Shure E3c In-Ear

E3c

Enjoy an audiophile listening experience when music matters. The E3c combines precision components and remarkable sound isolation to provide studio quality sound everywhere you go. High energy micro-speakers deliver great tonal balance across the entire frequency range. Flexible sleeves produce remarkable isolation, revealing the subtle details of original recordings. The small compact earphone design fits securely in your ear, making it ideal for active listening and frequent travel. The E3c's ear sleeves can even be custom-fit by a hearing specialist, after your purchase, for the best personalized fit and comfort. E3c Earphones

  • In-ear Earphones with Sound Isolating Design
  • High Energy Micro-Speakers with Extended Frequency Response
  • Studio-Quality Sound
  • Lightweight: Smallest Shure Design, Weighing only 0.9 oz (28g)
  • Fit Kit for Personalized, Comfortable In Ear Fit
  • Earphones Carrying Case
  • Input Connector: 1/8" gold-plated stereo plug
  • Speaker Type: Single Low Mass / High Energy Micro-Speaker
  • Sensitivity (at 1 kHz): 115dB SPL / mW
  • Impedance (at 1kHz): 26 ohms
  • Cable Length: 60 inches
  • Net Weight: 0.9 oz
  • Manufacturer''s Limited Warranty: Two years

  • User Reviews (9)

    Showing 1-9 of 9  
    at80at   AudioPhile [Sep 19, 2008]
    Strength:

    Clarity
    Sensitivity
    Mid-range

    Weakness:

    Lack proper sound-stage and timbre
    Lack bass

    I consider myself a bit of an audiophile and really appreciate a good sounding system or component (in this case headphones). I wanted them for my various .MP3 players (I tried them out on the new Creative ZEN, Apple iPOD, my Nokia XpressMusic 5310, laptop, and other devices). Frankly I was disappointed. While the sensitivity and clarity was high, the sound-stage was muddled and uneven and the bass very weak. I did not enjoy the music through these headphones. I would only consider them for video / TV viewing on my laptop as its strength is in its clarity / sensitivity so voice / mid-range is good.

    Similar Products Used: Sony
    Philips
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    skibummsp   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 20, 2006]
    Strength:

    Sleek, small, and light-weight.
    Available in both white and black (I have a black iPod, so the black ones worked out perfectly in that sense)
    Good clean, detailed mids and highs.
    Clean, accurate bass.
    Comes with a very nice carrying case.
    Comes with several differnt types and sizes of "sleeves" to help with finding a good fit.

    Weakness:

    Takes a bit of experimentation to find/get proper fit
    Can be unforfortable for some folks
    May be difficult for some folks to get a proper fit.
    Somewhat pricey, but still pretty reasonable for what you are getting here.

    Looking for something better than the Sony, over-the-ear headphones I was using with my 5th generation 30-gig iPod, I went and tried these out. One of my co-workers had a pair of the Shure E2c headphones that he brought into work and let me try out. Once I got them to fit properly, I really did like how they sounded. I thus decided I wanted to go a step up and get the E3c. The models beyond the E3c were getting beyond what I wanted to pay for a pair of headphones.

    First and foremost, the fit on these things is extremely important. I was a bit skeptical as I could never seem to find a pair of decent in-ear headphones that I could get to fit properly, found uncomfortable, or would stay in my ear. It did take me a bit of experimentation until I could get the E3c's to fit properly (be sure to watch the little "how to fit/use" video on the www.shure.com website). I ended up using the medium sized grey "soft-flex" sleeves and seem to fit very comfortably and provided the best sound isolation and audio response for me. If you do not get a proper fit with these things, the bass will be very lacking and the highs will be "mushed" out. Thus, it is highly recommended to buy these things from a reputable dealer with a good return policy. For example, if you buy them directly from Shure, they have a 30-day money back gurantee. This is important for those that may not be able to get these to fit properly or find them uncomfortable for proper use.

    Once I got these to fit properly, I was quite impressed with how good these sound with the music that I primarily listen to, which is symphonic power and progressive metal. For example, after listening to the Vox Tempus In the Eye of Time album (one of my reference albums, due to the extemely clean, very dynamic, and well-done recording quality), I found the vocals to be very clean and natural sounding, especially on the track "Love, Lies, and Treason". I can easily pick out each, individual instrument, with each instrument having its own space. The drums came out sounding very crisp and clean, with a good bit of punch. Even the kick-drums came out sounding good and punchy, but not boomy at all. I found the bass overall to be clean and accurate, but not boomy and "over-done" at all. This may put off those that want or expecting the big "boom-boom-boom" sound, but I personally find that to be annoying and unnatural, especially since I don't listen to rap, hip-hop or many of the other "bass-heavy" genres anyway.

