iPodlounge E3C Review

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jh-retired

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I will be doing the "official" iPodlounge review for the Shure E3C headphones.

I don't *have* them yet, but should next week. The review should be available in approximately 2 - 2.5 weeks.

Are there any specific questions you'd like to see answered?
 

doctorjuggles

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azdude_15GB, there is a point I'd like to see addressed.

As far as I can see, there don't seem to be many high end canalphones that cater for the "bass-appreciative" crowd. I'd like to see some info on this, perhaps in comparison with perennial favourite the EX71, and perhaps a few more. A few reviews touch on the bass, but only compare them to other Shures as well as the Etymotics etc.
I listen to a lot of rock, but also loads of dance/electronica. Rocks sounds fine without great bass, but dance is pretty dependant.

That might be nice to hear about, if that's possible, of course. The bass doesn't have to sound like the EX71, it just has to deliver.

Thanks
 

jh-retired

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A friend of mine has the EX71... perhaps I can offer a comparison. We'll see.
 

kauffee

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I just got the E3c a few days ago and I've been comparing it to the Shure E2 and Ety ER4P. I'm working on a comparison of all three, but I want a few more days with the E3c before I put it up. Oddly, enough, I have a set of EX71s lying around, too. I'll do a bit of listening later and compare the bass of the E3 to the EX71 and post my thoughts in this thread. I never did that much listening with the EX71, but as I remember it, the bass was boomier than the E3c's bass. Don't hold me to that, though... I'll write more later tonight.
 

doctorjuggles

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Cool, thanks for the help people.
I'm in the process of looking at the ER-6, the E2 and the E3, so if anyone wants to sell a 2nd hand pair of any of these 3, let me know. There seems to be a lot of people in here with several pairs, and I'd imagine the upgrade will often result in the sale of the lower one.

Thanks again
 

SWiTCH

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kauffee said:
I just got the E3c a few days ago and I've been comparing it to the Shure E2 and Ety ER4P. I'm working on a comparison of all three, but I want a few more days with the E3c before I put it up. Oddly, enough, I have a set of EX71s lying around, too. I'll do a bit of listening later and compare the bass of the E3 to the EX71 and post my thoughts in this thread. I never did that much listening with the EX71, but as I remember it, the bass was boomier than the E3c's bass. Don't hold me to that, though... I'll write more later tonight.
I think the EX71s may have boomier bass but the E3s have a much better sound. I used the EX71s for a long time. They do have more bass than the E3s but I think overall the E3s have more clarity and a better sound than the EX71s despite the fact that they do give up a little bass in the process.
 

doctorjuggles

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Okay, I understand that. But has anyone tried these with bass-heavy music, like House or Dub Reggae? What's does it mean in user terms?

Thanks
 

kauffee

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doctorjuggles,

I just did some listening to the EX71 vs. the E2 (and E3). I was actually surprised... the EX71's bass had slightly more impact, but the difference was almost unnoticeable. It definitely wasn't as tight as the E2 or E3, but it didn't really have much more to it. Defining "tight" is kind of of difficult, but it's easy to hear. I would describe it as the amount of time the bass thumps stick around. Tighter=shorter.

I mean, if you really want strong bass, you should look at some of the offerings from Koss like the KSC-35 or KSC-55. You lose the isolation, though. But honestly, no canalphone is going to give you the kind of bass impact you'd get with a regular headphone.

But if you are interested in a used set of Shure E2s, pm me. I'm not sure they're the best headphones for house or reggae though. I would say they're more rock oriented. You'd probably be better off saving up for the E3. Oh, and I don't think you'd be happy with the Ety ER-6 at all.
 

stark23x

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azdude_15GB said:
I will be doing the "official" iPodlounge review for the Shure E3C headphones.

I don't *have* them yet, but should next week. The review should be available in approximately 2 - 2.5 weeks.

Are there any specific questions you'd like to see answered?
I would like to see your *fresh* out of the box opinion, and then one after they have been used for say, 30 hours or so. I had mine for awhile, and probably put about 50, 60 hours through them and the sound did not significantly change.

BUT...

