back to article Shure SE102 sound-isolating earphones

Using cheap earphones on your expensive MP3 player is as pointless as spending all your money on a triple SLI graphics set-up and using a 14in CRT to watch it all on. You can argue that to enjoy music, you just need to be able to hear it – and the number of people still using the standard earphones that came with their iPods is …

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Boffin

Is it just me?

"so deep inside your ear canal that no other sound can penetrate. Apparently, this blocks out over 90 per cent of the noise around you, and from our experience, we're inclined to agree."

"and if you're the type of person that is constantly pulling earphones in and out, they'll soon start to irritate."

Sounds like they're going to turn ANYBODY into the "type of person that is constantly pulling earphones in and out", since you'll have to to hear anything in the outside world...

<starts stopwatch until first person run over whilst wearing these tries to sue Shure>

Icon's obvious - hear no evil, see no evil...

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Coat

Pedant alert

"Shure is a name that is well known in the recording industry, with the SM58 and SM57 microphones being practically the industry standard for vocal and instrument recording."

The SM58 isn't really known as a recording mike, it's the standard for live vocal performances though.

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Anonymous Coward

Cable

Unfortunately the cable still cracks easily where it loops around the back of the ear. A problem that is well documented and inherited from the e2c. Great sound quality, but they really ought to fix the cable problem.

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Boffin

Knitted sweater & thick rimmed spectacles time

"Using cheap earphones on your expensive MP3 player is as pointless as spending all your money on a triple SLI graphics set-up and using a 14in CRT to watch it all on."

I have to say that even for a respectably geeky website this opening comparison out-geeks it all. Well done!

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Happy

Ahhh... Smug Mode...

Picked up a set of SE110's at Play.com last week when they were on offer for £17.99. now they're back to £49.99.

Chuffed I am :-)

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Anonymous Coward

hmm...

Don't know about SM57s and 58s being the industry standard for recording... Industry standard when used as part of a live PA rig for rock gigs maybe - but I wouldn't want to record anything half decent with them.

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Great - but ...

... what about those of us who can't, for reasons of discomfort, wear "in-ear" phones.

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Flame

Oy!

What have you got against the Filth? They rock, Enya boy.

BTW £229 is almost *six* times as much as £40. Math fail.

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Warranty

"Shure's two-year warranty is also a good indication of quality, as well as a good fall-back if you happen to work with anyone who uses scissors regularly."

And their warranty covers physical damage with scissors does it?

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Regarding The Pedantry

The SM57 is used in studios both amateur and professional all over the world, and it's widely known it's the easiest way to get a great sounding recording of pretty much any guitar cab on the planet.

Granted, it's often used in conjection with a 'classic' condensor, but anyone who denies it's use in the studio is probably a cretin.

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W
Alert

Diminishing returns

>"Using cheap earphones on your expensive MP3 player is as pointless as spending all your money on a triple SLI graphics set-up and using a 14in CRT to watch it all on."

With A/V kit there's the "A" element" that sits alongside the "V" and contributes to the overall experience. Also, size isn't everything. An MP3 player is all "A" and no "V", so it's arguable that the earphones are a *more* fundamental element of the overall enjoyment of an MP3 player.

That said, £40 sounds like plenty to me, but fair dinkum if they're as good as claimed.

But who the hell spends £229 on *ear*phones!? £229 on decent *head*phones for use indoors in a controlled environment ...maybe - if you're a spoddy audiophile.

The thing about earphones is - it's a leap of faith. Who lets you try out earphones before you buy? Who would want to stick a manky shop tester pair in their lugholes, anyway? And honestly, how good can audio on a train or walking around town ever be? Really? Honestly? Diminishing returns, non?

My £10 pair of Sennheiser MX460 earphones from Richer Sounds has done a perfectly suitable job of the task in hand, cheers.

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Silver badge

90%? So 10% get through?

Well if 10% get through, that means it only attenuates outside sounds by 10dB. That's not really a lot. Depending on the frequency even a simple hood does more.

It kinda sounds like that TV ad for compact cassettes where they compaired them to the CD and found out that they are 99.9% noise free. That's still 0.01% noise. Good for a cassette, but in no way near what a CD can do.

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Stop

Forty pounds?

Where can they be had for £40? Cheapest place I could find was selling them for £50.

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Bronze badge

I don't want to make it that obvious that I read Eurogamer...

...but that review read more like an 85%.

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Joke

@ Eddie Edwards

"Math fail" = English fail, its 'Maths fail'.

