New headphones are my No. 1 recommendation to anyone who wants to get the most out of their new MP3 player. (Except, of course, for those who decided to go with the Sony NWZ-A810 series or the Zune 80.) Straight up: Those janky, plastic buds that came with your player aren't doing you any favors. First off, they're not terribly comfortable, and they don't fit most users securely--for me, there are few things more annoying than having to constantly shove a hard piece of plastic into my ear. Then of course there's the sound-quality issue...hollow, tinny, bassless, muffled, hissy. I've heard it all. If you really want to hear what your MP3 player has to offer, replacing those 'buds is a must. Of course, I understand that not everyone can afford to throw down $450 on a pair of Shure SE530s, or even close to $100 on the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio (though I can assure you that they are both worth it if you've got the dough). To that end, I've rounded up six deserving contenders that will set you back just $50 or less. There's a style for every taste and comfort requirement, and each and every one of these selections will offer some noticeable improvement over stock 'buds. Check out the products.
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