The minute I amped them, they filled out. Still less low end than I personally like, but definitely different. If you have a headphone amp, I'd like to hear yoru opnions on that as well.
 

stark23x

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kauffee said:
But if you are interested in a used set of Shure E2s, pm me. I'm not sure they're the best headphones for house or reggae though. I would say they're more rock oriented. You'd probably be better off saving up for the E3.
I don't agree, only because I do not feel that the e3c's have what it takes in low, thumping bass (house is nothing but bass!). Even the EX-71s are better in that regard. Especially if you mod them to get a little more upper range clarity.

doctorjuggles, if you want to save up money for a high-end canalphone that really delivers on all fronts, save up for the E5's. They're like butter for the ears. :)
 

kauffee

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stark you might be right. I really don't listen to any house (or reggae for that matter) so I can't say with any authority. My logic was simply that, in my opinion, the base on the E2 and E3 was relatively similar, but that the electronic aspects of house and the voices and instruments of reggae would be better served by the clearer high end of the E3.
 

frescagod

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i've listened to all three (ex71, e2, and e3) extensively, and guess what? i now own only the e3. this is partially due to money problems, but it's mostly due to the sound. even novices will notice the boomier bass of the ex71, and the still substantially larger bass coming out of the e2 (both compared to the e3). i listen to all kinds of music (rock, rap, jazz, classical, etc), and these bass levels seem to stay consistent, regardless of genre.

the e3s are by far the superior phone in terms of clarity. the other two can't even hold a candle to the e3. if you've heard the e3, picture stuffing a bit of cotton in the them, and you've got the e2s (with more bass). put more cotton in them, and you've got the ex-71s (with even more bass). even with rap, the allegedly "deficient" e3 bass can be adequately remedied by adjusting the eq.

now, the price question. if you can get the ex71s for $30-40 or whatever, great. they're comfortable, and provide big bass (which is apparently what most of you really care about anyway). the e2s and e3s provide virtually the same amount of isolation (reportedly between 5-15db, i think), but even between the two of them, the difference is night and day. are the e3s worth the price tag, which is twice as much as the e2? that's up to you. most people i've encountered are quite happy with their e2s; the only ones who aren't have either stepped up to the e3/e5, or found that they could stand the uncomfortable ety 4p. my suggestion is to listen first, or to buy from a vendor that will allow returns within 30 days.
 

kauffee

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fresca I like your analogy of E3+cotton=E2. I think the E2 is a verygood sounding headphone, but it definitely sounds muffled next to the E3.

I'm still gonna disagree with you on the bass issue between the two phones. I think the E3 has slightly deeper bass and it's much tighter. The E2's bass is comparitively muddy, which makes it sound slightly "larger," but I really don't think it's fair to say it's substantially different. At least, that's not how I hear it.
 

frescagod

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"I'm still gonna disagree with you on the bass issue between the two phones."

you misconstrued what i said. or, i didn't really expand enough on it. i agree that the bass on the e3 is tighter, but it still isn't that deep. there seems to be an emphasis on the upper bass, but not on the deeper frequencies (when comparing both on a flat eq). to me, the e2's bass is bigger and deeper, but it is muddier at the same time. i did a fair amount of direct comparison between them before selling my e2s on ebay last month, and i take the *clarity for less bass* tradeoff anytime. not to knock the e2s, but they just have a "cheaper" sound to them, in that they sound thinner and not nearly as refined. i still like them, and even like the way they fit better, in that i could just pop them in without the ear-pulling technique which i need to get a full seal with the e3. anyway, that's my opinion, which isn't right or wrong. i listen to my e3s for as much as 5 hours a day, and they are totally worth the investment for me. for others? take a listen.
 

stark23x

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I'll agree with this much: the e3c's are clarity personified. Very detailed and sharp. I really liked them, I just couldn't justify keeping them when I knew those e5's were calling my name. :)
 

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I wish I could justify the expense of the E5 but I really can't, unfortunately. They must be awesome though. How does the E5 match up with the iPod? I really didn't like the matchup of the ER4P with the iPod, as I found them too revealing of the imperfection of MP3s, even LAME encodes. My guess is that even though the E5 is more sensitive, it's added warmth might mask that. I think the E3's resolution is more or less on par with the ER4P (ok, definitely less... but not by much), but the "Shure sound" seems to fit better with the iPod for my ears.
 

stark23x

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I like them as a mate for the iPod, but you're right on about the e5 revealing things. I'm going crazy re-encoding some stuff that just wasn't up to par. I never noticed before. :)

The 5's are pretty easy to drive, although they really come alive with a headphone amp, even a homemade Mint amp.
 

doctorjuggles

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Okay, how about, for arguments sake, if I recommended a track that I know is very bass heavy? Would anyone be interested in getting this track (I could dcc it or whatever) just for the purposes of hearing how sometimes bass in phones is necessary? Maybe someone would be interested from a curiosity standpoint?
 

jh-retired

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I have several Boston Acoustics THX Bass Tests that I plan on using. :D But gimme the trackname anyway, and I'll check it out.
 
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