On-ear headphones or earbuds?

I like both. Earbuds on the go. On-ear at home.

Apparently I am in the minority. I don’t listen to music every waking moment. In the car I use the audio system’s speakers since I don’t listen to music unless I’m the only one in the car. At home it’s a tossup among earbuds, wireless headphones, wired headphones, and (much less frequently) bluetooth hearing aids.

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I have some big over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones I use at work… usually just listening to audio books. Every day someone walks into my office and starts talking before I can pause things. It’s silly. It’s like they can’t see them or something.

I do have earbuds that I take with me when I travel though. Mostly because I like packing light. I’ve always had probs with a lot of buds staying in my ear holes though… but I found the ones that have the rubber ear hooks work. They sit a little loose, outside my ear hole, but the hooks keep them there.

I kinda always liked those on-ear ones from the 80s with the foam covers… never had any issues with those, other than the fact that they only lasted about 3 months before a wire wiggled enough to stop one side from working. But you could buy a new set for like $4… so not a big deal.

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Single ear Bluetooth earpiece for podcasts so I can appear to be talking work calls while listening to Gordon on the Full Nerd podcast.

Cerwin Vega D9s. Everybody, gets to enjoy my music. Stuff hanging on the walls, fears me. I am not a monster, I am providing a service, that people didn’t know, they needed.

My preference has evolved over time - I used to exclusively use IEMs (those are the earbuds that go on your ear) at first I used wired cheap ones, then I splurged for fancy ones with their own wireless tech, then wired ones connected to smart bluetooth receivers with their wired connection used as a backup.

Some of the models I used during my IEM period:

Sleek Audio SA6 with the W1 wireless system
Vsonic GR07
Yamaha EPH-100
Klipsch X10
Sennheiser IE-80

The smart Bluetooth receivers I used were Sony, starting with the MW1 (I used the included IEMs that came with them for quite a while, they sounded pretty good!), Then the SBH52 and finally the SBH54. For their time, they were pretty great - they had the ability to read you text messages and even your email

After a while though, when IEMs are used so frequently - like pretty much all day throughout the work week, they get gross and earwax works it’s way down into them even when you clean them throughly and frequently. They’re also easy to misplace or forget about in a pocket (I’ve accidentally run a pair or two through the washing machine). Another issue with IEMs is maintaining a seal in your ear canal with their tips - I tried many different kinds of tips of different materials over the years, and I’ve found that generally speaking, Comply memory foam tips are the most comfortable, and since they expand in your ear canal, they stay put and maintain a seal but they also inevitably get gross the quickest and thus need more frequent replacement. With my frequent and prolonged use, that meant I could usually get about 3 weeks to month out of them before getting new ones. I eventually settled on Sony soft silicone tips for their comfort and ability to maintain a seal without the cost and PIA factor of needing frequent replacement

With IEMs, if they’re not positioned right and they don’t seal then you loose the sound quality - especially in the bass range. When they DO work though, the sound isolation can’t be beat, even by the latest ANC headphones.

I eventually got fed up with dealing with IEMs though, and got myself headphones - an open-back, wired pair for home (Sennheiser HD-600 with a Topping DX7 DAC/amp) and a closed-back, Bluetooth pair for using in the office and while traveling (V-Moda Crossfade Wireless - they’re built like a tank and have withstood a ton of abuse)

I don’t play music on my phone but I will put you on speaker in my house. In public I typically will not answer my phone unless it has to do with why I am out.


I like small earbuds-Sony makes a nice set. I use the smallest tips.

Oversized Circumaural, there is no pressure on or in the ears and has passive noise canceling. Comfort for all day listening or gaming. The major drawback is that they are big.

i use in-ass earbuds


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Same. They don’t stay. I’ve tried a few different kinds, with the varying covers, and they flop out.

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Earbuds don’t stay in. Tried many. tried all the silicone ear thingys. None work. So, I feel your pain. Regular headphones for me. I spend a lot of time on diesel powered equipment. Over the ear headphones work better at noise cancelling as well.

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Magnapan earbuds? That would be wild!

Earbuds for music when working out, mowing the lawn, walking the dog, etc. ANC headset for work calls/meetings.

Def Tech 7.2 - Front Left, Center, and Front Right all have 250W powered subs built in.

Blast those speakers loud, they may not have confirmed just how bitchin it is to forget all about family conversations while I play the best tunes ever wherever I have the need to work in my back yard, but in my heart I can feel their love & that pounding and or glass shattering coming from next door is them bustin a move & enjoying those long ago remembered fm radio songs we couldn’t get enough of. Yep … TURN IT UP !