Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The Shure E2c "in-ear" headphones are the best headphones I've ever used. They come with foam earplug style or rubber sleeves. They fit right inside of your ear like a hearing aid and the wire slips over your ear and down behind your back. There is no electronic noise cancellation, but the earplug-like sleeves shut out all outside sound and give you incredible sound with no outside noise. Absolutely incredible. My ipod experience just got one notch closer to a religious experience.

Thanks Barak!

UPDATE: Matt from Shure has started a blog. Check it out!

UPDATE: I've started a gadget blog called Joi Ito's Stuff


Joi- I tried a pair of the E2cs and really liked them. I then tried a pair of Etymotic's ER-6 and liked those even more. The Rolls Royce of isolating earphones are Etymotic's ER-4 series, but they're 2X the price of the ER-6 and 3X the price of the Shures. My only beef with the Etymotics are that they are more delicate than the Shures. The Shures have a nice sturdy feel and a thicker cord.

Two great forums to check out for other reviews are HeadWize and head-fi.

I used to carry around giant DJ headphones with cush earpads. On the road it was a great comfort that made their bulk worth it. Then I stepped on them.

So I've been looking for something smaller - portable, powerful. Airplanes have a lot of background noise. And cheap in-ear headphones make my ears sore. These look more gentle - thanks for the tip!

gen, joi, if you think the shure e2s are pretty good, wait until you get a chance to try the e5s due out on the market soon. shure have really outdone themselves with this pair. gen, i think these may even sound better than the etymotic, and they're unbelievably tough. they have 2 drivers in each earphone (one woofer, one tweeter), and a crossover to make sure each driver only gets the right signal. the sound is amazingly crisp, but sadly, you pay for it as well. one pair is USD 500

Arrgh. I tried to order the ER-4's from their site but none of my various credit card/address combinations worked. I hope I didn't actually order 12 of them. Maybe it's a good thing though. These impulse buys always get me in trouble. I'm still feeling bad for ordering the 17" PowerBook. Maybe I should wait for the e5s' to come out.

How does these Shure products compare with B&O A8 headphones?

A8s are so comfortable, I can wear them for long international flights without any frustrations. All the "in-ear" headphones I have tried so far tend to become uncomfortable after a few hours, and drop off too easily.

Masami, I haven't tried the B&O's, but the "in-ear" experience is very different from any other, I think. They can be a bit uncomfortable, but I've found the Shure E2c's to be OK and they definitely don't drop off easily. They really feel like they are implanted in your head.

Hi Joi and all. I am the Product Specialist at Shure who worked on the E2c product. I hope you don't mind me posting here.
I'm thrilled to hear that you like it. We're very proud of the results. Please feel free to ask any questions or offer any thoughts - good or bad.

Hi Matt! What an honor. I just ordered another E2c for my girlfriend. I use them every day. ;-)

Thanks, Joi! Sounds like I have to try them. Did you order yours from the Shure shop online?

Matt, are you aware of any dealers in Japan?

OK, so I guess I need to comment too. I found these phones because of Didier Diaz's endless search for great sound from his iPod. We came across the Shure E2 and both ordered them. DDA loves them for the sound; I love them for the sound isolation. Don't get me wrong, they sound GREAT, but for the last 7 years I have been carrying Sony Noise Canceling headsets on every flight I take. I discovered a long time ago that one of the most tiring things about a long flight is the noise. With a noise canceling headset (plus drinking lots of water), you can fly SFO - NRT arriving reasonably fresh and relaxed, and if you didn't make the upgrade list and you got stuck in the middle, they may well save your life, if not the life of your seat mates. The Sony headphones are great but even though they fold they are still large in your bag and your ears get hot under the cups.

Well a few months ago my third or fourth pair of Sony's broke and this is around the time DDA and I where cooperating on his search for earphones that can match the iPod, so I also bought the E2s, WOW. The Sony's reduce noise by about 10db, not bad, but the computer circuit does have trouble with changing sounds and if the microphone gets covered (by your hand or a pillow) it stops working. The Shures reduce noise by 15-25db, that is almost total silence and there is no computer so no anomalies. As for comfort I am REALLY sensitive on this point, the Shures come with SIX different ear inserts, 3 sizes of foam and three sizes of gel. I find the foam to be very comftrable; they feel like the foam ear plugs you can buy. I also found the medium size gel works well for me. With six choices you are bound to find one that feels good. And they are very firmly implanted in your ears.

The only complaint I have is that these earphones seal out sound so well that you suddenly can hear INSIDE you body. If you walk with a hard pair of shoes your steps will reverberate up your bones, if you bit an apple it will sound like a tree branch just broke over your head. Even a fast heartbeat can sometimes be heard. But this is a small problem compared to the benefits of GREAT SOUND and near total NOISE ISOLATION.

Thanks for the nice words! We include the sleeve options because there are so many different sizes of ears out there. We also designed them to be less fatiguing than regular headphones, while offering noise isolation rather than cancellation. I personally have found them to be perfect for long flights. In the past year I've been to Europe four times and Hong Kong once. The 14 hour stretch to Hong Kong was rough, but watching the inflight movies through earphones made it much more bearable. I probably sound like a salesguy... I'm in product development, not sales.

I have asked one of our international salesfolks to let me know the names of dealers in Japan. They should definitely be available somewhere. I'll post when I hear back.
If there are any pro audio stores (microphones, aplifiers, guitars, etc.) you might have luck with them. Maybe call to see if they have Shure earphones.

Joi, wow! I hope she likes them.
I like the picture of you hanging outside the plane. I'd be too scared to do that. I don't think my wife would let me do it.


One more note, Matt;

DDA and I both worked at Apple and love attention to detail, and know how hard it is to do. The fit, finish and assembly of the E2C are all superior but what really shows that you care is the case. In a small extra piece you do so much right; it’s shaped beautifully, the fabric is great and the stiffness protects the earset in inevitably tight briefcases. Then the crowning achievement is the spool for cord management with its space for the earphones in the center. We both commented right away how great and well done this was! We are looking forward to more great things, if only we could afford the E5c :-(

wow. i didn't realize the fan club building around these headphones. i only recently found out about because a friend literally *dragged* my tired butt to the teeny tiny shure table (booth would be overstating it) at CES. he wanted to me to try the e2c, but the gent at the booth helped me try the e5c first. i literally JUMPED FOR JOY as i heard bass in my ears that i had only heard on my home stereo with a very large subwoofer. i was hooked. in fact i haven't bought the e2c yet as i'm trying to justify a pair of headphones that i know i will destroy or lose that cost more than my ipod.

which, barak, brings up another point. as far as i can tell, these headphones are really the domain of ipod owners. and the unifying thing behind all the folks i know who own (or want to own) both are that they obsess over good design and love music more than the average radio listener. the shure headphones certainly are well designed both in terms of art and science.

Barak, Thanks for the comments on the pouch. Prior to the E2 development we had used little soft pouches with a velcro patch for closing. We wanted to keep the carrying case small, but give it some function and protection. At CES I must have given away 15-20 to people who begged me for one. (the pouch, not even the earphones!) I'm happy to hear that you like it.

eric, did I meet you at CES? There were four of us working the booth. Are you the one who works for MS?


Masami, I ordered them online in the US from Shure and had them forwarded to me from one of my offices in the US. I haven't seen them in Japan...

Matt, when are the e5s's going to be available?

E5c's should be shipping within about 2 weeks. I'll make a note of it here when they are available if you're interested.


yes matt, we must have met at CES cuz i do work MS. i was dragged there by my pal from gateway.

Hi Barak. It's great to run into you like this. I keep in touch with ex-AJ product marketing folks who remember you. Perhaps, we can get together next time you are in Tokyo (and give you a chance to show off your toys ;-)

Anyway, all the talk makes me want E2c for my iPod. If only I could order to ship directly to Japan...

Based on the positive comments here, I just ordered a pair for myself. If you're in Canada, you can order by phone or online from SF Marketing, see:

That's great Peter! I hope you like them.

masami, I wish I had an answer for you. Our distributor in Japan is called Hibino Corporation. (I hope that like worked...) I know they are available in South Korea, China and Hong Kong, but that probably doesn't help you.

eric, it was Scott who brought you over right? He came by our (lack of) booth several times. What a nice guy. We'd love it if Gateway sold our earphones off their site...
I'm the guy with the light hair. I remember you were thrilled to hear the lows from a Beastie Boys song. That was cool.

