Walkmans with Earbud earphonesEarphones are very small headphones that are fitted directly in the outer ear, facing but not inserted in the ear canal. Earphones are portable and convenient, but many people consider them uncomfortable. They provide hardly any acoustic isolation and leave room for ambient noise to seep in, users may turn up the volume dangerously high to compensate, at the risk of causing hearing loss. On the other hand, they let the user be better aware of their surroundings. Since the early days of the transistor radio, earphones have commonly been bundled with personal music devices. They are sold at times with foam or rubber pads for comfort. The use of the term earbuds, which has been around since at least 1984, did not hit its peak until after 2001, with the success of Apples MP3 player.
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