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  1. eggcracker's Avatar
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    #1

    Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Earbud and earphone are interchangeable without making any difference?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungjou View Post
    Are "earbud" and "earphone" are interchangeable without making any difference?
    It might depend on context, as always. My initial instinct would be to say that they are certainly extremely similar and also to point out that we rarely use those terms in the singular. I listen to music on my iPod using headphones or earbuds. I don't think I've ever said "earphones" but I know the term is used.

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    #3

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    I think "earbud" is a relatively new term that has taken the place of what were called "earphones." Only when iPods became popular did the term "earbud" appear.

  3. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    I always thought that "earbuds" are the sort of headphones that you stick in your ear, such as these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    While headphones (or earphones) can be either that or the sort that you put on your ears (that is the term is more general), like these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  4. eggcracker's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I always thought that "earbuds" are the sort of headphones that you stick in your ear, such as these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    While headphones (or earphones) can be either that or the sort that you put on your ears (that is the term is more general), like these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's quite confusing.
    I've used only "earphones" when I refer the first picture, and I've known that the second picture is "headphones".
    I never say "earphones" if I want to say the device like on the second picture".

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I always thought that "earbuds" are the sort of headphones that you stick in your ear, such as these:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Skullcandy-Ink.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	17.0 KB 
ID:	1332

    While headphones (or earphones) can be either that or the sort that you put on your ears (that is the term is more general), like these:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hd280_800.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	45.5 KB 
ID:	1331
    I refer to the top ones as either earbuds or headphones (I realise that doesn't make any sense but habits are hard to break and for nearly 25 years I used headphones to listen to music so it's hard to change the word). I would only refer to the bottom ones as headphones.

  6. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I refer to the top ones as either earbuds or headphones (I realise that doesn't make any sense but habits are hard to break and for nearly 25 years I used headphones to listen to music so it's hard to change the word). I would only refer to the bottom ones as headphones.
    That is exactly how I see it.
    Last edited by CarloSsS; 01-Jun-2012 at 19:13.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I always thought that "earbuds" are the sort of headphones that you stick in your ear, such as these:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Skullcandy-Ink.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	17.0 KB 
ID:	1332

    While headphones (or earphones) can be either that or the sort that you put on your ears (that is the term is more general), like these:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hd280_800.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	45.5 KB 
ID:	1331
    The first picture is earphones or earbuds.

    The second is headphones.

    Headphones go on your head (and over your ears). Earphones or earbuds go in your ears.

  7. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    The first picture is earphones or earbuds.

    The second is headphones.

    Headphones go on your head (and over your ears). Earphones or earbuds go in your ears.
    According Merriam-Webster's dictionary, both the first picture and the second one can be called earphones.

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

    Oxford dictionary says that earphones = headphones:

    http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionar...nary/earphones
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Earbud and earphone are interchangeable?

    I think the problem is that earbuds are a relatively recent invention. Many people have been used to saying "I listen to music on/with/through my headphones" that even though the design may have changed, our terminology may not.

    I use the little earbuds which fit in your ear, but if I can't find them I ask my flatmate "Have you seen my headphones?" and he knows exactly what I mean. I doubt I will ever go over to saying "Have you seen my earbuds anywhere?"

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