We're All Ears

Because they sit just inside the ends of your ear canals to block out a decent amount of external noise, a set of canalphones makes the ideal replacement for the earbuds that come included with your iPod. Altec Lansing's BackBeat Classic stands out by providing decent sound quality, a sturdy design--including durable, fabric-wrapped cables--and a distinctive appearance for just $30. For an extra $30--still a reasonable price compared to the $100-plus prices of many canalbuds and in-ear-canal headphones--Maximo's iM-590 iMetal Isolation Earphones offer big steps up in sound quality, comfort, and design. I love the metal earpieces and color-coordinated trim, eartips, and cables. You also get an generous collection of accessories: a carrying case, four sets of silicone eartips, an extension cord, a shirt clip, an airplane adapter, and a 2.5mm adapter plug.

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