I am intensely curious… just who did Apple design earbuds for?
Like most Apple products, they are a combination of minimalist beauty and excellent functionality, but as far as I can tell, they weren’t designed for humans. Or at least not humans who live on Earth. You see, here on Earth, we have this force called gravity that pulls things down – this affects anything with mass, even those lightweight earbuds.
Not to worry, if you jam them hard enough in your ear, you can create enough tension to hold them in place. And that works great until you stand up and try to walk somewhere with them. There happen to be are these wires that come out of the earbuds to connect them down to your music playing device. Not only do they add an additional gravitational tug, but they allow every vibration or jostle as you walk to help pull the earbuds out of their snug fit, at which point they fall to the ground.
I don’t think I have managed to walk more than 10 feet without having to shove an earbud back in my ear.
I was briefly excited when Apple rolled out their new “earpods”, which provided both superior sound quality and an enhanced shape to more comfortably fit in your ear.
Sure, the new earpod shape is technically better than the old one. Now I can probably make it 15 feet before having to shove them back in, which I guess is a big improvement over 10 feet, but still not much use.
I see people walking down the street wearing earbuds or earpods, and I’m incredulous. How do they keep them in their ears? Are my ears so unusual? Why can’t Apple just make them with hooks? I am certainly guilty of choosing form over function at times, but having your headphones stay on your ears is a pretty essential feature.
Well, I have finally found a solution – EARBUDi. They are hooks that simply snap onto Apple earpods (they have an earbud version as well) and loop over the outside of your ear.
UPDATED 2015: I’ve actually switched to recommending Earhoox instead of Earbudi. Read more about why Earhoox work better here.
The hooks counteract the jostling from the wires that causes earpods to pop out, and they are really quite comfortable. You no longer have to jam the earpods in so hard, and they still stay in even if you are physically active. They’ve become my preferred way to listen to podcasts while walking or make a phone call on my iPhone while keeping my hands free.
They cost $10 on Amazon, so they represent a non-trivial added cost over the earpods’ $30 price tag.
Of course, the alternative would be to buy a separate set of headphones that already have over-the-ear hooks, but these have the benefit of allowing you to continue to use the microphone and music controls that come built into the Apple headphones. Okay, I’m sure that someone sells over-the-ear headphones that have Apple compatible music controls and a microphone, but you probably already own the Apple headphones anyways.
If someone has another trick for getting earpods to stay in that doesn’t involve a similar attachment or plastic surgery, please let me know – I’m all ears.