    Overall, if somebody is looking for a good, sleek, light-weight, in-ear "ear-bud" type headphone, these are definitly worth checking out, although a bit on the pricy side at $180 to $200 (depending on where you getting them).

    Customer Service

    The Shure website has some good information, including a little video on how to properly use/fit the E-series headphones. Have not tried thier "phone" service.

    Similar Products Used: Cheap $30 pair of Sony over-the-ear "clip-on" headphones
    Another cheap $20 pair of Sony "over-the-ear" headphones that I use at work
    Tried a pair of the Shure E2c's (borrowed from a friend)
    The crappy pair of "ear-buds" that came with the iPod.
    A somewhat better pair that came with the Creative Lab's MuVo Slim MP3 player (player I use while working out at the gym).
    My father's Bose "quiet comfort" headphones.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Sammy   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2006]
    Strength:

    ISOLATION:

    is great, I find the small flex and small plastic slieves are very good. The foam ones are also very good but I'll use them in public because I love the bright yellow look that makes them stand out and look different. Recently I have been getting so frustrated listening to my music in public, simply because I couldnt hear it with those "default" Apple earphones. You will really appreciate the difference when you walk out on the street and hear NOTHING but your beloved music instead of the sound of traffic and voices and then your music.

    SOUND QUALITY:

    is also very good. I listen to a variety of music ranging from Rock, Alternative, Classic, Metal, RnB, Electronica, Dance and Pop. Before purchasing these 'phones I relied on the reviews of others to make my mind up. I had been briefly put off them when I read several reviews that put them down on bass. To me they are just fine. I have turned the EQ on my iPod OFF for the first time ever. All I can say is WOW! Bass is very clear, true and punchy. It is there and although it isnt 'thumpy' it is fine for the type of music I listen to most. To be honest I appreciate better overall sound (which is what these 'phones do) rather than all the bass in the world and no quality.

    I was torn between the Shure E3 and Etymotic ER-6i. Although I hadn't used either before, they both were given similar reviews. For both these 'phones bass was always a negative in many of the reviews I had read. So I was satisfied to accept that unless I wanted to spend serious amounts on earphones then I was always going to get mediocre bass. Although having recieved these Shure E3 I have no compllaints with bass (see above). In the end I went for the Shure E3 mainly because I read that the cable is of better qulity but also because I found them on Amazon.co.uk for the same price as the Etymotic Er-6i!

    OVERALL QUALITY:

    On that note of the cable, it is VERY good. Unlike many other earphones that have thin fiddly cables that look like they would snap if a sudden jerk, the cable on the Shure E3 looks like it could hold back a rhino! That is not a bad thing. It is thick enough so it doesn't tangle into knots but thin enough that it is comfortable and flexible.

    The 'phones themselves are very good build quality. They seem very strong and I am satisfied that these will survive the everyday rough and tumble of student life.

    You will not be disappointed with the quality of these 'phones. You can tell they have been well made for professional sound engineers, musicians and consumers alike.

    COMFORT:

    These 'phones are very comfortable. They make the Apple ones feel like they are a cactus rather than something that is supposed to be comfortable in your ears.! I am very pleased with the different sized slieves that came with these 'phones. The flex and plastic ones are very comfortable. I read other reviews that insisted the plastic ones were the most uncomfortable. My opinion is that they are the best overall. The foam ones are the best for isolation and the most comfortable. But they look like they will need replaced often with regular use. So I place the plastic ones first simply because they will save me money. I am considering purchasing the triple flange slieves because I have read they are very comfortable with almost as good isolation as the 'foamies'. By the way, isolation is VERY good with all these slieves (provided you get a good seal) so when I say isolation is better with one slieve than the other, it is a small fraction of a difference.

    ACCESSORIES:

    I am very pleased with all the accessories in particular the storage case. It is of very good quaity (like everything else!) I am conviced you can fit all the slieves and wax removal tool in this case easily. This is handy for travelling and offers great protection especially when you have spent so much.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion I would reccommend these 'phones to anyone who wants to enjoy their music in a new and unique way. Yes they are more expensive than what most people would consider spending on earphones but if you appreciate music you will understand. Also if you shop around you can find them at really good prices. I got them for £81.00 off Amazon.co.uk.

    Previous to buying these earphones I had become quite bored of my music because I had heard most of it so many times- I listen to music for about 4 hours a day! Now I am listening to music in a totally new light. Instead of listening to tracks I have heard hundreds of times, I now listen to them as if for the first time. What I mean is the tracks sound totally different with these earphones and I am picking out sections that I have never heard beore!

    You will appreciate music so much more with these 'phones and so I give them 5/5!

