From TF2 Wiki
The Earbuds commonly known as Buds are a miscellaneous item wearable by all classes. They appear as a stylized version of the white earbuds that normally come with the Apple iPod and iPhone. This limited edition item was awarded to players who launched TF2 on a Mac between June 10, 2010 and June 14, 2010 (Secretly returning on August 12th to August 16th). When worn, white musical notes are intermittently seen coming from the buds. One of the most valuable and expensive items in the game, second only to Unusual Hats, the Earbuds were a topic of much debate upon release. Many PC Team Fortress 2 players were outraged when new mac players were rewarded with a unique, valuable item, while their previous attention and devotion to the game had gone unheeded and unrewarded.
- The white cords leading down from the player's ears are jiggleboned, meaning they move around and flex as influenced by the player's movement. That makes this item the first equippable to the Misc. The only slot to have this feature.
- The earbuds and its wire always appear bright white, even when the wearer is in darkness. This is likely a reference to the iPod commercials in which white headphones were worn by silhouettes.
- This is the second official headwear item to include an inherent particle effect (comical musical notes in this case). The only other cosmetic item to have featured a passive visual effect prior to the release of the earbuds is the Cheater's Lament.
- To get the earbuds, one only needed to play TF2 once on a Mac during the promotional period.
- This item is now considered rare due to the fact that it is no longer dropped.
- As of January 2012, Earbuds readily trade for between 23-25 Mann Co Supply Crate Keys. They are even sometimes traded 1:1 for Unusual hats with lower tier effects. Examples: Fetti, Logo, Flies.
- Buds are used also as currency for acquiring anything from Steam games to Unusual hats and other promo items via trade.
- The first ever misc item to be found from a promotion. Also, one of the first misc items that works on all classes.
- This item is on high demand due to its unique style and the fact that it is a misc, therefore wearable with a hat.
- The earbuds style is based off the style of headphones that predominantly come with every version of the iPod.
- The original percentage of players who owned earbuds was considerably 28% and now only about 12% of players own this item,this items player ownage rating went down drastically along with the Bill's hat, possibly because of an influx of new players, and people collecting them.
- Despite the Pyro having no ears, The earbuds still remain intact on the side of his/her mask without support.
- For a while Earbuds were raising the price, now, people are saying the price is dropping.
- As of the patch of December 2nd, earbuds no longer glow.
The Emperor's Trading Advice
- The earbuds are a valuable item. It might better to hold onto this item, because the value will only rise. In most cases, the earbuds are sold for 23-25 Mann Co Supply Crate keys. In terms of unusuals, the earbuds + sweeteners can easily buy one a low tier hat with a low tier effect (Buckaroos Hat with green confetti, for example). From there, it only goes up, with a very good unusual (like a Defiant Spartan with sunbeams) going for more around 6-7 earbuds.
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