@ James Halliday and anybody on the fence
"I killed my Shures (2 and 4s) on a regular basis by damaging the cable"
Surely you're joking!
I've had Shure e2's for about 2 years now, same pair and they're still pumping away nicely!
I'm very surprised by your comment that the cord breaks because they use such a thick quality cord that i am confident I could strangle someone with them and not have to worry about breakage.
For any of you still on the fence and looking for a pair of in-ear canal-phones, Shures are the way to go.
They were making canal-phones for musicians and live music engineers before anyone knew what a "noise-isolating headphone" was. They are Personal "Studio Monitors" and were made for Musicians!
a) For hearing the subtleties of the music at a very LOUD live concert
b) For hearing instructions and communications at a very LOUD live concert
c) For protecting their most valuable asset (their ears) at a ........
d) For hearing the adjusted levels of your bandmates' riffs while standing next to a very LOUD acoustic drumset which can almost deafen you even without amplification.
So before most of these other manufacturers even existed, Shure was making professional studio audio equipment including the noise-isolating headphones.
I use the Shure e2 which i bought 2 years ago for $100 USD.
But if price is no limitation, there are the E5's which have TWO drivers in each ear-bud and you can go to an ear-doctor to get a mold made of your ear-canal and a silicone plug will be made unique to your ears!!! imagine having a 2-way speaker in your ear.......
oh if I only had the $$$$