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Need to replace my Shure E2C's

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi all


Well my trusty Shure E2C's are on the way out and so its time to find a replacement. Trouble is I'm now going round in circles trying to find a suitable new pair. Basically I do a lot of traveling by plane so want something that allows me to wear them for long periods (the shures did start to hurt after a while using the large rubber tips but these did provide the best seal for me) but also make it possible to sleep on the side of my head, so they'd have to be fairly flat to my ear. I'd be using them in the gym as well so maybe a pair that is or allows over ear wire would be good to minimise cable noise.


Sound wise I'm more about clarity (possibly slightly on the warm side of nuetral) over over-bearing bass. It will be mainly used un amped with a ipod touch and budget upto the region of £150. My short list at the moment consists of:


Etymotic HF5 & 3

HiFiman Re262 & 252



I am open to other suggestions / advice of course and look forward to any ideas.



post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Any opinions folks?

post #3 of 9

Pretty much anything you buy will be an upgrade in terms of sound quality.  The E2C was one terrible sounding phone.  Whatever you get, I think you'll be in for a nice surprise.


It seems that you're looking for 3 things in addition to good sound quality -- good isolation/comfort, ability to use while exercising, and ability to use while lying on your side.  I can't speak to the headphones in your list since I have not tried them, but of the 5 or 6 in your price range that I have tried, the only ones that would be suitable for all of those purposes would be the Futuresonics Atrio M5 or the Klipsch X10.  I much prefer the Atrio M5 personally in terms of sound quality and build quality (not sure the X10 would last very long if you used them to work out).  Paired with foams (either shure olives or the ones that come in the package), they offer excellent isolation, are extremely comfortable due to their plastic lightweight housing, are worn over the ear and have no cable microphonics, are of good build quality, and are good for sleeping on your side as long as you are using a pillow and foam tips.  As to sound, you'll hear them referred to as bass-lover headphones around here only because the quality of the sub-bass is superb and does not affect the rest of the spectrum -- not because the bass is overbearing.  I think they would be an excellent choice.  They have actually been my go-to phones for working out for years and they've held up extremely well.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Bronxers, Thanks for the reply.

Didn't realise the E2C was considered a bad phone, it was a 5 star rated product when I brought them. Oh well things obviously move on.


Thanks for the suggestions. I've pretty much ruled out the Klipsch x10 from reading various items on the net, build quality, over priced for performance, heavy bass amoung other things.


With regards the Futuresonic Atrio M5 phones, from what I've read so far they do seem a pretty good choice but there are mentions of how rofound the bass is. My music tastes are pretty wide ranging from dance to rock to 60's and these do seem suited to the electronic type music. How do they fair with other music genre's? Out of interest how long do the foam tips last on average do you think? I used the rubber tipson the shures.


Any other thought folks?

post #5 of 9
I can't think of a genre that I haven't enjoyed with the Atrio. To me they've sounded good with everything I've thrown at them. I do listen primarily to electronic music though, so I may not be the best person to ask. As to your worries about the bass, I don't know if this helps, but I was never a "bass head" until I heard the atrios. They've helped me learn to appreciate what good bass sounds like in an IEM. The bass is profound, yes, but not at the expense of the rest of the sound spectrum. Mids and highs are still good -- and you'll definitely be impressed if the only IEM you've heard is the E2C.

The orange foam tips last only a few weeks, but supposedly there is a way to wash them so they last longer (there is a post here detailing the process). The black foam tips are supposed to be more durable, but I've yet to try them. I use shure olive foams on mine and don't agree with those who say that the olives affect the sound quality in any substantial way. By the way, the Atrio nozzle is the same size as the E2C's, so your rubber shure tips will also work with the Atrio.
Nothing beats the shure olives for comfort though IMO.

Hopefully others will chime in on other headphones that I've yet to hear - just remember that a lot of IEM's don't necessarily isolate well and I'd say most cannot be used while lying on one's side. I love my new CKM99's for instance, but they can't be used at the gym or on a plane because they are mediocre at isolating outside noise and the cord is a pain to deal with.
Edited by bronxers - 3/26/12 at 7:28pm
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the fast, informative reply, its much appreciated. It is strange that in ear phones can sound so different for such a small bit of kit. I always asumed my E2C's where pretty good but it certainly looks like that is not the case.


These foam tips seem a bit of a rip off if they only last a few weeks and I suppose they''ll turn very manky even after a few washes. Good tip (no pun!) about the shure rubber tips, think I've still got a few kicking about the place. I think I understand your comments about the bass in relation to the rest of the S.Q. I'm certainly thinking about them now. My updated list for consideration (after going round in a few more circles!) is now, in no particular order:


Futuresonics Atrio M5


Etymotic HF5


Any thoughts from anyone on this new list?

post #7 of 9
the shure e2c wasn't bad at all... anywho, i'm not here to argue. first of all, for sleeping i do not recommend the Etymotic HF mainly because it sticks directly out of the ear. on the other hand, i do recommend the shure se215 for sleeping because they are flatter (physically) and are much more comfortable. both manages to block noise very effectively. se215 has a more bassy and warm signature while the etymotics have a more neutral and cold signature. if neither work for you, i would recommend the audeo pfe112 (or 122 if you want a volume control + mic). EXTREMELY comfortable and i would rate the PFE (both 112 and 232) to be the most comfortable universal IEMs i have ever tried. another good IEM thats fairly neutral has to be the brainwavz B2. very affordable, comfortable, and sounds great.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. i now think I'm going off the Etymotic's as they maybe to neutral (cold and flat) for my taste's and as mentioned they do seem to physically stick out of the ear quite a way. The Brainwaiz B2 (never heard ofthem before) seem to get a good write up on amazon reviews. Do dual armatures make that big a difference to sound? I supose they allow greater separation between instrutments etc and should provide a wider sound stage.


So new list for consideration:


Futuresonics Atrio M5

Brainwavz B2


Any input folks?

post #9 of 9

I have mixed feelings about the number of drivers. I find many IEMs with single drivers to be quite incredible (Ety HF5, ER4, Audeo PFE112, ect ect..). I don't necessarily believe that the amount of drivers exactly improve an IEM, it just depends on how it's made. I find IEMs like the Ety ER4S and the Dual driver Audeo PFE232 to achieve better sound characteristics than other IEMs with 3 and 4 drivers. I chose my PFE232 over the SE535, Westone 3, Westone 4, and Earsonics SM3v2. But in a nutshell, yes more drivers can make it sound better. My shure E3C sounded pretty good by itself and after doing a custom re-shell with 2 additional drivers, they are now my personal all time favorites. I just can't say too much about this because I'm not an engineer. I'm just a consumer who buys and tries different products and finds out which is better. Hard to say really...

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