Hello and a Question about the Shure E3
Apr 16, 2004 at 12:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
Apr 5, 2004
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to formally introduce myself to the community. I have been trawling the boards now for about a month looking for suggestions for my first high quality headphone purchase and on a partially on a lark bought some Shure E3s today from iDealSound. I also bought some Shure E5cs but I will not be getting those until mid-June as I had them shipped to a different location.

I know, I know...sorry about my wallet.

I just had one question for all of you on the forum who have or had the pleasure of owning E3s:

In layman's terms what did I pay for? I can't honestly say that I know the difference between low and mid range bass etc. but I think know when something sounds good. Additionally I like to hear the details behind the music so to speak. Is is possible for some one to put into words what I will experience the first time I put the phones on (which as I read, might be an adventure onto itself)?

I am used to Sony Street Style headphone so these will undoubtedly be better, I was just looking for a quantification as to how much to whet my appetite for their arrival.

Again, it has been nice reading all of your posts in the last month and I hope that you all can teach me to be a audiophile who can recognize the differences in the bass range and so on.

All the best,
Apr 16, 2004 at 12:27 AM Post #2 of 4


New Head-Fier
Feb 7, 2004

Is is possible for some one to put into words what I will experience the first time I put the phones on (which as I read, might be an adventure onto itself)?

Well... The first thing you'll do is soil your pants over how badly you got ripped off for such a crappy sounding set of cans. Then you'll figure out how to get a seal.
(Just remember to keep trying until you do get that seal...)

Everyone is going to have their own opinion on how the E3's sound compared to other cans in the same price-range, but compared to stock-buds and low-end Sony's they should sound like a dream. (once you get a seal) The other nice thing about canal-phones like the E3 is that they block out a lot of external noise. Even if you're not wowed at home you will be in noisy environments such as buses, airplanes, etc.. I kid you not, E3's made listening to classical music on the bus possible for me. Before that I needed consistantly loud music to drown out my surroundings. You will also be able to listen at lower-volumes possibly even *below* ambient volume depending on the tips you use and your listening preferences. Obviously, this is much healthier for your hearing than cranking up earbuds or open-air cans to higher than ambient sound levels.

I'm sure there are better sounding cans in larger form-factors, but the E3's are tiny, light, and for most people reasonably comfortable. (I consider them to be a big step up from ear-buds, comfort-wise. Not everyone has the same experience unfortunately.) Their portability and noise-blocking abilities make E3's perfect for when you're on-the-go. If you're looking for something to groove out to at home you might be able to do better for the same ammount of dough, but for a portable system they have only a couple competitors.
Apr 16, 2004 at 3:19 AM Post #4 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
Sep 13, 2002
welcome to head-fi, blah blah blah wallet...

Now that that is out of the way on to the E3s...try all of the sleeves. Don't struggle with the medium greys that are installed on the phones in the box if they don't fit you right away. I found that when I first got my E2s (I now have E3s), I struggled with the clear flex sleeves for a long time and never easily got a good seal. I finally tried the foamies and got a good seal in minutes. Foamies were easiest for me and a good seal took me a couple days! Hang in there.

Once you get a good seal with one set of sleeves, you can more easily get a seal with the other sleeves so try the foamies first and then experiment with the others.

To use the foamies, drape the cord over both ears (I wrap them over my ears and drape the cord in front of me). Then take one of them and roll the foam between your fingers until it is compressed, then insert it into your ear. Use your right hand to insert into your right ear while reaching around with your left hand to pull your right ear up to allow more direct access to your ear canal. Once the phone is inserted, allow the foam to expand a bit (10 to 20 seconds). Then repeat for the other ear - roll, insert, let expand.

The grey flex sleeves are pretty easy to use too (no compression needed like the foamies) and I find them very comfortable though they isolate less and may give you some sibilance in the highs with some music. I never got a good comfortable seal with the clear flex sleeves though you may find they fit you well - everyone is different when it comes to fit with canal phones so try them out for yourself.

The E3 will simply blow away your sony streetstyles. You will hear detail in your music that is simply not present with the sonys - I threw away my sonys after I got my E2s and now have E3s. There is simply no comparison. You will be able to play your music at very reasonable volume since the E3 isolate so well. You may also find that you become completely oblivious to the outside world due to the E3 isolation. This can be dangerous if you are walking on a busy street so be careful.

Hang in there if getting a seal is a bit difficult at first. It gets easier and quicker with practice and will be simply after a few days.


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