Headphones that won't fall off my ears


I like to listen to audiobooks while hiking in the Santa Monica mountains. The ear buds that came with my iPhone are awful -- they fall out of my ears every 30 seconds or so when I walk. These comfortable headphones from Coosh have soft rubber rings that fit around my ears so the buds don't fall out. They also come with a mic and on-off button so you can make phone calls with them. I'm very happy with them.

Coosh headphones - $20


  1. …Used to have a pair like these with a straw mike attached back in my tech support days. They’re great if you’re not wearing glasses, but for those of us who weren’t blessed with good eyesight I found the damn things put pressure on the stems that transferred to the temple, and wound up rubbing a thin strip of pain there.

    Ah well, eventually we’ll get implants that’ll let us Bluetooth directly into our ears…

  2. I’ve always preferred in ear head phones for their comfort and non-falling outness, but to each their own.

    Also, glad to ses the picture of the car changed quicky, I was about to ask you how you fit that in your ear.

  3. I prefer the street-style that DON’T go inside your ear – much better for my ears, I always thought.

    (Street-style refers to the headphones with the headband that goes behind your head – the actual speakers have those rings so they stay on your ears.)

  4. I usually listen to podcasts while running, and I have the same problem with the lame ear buds that come with the iPod. I’ve gone through several generations of some Sony headphones, and I absolutely love them: A link for your pleasure. Another bonus is that would-be muggers think you have a lame Chinese MP3 player and don’t bother you.

  5. For audiobooks, I’m sure those are great, but for music, I expect the sound quality is lousy. If anyone knows where to get an adapter with the aforementioned mic to let one use *good* headphones/earbuds (3.5mm) with a phone (2.5mm), I’d be thankful.

    LB, I’d guess that in-ear phones are no worse for your ears – maybe better – since the sound isolation lets you use them at lower volume level.

  6. I have used the sony headphones mentioned earlier for bike riding. The downside of this design is that the part that goes behind your ear acts like a hook and gets snarled in all sorts of unanticipated ways, such as bike helmet straps, brake and gear cables, the earphone cord it self the list goes on.

    I won’t be purchasing this style again, but maybe for the simpler sport of running they are perfect.

  7. When ever I’m hiking in the santa monica mountains I enjoy the clean refreshing taste of Diet Mountain Tang.

    and other advertising testemonials.

    Actually, I have never understood the moving through the enviroment with one of your senses switched off.

    But then that’s probably fall out due to coming from a rough city.

  8. Personally I find that earbuds are just painful after a while (but then, I’m a musician by trade so perhaps I just do an awful lot of listening!), and I’ve always been a bit paranoid that plugging up the ear and pumping sound directly into it may not be particularly healthy – but I have nothing to back this up! Anyone?

    (I have nice over-the-ear headphones with behind-the-ear hooks to stop them falling off… I’m not yet brave enough to walk around with the super-duper mickey-mouse giant headphones, even if you do get amazking fidelity!)

  9. You don’t worry that something might get you while you’re zoned out listening? I mean, these guys were expecting a bear and still…

  10. I don’t look at it as switching one of my senses off, I just think that watching a nice sunset while I’m walking around on the hillside near my house is that much cooler against the backdrop of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”.

    And walking past a crime scene in the city just becomes surreal when one has “Ace of Base’s Greatest Hits” pumping through their ears.

  11. I’ve owned a pair of Sennheiser OMX70 Sport headphones for the past 2 or 3 years and absolutely love them!

    The only sticking point seems to be the color. It seems like everyone I talk to either loves the green or hates it, there’s no middle ground. I happen to like the color. My only gripe is that it’s hard to wear sunglasses at the same time.

  12. Mark, That particular amazon Llink to those Coosh, did not appear to be iPhone compatible. No mic, and certainly not compatible with the 1st gen iPhone with that chunky miniplug.

    I’m not sure I’d go for the ear hooks. About to go on 3rd or 4th pair of iPhone standard buds, the rubber gasket helps but wears out fast, especially if you have placed any oils or oinment near your ears, which apparentl eats right through them.

