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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?

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  1. Hi Ruth

    I’ll join u in ur campaign. Apple earphones r awful, the sound quality is rubbish, everyone can hear what ur listening too, there’s far too much noise coming from outside & they really, really hurt ur ears. I bought Dr Dre Beats which r amazing but I know there expensive but there r lots of other more affordable earphones out there for people to use. Apple need to work on their earphones, they let customers down coz they have amazing & high quality products but poor earphones. Now my rant is over & I’m so pleased someone else feels the same about Apples earphones

    Love Shelley xx

    • @Shelley Mr AMR has Dr Dre Beats too, they are very good. But yes, you can pick up a good quality pair for way less than a tenner! x


  2. I’ll join you, I object to having to listen to my own music when I am not in a music mood just to block out the noise created by ignorant music listeners. I have asked people to turn down their music and have been abused for doing so. I have even thought about making up “I’m an ignorant commuter” stickers to attach to such people’s backs as they walk in front of me! You are not alone, but as most of the people who do this are ignorant and disrespectful of all their fellow travellers I think we might be on a losing side!
    Good luck with the campaign x

  3. I understand your pain about such self-centred people. Once I travelled by bus for 4h and the guy next to me decided to bring a portable radio and play some kizomba out loud for the whole trip…..
    Not to mention my housemates, who make “parties” every 2 nights , often times in the room next to mine. Even with earplugs I could hear them last night… If the earplug falls from my ear while sleeping, I risk to wake up at 5h30 with that stuff :/ Can’t wait to get the hell out of hereeeeee!

  4. This is rather weird. I had a pair of Apple earphones until recently, that worked very well for about 2 years, sound was great, clear and actually went into my ears not in other people’s. Unfortunately the right one doesn’t work anymore so I had to buy a new pair. Now the new pair is exactly the garbage that you’ve described above. I can’t even believe it and not a day passes by that I don’t weep after the old one. I am now sitting here wondering what on earth to buy next.

  5. It’s not just a UK problem, where I live (south of Europe) it happens the same. Lack of civility I call it. Like you, I also own a pair of earphones that come with 3 sizes of small black rubber plugs. They are cheap, the sound is perfect and nobody gets bothered. Why buy something else?

  6. Never fear Ruth, my hubbie joins you in your rant, he’s been moaning about them for years!
    We are both still on a quest to find the perfect pair of earphones – discreet & comfy…Can you let me know which brand you use/recommend?! And do you happen to know if they are still available on Amazon?!

    Many Thanks :)

    Kirsty x

  7. Yes, I am with you there! The metallic sound they produce is awful too. I use Wesc and Sennheiser headphones instead (I have a handy compact one that takes about the space of a wallet). Don’t carry out your idea to use the earphones yourself though ;) I always feel sorry for those who use that kind of earphones because it causes lasting ear damage. Especially on public transport and other noisy places, because you have to turn the sound up and it is battering your ears even more. In-ear plugs are better because there is no leakage and you don’t have to turn the volume up. This is effectively the one thing where Apple doens’t guarantee quality and I have wondered a lot of times how Steve Jobs could have let that happen!

  8. Oh my gosh I had this problem on the tube last night! The worst dance music (and I’m a dance music fan) really, really loud. I tried staring at the guy but to no avail x

  9. This annoys me as well, I hate hearing whatever other people are listening to. If other manufacturers can make decent headphones for less, why can’t apple, I would think they want people to use their earphones?

    Which ones do you find good as I’m using a pair of Sennheiser ones. TY

  10. ”…burst a blood vessel in my face” hahahahaha I literally rolled on the floor laughing (ok…maybe not literally, but I did literally ”LOL”). On a more serious note, however, I do agree with every word you wrote Ruth. Glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. X

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