Well of course the E3c's aren't twice as good as the E2c's. Once you start getting into higher priced audio equipment, the improvement gets smaller and smaller, as the author of the UE-10 review noted. Are the UE-10's three times as good as Ety's? No they aren't, even though they cost three times as much. It's unfair to expect the E3c's to sound doubly better because they're twice the price.

Posted by e3c owner on May 3, 2004 at 1:04 PM (PDT) Comment 1

i'm still thinking about ety er-6 over these, because theyre cheaper and most people i've read prefer them for accuracy - easy listening etc.. and not hip-hop which sounds suitable for me

Posted by er-6 wannabe on May 3, 2004 at 2:02 PM (PDT) Comment 2

I've not tried the Shure phones but love my Etymotic ER-4's, also in-ear phones. They also have very thin silicone seals but are fantastic for isolation. If you have even very quiet music playing, you shouldn't hear ANYTHING "outside" that's only as loud as a busy highway. They are an absolute blessing on my frequent flights. I'll guess that when you didn't get good isolation, it was because the seals didn't seat right... not only does a poor fit let the noise in, it dramatically weakens the bass response of the phones. Try again!

And please be careful about those Q-Tips. It's very hard to tell when you're wiping off wax versus possibly tearing your eardrum. Buy a bottle of earwax remover. A few minutes every few months lying on your side (to keep it in long enough to dissolve the wax) is all I need to keep my phones from gumming up. So it's safer, more convenient, and more comfortable.

Posted by Walt French on May 3, 2004 at 3:22 PM (PDT) Comment 3

i own a pair of the shure e3c's...well for my mini review

i am a fan of high bass (and was a bit saddened at its lack of) but the crispness, look and comfort far outdoes any pair i have ever tried incluiding BOSE sound proof full ear covers...a totaly different class but i really love my pair and although they may not be worth the 143 i paid for them i think i would buy a new pair for $99...

if you listen a lot and prefer nice sounds then go get um...assuming they fit in your budget.....

ill listen to mine when im in a room with ###### speakers before i use the speakers

Posted by rivlinm on May 3, 2004 at 3:30 PM (PDT) Comment 4

"It's unfair to expect the E3c's to sound doubly better because they're twice the price."


I'm sorry you interpreted the review that way. Nowhere did I say I 'expected' twice the quality, and nowhere did I fault them for being less... I'm simply stating the facts for the readers.

I fully recognize, exactly what you did--- that price vs. quality is NOT a linear relationship in headphones.

I **loved** the E3c's very much, but-- to me-- they weren't worth twice the money. I think it's fair to communicate that, don't you?

Even still... I direct you to the disclaimer at the top--- Everyone is VERY different... Review pieces are only opinion.

I have added a sentence to hopefully clarify this.

Posted by Jerrod H. on May 3, 2004 at 4:07 PM (PDT) Comment 5

Good review, azdude. I enjoy reading your info - the 101s and stuff - how do you find the time?
I got the E2c a coupla weeks ago and definitely agree about the foam density issue - not very cushy. Maybe I'll get more used to them - I use them when running, so they don't fall out, haven't been on a plane with them yet. Can't really justify the cost of the 3s, for only about an hour a day...

Posted by newrunner on May 3, 2004 at 6:04 PM (PDT) Comment 6

I really like these phones; even though they are ghastly expensive here in Canada, I feel I made a good choice in buying them. I do use them everyday.

I agree completely with the reviewer's comments about accuracy and clarity: these monitors give you the music, the whole music, and nothing but the music. Bass is just fine, once you resolve isolation issues.

The smallest of the clear plugs which came with the E3s work best for me. Yellow foamies are very good too.

Posted by isolated iPodder on May 3, 2004 at 7:23 PM (PDT) Comment 7

I've got e2s, and I've noticed that they have really weak detail. If you set the equalizer to "trebble boost" in iTunes and/or your iPod, the e2s sound great. The iPod headphones always sound crappy to me. My B+O A8 headphones sound amazing with the equalizer set to "bass boost", as long as I listen to music that was made with real instruments (not synthetic stuff like electronica or rap). The sound isolation is a real drag most of the time. It renders the Shure headphones useless for bike riding or running.

