Ear Buddy
Ear Buddy

Ear Buddy

Annoyed by hisses and pops from your earphones? Feel like your music is just not at its best?

The iFi Ear Buddy is a simple plug and play device that puts an end to unwanted noise and breathes new life into your audio.

Your new best friend

Do you find that your headphones/IEMs often have a background hiss from your phone or source? Or do find yourself listening really loudly to try and get the full ‘impact’ of the music?

Well, time to say hello to your new best friend – the Ear Buddy.

Simple but effective

The Ear Buddy is a simple 3.5mm adapter that fits between any headphone and audio device.

It filters out background hiss and bursts of sudden noise that can damage your ears.

The Ear Buddy makes music clearer and allows you to crank up the volume to the max without painful consequences! Great for your kids too.

The perfect travelling companion

The Ear Buddy works with smartphones, DAPs, computers and in-flight travel systems.

A top tip – take it with you when you fly – no more painful soundtracks to inflight movies. It works wonders.

And for good measure, we’ve added memory foam earplugs (they really do work!), an aeroplane adapter and travel pouch.

The Ear Buddy is the perfect travelling companion for you or your children.

Too much power heading into your headphones causes irritating noise, hiss and buzz.

Our solution is to ‘attenuate’ or adjust the signal that cuts out the hiss and puts the enjoyment back into listening.

Turn up the digital volume to restore lost resolution and improve sound quality.

Normal listening levels usually result in a loss of 2-Bits of resolution but increasing the digital volume and using the Ear Buddy to attenuate the volume level, brings these Bits back.

Support

  • High-Gain (-16dB) sensitivity adjustment
  • 6N copper matrix wiring
  • Gold-plated printed circuit board with audiophile components (eg MELF resistors)
  • Gold-plated 3.5mm male/female connectors
  • Input Impedance: > 16 Ohm
  • Output Impedance: < 2.7 Ohms
  • Amplifier Loading: ~18 Ohm
  • Conditions: 16R headphone/iem connected < 1R Amplifier output impedance
  • Compatible Headphone impedance: 16 Ohm to 600 Ohm rated impedance
  • 12.5 Ohm minimum impedance
  • Weight: 6.0 g
  • Total Length: 116mm
  • Warranty period: 12 months

Reviews

What the doctor ordered

Sound Devices warns that the headphone output of their SD 702 recorder can damage hearing. For some reason, they designed that output so hot that just barely nudging the volume knob from the zero position results in full normal listening level with my Beyerdynamic headphones. These have a sensitivity of 102 dB for 1mW, only a bit more than typical.

So I looked for a decently-made plug-and-play inline headphone attenuator. This Ear Buddy seemed tailor-made for the job. Received it, tried it out: perfect. Normal listening level is now at least 1/3 turn up, and plenty of headroom remains should conditions warrant. The sound seems unaffected but the benefit of a wide range of subtle adjustments to the listening level is definitely a winner.

While the Ear Buddy appears well-made with good materials, my impression is it’s not designed for harsh conditions or abuse. The right-angle jack is OK although I would have preferred a straight-line jack in my application.

(Click name to read original review)

Compare

iEMatchEarBuddyiEMatch2.5
Primary useSensitive headphones ($150>)Sensitive headphones (<$150)Digital Audio Players
3.5mm BalancedYes--
3.5mm Single-EndedYesYes-
2.5mm Balanced--Yes
Ultra (-24dB) / High (-12dB) SensitivityYes-Yes
High(-16dB) Sensitivity-Yes-
6N silver / copper matrix wiringYes-Yes
6N copper matrix wiring-Yes-
FINAL 6063-T5 aluminium-magnesium alloyYes-Yes
Input impedance>16 Ohm>16 Ohm>16 Ohm
Output impedance< 2.5 Ohms (High-Sensitivity)
< 1 Ohms (Ultra-Sensitivity)
< 2.7 Ohms (High-Sensitivity)< 2.5 Ohms (High-Sensitivity)
< 1 Ohms (Ultra-Sensitivity)
Compatibility16 Ohm to 600 Ohm rated impedance
12.5 Ohm minimum impedance
16 Ohm to 600 Ohm rated impedance
12.5 Ohm minimum impedance
16 Ohm to 600 Ohm rated impedance
12.5 Ohm minimum impedance
Weight12.2g6g12.2g
Total length116mm116mm116mm
IEMs

IEMs stands for In-Ear Monitors.

These fit inside your ear. You’ve been using them for years. You just called them something else.

You will also see these referred to as earphones, ear buds and CIEMs. CIEMs are Custom In-Ear Monitors – IEMs made specifically to fit your ear shape.

DAP (Digital Audio Player)

A DAP is a device like an iPod or an MP3 player that stores and/or plays back music digitally.

Bits

In digital audio, a value called bit depth describes the resolution of the sound data that is captured and stored in an audio file. A higher audio bit depth indicates a more detailed sound recording.

So, the higher the bit depth, the higher the quality of the audio. Bit depth is usually 16 bits on a CD and 24 bits on a DVD.

If you ‘lose’ bits, the quality of your music will deteriorate.

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