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Why Should I Get a Pair of Headphones Specifically for My iPhone?

Mar 12

The simple answer...There are lots of great headphones out there today, but only a small percentage are great with Ipods, read on to find out more. There are literally thousands of headphone models on the market today, most of which have exploded onto the market in the last 5 years. The majority of shoppers will check the usual information sources, but none of them will give you a detailed synopsis of what makes for the best iPod headphones like we do! It's very easy to read reviews of headphones that say they "sound good", or they are "comfortable", but that's only a very small part of the characteristics you should be looking for!

What characteristics should I look for in the best iPod headphones?

  • Easy to drive.... low impedance, high sensitivity, but only if you don't intend to get a portable headphone amp
  • Stylish....lets face it, there are less expensive portable music devices out there, and you didn't buy an iPod to look like a goon.
  • Retains portability....why would you buy something that's so big you can't take it along with you in your pocket,isn't able to fold up, can't carry in a pouch, or fails at taking the abuse of a mobile lifestyle?
  • Can take abuse.... constantly being taken in and out of your pocket,gym bag,backpack, getting caught on objects and tugged out of your ears/the iPod itself, or just break down too quickly from sweat
  • Doesn't Sacrifice Sound Quality.....hides imperfections in the iPods output and brings out the original recordings subtle nuances.
  • In-line controls... great for working out or anytime you keep your iPod in your pocket!

A quick note first though, you can jump over to Amazon's recommended iPod headphone's here. There are certainly some great options in that line-up that will also be a great bang for your buck. Of course, they have rediculous amounts of user reviews to read there as well, which in my opinion are an essential read before buying any headphone.

Easy to Use 

Ultimately, Ipods are supercharged portable music players, and I don't mean from a power output perspective. All of those additional functions/features in conjunction with the limitation of keeping iPods at a reasonable size, limits its' ability to drive hi-fidelity headphones. To keep things simple, you should get a portable headphone amp if your headphones are over 25 ohms of impedance (you could stretch it to 35ohms if you must) and you plan to use them mainly with your iPod. However, there are exceptions, and if you purchase a headphone from our list of recommendations, we let you know if an amp is needed on each of our headphone reviews.


Who wants to sport a sleek little iPod and then stick out like a sore thumb with a pair of gaudy headphones? Of course, finding the best headphones for iPod is rather subjective, but from a style standpoint, most people just want something that sounds better than the stock pair and still blends in. In that case, a simple pair of earbuds (same style that comes included with your iPod) that match your iPod in color, are discrete in size and form, but sound wayyy better . I recommend the Yuin PK1 if you're thinking along these lines.

What's the point of a portable music player if the headphones you use to hear it keep you grounded!

You need something that's either small enough to fit right in your pocket or something that makes up for its bulk by folding up, giving you something to carry it in, or able to take the abuse of the bag you toss it in.You should be focusing your efforts on a pair of excellent iPod earbud headphones,like the Yuin PK2 , which are good at fitting in your pocket and are usually easy to drive, while Sennheiser's HD280 fold up, and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 which gives you a carrying pouch.

The best iPod headphones can take these abuses ( Etyomotic HF5 ).You could also look at something inexpensive so buying new ones often isn't such a big deal(with the added benefit that the headphone companies will like you too), or something that has replaceable parts.

Doesn't sacrifice sound quality

Ipods support a compressed audio format, and yes this affects sound quality, but allows you to store more music and video. Does this mean I shouldn't worry about how good my headphones are since my source is already compromised? No, just the opposite...the better the pair of headphones the more of whats left in the source will be heard. Sure, the best iPod headphones from a sound quality only perspective are still going to be the high impedance headphones assuming you splurge on an amp. However, if you don't get an amp, don't waste your funds on a hi-fidelity pair of headphones.

You'd think so, but I can't tell you how many user reviews are out there from people complaining that their headphones aren't comfortable....well then you should have read a review or two then! To me, if a pair of headphones isn't comfortable, it doesn't matter how good they sound or how many people claim they are "the best wireless iPod headphones" because if you can't stand having them in your ear for more than 5 minutes they are useless!

If you go in-ear style..the best iPod headphones have a lot of tip choices. How about Earbuds? better know you don't mind earbuds (preformed formfactor like the ones that came with your iPod) in your ear as they can't be adjusted, but unlike "in ear's" they don't go all the way in your ear canal. Maybe some over the head you like around-the-ear (circumaural) or on-ear (supraaural) padding on the headband a necessity?...make sure the headband is adjustable! I stand by my suggestions up top, but you can find a few more suggestions here. You'll be able to find the most unbiased form of information available there too, in the form of user headphone review.