None of this US of A spelling on here please!

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So are these just...

... E2CNs with a shorter cable? And what's to recommend them over the SE110s that are basically the same price?

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more pics pls

A lot of in-ear phones have you looking like some Frankenstein (ok ok his "monster") when you wear them because they stick out like some sort of neck - err ear - bolt. These look kind of big like they could suffer from that...

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Stop

@ The first two AC's

<starts stopwatch until first person run over whilst wearing these tries to sue Shure>

These things have been around for years and if anything make you more likely to cross the road safely (unless you're a complete idiot) because you know your senses are impaired. People don't need earphones jammed in their head to gaily step onto the road without looking because they "can't hear an engine" and promptly get a cyclist rammed up their arse.

"Unfortunately the cable still cracks easily where it loops around the back of the ear. A problem that is well documented and inherited from the e2c. Great sound quality, but they really ought to fix the cable problem."

The cable "problem" is a load of bollocks. Either that or they *did* fix it two years ago. I've been using my E2C's for that long almost every day and there's not a mark on them. I strongly suspect that people with this "issue" are pulling them out by the cable - doesn't make any difference with shitty earbuds, but not something you really want to do with something that's so firmly jammed in your ear.

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J
Alert

Hm...

I suspect some 30 quid of the price is brand tax.

I've bought myself a JVC HA-FX34 (also in-ear, "marshmallow") and it sounds great. Well, at least to me -- so much of this is subjective anyway. For $20, it's great. Very good bass, not so clear trebles, but OK -- middle freqs included. In some songs, I can hear details I had not noticed before on car stereos or other earphones. It is so silent when stuck in the ears that it is scary. Maybe it's not as silent as the Shure, don't know, but it's enough. I pay twice the attention when using it, because if there is music playing, I won't be able to hear anything but the loudest things. I sometimes use it *without* music, just to get some silence (a science lab can be a noisy place most of the time).

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Thumb Up

Cable Problem...

"The cable "problem" is a load of bollocks". I can unfortunately disagree, my E4C's are cracking on one side where they go over my ear. They're less than 2 years old and they've got a lot stiffer which has led to one side starting to go through normal use, though it does mean I can tell the left from the right side in the dark now!

Excellent sound though, when they finally crack to death, I'll probably buy a pair of these.

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right in time

As my Koss Spark Plugs just crapped after roughly 7 momnths of light use. Not the kind of quality I expected after owning a Sporta Pro for years.

Well, not just right in time, as it seems i missed a bargain on play..

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Etymotic

ER6i for iPod... great headphones and similarly priced.

Just replaced mine with some HF2's so i can have handsfree calling on my iPhone, but they're £99 - better mind!

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Paris Hilton

Re: Diminishing returns

I'm one of those audiophiles as I spet 200odd quid on on my Etymotic ER4 headphones when I bought them.

Why?

Simple, I love music, and want to hear it how it was intended warts n all. I have 20k's worth of stereo at home to listen to music (2 speakers, 1 cd player, 1 pre amp, 1 power amp + assorted cables). Listening to music on that is almost as good as listening live.

I wanted that sort of experience on a portable for when I was out and about, and the Ety's were the best in ear phones at the time that I tried. I rip lossless as I can tell hear the difference when lossy. The sound I get out and about is fantastic and I'm happy with it.

200 quid is a small price to pay as far as I'm concerned for something I get so much enjoyment out of.

as for the Etymotics, they are brilliant and way above other portable headphones I've tried and I tried a few. They don't emphasise any part of the frequency range, sound stage brilliantly, and are very well made. they block almost all outside noise, so music can be listened to quieter.

Their bad points though is that the cable is pretty microphonic (something all headphones of this type suffer from), so you can't go jogging in them. Getting them correctly fitted into your ears takes a lot of practice and getting used to, as does the feeling of them being in there. And they are useless if you have sore ears due to cold or something as they do irritate if you try to wear them then.

Oh and unless you get them correctly seated in your ears, they do not sound all that special.

for the days I have a flu / cold etc, I have Koss Porta Pros which have a fantastic build quality, great sound quality (though nowhere near as good as the Ety's, but still vvery good), no noise cancellation though but they were cheap as chips.

Some of us like to listen to music properly, and listen to proper music. Not this compressed, volume recorded so bloody loud so it sounds good on iPod, but crap on anything half decent chart crap.

Paris cause she would sound decent on anything.

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