I think I might have to pick up an iPod.

Okay, you all convinced me. I ordered my pair today!

Thank you, Matt! I checked the Hibino web pages for the Shure products they sell, and unfortunately E2c was not one of them.

If there are no local E2c retailers, I wonder why the online store can not ship since you are not creating competition in the local market.

Regarding iPods, I am sure you will love them. (I bought my second unit with 20GB HD recently.) In fact, you probably should get a Mac as well... More seriously, you might want to negotiate with apple to sell your headphones through Apple stores. It is a smaller market, but you will probably find a lot of people interested in great design, high quality products.

Actually picked the e2 up on the strength of the Metafilter conversation regarding same. I'm rocking them now!

Actually - Matt, maybe you can explain this - I'm a little bit disappointed with the sound quality. At the higher end, sometimes the left 'phone will squeal or produce something that sounds like an unpleasant harmonic. Is this just an artifact of low-quality recordings (i.e. the usual low-bit-rate mp3's picked up hither and thither)? Or is it resident in the e2's themselves?

I think (hope?) it's probably the MP3's. Have you listened to them with a regular CD through a CD player?

I'm curious as to why only the left side exhibits the squeal. Let me know the results if you're able to listen through different sources.

E2c's have a tendency to reveal subtle artifacts on certain MP3's. It's much worse with an E5c, to the point where we will have to address this in the FAQ on the website.

What Metafilter conversation are you referring to?

masami, Shure has a business office in Hong Kong. Maybe dropping them an email asking how to get them in Japan will help get Hibino involved??? I should mention that these earphones are also sold with our in-ear monitors systems, which can't be sold in Japan right now due to frequency range issues. So Hibino has had little incentive to carry our earphone line. Perhaps if they see potential in selling them as listening devices they will start to carry them.

We would love to talk with Apple about selling our earphones through their stores. I'm on the development side, but I know that the business managers are trying to set up more distribution. I'd like it if we bundled E2c's with iPod's. Might drive the price up too much though.


Doh! I screwed that post up.
I was trying to say that we sell our earphones with our in-ear monitors systems. Our systems can't be sold in Japan right now due to frequency range issues, so Hibino doesn't have much incentive to sell the earphones.

I love the suggestion to sell through Apple stores. The business folks here are working on new distribution methods, and that one would be very nice.

Matt, Masami's right, Apple is a natural angle. In fact, if I were in Shure's shues, I might almost consider releasing a custom iPod-white version of the e2's. Cord, anyway.

I have as yet been unable to replicate the squeal with my iPod and the mid-high-end earphones I was using before.

The MeFi thread is here.

Thanks for your help!

Oh, and Matt?

If you need folks to proselytize on behalf of the e5's when they come out...well, I look up and down this page and I can see the names and email addresses of quite a few influential "key communicators," if you catch my drift. ; . )

I ordered my e2c's from SFM Marketing in Montreal on Thursday afternoon and they arrived first thing Friday morning. I used them on a flight from Halifax to Boston this morning -- a noisy Dash-8 turboprop plane. Flying will never be the same! The earphones were wonderful, cutting out a vast chunk of the annoying airplane noise, and leaving me free to listen to audiobooks on my iPod in peace and quite. Thanks for the recommendation, Joi, and thanks to Matt for your product evangleism.

Thanks for the link Adam, and thanks for the information. I looked around a few of the links of people, and this is definitely a technology crowd. These are generally the people that are interested in a new way to deal with the toils of airline flights and poor headphones.

Peter, that's great! I'm happy to hear that SF delivers efficiently. Glad you like them.

Matt, I'd be careful about issuing a white version of the earphones because I've read articles that speak to thieves targeting ipod users specifically due to the white headphones.

gen white headphones have one clear benefit: they let people know you have in ear phones on and don't want to be bothered. in grey cities like SF, where everyone is wearing those damned hands-free mobile headsets anyway, the same just doesn't hold true for black headphones. maybe we can compromise on bright orange? oh and if you all haven't seen. shure's e5cs are clear. in fact, they're reminiscent of the first generation iMac cables. very cool

Eric. Exactly!! I always find myself pointing to my ears when people are trying to talk to me when I have headphones on. The great thing about the E2c's is that you can't see them, but that's also the worst thing. Having said that, white is probably good for people with black hair, but black maybe better for people with white hair. ;-0

Because this is related to good headphones, I wanted to mention that I just received my Echo Indigo PCMCIA sound card and so far it's MUCH better than the stock hardware built into my Sony VAIO. I'm testing them with Grado SR225s and Sony MDR-V6s. I'm always disappointed with both the power and quality of the soundcards built into laptops and this card really moves my 'phones with quality volume. The only bummer is that I dont think I'll be able to run both my WiFi card AND the Echo Indigo at the same time because of the size of the parts that stick out beyond the chassis of the laptop. review
CNet review
PC Mag review

WOW gen, what an excellent companion to a new pair of headphones. that card looks great, especially for the SERIOUSLY disappointing sound subsystem in the VAIOs (i have one too). i didn't think apple's sound was all that great until i bought my vaio. now i only use an ipod because the speakers and headphone jack on the sony just stink.

if you're wifi card and echo compete for space, maybe it's time to follow in joi's footsteps and upgrade, if not to a mac, at least to a newer vaio with built in wifi. i have owned both an srx-77 and a vx-77. i preferred the vx series, but i'm usind the srx because it is so small and portable.

Hey, great comments. I am wondering if anyone had specifics about these headphones - great highs, mids? Do they get clogged with wax? Any good EQ settings with them on the iPod?


Hey I have a question regarding the Shures... (ATTN: Matt)

I am really looking into getting a pair of the E2cs but I saw that there also were the E1cs for not too much more. What is the difference in sound between the two? (note: the E5cs are just out of the question at the moment =)

Thanks a million!

Hi Jonathan and Matthew. Thank you for your questions.

I'll start with Matthew's question first, since it may actually answer Jonathan's.

The biggest difference between E1c and E2c is form factor. E1c has a very light cable and a very small sound port (nozzle). E2c's cable is a little heavier (not much), and the shape is a little more ergonomic, since it's a bigger earphone.

Sonically, the E1c has more highs, the E2c has a little more lows. Specific frequency responses are almost impossible to determine, as every ear is different. Both are very full range. Most common earbuds severly lack low frequency response, but since our earphones "couple" to the ear, low frequency response is very present.

Jonathan: I have only used an iPod a few times, so I am not familiar with the EQ settings. I hope someone else has opinions on this. I can tell you that we design the acoustics of the earphone to be as neutral as possible, because they were originally used on stages for singers and drummers and other musicians. So they are supposed to be as "flat" as possible. This usually translates to good reproduction of recorded music as well.

Again, sorry for the vague answer. Let me know if you have other questions.

And thanks again to Joi for providing this great area for information!



I have two questions about the Shure earphones...

First question is, can either of the 3 earphones be used "solely" as headphones for Disc Jockey use? I'd love to have something much lighter on my head (and neck) than my Sony MDR-V700s, but they are great headphones. It seems as though most people are using your earphones with portable devices.

Second question is, can you tell me why there is not a LIFETIME Warranty on the E5c model??? The short term warranty is surprising to me, given that they are $500! :-O

I'd be asking you as well for an insurance plan just for the E5c alone IF I were to buy them. That is too much of an investment in such a small product that, just by being dropped accidentally, could be immediately damaged, get stepped on, etc.

Mobile phone companies will let customers insure cells phones worth less than $100 bucks...

So, perhaps Shure should provide optional, complete coverage insurance for a product worth 5 times as much??? And yes, I'm being totally serious because that's a hefty investment, IMO. :)

Thanks for listening!



I am in Hong Kong. You mentioned that they are available here. Can you tell me where?

Also ... I am a long haul international pilot and am interested in reducing my exposure to the ambient cockpit noise. Would it be possible to change the plug? If I was to wear these could I still hear the other pilots conversation?

Many thanks

All three of our earphones can absolutely be used solely as headphones for disc jockey use. DJ Big Wiz, John Acquaviva and plenty of other DJ's use our earphones.

