Shure or Etymotic earphones?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by inlimbo, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia

    I busted my standard Apple iPod earphones and need to get a new pair. So I have been looking at third party in-ear earphones. But I dont know anything about them. Are they better than headphones? Why should u buy earphones over headphones besides the obvious that headphone are bulky to carry around? I don't know anything about headphones either? Can an iPod run earphones? Do headphones need batteries to run? Sorry Im a complete n00b to this area of technology.

    In terms of in-ear earphones I can't decide between buying the Shure E2c ($125AUD) or Etymotic ER-6i ($140AUD). I like how the ER-6i's are in white and will match the iPod but I don't know the different between the two in sound quality. Im not just going to buy earphones because they match my iPod.

    I don't really want to spend $199AUD on the E3c's or $270AUD on the E4c's (which look great). But then again if they are worth the money in terms of quality/usability then I may spend the extra money.

    Most people on macrumors seem to own the E2cs and rave about them. What are the others like?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry again for being such a stupid n00b. :eek:
  2. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Add me to the list of E2C ravers. For a quality pair of in-ear 'phones at a reasonable price I don't think they can be beaten. They're comfortable, great bass (when fitted properly! I use Large Foam sleeves), discrete (with the behind-the-ear & down your back wiring setup), with clear, open sound.
  3. Rajiv macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2005
    I don't think I can tell you which is better.
    I presently have got a pair of the Ec3's And the ER 6-i's.
    They both are lovely little headphones.
    You will be happy with either I think.

    I find the shure's uncomfortable after a while and they have a tendency to slip out of my ears after a while. To me they feel as though someone's placed and expanding bung in my ears. But this I'm sure this will vary from person to person.

    The thing to remember with any of the in-ear phones is that the FIT is very important. The sound is EQed for best fit and sounds terrible otherwise. Dare I say worse than regular earbuds.

    The Shure's do sound pleasing once they're in. A bit bassy and a little lacking in top end clarity.
    I don't particularly like the way the cord goes up over the ear. Looks like hearing aids to me. On the upside people shout at you, when you've got them on. So you can actually hear them. :)

    The Etymotic's fit great. Comfortable. For me. I prefer the sound of these. Less boomy and more clarity. I think the sound is a bit more open and convincing with these. Greater seperation too. The headphone cord is a bit fragile though.

    So there you have it. You might want to check out and for more insight into the sound of these thing as I have not done extended listening. I think I've done a more practical comparison for you.

    Unfortunately these in-ear headphones are as personal as food. Everyone's gonna have a different opinion....practical aspect aside.

    Happiness is in the moment...but we've got to live too.

    Oh btw.. are you from OZ?
    I spent the summer eating Vegemite. Delightful stuff.
  4. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I just bought a pair of Bang & Olufsen A8 earbuds. They truly are amazing.

    - mini amplifiers built into each earbud
    - poly diaphram with rubber surround unlike other brands with metal diaphragms that sound tinny.
    - crystal clear vocals and high frequencies

    You can read some reviews HERE

    Attached Files:

  5. jss273nyc macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2005
    New York

    I had the sony MDR EX 81's which had great sound quality but I had trouble keeping them in my ears because the aluminum piece attached to the actual earbud was too long and therefore did not fit my ear properly. Also the wires were pretty fragile and after a while I started to see a lot of exposed copper. After 4 months they were broken.

    I then purchased the Er-6i's because I was spoilt by the sound quality of the ex 81's but I wanted a better earphone. At first the sound quality was horrible because the bass of the 81's was so good, but there are a couple of things that you have to aware of. The white earbuds are supposed to go pretty far into your ear canal so that there is a proper seal so you should really shove them in. Then I guess after a couple of weeks the earbuds begin to mold to your ear and the seal becomes tighter. Once this happens, the sound fidelity is amazing. So my vote is forthe Er-6i's but you have to be patient at first, I'm not sure if anyone has had the same experience, but it has happen to me twice on two separate pairs of Er-6i's.
  6. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for ur input. Im still torn between the Er-6i and the E2c. But leaning towards the ER-6i. Im not a bass-obsessed person. I like my music to sound the way it should (if that makes sense) so thats why im leaning towards the ER-6is. The only thing im worried about is the eartips and replacement filters.

