shure cords and cold weather?
Mar 23, 2006 at 9:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
Mar 23, 2006
I just wanted to see if this was typical of other peoples' experiences.

Have a pair of e3's that I've been using for about 2 years now (maybe more? i forget...)

The cables stiffen noticeably when the ambient temperature drops, to the point that i feel like i need to warm them up in my hands before bending them.

When I went snowboarding a few weeks ago, i suppose it was the combination of movement and the cold, but the plastic outer layer cracked, and since then, the copper wire that provides structure directly underneath the plastic has frayed, and just a few days ago, the signal to the right earphone went out. Specifically, there have been cracks about an inch from the actual bud, and right where the cord bends under the rubber sleeve used to adjust the length of free dangling cord.

Now. I know that I shouldn't have been using these while snowboarding (with wind chill, it was probably close to 0 degrees or slightly negative), probably should have used my crappy old earphones, but is the problem inherent in the material that shure uses, since the cord is supposed to stay a certain way while looped over the back of the ear?

Also. Looking for my next purchase. I can't complain about the sound quality of the shures, so was looking at the e4's. Also considering the ety 4's and the 5's... the last of which i've heard has better bass output. I listen to a broad range of music, from classical to jazz to rock to hiphop to techno, and would appreciate the bump in bass for the jazz and hiphop but don't want to sacrifice too much in the upper end.

any recommendations? i couldn't find any thorough comparisons on the lengthier review page...

budget is about $250, so could even go for a used pair of canal phones that are slightly higher priced...
Mar 24, 2006 at 4:51 AM Post #2 of 3


Headphoneus Supremus
Mar 13, 2004
If you use your phones a lot, two years is good mileage. A lot of factors adversely affect the plastic wires on headphones. Sweat is both salty and acidic, this is the cause of "greening" wires. The suns ultraviolet rays will oxidise and dry out the plastic, ditto ozone pollution. The cold winter weather will sometimes be the coup de gras, the stiffening effect compounds the previous damage, with cracking being the end result.
Give the warranty department of Shure a call- they can tell by codes on your connector if your phones are still under warranty. If they are not, a reasonable fee will still get you a replacement pair direct from the factory.
Mar 24, 2006 at 4:58 AM Post #3 of 3


Headphoneus Supremus
Feb 1, 2006
Yes, the 5's hands down have the best bass output than the ety's and Shures (E5c is when it gets questionable, but the cost of the E5s are almost twice as much @ normal pricing). Westones I can not comment about.

Besides, w/ the E5c, would you want it turning literally pond-lime green after awhile?

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