E3C on Ipod Mini
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Buzzbait

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Hi all,

You may remember me posting a thread a couple weeks ago, looking for a good pair of earphones. My bad on that post. I thought I was using rebranded Sen MX-500s. I was wrong. I was using Radio Shack 33-1991's. Truly awesome earbuds, but they don't fit my ears.

Anyways, I did pick up some Shure E3C's. I've been evaluating them, but having some problems. The E3C's, played straight from my Ipod Mini, seem lackluster at best. Vocals are a bit anemic. No bass or treble extension. No attack on instruments, no matter what Ipod EQ setting is used. Flat out, the Radio Shacks just sound better on the Ipod.

But.... Playing through the line-out of my Ipod dock, to my Rotel preamp, and with the E3C's hooked to the headphone jack of my Rotel, the sound is absolutely sensational!!!! Everything sounds marvelous, with no EQ needed on the Ipod whatsoever. It is sheer audio heaven to my ears.

So what do I do next? Do I return the E3C's, and look for an earphone that mates better with the Ipod Mini? Or do I seek a portable amp and line out adapter for the Ipod? Please remember that I just shelled out over a hundred bucks for E3C's, so I don't want to go another $200.00 to solve the problem. I could live with a $100.00 fix though.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
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joelongwood

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I just did a quick listen with my iPod Mini + Shure E3, and I find the SQ to be quite good. I listened to the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," and the bass was all there, as was the musical attack of Charlie Watts' drums. Are you sure you have a good seal?
Then I hooked up my Pocketamp V2 (around $60) and listened again........everything was more detailed, and the bass was pumped up a notch.
Hope this helps..........and check that seal.
 
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bubbagump

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interesting post- i'm using the e3 on the zen micro and they are ok, great in terms of isolation and comfort and clarity. In terms of excitement the ksc75 probably wins (bass and its open), but the e3 has more detail and soundstage and have really grown on me.

I'm going to try the e3 amped off the home setup to see how they sound.
 
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Spiritboxer

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How long have you had the E3's? I was disappointed with the sound on mine as well but having read the reviews, I decided to wait before making any final judgements. Took about 10 days for them/me to break in and they got progressively better afterward for another 5. It's been a month now and I'm very happy with the E3's performance. Sure the upper is rolled off but the amount of bass is fine for my usage and the middle, while being a bit much at times, is marvelous with female vocals and certain instruments. Also, those perceived weaknesses seem to have been addressed with the E4's which may be next on my list if and when I tire of my current purchase.

Are you getting a consistantly good seal?
 
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Buzzbait

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I really do like the E3C's. They are the best earphones I've heard, when played through my Rotel. They just seem to be VERY laid back, when run straight from my Ipod Mini. It is most noticable on music more simple and clean than "Satisfaction"; which I just listened to. I ripped it from "Forty Licks". Try something like Eric Clapton's "Cryin'" from "The Blues". The difference is quite glaring.

No seal problems whatsoever. I actually sat back last night, switching the E3C's cord from Ipod Mini to Rotel preamp, and was blasted by the change in audio quality. I never even took the phones out of my ears.

I did try them on my wife's IRiver flash player. The sound was much better in comparison to the Ipod Mini. Not as good as from my Rotel using the Ipod's line out, but better. I'd really like to get portable Rotel quality.

I've got about 20 hours of time on the E3C's at this point, with an extra 10 hours of burn-in.
 
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Spiritboxer

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I'm going to have to try listening on my home set and I'll use my Creative MuVo tonight to see if there's a noticeable difference. The MuVo has a custom EQ setting, something my Mini doesn't have, and I'm sure that's going to make a difference. Used iTunes to load the Mini while the music on the MuVo is from a CD player line-out, straight to the Creative's line-in. This is one reason why I've avoided trying to make a comparison with another being there's so much more music on the Mini and I usually take that with me when I go out.
 
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kschul2

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Whenever I had my E3s and were using them off my iPod I had problems with SQ as well. Everything seemed very laid back like if the music was far off in the distance. Vocals were hard to hear and there wasn't much detail.

Is this similar to what you're experiencing?
 
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Buzzbait

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That is exactly what I'm experiencing. There has been no throatyness to male vocals. They sound rather nasal in tone. Singers seem distant, as if they are far away in a large room. There's no bite to acoustic guitar and drums rolls. Guitar riffs have little attack to them. The sound is better than most other earphones I've tried. Just not as lively as I'm used to, after listening to the Radio Shack earbuds.

All of this was cured by playing through my preamp. Vocals suddenly became well rounded. Guitars and drums suddenly had "substance", if that makes any sense.
 
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Mr Iriver

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Try raising the volume and listen for a few seconds. The reason you find this may be a difference in loudness with the ipod headphone out in comparison to the hotel. Make sure you don't listen too loud for long however as you don't want to damage your ears. So raise the volume and check if the sound improves, in a short listen, if it does not then turn back down the volume. DO NOT TRY THE VOLUME ALL THE WAY UP however. It could also be the ipods sound signature. The iRiver places the instruments closer, and gives the sound more body, and the ipod on the other hand also sounds great but laid back compared to the iRiver.
 
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Buzzbait

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Wow. That 1st gen Mini looks pretty bad. At least I'm using a 2nd gen Mini. I do have a 1st gen Mini at my disposal. Maybe I'll do a comparison, and see if I can hear the differences.
 
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J3mo

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Heya,

I got my e3's fairly recently (on May 13th) and have been playing music through'em for couple of hrs every day on avg.
I'm using unamped ipod mini 2nd gen (4 gigs if that matters).

I found these statements to be contrary to my own listening experience:
Quote:

Originally Posted by kschul2
Everything seemed very laid back like if the music was far off in the distance. Vocals were hard to hear and there wasn't much detail.


Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzbait
That is exactly what I'm experiencing. There has been no throatyness to male vocals. They sound rather nasal in tone.


After reading this thread / posts, I put my e3's on and listened to

Chicago - Make Me Smile
Tower of Power - Willin to Learn, Your're Still a Young Man
Count Basie & Joe Williams - Every Day I have the Blues
Boss Brass & Mel Torme - Just Friends
Jane Monheit - So Many Stars

and in none of these tracks did i find the vocals to be lacking. To me, they seemed to be where they exactly should be: unobscured by instruments, and in the centre. As far as the quality of the voices are concerned, the singers sounded throaty or smooth (depending on the singer obviously), but never nasally.

The wind instruments themselves had bite to them in their attacks, and i could hear the bass quite well and clearly (granted that when the whole of the big bands were playing, an effort was needed to hear the bass, but I could find them easily).

I also listened to these tracks close to the lowest volume, NEVER exceeding the 1/4 on the volume control. (I actually went back to the couple of tracks i was hearing at louder volumes, lowered the volume, and checked if the lower volumes made the singers nasally:it did not. And I still could hear the bass fine)

As far as suggestions, I got none

but under $100 dollars, three amps seem to be the most prominent: the Pocket Amp V 2, the Mint, and go-vibe. Here's a link to a very informative discussion comparing Pocket Amp V2 and go-vibe:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=120225
 
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