Posted by Nick on May 3, 2004 at 10:01 PM (PDT) Comment 8

I have just recently purchased the Shure E2 buds and the only thing I don't like about them is the Classic Flex sleeves are very uncomfortable for me. The only size I have been able to use is the small and even those make my ear canels hurt.

Can you get these Ultra Soft sleeves for the E2 buds?

I was also told that I could get a mold made by an audiologist to fit my E2 buds for around $100 dollars. However, when I read the User Guide it said this could only be done for the E3.

Has anyone tried to do this with their E2 buds?

Posted by Polkster13 on May 4, 2004 at 2:35 AM (PDT) Comment 9

Very disappointed with the E3c. Sound is lifeless, metallic and thin with none of the depth of sound I like. I tried all the EQ settings with these phones and detected very little difference on any. I have gone back to the original Apple phones.

Posted by GWJ on May 4, 2004 at 3:39 AM (PDT) Comment 10

azdude, nice review. One thing I would add is that the optional triple flange sleeves have isolation almost on par with the foam sleeves, and are more comfortable than the clear flex sleeves (flexier material).

Polkster: head over to head-fi and do a search for "E2 EX71 mod." That mod is a good way to get more comfortable fitting E2s. The sony sleeves are similar to the Shure ultra flex.

Posted by Kauffee on May 4, 2004 at 4:11 AM (PDT) Comment 11

Nick, when you say "The sound isolation is a real drag most of the time. It renders the Shure headphones useless for bike riding or running" do you mean they isolate too much, or too little?

Posted by aeromusek on May 4, 2004 at 4:12 AM (PDT) Comment 12

Walt... here's a tip. The ear drum's the piece at the back that your earphones will never, ever touch. Don't stick the qtip in that far.

Posted by JC on May 4, 2004 at 8:58 AM (PDT) Comment 13

Walt's right. Q-tips are bad, and not just because of the eardrum tearing risk. Q-tips tend to "pack" earwax in, rather than actually remove it. If you use them, only do so around the very opening of your ear canal. Use a wax removal kit to get what's inside.

Posted by Kauffee on May 4, 2004 at 2:34 PM (PDT) Comment 14

"Use a wax removal kit to get what's inside."

A DJ friend of mine goes for quarterly doctor-assisted earwax removal using a weird machine that pulses water at high velocities. He gets to write it off as a business expense.

Posted by Wax Doctor on May 4, 2004 at 3:13 PM (PDT) Comment 15

Wax Doctor:

It's called a water-pick. We've got one in our house. It just shoots water into your ears to clean them out. Feels like when you get water in your ear from swimming pools. It works though.

Posted by JBF on May 4, 2004 at 7:07 PM (PDT) Comment 16

I had the Etymotics, and liked them. But after trying a friend's E2s I immediately sent my Etys back and bought the Shures. I haven't regretted it for one second.

Posted by rdlink on May 4, 2004 at 7:32 PM (PDT) Comment 17

I liked these headphones while I had them working... they were terrific for listening in flight, for instance (I bought my Shures at the Atlanta airport).

The major downside for me was that the connector in the wiring proved no better than the connector in a cheap pair of headphones... after some months of use, I started getting a staticky connection that requ'd me to jiggle the wire.

Now I get no connection (and therefore no sound) at all. I'm still under warranty but can't find the proof of purchase, which is a serious bummer.

Posted by jack on May 5, 2004 at 6:13 AM (PDT) Comment 18

Have been using mine for about 2 weeks now. Very comfortable to wear and it sounds *great*. I had tried Apple's in-ear headphone and think E3C is much better. However, the bass is at the low side and the price is way too expensive.

Overall, I am happy with it.