    There are more buds out there that will work with iPhone, but they do not always bother to mention the mic and switch on the bud packaging, so I go back to the awful Apple buds. Apple has buds with etymotic type earpieces, with mic for touch pod, but apparently the switch does not work with iPhone, officially

  13. Here’s another TLA for ya… ECH.

    Of course lots of people don’t like Ear Canal Headphones. They take practice to insert. They can also be a bit antisocial but sometimes that’s a plus. They give better isolation than earbuds ever can. Maybe better than active noise canceling headphones. I use them in the office and on the airplane.

    here’s a good place to start research.

  14. The big trouble with regular ear buds is that they don’t exclude ambient noise such as when riding on transit or walking on main street. The user turns up the level to the point that the ears can sustain non reversible damage.
    As we age our high end naturally rolls off. But hearing damage can happen when we are in our teens and twenties. The worst form is to lose both the high frequencies and the sensitivity at the same time.
    I prefer the old muff style headphones but only when on a train or airplane. When I walk I want to be aware of ambient sound and hence never do mp3s when walking.Hearing those car tires on the pavement a half block away is more important.

  15. maybe the body-mod and piercing crowd can tell me: what’s ferromagnetic and safe to implant bead-size around the ear? Then some rare-earths in the ear bud will do the trick. Or would the magnets interfere? Naaa.

  16. I bought a pair of earphones with a simpler ear-loop at “Big Lots!” Not highest quality, but fine for listening to audio books or NPR chat shows.

    I listen to audio books while on long dog walks, and even hikes.

  17. I don’t see how you can hike and listen to an iPod at the same time…in any case, be careful you don’t get your ass handed to you by a cougar.

  18. I’ve been using Budfits:

    I mainly use my iPod Touch for podcasts, so the audio quality of the OEM earphones is just fine. I also loathe the in-ear canal variety–I have a pair of Shure E3C that I’ve used a handful of times, trying the different included earpieces. I find them much too uncomfortable after 5-10 minutes.

  19. A few notes: Earbuds, like the one pictures, were never intended to fit inside the ear canal and I don’t know why anyone ever tried. they sit just outside the ear canal. In- ears.. noted for their foaminess are the only ones meant to sit inside the ear canal.

    And ear damage is directly related to volume. All headphone styles are equally dangerous and none should be used for overly long (watch one movie not several)

    and the selection available with microphone attachments is terrible.

  20. I solved this problem by looping a pair of small rubber bands around the earbuds, and then my ear, in sort of a lopsided figure-eight configuration…it works great, and doesn’t interfere with my glasses, the way most earbuds-with-clips do.

  21. geez…switch off your lazy man’s “hear a book” and listen to nature..

    on another note, the best ear buds are the in-ear ones from sony and bose…ear porn they are.

  22. I definitely appreciate this post. I’ve been wanting to buy some new ear buds for my cheapier MP3 player that won’t fall out when I run, but didn’t know what to get.

    And I’m not sure how loud people are playing their music, but even with my old ear buds, I can hear the ambient noise. I consider the music more of a background soundtrack. :)

  23. #20: If there’s a cougar near where you hike, you’re going to get your ass handed to you regardless of whether or not you have earphones in. You’re not going to hear it even if you aren’t listening to music.

  24. Cougars…MILFs…someone’s ass is getting handed to someone. I mean, with earbuds on. They’re so sexy.

  25. maybe the body-mod and piercing crowd can tell me: what’s ferromagnetic and safe to implant bead-size around the ear? Then some rare-earths in the ear bud will do the trick. Or would the magnets interfere? Naaa.

    I think you’re describing part of how modern cochlear implants are implanted and used.

  26. The default buds never stay in my ears either, especially now, since Apple stopped shipping the black covers that used to go over the buds for friction, to hold them in your ear better.

    The best alternative I’ve found are the Griffin TuneBuds Mobile for the iPhone. They block out a lot of noise, so much so that you can hear yourself breathing sometimes. They come with a button on the microphone too, so you can take and end calls, skip through tracks, and play or pause. The material covering the wire also beats the low-quality plastic tubing that inevitably becomes stripped off of the wire of the Apple buds.


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