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Headphones vs Earplugs, Wired vs Bluetooth
Recently, I decided to improve my aural experience by purchasing a decent set of wired headphones for my Android smartphone.

Previously, I've used earplugs (who hasn't?) and bluetooth headphones, both providing a less than stellar experience.

Firstly, bluetooth. Honestly, what a 'pain in the ass' technology this is! Constant switching on-off, in many instances, I had trouble trying to sync the phone to the device, and on occasion it would cut out. So unreliable.

As for earlugs? Well, it's a great way to ruin your hearing by having something drilling deep into your ear socket. Please, ditch these and use an over-the-ear headphone instead.

And use a 'wired' headphone with a jack, which doesn't need a battery or a recharge.

Having signed on with a streaming service the other day, listening to high quality audio is now a pleasant experience; though the trade off is: my mobile data plan takes a bit of a hit, but at least I can manage that.

So, what aural/audio technology are people using?
Most of my listening is on my Samsung phone. I use either a cheap ($10) pair of Phillips ear plugs - the sporty type that have a part that secures it to the ear - or a fairly decent Sony noise-cancelling over-the-ear set ($60). The Sony is battery powered. They sound pretty good overall. I'll either stream or play MP3 (320K) music on the phone. I had a Bluetooth headset about seven years ago that I intended to use while running. Even though they were advertised to be good for exercise, I managed to destroy two pairs with my nasty sweaty noggin within just over a year. I got the first one replaced under warranty, but I said screw it after the second one died out of warranty. I wasn't overly impressed with the sound quality either.
Sennheiser ear plugs when on the move, dog walking etc and Sennheiser over the ear for home use. They make a robust headphone, either in ear or over that meet my needs, but I've been going deaf since the 70's, too many unregulated (decibel wise) gigs back then, so maybe I'm not the one to ask!!
My luddite status means I have only ever use over ear headphones via a jack. Only way to go for me if I'm not listening through speakers.

I currently use Beyer Dynamics.

Oh, and I use ear plugs at concerts to protect my hearing and have done since David Coverdale Ow-Ow-Owwwweeeeeedddd me into submission! What a goodie two shoes I am!
Nothing compares to the sound of an original CD filling the room through amplifiers for me. When trying to not bother others, I prefer in ear Sony into my Sony digital walkman or Sandisk. I recently bought an unexpensive pair of JVC wireless that I still need to try out. Regarding safe volume levels, rule of thumb for me is to still being able to listen to people around me while wearing headphones. Smart phone is my last listening resource, sometimes I even listen to music in YouTube when I find something unavailable elsewhere. I also wear ear protection for live concerts since a certain supporting act got me ringing for a couple of days back in 2015 lol!
getting these for Xmas ...
Langsdom Dual Dynamic Driver Earphones D2 In-ear Stereo Heavy Bass. for Samsung S7 Edge
current inears couldn't handle the music . thought about Senheisser but too pricey.

Also important is what audio app you use. I tried many and ended up with Poweramp(cost about 3) the difference in quality is quite noticeable. next best was Neutron. Poweramp also plays Flac
Good one Bruce,

I too am a huge fan of Poweramp, and used it for many years. Unfortunately it doesn't provide access to my Network Shares, where I store all my music (terabytes of it). If it did (maybe it now does, I haven't used it in awhile), I'd probably go back to it.

It's far easier for me to access my music from across my LAN, rather than copying folders directly onto my phone, which takes up too much space.

When I'm on the road, I just use my streaming service instead.
Nick C
Very rarely use a smart phone or any portable device for listening as more often than not when I'm out I like to enjoy where I am - but when I do it's usually when I'm out walking along some busy road with it chucking down with rain. Then I tend to use some Bluetooth in ear plugs, mainly because there's no lead for the rain to drip down Grin Not too loud though. At home generally speakers only unless it's getting really late and sometimes I put on the AKG K550s my go to headphone as they're so flat tonally, or maybe my old Grado's but again not too loud....I did enough of that when I was younger at concerts and even on headphones and my hearing probably isn't what it was. I warn my son a lot about it having said that he's into the smooth chilled sounds of stuff like J. Cole rather than Accept at 1000 decibels (although I have got him enjoying some Doobies and Steely Dan).
Edited by Nick C on 09-12-2017 05:44
I love music and headphones, in ears,
I never use my smarphone for listening to music , i have a DAP (digital audio player) with special In Ears (over the ear and always with a jack)
At home it's speakers and headphones with a separate amp
It's another passion , quite expensive i must admit !!i give up
I always try to avoid bluetooth headphones when I want to carefully listen to music. They are good for running, gym or listening to podcasts and sports radio (like football matches) but that's pretty much as far as it goes for me with bluetooth audio. Even bluetooth headsets that are capable of receiving the allegedly lossless APT-X format, will never beat the experience of a good wired set IMO. The only bluetooths I have found adequate in terms of audio quality are Bose Soundlink II which I still rarely get out of the house as, being over-ears/full sized headphones, they are rather bulky.
When on the go, I use my ''in ears'' plugged to a portable DAC called ''Dragonfly Red'' which then subsequently connects to my smartphone's usb port via an OTG cable. The sound is excellent in conjunction with some quality rips (FLAC mostly).

My other option is my dedicated DAP (iBasso DX90) which despite being a bit dated now, seriously provides the best portable audio I have ever heard by any device at any price. However, it comes with a flaw - Its battery lasts only for 6-7 hours, so I always keep a spare charged lithium battery in my pocket for long commutes or flights.
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