    As I have said already my views are subjective as they are just that - my opinions. Earphones are very personal devices and so I hope this review helps outline what I think about these 'phones.

    Weakness:

    I cannot find any weaknesses worth noting. There are no signs of any likely weaknesses at this time but if I do find any I will update this review. I am quite sure that if I was an audiphile or muscian I could pick out weaknesses but as I am not such I think these 'phones are a massive improvement in the "default" Apple ones. In fact they would be a big improvement over any "default" or cheaper earphones.

    Literally these arrived just this morning and I am listening as I type. They are awesome! I could not have believed music could sound so good.

    For the purpose of this review, I will divide up my comments into strengths and weaknesses. In strengths I will look at ISOLATION, SOUND QUALITY, OVERALL QUALITY, COMFORT and ACCESSORIES.

    For the weaknesses (if I find any!) will be outlined as best I can.

    Please bear in mind that I am by no means an audiophile or muscian. I enjoy music and have more tracks on my iPod than moast people. The purpose of this review is to describe and explain my interpretation of these 'phones with non audio speak because I can not claim to actually know any such language. I am simply a consumer and I wanted to enjoy a better listening experience. Therefore this review is not by any means an expert analysis of the earphones but is my experience as an "average joe".





    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    brownievegas   AudioPhile [May 01, 2006]
    Strength:

    Very good sounding. VG bass and mids. Good construction.

    Weakness:

    Inverted placement takes time to get used to. Takes a few moments to put buds in your ears just right. Ears feel sore after prolonged use.

    Most people that would be interested in these buds are people who listen to portable audio devices. I use these headphones with an iPod. It's true they are quite a step-up from the buds you normally get with an mp3 player or disc player and they do make what you listen too sound good if not better. I have read what most reviewers have written about how thin the sound is from these Shures and at first I thought the same thing. I also hear comments about breaking the headphones in to finally hear good bass and I'm telling you it's not necessary if...

    ...you put the headphones in the correct way. This is described on the package and as weird as it sounds and looks, it works! The buds are supposed to be inverted and inserted into the ear canal with the cable looped over the ear. I was wearing these incorrectly at first, just placing them in my ear canal and the sound was horrible. Practically no bass and thin sounding! Made the freebie iPod Chiclets sound like heaven. I was shocked and was ready to return the Shures when I decided to give them another try. I noticed the suggested placement and tried it and BAM! the bass was good to go, the mids were right there and the highs were nice, not harsh @ all!

    I listened to music all day with my Shures with one caveat...my ears started to hurt after prolonged use. Not my eardrums from the pounding but my inner ear where the bud was resting. That is the one thing I can legitimately complain about. You will notice the ache after using them for a long period. The bud not only rests in the ear canal but uses the inner ear to lodge in place. The isolation is great! You will hear stuff you never heard in your music before but you give up comfort after awhile when your ear starts to feel slightly sore from the bud being lodged in it. I do recommend this headset for all types of music if you want great sound isolation without the gimmick of noise cancellation. Great for the air traveler, not necessarily the best for the jogger or runner where they tend to fall out of the ear or the gym if you perspire alot around the ears.

    All in all, very good sounding headphones. I'm glad I took the time to look at them further before taking them back. Good construction (cables not too thin or too long) and nice pouch with bud attachments made this a pretty decent purchase.

    Similar Products Used: Sony Fontopia buds.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Yen   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 20, 2005]
    Strength:

    Well made, solid and durable. Nice case and has optional choice of ear plugs.

    Weakness:

    The sound quality is just not very good. Unacceptably weak bass and upper treble.

    I'm disappointed with the sound quality of these ear-phones for the money spent. The bass is very weak (no matter how I've tried to wear them). I've had them now a year and use them just because I spent the money but must say that I've only wasted my time tolerating the poor fidelity (thinking they would break-in). The upper treble seems to fall off very quickly too. I'm all about enjoying music, so even though these come with a nice case and multiple choices of ear plugs, I recommend saving your money for something else. Something else to consider regarding this particular type of headphone, these form an air-tight seal in your ear and is difficult to get use to. You'll feel like you need to equalize the pressure on the eardrum. You'll also notice noisy distractions from yourself (like chewing gum) due to the non-open-air design. This sounds kinda stupid until you use them and realize how much of a distraction it can actually be.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    ianchan1970   Audio Enthusiast [May 26, 2005]
    Strength:

    Distortion-free, wonderfully transparent midrange. Sound isolating. High power-handling.

    Weakness:

    Sounds a bit "polite" due to curbed frequency extremes. Better value-for-money if priced at $120.

