Main | Shure E5c - I'm in sound heaven »

January 30, 2003



I like little earphones with good sound . . . I'm interested in what kind of audio you're using on the iPod that you can justify this kind of expenditure, though. I've been ripping to AAC at 192kbps, which sounds fine to me on my current earbuds. Are you much higher than that? Do you use MP3 or even AIFF instead? Do you use LAME or some other ripping method to make your tracks?

Joi Ito

I've got quite a mish mash at this point, but some at AAC 192. Part of it is the quality, but the dynamic range including the strong bass sounds amazing even with fairly low quality stuff. Also, the isolation is very important.


I have used the Etymotic ER6 and also the Shure E2c's for a couple years now (since January 2002 I think). I use them extensively - probably averaging 2-3 hours daily. In my opinion they are both the best in-ear and isolating earphones in existence. I started with the Etymotic ER6's and then bought the Shure E2's as soon as I saw them advertised. I use them mostly while working out in the gym and yes--don't tell anyone-- while riding a bicycle and sometimes while driving. I know it's not the safest, but I'm addicted. As far as comparing the sound quality, I am not an expert and cannot tell much of a difference between the two. The main difference I have noticed is that the Shure E2c's have significantly better amplification than the Etymotics at the same volume settings on my MP3 player. Otherwise they are both so far above any of the dozens of other earphones, earbuds and headphones I have used that there is really no comparison. I could never go back. I use the Shure E2's more now because they stay in my ears better as a result of their design which allows the cables to wrap around my ears. Also the cables have heavier shielding which decreases noise from wind and from the cables brushing against my clothes. The other advantage is that the Shure's have a 2 year warranty, whereas with the Etymotic's I could find no published warranty and they charged me $60 for a replacement after owning them for a few months.
Unfortunately both earphones take quite a beating with all the physical activity. I'm on my second pair of Etymotic ER6 and my 3rd pair of Shure E2c's. The problem seems to be broken wires from motion and pressure associated with weightlifting. This is unfortunate, but I have not found any way to avoid it nor have I found any better in-ear earphones (with similar noise-blocking) to replace them. If anyone has suggestions please let me know.

grand canyon tours

I agree. This sounds amazing.

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