Is the iPod Generation Going Deaf?
Isolator earbuds are great. Mine happen to be the Etymotic ER6; Lest I sound too much like a shill, I'll say I never have compared them directly to any other isolator-style earbuds, and it's quite possible that others out there offer better value.
However they compare, I absolutely love mine -- they're far more effective for reducing distraction in a noisy office than either earplugs (when everything is muffled, muffled noises become distracting) or normal headphones or earbuds (which require me to crank the volume and risk further hearing loss).
And I'm no audiophile, but I really do find music more enjoyable with these -- when I started using them, I found myself discovering new subtleties to quieter passages of songs that I'd been listening to for *years*.