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Product Review: Acoustibuds Premium Adapters for Earphones & Bluetooth Headsets

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I have a confession to make. I rarely use my iPod for music because the earphones never stay in my ears.

That's right, they just never stay. I have spent literally hundreds of dollars on various earphone variations and none of them has really worked well for me. The standard iPod earphones are just a joke; they fall out and I can barely hear the music because of the poor fit. Then I have tried the actual inside-of-the-ear earbuds that are never deep enough and also fall out, the over-the-ear hook earphones that stay on but not necessarily in my ears…I had just about given up!

So when I saw Burton Technologies' Acoustibuds — adapters which fit over any standard earphone and supposedly help them stay in your ear comfortably while at the same time improving sound quality — I was understandably skeptical. 

Acoustibuds are designed for the standard earphones provided with the Apple iPod, Apple iPhone, Microsoft Zune, Sony's and many other manufacturer's MP3 players, most aftermarket earphones, and most Bluetooth headsets. Basically, they are lightweight silicone sleeves that you slip over the earphone speakers.

There are two pair in the box, size five and six (which seems a bit random). As I have a smaller ear canal, I chose the smaller pair. They are easy to install, literally just slipping over the earphone speaker, and surprisingly comfortable. Luckily I read the instructions and turned the volume down on my iPod because the sound quality really was significantly better with much less background noise and more intensity. In addition, they actually stayed in my ears!  I tried them walking, running, and shaking my head violently and they did not fall out.

Retailing at $10-$20 per box (with two sizes in the box) Acoustibuds are a great bargain for those of us who cannot wear most earphones. Just pop them onto any earphone and you will have better sound, a comfortable fit, and earphones that actually stay in your ears. I wish I had found these years ago!

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About Lynda Lippin

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Oh my gosh, Lynda, my earphones never stay either and have bought several. I thought it was just me with some sort of defect. Will have to check these out. Thanks for the tip!!!

  • http://www.lyndalippin.com Lynda Lippin

    You’re welcome ;)
    Apparently there are many of us like this. Note that new sizes of Acoustibuds are in the works as well.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I could never quite understand this mentality that equalizers/add-ons make an inferior product sound better. If it’s purely a comfort thing than that is great BUT you always get what you pay for.

    My suggestion: Purchase an inexpensive & comfortable fitting pair of headphones with these specs:
    Response Bandwidth 20 – 20000 Hz
    Sensitivity 104 dB/mW
    Impedance 16 Ohm

    Then use a media player that can handle a lossless codec (WMA 9.2,FLAC,AAC).
    Rip all your CDs to one of those aforementioned formats.

    Finally…. MP3s and Cheap Gimmicks – BE GONE!!

  • http://www.lyndalippin.com Lynda Lippin

    Brian, while of course better quality headphones will always help that is not the point here. First, some people cannot afford them and would prefer to be able to use the models that come with their product. Second, some people prefer earphones and I have tried many from cheap to expensive and none have fit me well no matter much better the sound quality. Third, even with a higher quality WMV or AAC if my earphones are falling out the quality still stinks. Basically, acoustibuds are an inexpensive way to improve the fit and sound quality of any common earphones and that is a useful thing!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Lynda – I don’t think you read my comment carefully. If you are going to use the “Acoustibuds” to manage the fit and comfort of you headphones then that is fine. I have no problems with that.

    I also agree that add-ons which are designed to help with a better fit are, for the most part, fantastic. BUT, these folks are selling it as a solution to make an inferior speaker sound better for the same cost as a decent new pair of earbuds/headphones that could improve the comfort and audio quality without the gimmick.

    Here are two examples:

    SONY MDRJ10 – $9.99 (Target)
    SONY MDR210LP – $9.99 (Target)

    Sure, the second pair is over the ear but they still make them,after all these years, for a reason.