Shure E2 in ear headphones
If you have read my article on the Grado SR60 headphones then you will know that I have not spared any hard earned pennies in my search for the best personal listening experience my meagre wages will allow.
I have had the E2's for 4 months and they are fully run in (40 hours), Shure have a similar reputation to Grado in that they only manufacture quality merchandise, so you will not be disappointed whichever model you go for.
The E2's are their entry level phones and are of the in ear type, however if you are thinking that they are similar in design to many of the type that come with walkmans or iPods and just sit in the earlobe, you would be wrong. All Shure phones sit deep within the ear canal, and this invasion of a bodily orifice could be disconcerting to some. However once you get used to this feeling the experience is worth the initial discomfort.
The E2's are basically small pod type drivers on the end of cables. The part which sits in your ear can be fitted with several different sleeves that are provided with the phones and come in three sizes and three materials, rubber, silicone and foam.
I found that the rubber sleeves (size small for my ears) were no good for me they just slipped out, and although the silicones were the most comfortable they did not provide a good enough seal , outside sound leaked in and bass was compromised. The small size foam sleeves, although initially uncomfortable, provided a good seal after I compressed them, slid them in my ear canal and waited for them to expand. I could hardly hear anything from the outside world (without music) and that it how it should be.
At this point I should point out that you will have to put up with a certain level of soreness until you built up some skin resistance to the foam, rubber or silicone in your ear canal. Bear with it, about 20 hours of listening did it for me and now it's not a problem.
Initially I was disappointed with the Shures, they were a little flat in the bass area, although treble and vocals were sparkly and clear. However as they were a long term test I stuck with them and now they are run in properly they are the best set of phones I have. The bass is a revelation and with the phone sitting so deeply in your ears you do genuinely feel the earth move on heavier sections of music. The advantage of being up close and personal with your phones is that you can set the volume lower and still get good detail, and that is exactly what you get with these phones, be prepared to hear stuff that was not there before and transfer your music at the highest bit rate possible (160 or above) because these phones will find you out.
Fitting them is a pain for sure ( no pun intended), and if you search the net there are companies out there who will provide custom fitted options which involve pouring wax into your ears to make a mould. But there is really no need for this at all.
I paid £59.99 for mine, but notice they are now available for around £33 from Amazon on the following link.
Spare sleeves can be bought from Shures website.
These are great phones, Shures E3's, E4's and E5's are also superb and a step up but the price also shoots up as well (the E5's are £400)
Get them, live with them until they are run in and love them.
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