Also, regarding the build quality, our earphones are designed as pro audio in-ear monitors. We've primarily been in the pro audio market, but the earphones have grown into their own category outside of the wireless monitor systems that they have traditinally accompanied. They are quite rugged (they have to pass many quality tests), and the replacement fee is not too bad if they break outside of the warranty. I believe it's $55.00 for a replacement. Not too bad, I hope. Kind of like reverse insurance... I'm interested in your thoughts on this policy of ours, as a lot of our competitors do not have a similar one.

Send an email to to find out where they are available in your area.
Regarding your application, the earphones provide a significant amount of isolation. We offer several types of sleeves for different fit and isolation. Our least isolating sleeve (the flex sleeve) isolates around 15-20 dB, which would make it difficult to hear other pilots conversation if music is playing. It's like a regular set of earplugs with the added bonus of full range sound. So while you're attenuating you're actually listening at lower volumes because you're blocking out the external sounds.

I'm not sure what you mean to change the plug?


Matt -

Thanks for getting back with me and I appreciate all of your info!

Ok, so let me understand this clearly - if ANY of your 3 earphones break outside of warranty, they could be replaced for $55.00? If that's the case, then no, that's not bad at all! That would be worth getting the high end pair for those who want them. :)

I'll wait to hear back from you though if I misunderstood this and again, thanks for your follow-up!


You understood correctly. For any of our earphone products the replacement fee is the same. The reasoning is that you already spent the money once, so you should always have the ability to replace the product at reasonable cost. Those who buy an E2c for $99 might not be happy that the replacement fee is the same as it is for the $499 product (E5c), but that's the policy.

Same thing for our dynamic microphones - $55 gets you a brand new one, no matter what the state of the microphone is. Drive over it with a Mack truck, send it in to us, if it can't be fixed, $55 gets you a new one. For our more expensive microphones (condensers) the fee is $80, but still quite good IMO.


This is great news Matt and a neat policy, IMO. It was almost hard to believe that something like this was not in place, if only for the E5c.

You've been very helpful and consistent with your follow-ups and I look forward to giving the E-series headphones a shot!!!


Suited my iPod up in a lovely black leather sleeve from the perfectionists at incase design, and taken together with the Shures the whole thing is now a very distinctive, very sophisticated-looking package.

I could not be happier. Thanks again.

I just ordered a pair - "sound" unheard, but I trust the comments here. Hopefully they are as great as people say. By the way, I was going to use them for walking around as well - some users have reported that they might not be best suited for this - any opinions? I am using these with an iPod....

Just don't let the cord hang up on your jacket zipper.

And be extra-cautious around moving traffic. ; . )

I am wondering if there is a difference between the e2 and the e2c. I'm a drummer looking for ear monitors and I found the e2 at my local music store. I'm also wondering if it is necessary to get the entire monitor system if I already have a headphone amplifier. I'm trying to cut costs and I'd be much happier saving the money and using the e2 with my amplifier than paying significantly more for the entire monitoring package.


I'm in the same boat as Jeff, and want to know if there is a difference between the e2 and the e2c. I am in need of a good in ear monitor as I find my head ringing after every band practice. Being a singer, I find it very difficult to be wearing normal foam ear plugs and keep on key, not to mention staying on time. I have no need to go to a wireless solution, and wanted to run the e2's from my 6 channel Behringer mic/line mixer. Also, is there somewhere I can look on the web (or call by phone) to find out the locations closest to me that carry (for sale) the e2's?
Thanks! Krist.


I'm in the same boat as Jeff, and want to know if there is a difference between the e2 and the e2c. I am in need of a good in ear monitor as I find my head ringing after every band practice. Being a singer, I find it very difficult to be wearing normal foam ear plugs and keep on key, not to mention staying on time. I have no need to go to a wireless solution, and wanted to run the e2's from my 6 channel Behringer mic/line mixer. Also, is there somewhere I can look on the web (or call by phone) to find out the locations closest to me that carry (for sale) the e2's?
Thanks! Krist.

D2E: Thanks for the interest. Let me know if/when you try the earphones. I hope you like them.

Adam: that's great. I've heard from a lot of happy iPod owners who have bought E2c's (a few E1c's too). Very cool.

Jonathan: Thanks for the order! I think I should nominate Joi as "promoter of the month" or something. I love this blog!
Definitely use caution when walking around with our earphones. They isolate between 15-25 decibels, which means you won't hear much of anything else. Not good for bike riding, but great for commuting, flying, etc. Let me (us) know how you like them.

Jeff/Krist: E2's and E2c's are the same products with different packaging. E2's message is primarily for musician's while the E2c's message is for listeners. They come off the same production line and go their separate ways.

Jeff: A headphone amp is just fine. A lot of drummers do this. I recommend using a limiter, as transient peaks can get quite loud. Our wired and wireless systems have hard limiting in them, so if you're using a headphone amp use an outboard limiter if you can.

Krist: A google search of "Shure E2" or "Shure E2c" should bring you to a few online dealers. There are lots of pro audio dealers that carry them too.

Joi: Any comments on your recent purchase? Have they arrived yet?
Thanks again for providing this place for information. Talking product is my second favorite thing. Developing them is my favorite. :)


Hi All-
I just go my E2c and could not have them fit comfortably in my ear canal, no matter what I try. I always feel the buds and it's quite uncomfortable. May be I have a very small ear canal. I'd love so much to find a way to get use to them. Do you have any tips?

Lan, have you tried the smallest of the three sets of covers they come with, or tried any of the foam ones?

I had the identical problem until I twigged to the fact that the e2c package came with three sets clear and three sets foam plugs. I tried the smallest clear set and haven't had much of a problem. Try it and let us know what you think.

Note, though, to Matt: It would appear I'm right between the smallest and the medium size, and I refuse to use the foam inserts for a variety of reasons. Are there any plans to offer a more-granularly-sized array?

Hi Adam,
Yes, I tried all size and type offered in the package and paid special attention to the small sized clear plastic one and foam one. The foam one enters all right in my ear canal but does not feel that comfortable in a long run. The flex sleeves in transparent plastic size S press too hard at the entry of my ear canal. I think it's because of the plastic and not as supple/soft as a silicon type. I have a pair of in-ear canal from Sony SONY MDR EX 70 LP and the earbud in silicon is much better in terms of comfort.
Do you think the Triple-Flange Sleeves from Shure in silicon rubber would be better and if it could be adapted on the E2c?

Lan: No plans to update the triple flange for E2c's in the near future as there are sonic ramifications for doing so - nozzle diameter issues.

However, we are constantly working to develop new sleeve options.

If the E2c is too large you should consider the (unfortunately more expensive) E1c, which is smaller. It is designed for smaller ears.

Well, I guess I'll add my comments here (to about the longest blog-thread I've seen! hehe!).

I purchased the E2 and had them for about a week. I loved the quality and balance of the sound, but I too had to return them for comfort reasons.

Over the course of the week, I test-drove each sleeve option for a good amount of time. I found the best (almost complete) isolation with the medium gel sleeve or the large foamie. However, after about 3 hours, my ears hurt terribly--I had to continually "pop" my ears and the ear canel and lobes felt inflamed.

Over the next few days, I tried the smaller sizes. I found the most comfortable fit with the small foamie, but that option sacrificed a good deal of isolation (though, suprisingly, not bass response). But at the end of a day of listening, my ears were still inflamed.

I really hated returning them, because I was unbelievably happy with the sound these produced. The detail was excellent; as Matt points out, you can really hear the artifacts of MP3s burned at 128 bit (even 190). I found the bass deep and surrounding and the midrange clear and defined; the highs had little drop-off to my ears (a problem with many in-ear style phones). The soundstage was a weird thing: it felt almost as open as my favorite portables, the Koss KSC50s and the Portapros, yet the fact that the headphones are sealed adds a bit of an analytical, boxed in feel to the sound. I actually liked the balance there, better than almost any sealed or closed headphones I've tried.

I'm interested in reviewing the E5 to see if the comfort factor is any different. But I'm afraid I may just have touchy ears, so I've ordered a pair of Sony d66s from Japan to give myself some excellent closed portable sound while I search for a more comfortable in-ear option.

Oh, I want to reiterate that I think my comfort issue has little to do with the design of the phones and much to do with my freaky ears.

I found the build quality to be excellent in the e2. The cord and its reduced microphonics were particularly well thought-out. I think that part of my discomfort, however, may have come from the comet shape of the drive housing, which pressed against the back of my earlobe no matter which sleeves I picked.

