At the end of the year, I listened to a lot of audiobooks. Between October and December, I listened to at least 15. Those who listen to audiobooks and know that even a short book can be a 6-hour listening time know that it’s a commitment.
I thoroughly enjoy audiobooks, but I was running into a problem: headphones. When I could listen without them, I did, but at the gym, on walks, and cleaning house, headphones make so much more sense. And I have a confession: as much as I love Apple products, I absolutely hate the earbuds. (I hear the EarPods are better, but I have not tried them out.)
The Skullcandy Supreme Sound Merge are wired, and they work as well as any wired earbuds I’ve tried. The wire itself is flat to reduce tangling. I will say, I just pulled these out of my bag after a week of not using them, and they pulled out without any knots or untangling. That’s a plus. Also, these earbuds are comfortable. There are several different covers, and the smallest were awesome. Unlike the earbuds I’m used to, I could wear these for a long stint without feeling like I had an earache.
I’m not an audiophile, but I will say the sound is a bit tinny on these. For me, that isn’t a huge issue, but if you’re a sound guru, you may want something a bit fuller. For comfort (and this includes not having to push these back in my ears), these are excellent for the price. These also fit in the ear without sticking out much, so wearing earrings or sunglasses isn’t an issue.
- Price ($20-$30)
- Still pull out easily if jogging
The Plantronics Backbeat Go Wireless are just awesome. One of my biggest complaints of headphones (other than comfort) is how easily I rip them out of my ears or device. This annoys me so much, even though I know it’s just because I swing my arms like crazy. Still, if it’s bothersome, it’s bothersome. The Backbeats Go Wireless are wireless in that they have no main wire or lead out to the device. There is a wire that connects the left ear piece to the right ear piece. It fits easily behind your head or under your chin.
This little set of earbuds is pretty impressive for a number of reasons. First, they manage to fit the mini USB charger into one of the ear buds without making it too large to be comfortable. Second, the sound is awesome. Partially, I think that’s because they do a good job of sealing the ear and giving a fuller sound, but the Skullcandy set had the same setup, and the sound doesn’t compare. Once charged, there’s a side button on the in-line control panel to power these on and connect with your device via Bluetooth. The in-line remote is super easy to use and located a few inches below the right earbud. Some reviews hit these on battery life, but I’ve gotten excellent battery life out of these (nearly five hours). Of course, I don’t use these much for actual calls, which could make a difference if you utilize the headset for call purposes. Speaking of phone calls, I did make and receive a couple, and the sound was fine – no tunnel effects, though I did take one bud out because I felt so muffled.
The downside to this set is that when you do have to charge these, it takes a while. The other drawback is the size of the buds themselves. They’re small, particularly with what I mentioned above regarding charging capabilities, but they’re still large enough with the smallest bud covers that I continually have to secure them in my ear a bit more, even with the stabilizers. Therefore, I can’t recommend these for jogging without some adjusting. But for house cleaning, walking, and sitting at a desk, these are unobtrusive and comfortable with a great sound experience. I’ll be frank: these are my new go-to headphones. I kind of geek out about them.
- Great sound
- Long battery life
- Ear stabilization
- Charge time
- Price ($99)
So all you audiobook listeners out there, have you tried either of these? Tempted? Treat. Yo. Self.