Earphones, Headphones, and Headsets for Your iPad mini

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

You’ve surely noticed that your iPad mini didn’t include earphones or a headset. That’s probably a blessing because the earphones and headsets Apple has included with iPods and iPhones since time immemorial aren’t that good. In fact, For what it’s worth, iPhones and iPod touches now include Apple’s redesigned — and much improved — EarPods.

Apple acquired a genuine headphone company, Beats, so Apple may leverage this purchase in some way and supply or at least make available top-notch Beats headphones. But currently, all iPads ship without headphones, so you get to select a pair of headphones, earphones, or a headset that suits your needs and your budget. That’s good, right?

Wired headphones, earphones, and headsets

Search Amazon for headphones, earphones, or headsets, and you’ll find thousands of each available at prices ranging from around $10 to more than $1,000. Or if you prefer to shop in a bricks-and-mortar store, Target, Best Buy, and the Apple Store all have decent selections, with prices starting at less than $20.

You won’t find any bargains there because Apple-branded products are rarely discounted. However, you can almost always find non-Apple items such as headphones, earphones, and headsets cheaper somewhere else.

With so many brands and models of earphones, headphones, and headsets available from so many manufacturers at so many price points, it would pay off for you to do your own research before buying.

When it comes to headphones, you might consider the SR60i from Grado, which is legendary for offering astonishingly accurate audio at an affordable price (around $80). Headphones that cost twice, thrice, or even more times as much don’t sound nearly as good.

You could also go with sweet-sounding, albeit pricey (about $350) Bose QuietComfort 3 acoustic noise-canceling headphones and Monster Inspiration over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones (about $300).

For earphones and earphone-style headsets, you might consider the Klipsch Image S4 headphones and S4i in-ear headset with mic and three-button remote. At around $79 and $99, respectively, they sound better than many similarly priced products, and better than many more-expensive offerings.

Bluetooth stereo headphones, earphones, and headsets

The idea is that with Bluetooth stereo headphones, earphones, and headsets, you can listen to music wirelessly up to 33 feet away from your iPad mini. If this sounds good to you, look for reviews of such products on the web before you decide which one to buy. A search of Amazon for stereo Bluetooth headset brought up thousands of items, with prices starting as low as $11.99.

You could try BlueAnt Pump HD Stereo Sportsbuds, a Bluetooth stereo headset that works with the iPhone and iPad mini. They’re also waterproof and sweat-proof.