I broke ANOTHER pair of earbuds, this week. This is the 4th pair in the last 2-ish years, and I am pretty fed up. I keep breaking the connection between the plug and the wire, causing one earbud or the other to stop making noise, and me to walk around with my head tilted sideways and a confused look on my face. It’s really undignified.

These are my current earbuds. They’re relatively cheap, relatively comfortable, and when I accidentally leave them in my pants pocket and they go through the wash, they tend to work afterwards. If they would stop breaking, I would never probably buy another pair. But, here we are, with ANOTHER failed pair, and I figure, if I’m really this upset about another pair breaking, it might be time to invest a bit more in a new pair, this time.

So, some criteria:

  • mic for my phone - I don’t talk on the phone often, but when I do, I like to be able to do it without holding a piece of glass against my face for an hour.
  • in-ear - my piercings prevent on-ear or can-style from being comfortable. Ever had most of a centimeter of 20 gauge stainless steel stab into the soft spot behind your ear and jaw-hinge for hours? I wouldn’t recommend it. Glasses often interfere with over-the-ear earbuds (the ones that look like Christmas ornament hangers gone terribly wrong), although I’ve had a decent experience with the little fin-style holders with a pair of running ear-buds.
  • travel-friendly - my headphones normally ride (loose) in a pants-pocket or a purse until they’re needed for a walk, a bus ride, or a plane-trip. I’m BAD at cases but don’t mind taking a moment to unravel the magic self-tying knot.
  • multiple-device friendly - I’ve plugged my ear-buds into 4 different devices in the last year (laptop, phone, iPad, 3DS). Most of my listening happens with my phone, so a compromise here would be allowable, if disappointing.
  • durable - please, dear god, stop breaking tiny tiny wires!!!

I had a friend point me to the wirecutter.com articles about headphones, but confess I find myself at a bit of a loss. The earbud reviews have no mention of durability, the bluetooth reviews limit me to one device and seem to be exclusively focused on exercise gear, or full on home-theatre setups.

Am I destined to keep funneling Sony 25 bucks every couple months, slowly filling a landfill entirely with old pocket-remnants and rage? Is this some witch’s curse because I was rude to the wrong person back in 2002? Do you have any suggestions on alternatives? Please, drop me a tweet, and let me know!