Good introduction to ear-canal headphones (Playlist)

three types of canal headphones

As more and more people own iPods, Zens, and Zunes, and use those players in noisy environments, in-ear-canal headphones—commonly known as “canalphones” or “in-ear monitors”—have become increasingly popular. As a high-quality option for replacing the cheap headphones included with portable music and media players, the selection of canalphones has, over the past decade, evolved from a few expensive models to a wide-open market with dozens of choices across a wide price range.

I bought my first pair of ear-canal headphones a couple of years ago – Shure E3Cs. Once I’d got the hang of how best to wear them (over the ear, but with the cord hanging down under my chin), I’ve found them to be really comfortable to the point of not being aware that I’m wearing them. The sound is generally excellent – though the sub-bass of Dubstep and Jungle does get rather lost, however I suspect the same would happen to other types of headphone as well. Needless to say, I’d love to hear what the top end ear-canal versions sound like. Even before buying my Shures I used what the article refers to as canalbuds, but the difference in the general richness of the sound is really noticeable. I did notice when getting friends to try out the canalbuds that the sound took a little while to get used to – particularly when swapping from the iPod default headphones which although woolly and undistinguished sound initially a little fuller. Once acclimatised there was no way of going back though.

Link: Playlist article

There’s another shorted and less detailed introduction just been published at MacWorld.

3 Responses to Good introduction to ear-canal headphones (Playlist)

  1. themilkman says:

    I did buy a pair of Philips canalphones (I didn’t even know there was a different name for these) a while ago, but I must say that I found them rather uncomfortable, and I thought the sound quality was rather poor, and often not loud enough to ear what I was trying to listen to. The noise cancellation thingy seemed to work, but not enough to convince me. Perhaps I should try some other ones, but I am not very keen on having to pay £25+ for a pair that I might not get on with.

    I have since reverted to my usual earphones.

  2. I didn’t know Philip did ear-canal headphones. Good ones come with a range of different gromet sizes. I know what you mean about spending money without being able to try them out. I checked out a number of review sources and ultimately put my trust in them. If you were keen to upgrade, I’d recommend either or HeadRoom as research sites.

  3. Awesome issues here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thanks so much and I
    am taking a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

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