I usually listen to podcasts when I walk to and from work or do the grocery shopping, which means that I like to always have a set of earphones in my pocket. And, unfortunately, they have a habit of breaking more often than I’d like: it’s not unusual for me to have to buy a new set every two or three months. Which is annoying!

So, given my lack of luck and finding a pair that will work reliably, I thought I’d ask for help. Recommendations? Some things I’m thinking about:

  • All things being equal, I would of course prefer ones that sound better. I realize that you can’t ask for too much out of earphones that live in my pocket, and I mostly listen to non-musical podcasts, so I’m not willing to pay a huge premium for better sound, but I don’t want the sound to be super-crappy, either.
  • A built-in microphone for phone usage is nice but not essential: I’d pay somewhat more money for that, but I’m quite willing to consider ones without a mic.
  • I’d be happy to spend more money on pairs that I had reason to believe would last longer: I’m more or less trying to minimize the total replacement cost per year of use, subject to the points above. Though the flip side is I’m not quite sure what evidence would convince me that a given pair of earphones would last more than three months or so!

Any suggestions? For what it’s worth, ones I’ve been using are: these V-MODA ones without a mic, these V-MODA ones with a mic, and Apple’s. All of which sounded acceptable, but none of which reliably lasts more than three months.

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