    The Shure E3c is a cool, if pricey, pair of headphones for portable audio. The sound quality of the Shure E3c is very good, but not mind-blowing. Its midrange is its greatest strength, with very little distortion evident, and very high transparency. Bass and treble are good, but a bit lacking in the frequency extremes. It doesn't sound as "airy" as, say, a good pair of large Sennheiser headphones (like the HD430 I've had for 15 years). Nonetheless, with its wonderful sound sealing properties, audio quality will more than satisfy for most people's portable audio needs. As to fit, it comes with a range of foam and silicone plugs. The foam ones are far more comfortable, but they did not fit my ears. I use the silicone ones, which are harder and become uncomfortable after a couple of hours. Cord management is nice, with a little plastic piece that can tighten the cord around your neck. no microphonics was evident.

    Similar Products Used: Some sony in-ear earphone (eww!) A Sennheiser bud earphone (distorted at medium volumes). Sennheiser HD430 full-sized headphones (still great after 15 years!)
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    ianchan1970   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 04, 2004]
    Strength:

    Isolation from environment. No cable noise. Low distortion. High sensitivity.

    Weakness:

    Pricey. Muted highs. Can be unconfortable with extended use.

    Pretty good sealed earphones, but a bit pricey. Sound is generally clear, but highs are definitely muted. Sensitivity is good. Isolation from the environment is good, and they come with a wide variety of plugs to fit your ear.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    mclc26   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 14, 2004]
    Strength:

    Great Highs Decent Mid Range sound Build Quality

    Weakness:

    complete lack of low end reproduction (so far) price

    I just purchased these yesterday to replace the Aiwa earbuds I was using. The Aiwa's being probably one of the cheapest pair of earphones I've purchased(compared to Sony's and Senn's), sounded pretty good...I figured the Shure E3c's would be a major step up and give me a nice well rounded sound from my Ipod and portable DVD player which is what I mainly us my earbud type 'phones for...I am surprisingly disappointed with the performace of the Shure's...Even after forming a complete seal within my ear, I cannot get good low end reproduction from these. It sounds like two tweeters in my ears...I must say the highs are crisp, and I have heard sounds that I've never heard before(like the sound of a finger moving across a guitar string)...Mid range reproduction is decent. I listen to various genres of music(classic rock, classical, rap, r & b, top 40, etc.) and any song that has a strong bass component to it is lacking that low end. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a subwoofer strapped to my ear, but I would like to hear the lower range of my music, not just the highs...As per the previous review, I will wait and see if they 'break-in' and start getting more of a low end fill, which I will update this review on...I will have to let my ipod play through the night the next couple of nights to speed up the break in process and see what happens...Hopefully that works because as of now I would prefer to listen to my Aiwa's than the Shure's...Unfortunately you cannot 'test drive'the earphones at many stores much less return them, so you really have to take a gamble...Here's hoping the last reviewer is correct

    Similar Products Used: Aiwa's & Sony's earbuds(don't recall model #'s)
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Clavote   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 01, 2004]
    Strength:

    Great sound. Very clear and clean mid to highs. Nice, tight bass response. Excellent isolation. Good construction, made to last. Good carrying case, ear fit kit with several sized and type ear sleeves.

    Weakness:

    Funky cable on head arrangement (you will adapt).

    The Sure E3c headphones came in a very elegant package that made me think this was more flash than audio quality. The box and materials were first rate. No expense spared here. My first impression of the sturdy cables was positive because I hate those think cables that can get mangled easily in a zipper. The Sure's cables speak quality and durability. The phones come with several ear fittings. I use the smallest grey sleeves. If you get a good fit the sound is awesome, the fit is comfortable for many hours and the outside world is blissfully blocked out. I have made several long haul 11hour flights this summer and if it were not for my ipod, E3c and 420 chocolate chip cookies I would have died of boredom. Trust me, these are excellent phones and cookies for air travel. I have also used these as plain ear plugs when I want a music break and they seal off a LOT of jet noise. It took some time to get the phones broken in. In fact, when I first listened to them I kinda thought they sucked for what I paid. I guess I was looking for instant gratification. So after about 45 to 50 hours of playback they really started to come into their own. The high and mid frequencies are now very clear and spatial. The vocals on some recordings are smooth and detailed they sound real. The bass has also filled out. At first they were sort of hollow sounding, but now the bass is full and spacious and not distorted. If you get a pair of these, give them time to break in and it will be very worth it. I am currently using an ipod and I am not cranking these up like I used to with other phones so I am getting longer battery time. With the isolation from these phones you can really hear good music at a much lower volume because they are more sensitive and still very clear like at high volumes. My next step is to get a HeadRoom portable amp and really rock out with these phones. Overall I would say these are an excellent value and outstanding audio performers for someone who travels by air, wants excellent audio quality and audio isolation from aircraft noise.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-9 of 9  

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