Reviewed: Philips HN060 vs Shure e2c
Mar 12, 2006 at 2:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

rubbercow

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PREFACE: I am a novice audiophile and as such you may take my opinion with a grain of salt. How can two canalphones that look and seem so similar really be so different? Is noise cancellation really so bad compared to quality noise isolation? How is a 40$ price difference warranted?

COMPETITION: 30$ Philips HN060 Noise Cancellation and Isolating Canalphones versus 70$ Shure e2c Noise Isolating Canalphones. Tested via two 70mph drives with windows down, two relatively quiet tests with a computer fan going and finally a quiet room test without external noise.

VERDICT: Based on your budget, the Shure e2c won hands down, on all tests. As expected, compared to other active noise canceling headsets such as my David Clark h10-13x flight headset and a friend's Bose, the Philips is not very impressive. If you have the 40$ more, buy the Shure. If not, the Philips is definitely better/quieter than your average 10$ earbuds.

SPECIFICS: At first glance the two canalphones look very similar - they are both small, have the same length cable, gold 3.5mm plugs, fit in the ear canal, and have silicon expanding ear plug inserts. On closer examination, that is where the similarities disappear. Both sets have advantages however:

I liked the following about the HN060:
  1. Comes with both a 3.5mm to monitor converter and an airplane converter.
  2. Priced very competitively at 30$.
  3. The cables are wrapped in nylon sleeving for a nice look, feel, and protection.
  4. At first I thought the part that wraps around the neck was odd, but it grows on you. With it, the earplugs never get tugged on, and the weight disappears. Smart design.
  5. Color and style matched drawstring cinch.
  6. Volume control.

I liked the following about the e2c:
  1. Three different selections of earplug inserts, not just sizes.
  2. No batteries to drain.
  3. Just as loud as any other headphone.
  4. Clearer frequency response.
  5. Small and nicely designed carrying case.
  6. No one can hear the Sesame Street soundtrack you're listening to.
  7. Blocks all exterior noise to the 40dB Shure claims.

I didn't like the following about the HN060:
  1. The noise cancellation only works at low frequencies - like those of constant fans, or tire noise.
  2. Open air-facing speaker, that catches and amplifies any wind entering the screen.
  3. Very loud externally. Poor external seal, everyone can hear what you're listening to.
  4. Batteries required, that you'll forget to turn off.
  5. The audio is abnormally quiet without the noise cancellation feature turned on.
  6. Noise cancellation feature is one part white noise generation, one part audio amplification and only one part active noise cancellation.
  7. Terrible distortion, static and crackling with the volume full blast, or even in the top 25%.

I didn't like the following about the e2c:
  1. Cheap cabling, no better than any 10$ earbuds.
  2. Cheap and silly clear silicon cable cinch.
  3. Not overly impressed with the over-the-ear cable design.
  4. No volume control.

PICTURES:
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 3:38 PM Post #2 of 6

Duncan

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Nice and concise
smily_headphones1.gif
- Welcome to Head-Fi
smily_headphones1.gif


The HN-060 have had their tips changed since when I bought a pair (mine came with double flanged tips rather than the EX71 clone type shown in the images above) - I wonder if this has anything to do with the relative lack of noise cancellation (which I didn't personally find to be ultra bad)

...That being said, that was before the days of me going back to IEMs
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 4:45 PM Post #3 of 6

rubbercow

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duncan
Nice and concise
smily_headphones1.gif
- Welcome to Head-Fi
smily_headphones1.gif


The HN-060 have had their tips changed since when I bought a pair (mine came with double flanged tips rather than the EX71 clone type shown in the images above) - I wonder if this has anything to do with the relative lack of noise cancellation (which I didn't personally find to be ultra bad)

...That being said, that was before the days of me going back to IEMs
smily_headphones1.gif



haha, thanks Duncan. my review was actually based on your original.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 8:53 PM Post #4 of 6

Duncan

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So..

Which can you see yourself using more out of the two you have (on a general day to day basis)?
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 9:00 PM Post #6 of 6

Duncan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rubbercow
The Shure e2c. I took the HN060's back.


Aha, not that I had the Philips that long before they got killed, but I can certainly see why you would do so
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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