This is it for me, the audio system I use at work. The laptop is not my property though, but the E3C's are. No idea what audio card the Thinkpad T40's motherboard has, but it is pretty decent. With the E3C's, only a minor hiss starts to be detectable at really way too loud volumes. So far those rubber sleeves in the pic are the ones I've found better for my ears to get the best possible seal and isolation comfortably. Liking the e3c's a lot, especially for my work environment. They are really very inconspicuous, isolate well, and sound very nice.