6 Better Buds Than iPhone 5's

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Among the very latest iPhone evolutions officially announced today were Apple's new EarPods. As much as these purportedly more durable and natural fitting earphones may augment the i-audio experience, there are (at least) six functions these new and improved buds won't be able to perform:

1. Stay Out of Your Ears. We got an advanced listen of the upcoming AfterShokz Sportz M2 bone conduction earphones (due out later this month) and were very impressed with their improvements over the original AfterShokz: A significantly smaller, now Micro-USB rechargeable control unit with added volume buttons; a slightly longer headband; and (most importantly) substantially fuller, noticeably richer sound. As with their predecessor, they leave your ear canal open, which is safer, less distracting and more comfortable — especially for all you folks who can't seem to find an earbud to fit and stay in your quirky ears.

2. Reassign Its In-Line Button. Although the well-designed Jays a-Jays One+ have other merits, it's their Headset Control companion Android app that makes them unique. It features two modes, Easy and Advanced. They let you reassign the earphones' sole button to initiate voice commands, control music/calls, and/or launch settings/apps. Between single-, double- and triple-tapping and (not) holding of the button, that gives you six functions to assign and activate. And because we all multi-click at different speeds, you can adjust the click interval to match yours.

3. Stay Untangled. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that tripled its funding goal, CordCruncher is an actual selling product — available in Glo Orange, Matte Black or Pearl Blue. As we wrote in April, it's great being able to yank your buds out or back rather than having to take the time to disentangle them every time you listen and carefully wind them back up every time you're done (or face the consequences). Although several cord management systems have cropped up lately, this is the quickest and coolest of 'em.

4. Go Wireless. The superb Phiaton PS 210 BTNC earphones are angled for a secure, steady fit and sublime sound. They also feature a winning combo of both Bluetooth and active noise cancellation. And their rechargeable control unit elegantly gives audio confirmations as it powers on/off, pairs and connects to your audio source.

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5. Go Underwater. Whether rockin' out in the shower or catching tuneage as you snorkel, it's cool having earphones that can go underwater (and live to rock again). Waterproof down to 10 feet for up to three hours, DryBuds Sport are great for any aqua-based athletics — or any time you don't want to have to worry about being splashed. Of course, they work on land and while at leisure as well.

6. Prevent Hearing Loss. Turn it up! Or should you? Most folks (especially you youngsters out there) do so without considering the consequences. With dBLogic's earphones you don't have to. They deliver clean, undistorted music that's loud enough, but maxes out at 85 dB so it won't cause short- or long-term ear damage. If you're so enamored with iPhone's standard earphones but also care about your hearing, check out dBLogic's universal adapter.

Credit: JIRO/Corbis

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