Posted by peib on May 6, 2004 at 2:43 PM (PDT) Comment 19

Great review, I got my E3Cs today as a replacement for my Grado SR60s, as my players kept shrinking in size the bulk of the Grados became more of an irritant although I love the sound. I pretty much agree with all your comments concerning their sound. I found the E3cs so involving I ended up using them at home for about 3 hours after returning from their first outdoor use while walking my dog and I am a speaker lover, I rarely use headphones in the house. I am extraordinarily pleased. The only quibbles I have with your review are that you are contrasting the full retail price of the E3C with a discounted E2c price, I bought my E3Cs for 129.95 from Ecost last week as they were having a special and they can be found for 1489.95 if you look around. The other thing is I get excellent isolation with the Ultra flex sleeves, I suspect the size that you used were simply not a good fit for you.

Posted by Stem on May 6, 2004 at 9:44 PM (PDT) Comment 20

Ha, note that the 1489.95 in my above comment should probably be 149.95. LOL

Posted by Stem on May 6, 2004 at 9:58 PM (PDT) Comment 21

hey, i just bought a pair of ec3s, i love them. Walked home from university and grinned from ear to ear when car after car drove passed and i couldnt hear them at all smile
i have some minor comfort problems that i think will got away with time and practice.

i was wanting to ask if any of you guys can hear your feet hitting the street when you walk or run home? i ususally hear a comstand thud and it gets quite annoying. i ususally find myself 'tip-toeing' home.
any tips on this? or any of you had the same problems??


Posted by ferg on May 7, 2004 at 10:12 AM (PDT) Comment 22

i must add something about the isolation with the silicone flex sleeves. when there is no sound playing, it is true that we can hear up to 75% of outside noise. however, as soon as your iPod volume is anything beyond 35%, that noise it gone. absolutely gone. i listen to anywhere between 40%-80% (otherwise it's practically tearing my eardrums - it's just too loud, even with these small drivers) and i never ever heard any outside noise. which is why some of my friends have complained that i'm now deaf whenever i have them on, i can't hear them at all.

this fact that you can hear people without music laying is good for one thing. when you do need to listen to people, you can simply turn the volume down, and you won't ahve to pull them out. i think this is brilliant. putting them on and off 20x a day can get annoying.

Posted by Ryan1524 on May 7, 2004 at 10:35 AM (PDT) Comment 23

Qtips are worse than useless for earwax. My ears produce copious amounts. Our family doctor used to clean my ears for me once a year. A move and a new doctor uninterested in providing what he considered personal hygene showed me how to take care of myself.

Lay down, fill one ear canal with hydrogen peroxide and wait till the bubbles stop. Repeat on the other ear. Fill a dental waterpik with warm water. Aim into your ear canal and slowly turn up the output staying below the point of discomfort. (Obviously not a good idea if you have an ear infection or pain.)

A few minutes hanging over the sink and you will have clean ears and be able to hear again.

Posted by Juris on May 8, 2004 at 8:33 AM (PDT) Comment 24

I have a pair and wouldn't trade them for anything less - the build and sound quality are superb. All this comes at a price though, both financial and convenience. I find the act of reaching around my head, rolling a foam sleeve, pulling my ear, inserting the sleeve and holding it, repeating on the other ear, pulling the wire-cinch and arranging the cord to be something of a pain. It's fast-approaching ritualistic ease though.

None of the flex sleeves that came with the E3s really worked very well for me and I had to shell out for a bag of the foam sleeves. If you try them, you'll be hooked and at two dollars a pair, you'll want to reuse them for as long as possible. I've already wasted a pair by stepping on them.

Despite all this, they sound fantastic. Very flat response down to around 60Hz or so. I use a pair of expensive near-field monitors at home for doing audio work and these come close to the level of detail I get from those. These are an entry-level, pro-quality in-ear-monitor. If you can put up with the hassles, they'll reward you with sound.

Posted by boolean on May 11, 2004 at 4:37 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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