So Matt, I think ya'll have done a wonderful job; they didn't work for me, but I'm still going to recommend them to people.

Whew ! Brandon got it right. I love these little buds (E2C). They are the best ive tried ( im slightly hearing impaired ). But try as I may I cant seem to get these into my ear canal without hurting my ears. Ive asked my ear doc to see if they can make a special silicone sleeve but they said its gonna be really expensive. I cant even return them as my retailer said that once they are used they cant take it back.
So im stuck with this incredibly nice sounding pair of ear buds that I cant seem to use !!

hey brandon, oz, i've been dying to get a pair of these and so has my roommate. if you're in the states, i'd take 2 pair off someone's (actually someones') hands here. i know there's some people posting to joi's site site who have also upgraded to the e5c and have e2's they want to get off their hands. click the link above and send me an email with the details (price, shipping, where u r, etc) and we'll work somethin out.

I returned mine; thanks for the offer though. I'll probably spring for some Shure E1s (which are designed for smaller ear canals) a little later on; I used up my current "headphone budget" on Sony D66 Eggo semi-closed headphones instead of in-ears. The E5s are just too expensive for me, right now...

I was searching head-fi and headwize, and it appears that many people feel that the shure e2cs have muffled (if any) high end. Is this true? I'm planning to buy the e2s from a local music store, and it'll be a few days till they arrive. I have the option of cancelling. Hmmm, since they are soo expensive, i just want to get it right. Furthermore, you cant return the earphones (because of hygenic reasons). Hmmm, what comments do you guys have to offer?

On a side note, i thought that the earphone cord on the e2cs were clear, like the e5cs. BUTT, they are black. I think that is very ugly. Hmmm, any specific reasons what a black cable was opted instead of a clear one?

Is it possible to order e2c headphones online in the UK anywhere?

Many thanks,

Derek: The E2c has plenty of high end. Listen for yourself and you be the judge.

If you buy direct from Shure on the web there is a 30-day no questions asked return policy. Sorry to hear that the local store doesn't have that same policy.

E5c has a clear cable because it is the premium product. Throughout the development of the E2c we heard from E1c owners telling us they would like it a lot more if the cable was black. So we made the E2c cable black, and most people like it a lot. Also, most cables at that price point are black.

dp: here's a UK website that sells E2 (same thing as E2c)

E2 and E2c product are identical. User Guide and packaging are the only things that are different.


I've been looking at these headphones for a while, and at the E5's as well, and as someone mentioned on the E5 thread, the D66 Eggo's, and it just is heaven to find other people who look for quality, awesome gear like this. I was apprehensive of the Shure's b/c I'm not a huge audiophile, but I am a gadget guy, but I didn't know anything about Shure's reputation, or their products. This totally helps me or E5? That is the question.

Also, I was wondering if anyone had any cool links for gadgets, joi? or anyone? things you can only find in japan or hong kong or singapore? there are some cool sites that import things from Japan we can't find here, and I've found it's really hard to find these sites from google.

And, for sounds dumb, but the reason I'm looking at these phones is for something heretofore unmentioned, for riding my motorcycle. I have to wear earplugs anyways, to keep out the wind noise, so why not also enjoy some awesome tunes while I'm at it? I currently own the Sony MDR-EX51LP phones and I LOVE them, I just like the behind the ear of the Shures and I think they might be a bit sturdier...I give my sony's a lickin' and they're still pumpin', but getting thrashed. Any comparison you can come up with? Anyways, just wanted to share my .02

cheers all

I haven't heard the EX51's yet. I've heard about them, but that doesn't count.

Might be a little dangerous riding a motorcycle with isolating earphones. I'd keep the volume down as low as possible.

The build quality of E2's is pretty solid. They can take quite a bit of abuse compared to most products I've used.

The shure e2s sorta stick out a bit. Don't know if they fit. THe Etymotic er6s look as if they go RIGHT in.. so no stick out.. perhaps might be better? hmmm, i just went for the e2s.. even with no return policy. THey are excellent. No burn-in yet. THe bass is a bit bloated / not tight. THe highs are actually good.. mids are good too.. but there is a bit of place there there is no sound.. btwn bass and mids.. probably just because the earphones gotta be so small. THey take a bit to get used to. You really notice your 'body sounds' they are good tho. build qualtiy is EXCELLENT! over ear is cool. behind back is not so cool. i carry my cd player in a pouch (in my hand) and the wire has to go around my ear, down my back.. and around my waste.. so the wire gets yanked more on one side.. sorta annoying.. i'll get used to it / find a solution. i like the plastic cord limiter thingy. I don't understand the purpose of wax guards, they have a hole in the middle.. all in all, they are great. the zip case is cool.
Compared to my friends ex70s (which, from what i can tell. is different from the 51s because of more treble / balanced sound) the ex70s had bloated bass.. not tight at all. it was too overpowering
compared to the d66 eggos.. THOSE WERE SOOO GOOD.. creams the shures. However, the d66s sound a bit hollow (because they aren't be adequately powered by a portable source.. need a portable amp)... but the shure e2s don't have that great of a sound stage.. the d66s have an AWESOME sound stage.. the e2s have nice sound. but the d66s have AWWESOME SOUND.. very nice and warm.. WOW.. however, the e2s seem to have a nicer build quality.
About the cord colour, i guess ill get used to it, but i wanted a clear one.. its cooler.. another question.. on the cable.. where it splits from one line to two lines.. whats that thingy there? does it actually do some sound stuff (like the e5s.. a cross-feeder).. or is just design only?


btw, matt. Thanks for all your help and concern! really goes that extra distance, to know that people from shure actually CARE about us, the little guys.
reminds me of the time when i was emailing stores to find out whether they carried the e2cs. I just got back from europe, and i couldn't get to sleep (jetlag and blah blah blah). I emailed the store and 3 in the morning. THey guy emailed me back 30 minutes later. I don't know whether he is just UP that late.. or has really customer service.. but that gave me a lasting impression :D
obtw, matt.. do you surf head-fi and headwize?
and yes, i posted ALOT of questions on SOOO MANY pages. i wanted to get this right.
my next step is to go for the W100/W1000, the V6s, or the CD3000s
THanks for all the support.
For those doubting the e2cs.. Just get them, you won't be disappointed.


Derek: congrats on the purchase! I hope you're satisfied. Thanks much for the positive comments.

Wax guards are not necesasrily required. As a precaution we include them, but if your ears aren't too waxy you should be fine without them. Question: How will you know if your ears are waxy? Answer: If you use Q-tips to clean your ears, and not a whole lot of wax comes out, then your ears are not waxy.
E1c and E5c use a different method for wax prevention.

I definitely lurk at head-fi, and I post at headwize. The head-fi folks are very biased towards Etymotics right now, and most of them won't even consider trying our products, let alone buy them. I'll wait until they discover them on their own to get involved at head-fi. But headwize is a little more friendly. I've gotten involved in a few threads there.

Do you post there?

I usually post / read T-board (for minidiscs). But, i regularly lurk around head-fi, just reading the discussions. I don't post that often (but i think that is going to change as i am venturing on a DIY CMoy-Tangent Amp.. so ill have a lot of questins). I think headwize is a bit dead, used to be good. But not that many ppl surf it anymore. I still check it once in a while tho.


love the site for the mugus pls keep offoooo

love the site for the mugus pls keep offoooo

Here's the thing about riding on a motorcycle, if you're not familiar. The amount of wind noise plowing through your helmet starting significantly at 50 mph and going up exponentially at higher speeds is far louder and far more damaging and distracting than wearing isolating earphones. I would be wearing an earplug anyways, just to keep from going deaf...the isolating earphone is a way to not only save your hearing, but surround yourself with a soundtrack. And like most earplugs in general, it's the loud, droning sounds (like windblast, or airbox howls) that are drowned out, not the sharper noises (like horns and the like). That's why when I'm at work with earplugs, I can hear a conversation, but ignore the 85db noise from the machinery whirring away.

Anyways, very cool to read all the comments and hear all the input.


Some people were asking about purchasing this product in Japan. I found this web site that offers international shipping. I hope that they are reputable becasue I ordered a pair of E2C soley based on the opinions of these posts. Ito san, do you know if DJmart is OK?

