What Reasonably Priced Earphones Can I Use to Replace My iPod Earbuds?

One of the recurring problems that Operation Gadget readers have is how to replace their iPod earbud headphones? Although some people never liked the earbuds that came with their iPod and pay big bucks to get better ones, other readers use their iPod earbuds until they fall apart, break, or get lost.

If you want to replace your iPod earbuds with earphones that perform better but are still inexpensively priced, I recommend the KOSS Spark Plug Stereo In Ear Earphones. These earphones are far less expensive than the Apple iPod Remote and Earbuds, which are the closest things Apple offers to replace the originals. The Spark Plugs have received some nice reviews, but are particularly popular with earphone hackers who like to create "Koss Hybrids" by replacing the foam-rubber tips that come with the Spark Plugs with aftermarket alternatives such as the Etymotic ER4 Replacement Eartips.

Another fairly low-cost alternative is the Sony MDR-EX81LP Stereo Earphones. If you can get over the fact that they loop over your ears, these earphones are less expensive than Apple replacements and perform reasonably well.

There's also the Creative Labs EP-630 which seem to be available mainly in Europe. Frank Koehntopp raved about these earphones, saying that they were worth the €30 he paid for them at Amazon.de.

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