With the announcement that Google will follow Apple’s lead and eliminate the heaphone jack from its new Pixel 2 smart phone, I’ve been thinking about how I use my headphones and whether having a new phone means I’m doomed to deal with fragile little dongle-adapters or to upgrade to pricier Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Because I love cheap earbuds, the ones with the traditional headphone jack plug. The rush to put out so many models of earbuds for an insatiable smart phone world world in the late 2000s and early 2010s means you can get some very great-sounding, discontinued models online cheap, such as the Ultimate Ears 200vi buds. They debuted in 2010 for $40 and I’ve been able to buy them for under $10 in refurbished, but perfectly usable condition. For my ears, they’re a much better fit than the ones Apple includes free with its iPhones.
Why would I want cheap earbuds when I could spring a few more bucks for a wireless pair? Because I’m prone to losing earbuds or breaking the cords from excessive use while exercising or forgetting they’re in my pocket and washing them with the laundry. I’ve gone through several UE 200vi pairs and they have actually survived the washer/dryer cycle, continuing to work and sound good. (This is just personal preference: they are purple and easy to find in my black work bag.)
If you spend a lot of time listening to music at a desk or while traveling, definitely get a good pair of comfortable headphones that will last. But for the day-to-day abuse your buds will suffer, I’ll always go with a cheap, easily replacable pair.
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