Some people were asking about purchasing this product in Japan. I found this web site that offers international shipping. I hope that they are reputable becasue I ordered a pair of E2C soley based on the opinions of these posts. Ito san, do you know if DJmart is OK?

Can anyone provide feedback on how the Shure E2c compares to Sony's mdr-ex70's? I am using the ex70's and like their sound but the isolation is not the best. I would like to stay away from anything that uses batteries and the Shures look like they are built better than the Sony's and will block more outside noise.

Thank you,

I'm going to buy a pair of E2s for my iPod (on order as well). Has anyone bought from this place:

music1online? They have a great price.

I tried to call them to place an order yesterday for some, but could not get an answer. I thought that it was a sign...I ordered instead from...

E2 site...

They seem really nice, and also have the same great price.

I should have mine on Monday!! :-)

Good luck!


I placed my order with Microphone Solutions aka music1online two nights ago. Got a confirmation yesterday morning that they had shipped so hopefully will have them soon. Can't wait! Also waiting on an iPod! Thanks to everyone here for the input on the E2c.

Well, I got my E2s yesterday, and I have to say, so far I'm very impressed. With the selection of sizes of covers you can fine tune the fit, and they are more comfortable than I really expected them to be. Used them on two flights, and they block out most of the noise (but you can still just hear overhead announcements on the plane). The sound quality is fantastic, as good as reported, and certainly great for the environment where I'll be using them most - travel. Now, I'm waiting for my iPod...

Well I got my iPod 5-2-03 and played it all day yesterday. Now today I find
myself searching for a set of good high quality, 3rd party headphones.

Because the OEM ear-buds feel like hockey pucks jammed in my ears.

While going through a long list of products I stumbled onto Shure's website
and found the E2c. I thought to myself wow, these look cool. I wonder if they
work well with a iPod. At any rate, to make a long story short, I found myself

All of the feedback here has been very informative and I have no doubt
that the E2c's will feel much better as well as sound better.

But what really has me sold on this product is Matt's participation in this thread.
It's so cool that this man can take a little time and spend it with users and
potential users of his product and help answer questions.

Dude, you rock. And for that I'll gladly spend my money at your house.

Hey, I just got my iPod yesterday (5-2-03), 15GB version, as well! The E2s work most excellent with the iPod. I think they would be even better with an amp, but that's an entirely different discussion. The iPod drives the E2s just fine, and I have the volume at around 50%. They are FAR superior to the stock earbuds. And a bargain at $79 (see prior links to suppliers).
Great thread, folks!

Mike: A coworker here at Shure (another E2 team member) just got the new 10GB version. At first he thought he wouldn't like the new layout of the buttons, but he is really into it now. I may have to consider an iPod... I really don't like MP3's, but with such a big hard drive I could just load 100-200 .wav files and keep reorganizing it when I want different music... big debate. I'm glad you like the E2 with the iPod.

cyberhazard: No, you rock. And really, Joi rocks too. Letting me evangelize about my products here has been awesome. I hope you like them if you get them.

I've had my E2c's for about 2 weeks now. I am very satisfied with them. (I use em with the previous generation 10Gig iPod.)

I took a bit of a risk ordering these (came out to $200 CND after taxes and shipping) since I have never found in-ears I liked. They usually just hurt too much. But these E2c's... pop em in (I use the foamy plugs) and voila! Another world! Sound fantastic, no pain, no outside noise. Perfect. :)

Matt: bravo! The market is a conversation. I am even happier having bought your product now that I know you are part of the conversation. :)


Wow, thats really cool. Ive been using Shure gear for pro monitoring and sound work for a long time now, and used some of the older 1997ish closed loop in ear foldback systems when i was playing bass. Even these were great, and from what ive just read the E2/E2cs look even better. The one thing i remember from back then was that the bass response with the old drivers wasnt as good as i would have liked, especially for playing bass. Ill have to give the E2s a test drive down at the local pro audio store.

Thanks for all the great info guys.

This is probably a pretty stupid question, but I was reading on the Shure site ( as well as other site like this one ) and they all recommend turning the volume way down before putting in any pair of headphones. Is this so it does not damage the electronics or so it does not hurt the user's ears?

"Is this so it does not damage the electronics or so it does not hurt the user's ears?"


boris: I'm guessing you bought them through SF Marketing? I'm glad to hear that you like them. The fit is critical, perhaps even more so than the sound. We can't expect people to listen if it's uncomfortable.

Chris: was it PSM 600 with an E1 earphone? E2/E2c are less expensive than E1, but have a totally new design. Most comments I've heard are that there is more low end in an E2 and rolled off highs. I hope you get a chance to demo some.

Jon: Not a stupid question at all. In our case, we recommend turning the volume down because it is best to make sure that the user is getting a good seal before attempting to listen to music. If there is not a complete seal of the ear there is a lack of bass response. You'll know you've got a good seal when it sounds like you're plugging your ear.

Hi everyone, I found this conversation very useful. I'm stuck between buying the E2's or the Etymotic ER-6's.
Any advice to me from anyone? Has anyone tired both?

I have a pair of sony mdr-ex70's which immediately where dedicated to everyday listening. I ride on noisy busses to and from work. The sony's do go in your ear but not as tight as the e2's. So they do not block as much outside noise. Their silicone pieces are alot thinner and soft resulting in comfort but also sound leakage.
I got the e2's today and these are my first impressions.
1. way more accurate and sensative to mids and highs.
2. much better build quality
3. less bass than sony's (maybe a little break in time is needed)
4. "damn this case is fantastic, did i pay extra for it?"
5. sony's take more volume to get to same level of output
6. again, shures keep outside noise out much better, great for noisy areas (bus ride, lawn mowing)

I really got used to the sound my sony's produced and will not be too objective till i give the e2's some time.

Again these are just my first impressions. On day one of shure e2 ownership.


I just received my E2C's tonight. Love the sound quality. I've been switching between the various sleeves tonight, and I can't seem to get comfortable with the plastic sleeves. I like the idea of the plastic sleeves since I plan to use them on my daily commute, and I think replacing the foam plugs could get expensive.

Matt, are there any tips for getting used to the plastic sleeves? Should they be moistened a bit before incerting?

How long are the foam plugs intended to last?

Also, I wonder if the majority of people prefer foam or plastic.

Stas: the flex (plastic) sleeves are more rigid than the foams, which you've probably figured out by now. If it's tough to get comfortable, the smallest sized pair is probably your only option. A little moisture on it won't hurt it, but it may be more likely to fall out until the moisture is absorbed.

The foam sleeves will last anywhere from 15-50 times, perhaps even longer. It depends on the duration of use and the type of activity.

I personally go through a pair of foams a month, and I use my earphones everyday - at my desk, at band practice, at the club I work at on weekends and at home when I mow the lawn, etc... (needless to say, I should just have E5's surgically inserted into my head and be done with it...)
I probably take better care of my earphones than most people would, but that's just because I am abnormal. :)

In my experience most people prefer the foam to the flex.

Hello everyone!

I'm considering purchasing either the e1c's or e2c's for DJing purpose.

I would like to know a few things is that is possible (I hope Matt would be able to advise me a bit):
- is it possible to get custom fits for the e2c's?
- which one of the models provides better isolation ?
- which one of the models would you personally recommend for DJíng?

Thanks in advance,


WOW! After reading the reviews and opinions here and elsewhere on the net I ordered the E2C's yesterday morning direct from Shure. They showed up on porch today. I picked regular UPS shipping. Guess that's a benefit of being in the same state as the manufacturere. :D

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a hardcore audiophile. I'm just someone who loves music, performing and listening. I mainly picked these up to use as in ear monitor's at band practice. I be able to test that out till Tuesday night. I've only been able to use them on my laptop here at work with MP3's so far. Again, wow! I'm hearing parts of songs I've never heard before. If I have a complaint (not really) it's that I hear too much. I can hear all the flaws in my mp3's.

I'm using the large foam earpieces and after two hours they are comfortable as hell and the sound quality is great.

I'd have to say the E2C's are easily worth the $100 investment. Rock on and stuff.

tiktok: Very cool.

Alexander: Custom sleeve for E2c is not possible. E2c's nozzle is too large, and a custom sleeve would stick out very far.
Custom sleeve can be very good on E1c. I recommend Sensaphonics.

