Can't find audio earphones/headsets I like

I just destroyed another pair of earphones when one end fell out of my ear while I was walking and I stepped on it.

I just can’t seem to find audio devices with the characteristics I want.
These are my optimal parameters:

  1. Doesn’t go inside the ear. Both because of the falling out problem and also because these kinds of things seem to tire my ears faster.

  2. The two sides are not yoked together. I don’t like the feeling of having a “thing” going around the top of my head or around the back of my neck. And when I’m using it in a professional environment, it feels too conspicuous. Also, I often like to use just one ear at a time.

  3. The thing is hardy enough that it can handle occasionally being dropped or stepped on, or shoved into a pocket or a bag without breaking.

  4. Reasonably good sound quality for music, movies, and podcasts. I’m not looking for home theatre level audio, but not tinny treble-only crap either.

Anyone have suggestions?

I have a pair of Koss KSC-75 clips that sound amazing and have held up against mild abuse. The clips aren’t the most comfortable I’ve ever had, but the sound quality is fantastic.

I’m pretty picky about them as well. Not so much about sound quality, but I want ruggedness, comfort, and I prefer the kind that’s not in my ear canal so I can hear outside sounds better. The ear buds that come with an iPod just will not stay in place for more than five seconds at a time. And I HATE the kind that have unequal-length cords!

These two Sony models work well for me:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-J10-Headphones-Non-Slip-Blue/dp/B00005V8GO/ref=sr_1_5/175-6460668-7548422?ie=UTF8&s=aht&qid=1269619338&sr=1-5
These are widely available for $10, have very good sound, and are rugged. The downside is that the over-ear hooks get tangled in the cord when you’re not wearing them - they’re like grappling hooks.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mdr-As20J-Active-Headphones-Hangers/dp/B0015AHRFK/ref=sr_1_4/175-6460668-7548422?ie=UTF8&s=aht&qid=1269619322&sr=1-4
These are the ones I’m currently using. The price is a little higher, the sound quality is similar, but they’re closed loops that go over the ear so don’t get so tangled in the cord.

Very cool! Are they available at brick-and-mortar stores? Radio Shack doesn’t seem to have them. Maybe I’ll check Best Buy.

Just looking at the pictures, the Koss ones look more comfortable, but I haven’t tried ones that look like the Sony ones. It seems like I’ll have to twist my ear around a bit to get them on.

The Sony ones are available just about everywhere. I bought the closed-ear-loop ones at a Radio Shack about two years ago.