I’ve always used over-the-ear, or circumaural, from my first headphones, the RadioShack Pro-60s right up to my Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b. A pair of Altec Lancing ear buds were my first in-ear style, so it took a bit getting used to. Once I did, however, over-the-ear style are out the window. Also, with the in-ear style, they isolate the background noise so active noise cancellation is not necessary.
Like the previous headphone repairs I’ve done, my favorite ear buds, the Altec Lansing MHP136 fell victim to the cats and required service. I repaired them a couple times, and with three splices they could no longer coil up for storage. So after four years of faithful service, they were recycled.
The problem with finding good ear buds is that they cannot be tried out before purchasing.. so inevitably there are a some failures, like the Philips SHE9550/28. Purchased at Costco, I could have taken them back, but I use them when doing yard work, they are good enough for that.
I was walking through Best Buy and starting looking at their selection, and settled on a pair of Skullcandy Titan S2TTFY-288. A few things lead me to this purchase, the non-tangle cord, metallic housing and a metal carrying case.
Comparing them to the Altec’s would be impossible since I no longer have them, but they seem similar. They definitely sound better than my Audio-Technicas. I was concerned that there would be exaggerated bass (since these appear to be marketed to the younger crowd). I was pleasant surprised that the sound is relatively flat. The metal casing is not too heavy, these remain secure in the ear with normal movement.
A couple cons, first the non-tangle cord is great for not getting tangled. It’s not so great for coiling up. That’s important when trying to store in the included metal container. The metal container is a bit too small.. but these are small quibles, these ear buds a easily worth the $40.