Best In-Ear but non ear canal phones?



Afternoon, basically I'm after a new set of headphones to listen to my HD5. I'm after the in-ear type although don't want to go down the ear canal isolation route.

Obviously the Sennheiser in ears are quite popular, are there any alternatives?

Thanks, Dan
sony make some good one's I think Sony MDR-ED21LP are good I use these a bit and they are very good I prefer to senn's anyway. Plus they are sort of half way house to the ear canal as they do go deeper down the ear than those but allow you to hear whats going on around you.

specs below:-

Sony 21

Dynamic Open-Air Ear-Bud Stereo Headphones

Frequency Range 8 Hz - 23 kHz

Impedance 16 Ohm

Sensitivity 108 dB/mW

Maximum Input Power 50 mW

Connectors 1/8" Right-Angle Stereo Mini Plug

Cable Length 3.3' (1 m)

Weight 0.18 oz (5 g)

Sennheiser MX550

Ear coupling: intraaural
Frequency Response: 18 - 22000 Hz
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Plug: 3.5 mm stereo
Sound pressure level (SPL): 125dB (SPL)
THD: 1%
Transducer principle: dynamic, open
Weight: ca. 6 g
I actually think the MX400 is even better than mx500 plus it has no inline volume to complicate things and it's about £6 cheaper but still prefer the sony's. They are both relatively cheap (can get from Argos) and Ebay for c£16. To be honest at this price point your not going to realise a big difference between the MX400, MX500, MX550 and the Sony 21 but for me the sony's difference is the most obvious one


Standard Member
I would recommend the vertical in-ear type. Sony makes a few, even though they have a foldable headband. The MDR-A34 and -A44's are great. Very efficient, nice smooth sound with good bass and clear highs. I use them with my HD5, and am very happy. These models have 16mm drivers. A few of the other Sony vertical-driver 'phones have smaller drivers--usually 13.5m, and don't have as full of a sound.

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