Pros Thick cable; many ear inserts to choose from;Good sound isolation when properly fitted
Cons Mediocre sound quality;painful to use
Summary After trying the E2c's out, I have a hard time understanding the amount of 9's and 10's on this site. Seems a little fishy.
The isolation is pretty good when you have a good fit. Unfortunately, a good fit means blood in my ear.
In order to get sound isolation, the Shures' take a slightly different approach to the earpiece. All other earbuds I have used allow the removable sleeve to compress inside of your ear. There is usually some overhang of the rubber or silicone with respect to whatever stem the unit has. This overhang compresses freely, but the end result is a good, if not tight fit. Since the Shures require such a tight fit, their stem is extended and the sleeves do not overhang at all. The maximum compression is limited by the diameter of the stem. The result is pain. Having to wrap the wire around your ear makes putting it on a chore every time. Worse though is the earpiece itself. There seems to be two schools of thought as to how it should be inserted. The first is the Shure manual method which explicitly states that you should not push the earphone sleeve beyond the ear canal opening. The other I gathered from CNET, which is that the sleeve needs to be inserted into the ear canal. The former is definitely safer is probably the way it was designed to work. The latter probably improves the bass response, but seems like a somewhat dumb idea as you should not have anything stuck that far into your ear. Both methods involve a considerable amount of pain for my ears though. I tried all of the sleeves, and since they all completely cover the hard plastic stem, there is simply not enough "give". I'm sure that my ears would eventually get used to it, but I really don't think its a good idea to bruise the inside of your ears just to hear music.
Very dissappointing. Bass quality is marginal at best. Since the unit is sealed, bass response is limited by design. Subdued is the best way to describe my impressions.
The e2c's also lack musicality. Beautiful songs that I have listened to for years lost harmonics and air. Dynamic range has been sacrificed and replaced by bright harshness that make many songs very difficult to listen to. If I had heard Diane Krall on these initially, I would probably not be a fan today. Are they detailed...yes, but that translates to flat to my ears
Overall, I think the Shure E2C's are overated at 7.5. The design leaves a lot to be desired and I think that they potentially have public health issues with the ear insertion methods needed to get decent bass response. In that regard, if you own or plan to own the e2c's, please follow the manufactures recomendation and do not insert into your ear canal.
Headphones should be easy to use and these are definitely not.Updated
I wound up buying the E4C's due to the substantial discount at Frys in San Jose. For just 50 bucks more than the E2c's, I have finally found the headphones for me. The fit is soooo much better as the design of the earpiece is better (shorter stem and some overhang of the sleeve). The sound quality is fantastic on these babies!! The problems that I mentioned in my e2c review are gone. I suspect that the lack of pain in my ears helps quite a bit too. IMO, skip the e2c and go with the e4c especially if your ears tunnels are not huge.
Pros Bass (yes these little things can "bump"), intelligent design, case, cord
Cons Rubber sleeves are bit uncomfortable
Summary Holy cow...Received these today form earphonesolutions.com they are effcient and very helpful, great to do business with. I will discuss the pros, so be prepared for along list, these things are amazing. Bass on these is impecable. I would have never imagined a pair of headphones (in-ear headphones) this small would ever aceive the sub level that this one can when a good seal is achieved. The design on this pair of headphones was enough for me to purchase these over etymotics. Much more advanced, shirt/belt spring-clips are perhaps an accessory for a pair of pocket-change earbuds, but when you make the step to a pair of higher-end headphones, you'd expect intelligent design, and this gives that to you. They plug into your hears and then instead of dropping like it's hot out of your ears to the front of your body to a clip that has to be trusted to keep these from falling out, shure got smart. These direct the [thick] wire upwards and around the top of the ear to prevent fall-outage, and are very effective. Thy go around the rear of the neck/head where a clear plastic sleeve tightens around the neck to further secure the unit in the head. they go around the read keeping the [thick] cord from getting in your way in front of you. Now that I have used the word "thick" enough, I might explain. These earphones have a very quality cord that is thick and feels like it would never break. I think you could jump start a car with them if you had to.... The system comes witha zipper case that is very compact and provides a safe environment to your new toys. The bad? The rubber sleeves are a bit uncomfortable, not at all overly so. I have been wearing them as I am writing this review and have already forgot I was wearing them (that would be, if I could ignore the wonderful sound that is filling my ears). They offer soft silicon sleeves that are supposed to be a bit more confortable (a future purchase of mine). So whatever you choose, due to impecable design, lower price, and great sound etymotic is trailing it seems. I haven't heard the etymotics, but again, I care not to, thin cords and bad design aren't a turn on to me. I will save you the cliché "I am shure" play on words and just say that these earphones are one of the better things you can do with the 62.99 that is in your back pocket at the moment. I am not into propoganda, but if I was, I'd say join the bandwagon and shag a pair for yourself. It is a good thing martha.
"The HiFi earphone"on by chrisgod
Pros crystal sound, stable image, linear frequency response, good noise reduction.
Cons Always feel something inside your ear canals. Can't hear my wife talking (she hate it)
Summary I've been using sony 484,888,ATH-CM5 & CM7, sennheiser MX500. The E2C is the first earphones that make me feel like hearing my pair of LS3/5a. the sound is netual not sweet. bass is enough but not like a overdoing subwoofer. soundfield is wide and image is clear & firm. you'll hear small music details that you've not noticed with other earphones. you'll feel the sound come in front of you just like you are listen to hifi speakers ( other product will make music over your head)
P.s. if you want to get similar sound at lower cost, I highly recommend the MX500, it worth.
Pros Good detail, ample bass, small, rugged
Cons Sound could be brighter, cable ridiculously thick, brings out flaws in music encoding and recording
Summary This is the earphone to get if you want to save your hearing and still enjoy audio bliss in a relatively small package. Though pretty expensive, these beat those sub $50 canalphones by quite a bit but not proportionately with its price I think. Its nowhere near twice as good but sounds like an affordable pair of full sized monitor phones though nothing like medium to high end ones. Don't get me wrong, these are good but not fantastic because they cause some fatigue and still mask a small amount of treble and midrange detail but they're good if you want to trade up from Sehnheiser portables or Sony MDRs, fantastic if you're using iPod or Creative standard issues! ;-]Happy listening!
Pros Sound quality is very good, comfortable after regular use, ALL outside sounds are isolated.
Cons A little muddy sounding (depending upon the fit inside the ear), may be hard to get used to in the beginning.
Summary I have never bought a pair of in-ear headphones, but I'm so happy I did. Shure was a name that I could trust, as a musician and as someone who has worked as a live sound engineer, so I did not hesitate buying these earphones; and I'm very pleased! These buds work great together with my iPod (or any other mp3 player). Also, they provide incredible sound isolation. I couldn't believe it until I tried it for myself; they do a great job of blocking all outside noises. They do take a little while to get used to in the beginning, and may cause discomfort, but give them some time, and they'll be your favourite mp3/cd player accessory!