How I Found the Best IPod Earbuds Ever

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

All good things must come to an end, and that definitely includes the Apple earbuds originally packaged with my iPod. Those minimalistic white 'buds got the job done. Although they never matched my black 30G iPod very well, I was genuinely sorry to see them go. When they bit the dust after I spent a long summer hiking, running, and doing outdoor work, I think I might have actually cried--although it could have been sweat.

Clearly, however, it was time to reload. And I determined that this time around I would not only find earbuds for my iPod that meshed visually, I would also try and upgrade the sound quality. One problem: I had no money. Well, not literally, but in the broke-college-student sense of the phrase. If I shelled out $100 on earbuds, I would be eating noodles in a cup for the next month.

There were a few other complicating elements too, like the fact that I wanted the new 'buds to do a better job blocking external sound, and I didn't want them to fall out of my ears when I bent my head to one side to take a sip of coffee without sloshing it on my textbooks.

Where did that leave me? It left me with very high design and style demands and a budget that could barely lace up a pair of Chuck Taylors. To be honest, I wasn't sure I would be able to do better than another factory model pair. But I started looking around online, and stumbled across the V-MODA "Bass Freq" earbuds. They caught my eye because they came in designer colors. When I clicked around to read reviews and user comments, I experienced a buzzing sensation in my eardrums--was the return of quality iPod music about to happen?

Here's what I discovered.

1. The V-MODA "Bass Freq" model had won some nice awards (CNET and MacWorld).

2. They apparently did a good job with noise cancellation, no batteries needed.

3. They came with those little rubber earbud cones in various sizes for adjustable fit.

4. The 'buds got praised for their bass kick and crisp treble notes.

5. They were shipped in designer colors (red, orange, green, blue, black, silver, pink).

6. Best thing? They fell inside my humble price range.

Feeling pretty excited by now, I opened up my 17th credit card account (just kidding) and ordered a pair of the V-MODA earbuds. I opted for "tambarine orange"--not because I am a hippy, but because my black iPod has always wanted tiger stripes. About a week later, my package arrived from Amazon. After it sat on the couch for a week, I got around to opening it. Actually, I ripped it open in the elevator and was listening to Iron & Wine and Radiohead about two minutes later.

The kicker is, this little Christmas morning scene took place about 9 months ago. My original pair of "Bass Freq" buds are still in use, and I've actually ordered four more, three of them for gifts. Why? Because, as promised, the bass notes rock and the middle and high notes come through splendidly. These earbuds perform better than the originals, and they're definitely a notch higher in the style department.


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