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Headphones item created by , May 5, 2010
more confortable than tf10
Pros - very engaging, clarity, isolation
Cons - cables become stiff and crack over time
I have owned these for about 3 years, during which they were replaced twice because the cables snapped (a well known problem for these earphones) I use them with a sony mp3 player and with the black foam tips. They isolate outside noise very well using these tips.
Now onto the sound signature. These earphones really emphasise the mid range of the sound spectrum, meaning the mids are much more prominant than the highs and the lows. Using a rock song for an example, this results in guitars and vocals sounding more prominant than the drums and bass.
What this type of sound signature does for songs is very nice. To me me most of the emotion of a song is in the guitars and vocals, so having that closer to you than the drums and bass makes u really "feel" the song and make it more engaging.
As an experiment i eq'd up the bass and treble a bit, to bring forward the bass and drums to the same level as vocals and guitars. It sounded even better at first, but after time i found myself not really paying much attention to whats playing. I realised that when the vocals and guitars louder than the rest of the instruments, the song really pulls u in and grabs ur attention.
So i will say this, If you like to give your full attention to a song and really 'be in it', then this is the earphone you want. But if you prefere just having your music playing in the "background" while u get on with somthing else, then these will probably irritate you a bit, as they are very 'closed in' your head, rather than 'open' sounding. If you prefere a more open sound, you would need the mids of these to be pushed back a bit, to the same level as the lows and highs.
Sound quality is excellent, with all instruments sounding crisp and tight.
Pros - Smooth mids, Deep bass, Incredible detail
Cons - Cables may not be the most durable
Amazing detail, incredibly smooth mids, and deep bass are these 'phones defining characteristics. The only real weakness might be the slightly rolled off highs, but it's not a huge deal. I find it makes them less fatiguing. Also the bass while deep, is flat all the way down to DC and not over emphasized. To some people this is a feature, to others it's a bug, ultimately it just comes down to preferences. I don't have the huge breadth of knowledge and experience needed to compare these to others in the same price range but I can say that if you like the the Shure 'house sound', then you'll love these. I've had, Shure E2cs, heard E3cs, and these can be described as the same, but better. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out how much better they sound amped. My BitHead, which I bought just to bypass crappy onboard sound, gives them much better bass, just for starters. They certainly don't sound bad without dedicated amplification though. I used them daily for 8 months unamped, and never felt like they were missing anything. A major concern with these 'phones are the cables. The materials seem to have changed since the early days of 'only lasted a week' horror stories, though they are still not replaceable without electronic microsurgery. They have a 2 year warranty if, and only if, you have a receipt from an authorized dealer. Shure replaced mine, no questions asked, after one side went very, very soft. I don't think it was actually the cable though, because no amount of fiddling would yield a temporary fix.