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Please BAN Apple Earphones

image borrowed from http://www.methodshop.com – I hope they don’t mind. We are, after all, fighting for the same cause! 

I have held this rant in for SO long, but after the most painful tube journey ever today I feel that I need to vent.

I travel on the London Underground daily. I also use buses and overground trains. Do you know what the worst thing is about public transport? Worse than people with body odour standing with their pits in my face, worse than drunk people getting on and puking up half-digested chips? Worse, even, (and I know that this is far-fetched) than the frequent delays and suspensions?

BLOODY IPOD HEADPHONES! Whoever designed the white in-ear headphones that go with the Apple products is an absolute moron! More sound comes out of the speakers and into the general world than goes into the person’s head! This is a double-edged sword, by the way, because not only are we forced to listen to some crappy Euro-Pop for the entire journey, the person who the music is intended for can’t actually hear it because all the sound is going OUTWARDS and so they TURN IT UP! (By the way, I’m talking about those flattish earphones with the naked speaker (if that’s the correct term!) not the swisher pointier ones.)

How can Apple, who charge such vast amounts for their products, justify shipping them out with such badly designed listening apparatus? I have an amazing pair of earphones that lock snugly into my ears (they came with three sizes of rubber plugs to ensure a good fit) and they have no sound leakage whatsoever. I have conducted various experiments and I can declare that I am 100% NOT a noise nuisance.

It actually makes me feel physically ill when somebody sits next to me and I can hear their music – surely they know that everyone can hear it too? How absolutely self-centered do you have to be not to notice that every single person in the carriage is staring you out? Can people really be that ignorant? (Hey! That was a smooth blame-change!) I am the queen of staring people out when their music is too loud – for years I have made it my mission to make the noise-criminal feel as uncomfortable as possible until they turn the sound down – but after some near-misses with unexpectedly violent people, I have decided that the best policy is just to wear my earplugs when on public transport. This has an unnerving effect because it blocks out ALL SOUND and you feel a bit like you’re underwater, but it’s preferable to the tck-a-tck-tck-tck-tck-tck of some moronic piece of dance music.

Do you know how much my brilliant earphones cost me? £6.95! £6.95 off Amazon about two years ago – they were so good I bought three pairs! It’s not much to ask, surely, that if you’re going to listen to your music at full volume you buy some decent equipment? A fiver isn’t going to bankrupt anyone but it will make the travelling world a nicer place… Of course the big-wigs at Apple don’t care one jot about that, do they? Their crappy little earphones that must be manufactured at Crazy Colin’s Factory probably cost a fraction of a penny to make.. I know they’re pretty useful because you can use them as a handsfree with the iPhone, and I’m guessing that’s why many use them to listen to music as well, but really, come on people! Don’t make the world suffer!

Apple have a lot to answer for. If I could have a pound for every time I’ve almost burst a blood vessel in my face, been apoplectic with rage, sat huffing and puffing and stewing in my anger, I’d be at least a few grand richer! I know there’s a simple solution: wear my own Apple earphones and crank up the volume. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Yet.

Anyone want to join me in an anti-rubbish-earphone campaign?


  1. Agree. What people using these earphones don’t seem to realise is that because they let so much sound out and in, you have to turn the volume up way higher than with other phones. It’s only a matter of time before hearing damage results. In fact, I think it’s only a matter of time before we start to see people bringing class action against Apple for hearing damage brought about by the design of these earphones.

    For those who are sinners and wish to upgrade, try Soundmagic e10’s for decent quality at a reasonable price. (30ish)

  2. i have to hear ear bud noise leakage, oh the humanity….you’re all whiny cry babies…

  3. Hi Ruth, what earphones did you end up buying? I’ve had 3 pairs of these godawful Apple EarBuds and they suck! All 3 pairs have lost sound from the left phone, but only after causing me hours of pain, and frustration (when trying to use em at the gym – impossible!). Apple have apparently launched new earphones called EarPods. Let’s hope its not just another catchy name.

  4. I’m stood next to someone with then right now, some really clicky dance music. This is why searched “iPhone headphones are terrible and got this article. They don’t even feel nice and considering the ludicrous cost of apple products I’m amazed people put up with them.

  5. Do you really think £7 earphones are really that good coz if you want to get at least reasonable sound you need to spend at leat£200. Just saying :)

  6. I agree, but what also irritates me is the fact that their earphones break to easily!!

  7. Try the new EarPods.. They are much better..

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