Both E1c and E2c provide very similar isolation. Anywhere from 15-25dB depending on the sleeve choice and the shape of your ear. A custom sleeve or the foam sleeve isolate the most.

both E1c and E2c would be great for DJ'ing. E2c might be a little more robust, but either would be a good choice. It seems like you might benefit more from an E1c, since you are curious about a custom sleeve.

I hope this helps.

These E2cs look great & the comments are so positive. The price over here in the uk is fair (GBP90 / USD135). I'm eager to get some. I can't stretch to the E5cs - I can get a reasonable amp from richersounds for that..they're tempting though!

Has anyone compared the Shures to the Koss "the plug". A similar idea, but I suspect not as well executed.

It's a shame the flanged earplugs don't seem to be available for the E2Cs. I used a flanged earplug design for concerts & working with a lithotripter & the isolation is great. And without too much loss of voice hearing.

Matt, I currently have custom fitted earplugs which use the etymotic ER-15 filters. Would the E1c's fit onto these cutom fitted earplugs if I remove the filters? Or is some sort of adapter required?

Chart: I don't want to bash the Plug so I won't. My basic opinion is that it is not very smooth sounding.

Alexander: E1 won't fit into a custom earplug. A custom sleeve is available from Sensaphonics, it'll cost around $125 including audiologist visit.

I have been following this thread and want to insert a comment. I have the Shure E2s and Etymotic ER4Ps. The latter cost $269. I A-B'd them a few nights ago and offer this comparison; of course, this is one person's opinion only.
1. The Shure's have almost no microphonics from the cable. I use them for workking out. Cannot possibly use Etymotics this way. Way to go Shure.
2. The sound of the Shure's is quite good and I love them, but they are frankly nowhere near the Etymotics for clarity. The ETY's are amazing.
3. The ETY's isolate better, but both isolate well. I haven't used Shure's on a plane yet, so I will hold judgment. I love using ETYs on travel.
3. For the price, I think the Shures are a better buy. They are a bit more comfortable (go less deep into the ear), sturdier, and more versatile. The fact that I can use them for working out and walking around makes a big difference. Etymotic should have worked out the microphonics issue by now. But, again kudos to Etymotic for building earphones that have exceptional sound and clarity.
Matt, I hope you accept this unfiltered review gracefully; I am being honest. Again, I do not profess to be an expert!

I have been using Koss "the plug" in-ear headphones for a while. They sound just OK, but the price is right.

I was really close to ordering the ER6 as an upgrade - besides the price, cable microphonics is a concern. Then I found these comments and discovered the Shure E2C. A nice bit cheaper than the ER6 - and microphonics is supposed to be less of a problem.

Questions: The model numberss E2 and E2C seemed to both be used here, I assume there is only one model - the E2C?

How much of the E2C sticks out of the ear? One of the things I like about the Koss is that there is not a lot of it sticking out of the ear. If you have something on your head no need to worry about it pressing on the earphones.

I would guess the ER6 might sound a little better, but the E2C costs less and SEEMS to be sturdier. Is there much difference in outside noise isolation?

Finally, any good places to mail order the E2C cheap :-) ?


Dave: Thanks for the positive comments. I'm very glad to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge of both the ER4P and the E2. Nice to hear unbiased views on the benefits of each piece.

Dennis: E2 and E2c are identical products. We changed the packaging when we introduced the E2c for a different market. The E2 is geared toward pro audio people (microphones, speakers, mixing consoles, etc.) the E2c is geared toward the listening market. The product and accessories are the same, the packaging and name are different. I hope that clears it up.
The E2 doesn't stick very far out on most people. They are very low profile.
A quick Google search will yield plenty of results for E2 or E2c dealers.

Matt (or anyone),

Which stick out from the ear the LEAST - the E2(c) or the E1(c) ? I might be willing to spend the extra money to get the E1(c) - if it fits closer to the ear. It is lighter and is supposed to sound better as well. Absolute best sound it not the top priority, but comfort and fit is.

I can get ear molds for the E1(c) later, if I want- correct? Any idea what I can expect to pay for those?


Dennis: E1(c) is the smallest and lowest profile earphone that we sell. For that matter, it's the smallest I've seen anywhere. On some ears it won't make a difference, but for people with smaller cnalas the E1(c) is the best option.

A custom sleeve for teh E1(c) will cost around $125 from Sensaphonics. You won't regret it either.

Someone told me that it might cheaper to get the E1 and the sleeve together from Sensaphonics - I sent them an e-mail to ask.

Are those your E1 earphones in some of the Westone sets? It sure looks like it - a lot of the same features and specs as the Shure items. They also have quite a few affiliated audiologists in the area, which would SEEM to make it easier (cheaper?) to get a set.


Just a note about retailers...

I called 3 local ones here after reading all the rave reviews here about the E2c...

I had to explain what these were even though all 3 had them (1 had to order them). When I asked for headphones, they rattled off anything but. Considering that these are well priced and also these retailers are all near the Shure offices (I live near town from the Main Office), I would think these guys would have the marketing rammed down thier

I look forward to picking up my pair this evening and matching them up with my new iriver!

BTw...anyone ever use these with an amp like the TotalAirHead? I would love to hear an unbiased opinion.

Flippin' heck, these e2c earphones look great - one query though ...

Has anyone here used them to monitor music in a Home Recording Studio situation? I was looking to get the Grado SR-80 headphones but then read all the reviews on the e2c and thought they could be a good alternative (and much less bulky!).

Whaddaya all think? I primarily record acoustic instruments and I currently monitor using a horribly cheap pair of Sony headphones.


Got them home...plugged them in and they sound just great. I actually had to turn down the bass on my player...a rarity for me. The plastic things do take a bit of getting used to and even though I am using the smallest ones...I still think they could fit a bit better. ...and just my personal about making the damned wax screen thingees a bit easier to get off the paper? I was going blind trying to see the edge of them to get them up and off the sheet.

But the sound is hard to beat.

Fantastic product!

Dennis: Shure developed the E1 in conjunction with Westone around seven years ago. Four years ago the relationship ended, and we began manufacturing our own E1's. About two years ago Westone started selling their own version, the UM1. Similar specifications, and they look alike. But trust me, they sound very different. Their custom sleeve is also quite a bit different than Sensaphonics. They use an acrylic material which gets more rigid over time. Sensaphonics uses a soft silicone material that feels very nice to me.
They sell the UM1 for $99 in most places, and their custom sleeve is also a little cheaper than the Sensaphonics sleeve.

Dave: did you try the foam sleeves too?

Kenny: Our earphones were originally designed for the stage, and part of the reason we decided to broaden their scope is because the artists that were using them on stage started using them on the tourbus and in the studio. Basically anywhere a headphone is used, an E2c will do pretty well.

I did try the foam pads after I sent the second message...much better. Took me until today to realize that the two pads were not the same size...

They fit perfect


after a week:
I am not sure if I have adjusted to the e2c's, that i found a comfoftable fit,or it was break-in, or possibly the filters i have installed since my last post. But the e2c's seem to have a fuller bass sound now.
Maybe i was just used to high volume low quality, cause my listening volume has decreased in half since I switched to the e2c's.


Matt. Why should someone buy the E2c's instead of the E2's, which are $20 less? Is there any difference? The E2's are readily available on line, and that is what I bought. Dave

Based on what I had read here I went out and bought a pair of E2's for my new iPod. At first I was disappointed as if I used the bass booster or rock EQ on the ipod I got a lot of distortion in the drum line. Interestingly having used the buds for a few hours this seems to have subsided and the sound is getting better. I am now almost at the impressed stage. I think I remember reading a note here a few weeks ago about this phenomenon and the advice was to stick with it for a couple of weeks. Is this a phenomenon others have had and does it get better and better over a couple of weeks.

Dave: No difference between E2 and E2c except for packaging. If you buy direct from us it costs more, but there's a 30-day no questions asked return policy. I'm not sure what the online dealers policies are. Like most things, if you look hard enough you'll find a good deal.

Matt, I have now been using the E2's for about a week. I got comfortable with the medium foams, though I still occasionally try the silicone ones, figuring they would be better long-term if I got used to them. I love the sound, and they keep sounding better every day.

I have a question for you. In the last two days, something strange has been happening. I only use the phones for about 30min in the morning on the way to work, but my ears feel funny for hours after. Today I've had that feeling all day. It feel's almost like my ears are clogged, but I can hear fine. I am not sure if I am just getting a head cold or if this could caused by the headphones. What do you suggest?

