Originally Posted by lazer 46
I've tried a lot of different ear buds in the last two years. I don't like the full head set either. Very uncomfortable for me. The best ear bud for noise isolation are the Etymotic research HF5's. They are the best. You don't have to turn up the ipod full blast to hear the music. They can be found online for about $100. There is also a new Etymotic model called The MC5 which sells for about $70. Same noise isolation. As for how durable they are I can't say. This will be my second season with the Etymotics.
I've had a pair of MC3s and they've made it through two seasons. The cables are durable and they do not tangle. They also have the built in mic and volume control, so you can answer your phone and don't have to take out your ear plugs (or take the phone out of your pocket).
I use Comply foam tips for the ear buds (the P Series). They're almost as good (for noise blocking) as a regular set of 3M foam ear plugs. They're also very comfortable and don't move around. I haven't used regular ear plugs since I discovered these.