Last Friday I got to show my sister's boyfriend around the city. He had never been to NYC, which meant he deserved to see the craziness that is Chinatown. While there, I told him about the elctronics stores that import Asian versions of American products, often for lower prices. While looking, I noticed a pair of Sony headphones I had read about and knew were popular among iPod users -- the MDR-EX71SL (the white ones are only available as imports, but if you google the product name, you'll find them). My current iPod headphones were already falling apart, after six months of use, and they aren't the best in the world. The Sony set were only $45 and I thought that was a fair price for a good set of headphones, so I got them.
I have to say, I'm not at all disappointed. These headphones are much better than the standard issue from Apple. The first album I listened to was Basement Jaxx's Kish Kash. Since these headphones actually enter your ear canal, instead of just pressing up against it, you can hear and feel more of the sound. There is a significant improvement in both the highs and lows, especially in the bass. If I put the iPod EQ to "Bass Booster," it is way too much bass for me, which is impressive. Their general performance is also very strong, even though it took a few songs to get used to actually hearing my music.
So now I have a great sounding pair of headphones and I can still be recognized on the subway as an iPod user, which is much more important to me than it should be. If you see me on the subway, feel free to jack into my iPod.