After following this thread for quite some time, and despite hearing complaints about the high-end from one very vocal user on the headwize forums, I ordered some and they arrived today. I am quite suitably impressed.

They are far more comfortable than any earbuds, which tear my ears up after a few hours. The sound quality is also as good as I expected, and I'm hearing voices and instruments I've never heard before (although I'm only running off my laptop's soundcard, which has quite audible static).

I never knew I had this much earwax.

I just got these today.. I like everything but the cord. You are supposed to hang it behind you, but it never feels comfortable like the Sony EX70's with the neck chain cord. How does anyone fashion their cords to make it feel right? It seems as it they expect you to keep your iPod or MD player in your back pocket.. I might return these just because the cord is so unwieldy..

Hi guys,

I kind of stumbled across this site, but from what I've read you all seem pretty clued up, so I hope you don't mind if I ask a question:

I just bought a Nomad MuVo 128Mb mp3 player and, not surprisingly, the included phones are pretty rubbish. For those not familiar with the Muvo, it is a flash USB device with no EQ and very little settings of any description, but has surprisingly good sound output. I connected a pair of "average" Sony MDR-Q33LP clip phones to it and was quite pleased with the quality.

The question is: I want to get some "quality" phones for the MuVo and am now torn between three models: Sony's MDR-EX51LP and MDR-EX71SL, and the E2's discussed here. Should I go all out for the E2 or save some $ by getting one of the Sonys? Would the limitations of the MuVo device make the quality of the phones moot or would a great set of phones make up for the lack of an EQ?

I'd be grateful to any of you for taking the time to reply. I'd also appreciate any comments on the difference in quality between the two Sonys, and the difference in quality between the MDR-EX71SL and the E2,

Thank you so much!

MC: I have the cord coming down my front, it just means it has to curl around my ears just that little bit more.

Jazzboy: I'm not sure what to tell you. I haven't heard of anyone with that issue before. When I take mine out I usually rub my ears for a few seconds to sort of "re-calibrate" to the outside world. There is definitely an adjustment period, but I don't think it should feel that way all day. Which sleeves are you using? Maybe a smaller size would eliminate this.

Glen: LOL!

MC: The cable is at least 18 inches longer than the cable on the EX70, so there should be sufficient length to run it wherever you want within the 5 feet provided. I've seen many people run the cable down their back inside their shirt so that the earphones are always ready to go in. Granted, those folks are kind of fanatics.

I think running the cable behind my back is much more comfortable.

Hi all. I was looking into purchasing the E2c; however, I don't know if it would be too big for my ear!

As a reference point, the Apple's earbuds are painfully big for my ear. Knowing this, would you recommend that I can still use the E2c, or should I go for the E1c?

Thanks in advance!

I've had my E2C's for a couple days now and I can say that they are the best headphones I have ever used. They actually do deliver great bass, unlike many in-ear headphones.

Yes, they do cost $100, but for the sound quality and durability that you get, they are well worth the investment. Like, one of the old posts here says, the one problem I see is that I can now hear the ugly flaws in all of my 128k mp3s....with my cd player the sound is pure and very clear.

Great phones.


As one with small ears also, I can relate. The smallest foam plugs worked fine for me for a few days and then all of a sudden one side started to hurt. I switched to the smallest silicone and they seem to be fine. I just wish they were not so hard to put in.... maybe I am missing a hole in my head for the air to escape through so they would go in easier...?

If I were you, I would try the cheap Koss and see if they are tolerable sizewise.

Good Luck.


Anything smaller plugs you can recommend other than custom? Do you guys make a smaller one that I can order?

Also... I have had some problems looping the wire behind me as it does not seem to want to stay on my ears.. it slowly rises up and off. The only way I can seem to make them stay put is if I have the cable in front. The problem with this is that I am using this while throwing pottery and I really can't have the cable dangling in front....not only is it mildly in the way, it could get caught in the wheel that is spinning in front of me.

Any ideas?



Bought the Shure's from the site (to be covered by the guarantee!) and they arrived today. I wanted to test them at the mall (Tyson's Corner here in VA) but I forgot my iPod in my office at home. Doh!

Been listening to music here at home now for more than an hour. The E2Cs sound great. The bass is very tight - even a bit light - but I prefer that to heavy overdone base. I am listening to a cello concerto right now, and it's so nice to be able to hear the scratch of the bow against the strings. You don't hear that with lower quality headphones.

One thing - the smallest silicon tips (I don't have small ears - just small canal, I guess) fit, but are uncomfortable after an hour. I'll have to test the foams.

matt where to buy in canada please help


Dave: You should be able to get the earphone in, get the cable abot the ear and then adjust the tube on the cable so that it's snug behind your neck. If it comes out during your work, maybe clip the cable to the back of your shirt after adjusting the clear tube. This should help convince them to stay put.

I had this amazing earphone for more than 2 month now. At first the earphone wasnt comfortable on my ears because I had really small ear and the tip of the comet shape part thing is pressed against the back of my earlobe. So I decided to experiment and those foam and plastic thingy that came with the earphone. The plastics wont stay put and will get lose (especially if you chew gums) so I decided to put on the foams, I get better sound compared to plastic (w/ the plastic, I even hear my breathing but with foams I dont hear it) and even if I had a small ear and used the biggest foam, the biggest foams are comportable and it isolate outside sound and best of all they stay put on my ears even if they are not pressed against the back of my earlobe anymore (I have not tested it when running tho). I just put it on my ear and no more pulling my ears just to fit the damn thing, because I use the biggest foam somewhat it holds the comet thing outside my ear. When it comes to bass, this doesnt have enuff bass compared to senheiser that came with my iRiver player. Quality and durability is A++++++, and the design of the earphone is nice since the cord goes to the back of your head and you dont accidentally yank those cord. I had many earphones already and they got trashed because I accidentally yank their cords then buy new ones again.

People reading this thread might be interested in this posting:

I recently purchased the Etymotic ER-6s, and reviewed them here:

Anders Jacobsen's blog: Etymotic ER6 Isolator Earphones Tested and reviewed

Wondering if any Shure retailers in Singapore are selling e2c coz i wanted a good pair of buds for my new 15GB ipod. I tried contacting the local distributor in Singapore and he has no idea whud i am talking about.Any help from the sales folks from Shure.....thanks.

I wonder if there are any plans to make the E2C with a white cable to go with the ipod. I would hold out for a white E2C or E2. Secondly Sony makes the earphone cords in two lengths so that you can use the shorter cord with the remote control that ships with Ipod. Though Sony's are engineered with their MDs in mind instead of Ipod. But it works well with Ipod.

I'm not sure if our distributor in Singapore is selling E2c, but they should be selling E2 (same product).

Here is their contact information:
Electronics & Engineering Pte., Ltd.
Phone: [65] 6223-5873

Does anyone know the difference between e2 and e2c?
I searched and it seems that the e2 is part of the pxm wireless system of sorts...was wondering does retailers sell it seperate from the wireless system? thanks.

Thanks for this uber-long blog entry. I bought a set of E2Cs, then had a guy that works for me, and several other folks I know buy sets. (Too bad there is not an affiliate program!)

Matt, or anyone else, do you know if these are in sale anywhere in Europe? I live in Finland and would be very interested in buying these.

This is the contact information for our Distributor in Finland, Studiotec:

They should be able to refer you to dealers selling the product (E2 or E2c, but most likely E2).


I recently aquired a pair of E2's. Love them so far! Two questions for you please:

1) Do you recommend a certain "break-in" period?

2) How moisture resistant are therse? I sweat quite a bit at the gym and I don't want to ruin them.


Stu E.

I guess I am not alone regarding break in time judging from these posts. I read about one guy who ran his E2Cs all for 24 hours nonstop with some heavy music on really load volume. Is this necessary? I am interested in this cuz I just ordered a pair and I am a bassfreak.

No break-in is required for any of our earphones. Large diaphragm headphones typically benefit from a break-in (or burn-in) period because they begin with stiff coils, and moderate to loud music helps open them up. Our earphones are much more efficient immediately at purchase. They should sound the same from the beginning on.

jakob: because the E2 couples to the ear, bass response is very good for most people. It can handle very high volumes without distortion, and the frequency response remains very even at low volumes too.

