It might feel like every phone or music player comes packaged with a tiny pair of earbuds. After all, they're cheap to manufacture and easy to use.
Headphones that go over your ears can also damage your hearing if you use them too long or play music too loudly. They're just not as much of a risk as earbuds are: Having the source of the sound in your ear canal can increase a sound's volume by 6 to 9 decibels — enough to cause some serious problems.
Dig the Dongle
Almost all earbuds now come with a remote built into the cable (wireless Bluetooth buds excluded, of course). This lets you change the volume, skip tracks, and answer calls easily -- there's a mic in there, too. This feature is a must if you spend a lot of time talking on the phone, or if you're a shuffle-jockey who's always skipping songs. It's common to put the remote on the cable under one of the ears, so it hangs close to your chin. Others put it where the two ear-cables meet, at the bottom of the "Y" on your chest. A few models skip the remote/mic entirely.