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Round Peg, Not So Round Sweaty Hole

The iPod ear buds work fine foir sitting on your butt on the couch, in class, on the bus, but for running in our desert heat, I am finding the fit just does not work.

Yes, the ear buds are cheap. I am not audi snob, so the sound quality is not a burning issue for me.

But when I go for a run, the pounding on the ground, the swinging of the pod, and the sweat pouring down my head (it can be well over 110 degrees here) make for a slippery fit that is not very useful.

Or more likely, my body is mis-shaped to typical specifications. Not the first time for that!

I could go out and get the fancy custom buds, but hanging $200 phones on a Shuffle seems off kilter.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I will likely revert to my folding, over the head light weight Sony phones.

PS- I never realized how hard it is to do a macro lens self portrait of one’s own ear ;-)

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. For $40, I got some in ear headphones from Sony that are fantastic. They actually go into your ear, like ear plugs might so they cancel out an amazing amount of noise. Definitely sound on par with $200 headphones IMHO. They also come with three sizes of squishy things depending on how big your ear canal is.

    Only drawback I’ve found so far is that they can come off the headphones pretty easy if you just throw them in a bag or a pocket and then the squishy things are easy to lose. The only other drawback is that they aren’t white, so they don’t serve as a status symbol showing the world that you own an authentic iPod.

    Other than that, I think they’re fantastic!

  2. I found at a local shop a generic earphones there were a bit costly, but they work great for those kinds of situations, because they have a loop that sits on the ear, and the speaker part is coming from above, instead of from below. So even if you do pull on the earphone wires, it doesn’t fall off, and it doesn’t slip out either.

  3. I second the good word for the relatively cheap Sony earbuds. I ditched my standard Apple earbuds for the same reason you did – I don’t live in the desert but I sweat a lot when I run in the humidity here in the northeast. These babies also have a very nice feature – the cord connecting the left and right earbuds loops behind your head, so you can pull the earbuds out to have a quit chat with someone and they’ll just lay happily on your shoulder until you’re ready to put them back in – it may seem like a small thing, but I love it and get annoyed when I forget them and have to use earbuds that hang in front down my chest rather than behind my neck.

    They have some gawd awful letter/number combination for a name, but they are about $40 and I bought some a couple of years ago that are a little worse for the wear in the looks department, but still work very well.

  4. Thanks for the tips on the Sony buds– I’ll take a look. I like that they would not dangle when taken off; I’ve already gotten my Apple ones intertwined in the bike spokes when Iend my ride to work.

    I coulc care less about the status of the non white buds– in fact, colleagues in New York were saying people sporting the white buds are an easier target for theives.

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