    You get a few more eartip/sleeves witht the E2c then the ER-6i. Im just worried about not getting a good fit with the ER-6is. Apparently you have to replace the foam tips once a month! I can see this is going to be an expensive exercise. :(

    What have people's exeriences been with the eartips/sleeves? In terms of fit and how often u have to replace them

    With the ER-6i you get:
    * ER-6i Isolator earphones
    * 5 ft. cord with 3.5 mm stereo plug
    * 1 pair 2-flange eartips
    * 1 pair foam eartips
    * 2 replacement filters
    * Filter changing tool
    * Shirt clip
    * Pouch

    With the E2C you get:
    Earphones, 2 triple-flange sleeves, 3 pairs (small, medium, large) of flex sleeves, and 3 pairs (small, medium, large) ultra-soft flex sleeves (kit 90XC1371, with cleaning tool), a soft carry case (80B8232), a user's manual, and warranty information.

    Ha ha. I hope your joking. I think it tastes like axel grease :D Did you pick up a packet of Tim-Tams when you were here? Tourists always rave about them (much more so than Vegemite). Did you check out the Blue Mountains (NSW) while u were here. Thats were im from.
  7. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Im also worried about the (supposed?) lack of bass in the ER-6i. I have read reviews from people saying that the ER-6i need a headphone amp to improve the bass (and I dont wont to carry one of those about with me!) or that they are only good for jazz and classical music.
  8. Rajiv macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2005
    Kangaroo and headphone

    Yep, I'd hear about this tim tam stuff before I got there. There just chocolate coated bourbon biscuits... aren't they?

    I just think, for me, vegemite was a more memorable experience.

    The blue mountains were spectacular. I walked from Katoomba to Leura. There's quite a lot of waterfalls around that area. no kangaroos though.

    Ok. ok. I was a real tourist. :(

    You raised an interesting point there. the shure's do come with a vast array of sleeves. And I see the 2's have got the flanged sleeves which the 3's don't.
    I forgot to say in my first post.... Initially the flanged sleeves included with the Etymotic's were too long and I had to cut off one of the flanges. Though, now they are as right as rain. You can order new sleeves from

    I don't bother with those foam ones. Too much fuss to take them in and out. And as you say, they are unhygenic.
    Kinda like brushing your teeth with an unwashed toothbrush. Tasty.

    Bass issues:
    Pineapple people who think the Etymotic's don't got enough bass...well alls I can say is that they must like bass. Or Menieres disease. Or noise induced hearing loss. The possibilities are endless.
    The 6i's suit me just fine

    Good luck.
  9. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    I have both

    I have a pair of ER-6s and E2Cs. After using both for a while, the ER-6s win hands down. They:

    - Sound better
    - Are much much more comfortable
    - Are much smaller

    Also, Etymotic has been really helpful over the years with replacement parts and help whenever needed.

    Just my .03

  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I have the same ones. Not in-ear, but to me, very comfortable (they are quite adjustable) and excellent, excellent sound. They don't block all other sound, but in-ear phones drive me nuts.
  11. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Ha Ha. Im from Leura and you want find kangaroos around here - only nosey retirees and yuppies. :p Yes Rajiv Tim-Tams are basically chocolate biscuits. It is usually American tourists who rave about them - I think because u can't buy biscuits in the US - only cookies. ;)

    Thanks for your input everyone. I just bought a pair of Etymotic ER-6i's off ebay for 59.77 pound ($143.33 AUD). So im pretty happy. They normal retail for a lot more in Oz - i don't no why. :confused: :mad:

    I would have gone for the Shure e2c's but I didn't think Id like the whole over-the-ear-down-the-back thing. Sounds too difficult for my little brain to handle on a daily basis. :eek: Though they sound like wicked 'phones - everyone raves about them.

    So thanks to the re-assurance by Rajiv and mstecker I went with the ER-6i's. I will write a review when I get them. :)

    inlimbo :cool:
  12. eleveneastgate macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    Before you shell out $100+ for some headsphones/earphones, please keep in mind that if the music you listen to was'nt recorded properly, no headphones will make it sound better.

    Don't knock the $50 or $20 headphones/earphones till you've give them a try, some might impress you! :D
  13. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Too late... I rip music at 256 so i think that is pretty high? From what I read once u try sound isolating ear phones u never go back. I can't wait to get them. :D

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