I was pretty impressed with the signature white iPod ear buds when I first got the thing, and I’ll admit, I felt cool wearing them. I expected them to be tinny like every other pair of ear buds I’ve tried, but the frequency range wasn’t bad. They do a decent job of blocking outside noise, and other people can barely hear them even when the iPod’s cranked.

My problem with them is a simple matter of engineering: the wire going into the ear bud isn’t secured. Well, it is, but not where it should be. The wire goes up into this tube that comes off the bottom of the buds and it connects up in there somewhere. Unfortunately, the wire isn’t affixed to this tube, and it has just enough room to move around a little bit. This usually isn’t a problem, but if I’ve got the iPod in my hand or I’m walking with a particularly bouncy gait, the wire swings back and forth, causing it to collide ever so lightly with the inside of the tube. Since this tube is connected to the body of the ear bud, it resonates nicely in my ear canal.

It can be irritating, but it’s easy to ignore. I’ve got a decent pair of Sony headphones, but they’re the big, puffy, DJ style, so they won’t fit nicely in my pocket or bag (another benefit of the ear buds).

It’s not enough of a problem to warrant another headphone expenditure. For the time being, I think I’ll just walk in time to the music so I don’t notice it.