Awesome iPod Earphones

6i isolator earphones are designed specifically for use with the Apple iPod and other small portable players, offering 8 dB higher overall sensitivity and slightly more bass than the ER-6 isolator earphones.

I just received a pair for my birthday…incredible!  I use a similar triple-flange earplug when shooting, and these plugs block a ton of background noise.  This means you can keep the volume at a very low level when listening, so your hearing is preserved.  These are awesome for mowing the lawn–can’t hear the lawnmower, and again, the volume can stay low.

The sound quality is very impressive–music is clear and crisp.  It’s a little tricky to insert these correctly the first couple of times, but you can tell easily by the sound.  There are aspects of music I hadn’t heard before!  For instance, in Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers“, there’s a small pause between the intro and the main song.  I always thought it was blank space, but there’s actually a woman’s voice (quietly) shouting “It’s just the normal noises in here!“.  No idea that existed.

I don’t recommend these if you have co-workers who enjoy sneaking up on you, or if you have to answer the phone a lot.  You simply won’t hear what’s going on.  Which is great for mowing the lawn, or travelling on a plane.

(originally posted 2004-09-29 on a different blog site)

<update 2005-07-22>

Now that I’ve been using these earphones for a while, I’m even more impressed.  The soft silicone plug fits my ears very nciely, and blocks a lot of sound.  When mowing the lawn, the lawnmower is a dull hum, and softer sounds aren’t even heard.  I can listen to my iPod at slightly above normal volume, and my ears aren’t ringing when I’m done (which is usually about 2 hours).  Neighbor’s kids screaming in the yard when you want a quiet moment on your deck?  No problem–you won’t hear them with these earphones in, either listening to your iPod or not.

I’ve made several plane flights using these, a few in excess of 5 hours, and it’s amazing to get off a plane without that jet engine hum ringing around in your head.  Very pleasant.  A few times I’ve had to take the plugs out to equilibrate the pressure, but that’s no big deal.

On a sweaty day, or after a lot of use, you can build up a little crud on the plugs.  That’s easiest to clean off just after you take these earphones out.  Use a dry cotton swab and gently run the tip between the flanges.  Good as new.