without staying in the hole and this is likely why I don’t use mobile music devices (that and I’m not hip enough). Mutant Ear Hole People Anonymous!

  4. I’m actually creating a blog on how earphones and earbuds make a difference to the music and stuff. Plus I love the new wireless ones! They are top class! wireless earbuds for ipod make all the difference for true music lovers. If the sound quality is good that is. Plus going freestyle is definitely a better way to enjoy good tunes…

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