I’ve been asked a half-dozen times in the past month how I like these earphones, and I always say how much I love them. The Shure E2C earphones are probably one of the best purchases I’ve made in the past year. I’ve ended up convincing two co-workers to get a pair and they both love them as well. So, this might be more of a product plug than a review, but I’ve told so many people these things, I might as well write it down.
First off, if you don’t like having things in your ears, these are obviously not for you. In fact, anything with “in-ear” in the name probably isn’t for you. I’ve gotten used to sleeping with earplugs almost every night (a habit I picked up in college), so these were quite natural for me to get used to. The earphones come with a variety of different sized in-ear fixtures, 3 disposable foam and a 3 reusable rubber/silicone. I started with the foam, which were more comfortable, but they get dirty pretty fast, and are harder to slide in and out easily. I’m not used to the rubber onces, which are quite nice. Both types of fixture fit snugly, and the multiple sizes make for an even better choice.
Once I put these in for the first time and started listening, I was blown away by how much ambient sound is blocked, and as a result how crystal clear the music is. It’s almost to the point where it can get a little dangerous walking around busy streets because all you hear is your music. For drowning out office, bus, or airplane noise, they’re perfect. Compared to the default iPod earbuds, I found I only had to turn the volume on my iPod up half as far with these. With the earbuds and the volume turned up, you could immediately start noticing the tinny, high-pitched speakers that were powering them. Extra features like “bass boost” were needed to feel like you had a full range of sound. With the E2C’s, I immediately felt like I was catching all of the intricacies of the music that I’d never noticed before. And as some Amazon reviewers point out, it seems like some of the bass has gone away, but that’s just because you had to over-compensate before with lower-quality earbuds or headphones.
Anyway, I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a solid pair of earphones. It might take your ears a little while to get used to the tight fit, and the larger shape of the earphones can be a little awkward at times. My only real complaint is that since they fit so snug in your ear, it’s rather jarring when the cord snags and they pull, if you’re prone to your earphone cord catching on bags, clothes, etc. I suppose that’s the sacrifice with in-ear phones. I spend a good chunk of my day at work sitting with these in my ears, and I love the fact that people need to say my name 2-3 times (or tap me on the shoulder) before I notice. Right now I can’t imagine paying hundreds of dollars for the E3C, 4C or 5C’s, since these do the job just fine. If you really hear your music, or you just don’t want to be one of the white earbud masses, give these a listen.