Stu: Lots of people use E2's while exercising. The foam will lose some of it's expansion properties after a while of being wet, so you might want to try both foam and flex sleeves to see if you can tolerate the flex sleeve for workouts.

I've ordered the e2c from Shure's website and i love it, worth every penny!! There's no comparsion between these e2c and the sonys I had.

My only gripe: the reusable plugs could be more softer and flexible.

hi. i'm new to this post, i have just recently heard about shure's incredible in ear monitors. i would like an opinion preferably by matt since he is apart of shure. everyone on this post refers to only the e2c and e5c which both sound remarkable. while i would love to experience the e5c, my financial situation won't have it. i am torn between the e2c and the e1c. since noone on this post has yet mentioned them i would love to hear about them. since the are the original design and they cost more than the e2c i was wondering if there is a big enough difference between the e2c and the e1c. i must admit i am leaning towrads the e1c at the moment. the orginality hits my sore spot. thanks.

hi. i'm new to this post, i have just recently heard about shure's incredible in ear monitors. i would like an opinion preferably by matt since he is apart of shure. everyone on this post refers to only the e2c and e5c which both sound remarkable. while i would love to experience the e5c, my financial situation won't have it. i am torn between the e2c and the e1c. since noone on this post has yet mentioned them i would love to hear about them. since they are the original design and they cost more than the e2c i was wondering if there is a big enough difference between the e2c and the e1c. i must admit i am leaning towrads the e1c at the moment. the orginality hits my sore spot. thanks.

if someone could e-mail about this i would deeply appreciate it thanks.

Matt all of you Shure fans, THANK YOU!
I got my E2Cs today thanks to this forum and it was actually beyond my expectation. I have tried Grado's, the 700dj from Sony etc but nothing beats this. Wow.

jakob: that's awesome.

Jake: first of all, very cool that you have knowledge of the products already. E1c is a smaller, lighter fit than E2c. It is able to be smaller because it uses a smaller driver (speaker). The smaller E1c driver is also more efficient than the E2c driver, specifically in the high frequencies. It sits sort of right in the middle of the E2c and E5c curve, even though it's $60 more than E2c and $340 less than E5c.

I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed if you buy it.

Hi, I found this place whilst searching for a noise-isolating earphone solution just as many other seem to have done. I was trying to decide between the ER-6 and E2C and went with the Shures ($87 shipped 2-day from a store on Yahoo). I'm hoping that my intended use (plugged into a laptop or mp3 player) will bring out the best performance these can offer.

Since a Shure representative is active on this forum, I'll give my reasons for the preference: cost was much lower, people seemed to like the greater durabality, lower impedence, reported sound isolation is equal to or better than ER-6 (does the E2C actually get 23 dB as some claim?), and there is an attractive repair agreement if something goes wrong. Mostly the things that are important to me are: good sound (people seem to say that bass is better in the ER-6), light weight, good volume from the source, and high noise isolation.


Is there a local store in New York City that has demonstrations of the EC2? I would like to see them in person and test them before I spend $100 on a pair of headphones. What stores carry them?


Matt, others:

I'm on the brink of ordering the E2c, but I'd really like to test drive a pair. Is this possible? Downtown San Francisco, where I work, would be best.

What I need is a phone that will let me listen to chamber music on the screaming BART train. If I can't test drive, can anyone vouch for this with the E2c?

Thanks, best,

Michael: thanks for the information. I hope you like them.

stan: there is a store at LaGuardia Airport called In Motion Pictures. I guarantee that they give demonstrations. I'm not too sure of other NYC dealers that give demo's.

Mike: In Motion Pictures is also at San Francisco Airport, and it's also the only place I know where you can be guaranteed a demonstration.

Luckily for you both, if you buy from there is a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee. So if you don't like them you can ship them back.

Matt: I read apost where you talked about a 55.00 USD lifetime replacement guarantee from Shure. Could you please post a link to this information?

Thanks in Advance

I've been following this forum for some time... now the only thing that's putting me off from buying the e2c is because it comes with a 62 inch cable. Since i use plan on using it with my MD walkman which comes with a remote, it's really annoying to have 40 inches of spare cable dangling around. Any solutions to this problem? Would Shure happen to plan on making a version with a shorter cable?

I have been looking a pair of high quality earbuds for a while to replace my piece of junk sony headphones for my ipod, and i think i have found the ones. I was looking at the er-6's, but this post has helped me to change my mind. I will be ordering a pair within a few days. Too bad i cant cary around my stax phones..

Unfortunately I cannot make it to LaGuardia Airport anytime soon. The local stores i found all sell the e2 or e2c for $79, but none offer demonstrations. I emailed the distributor listed on, but have not received a response.

Nathaniel: Replacement fee is $55 for out of warranty returns. Warranty is two years, so if it breaks within two years due to manufacturers defect it's free. If it's after two years it's $55.

Ho Mei Chau: No solutions at this time unfortunately. We aren't planning on changing the lengths of the cables.

Brian: If you have Stax phones you may want to consider the E1c or E5c. Every bit as portable and ergonomically friendly as the E2c, but with greater high end detail. Just a thought.

stan: I'm sorry about that. I wish there was an easier way to get a demo.

Matt, i would but i dont have the cash for the e5c's, or else i would get them. The stax's were a gift. A very nice gift.

Ho Mei Chau: YOu can cut the cable to the lenght you want, strip the wires, solder them back together and add some black shrink tube to clean it all up. I did it with my xbox controller and it works great. I can use my xbox controller on my computer..

Ordering from your website is $20 more than local stores and online.

How are the E2s for commuting and walking around New York City? Is it easy to remove and put back in as you run errands? How safe are they walking in?

HOw does the E2 compare to the sony EX71 for use with an ipod? Is the difference enough to justify spending $80 v. $40 for the sonys?


Bob: Dealers have their own sales policies, and they are usually different than Shure's. Our price of $99 direct from us includes a 30-day no questions asked return policy.
I've talked with many people that use our earphones for commuting. If you need to hear outside sounds, use caution. Our earphones isolate a lot. Not recommended for walking around metropolitan areas, as there are lots of distractions. But they're good for riding on a bus or train.

Ryan: Comments I've heard are that the EX71 is kind of 'peaky'. Harsh on some frequencies while weak on others. The e2 is a lot more smooth. Our warranty is also better, and the build quality is in a different league.

Great comments on this product. I have ordered a set to supplement the Sony E70's that I use with my Ipod.

The Sonys are ok, but lacking a bit in the treble and high end...

I do have a question that I don't see answered... can you order extra foam earpads from Shure since they are only good for 15-50 uses?

Thanks for the response.

I have an additional question to you or anyone else with the headphones. How easy are they to take on and off as you run errands? Is the proper seal difficult to reach?


Jason: Yes. Torange foam used on E2 is available in there sizes. The names are:

PA752S, PA752M, and PA752L.

Bob: Once you get accustomed to how the earphones feel it should be quick and easy to get them in and staying there, and out when you want.

I got a hold of the listed distributor in NYC and was given the name of 3 local stores. 1 was out of stock, the other 2 don't even carry the line.

Has anyone road tested the e1c's vs the e2c's?

Are the e1c's that much better than the e2c's that people would recommed the 1's over the 2's?

There's a comparison of the E1Cs and E2Cs in this thread.

Personally, I've pretty much decided on the E2/E2C. Has anyone found them in stock in Manhattan?

Okay, I think I'm pretty set on getting the e2c's, but I have a couple of questions:

1) I'm a girl. Are any of you girls? I have small ears, and I just don't know if they'll fit at all, since some guys were saying the smalls were uncomfortable. If none of you are girls, does someone have a little girlfriend who will give them a try? I'd really appreciate it.

2) Has anyone tried them with a discman? I just ordered a semi-nice sony ultra-slim one, but I'm not sure it's worth the money to get such nice headphones for it.

Thanks in advance for your help!


stan: Sorry that it's difficult to get a demo... At least we have the 30-day no questions asked return policy if you buy direct from us.

caroline: We did plenty of testing on people wth small ears, but without seeing your ears I can't make a judgement. The E1c is considerably smaller than E2c (nozzle diameter is less than half) and they have fit in every ear I've ever tried, even some children under 10 years old. The E1c sounds a little different, most people say better - but even this is subjective. In general, an E1c has more high frequencies (treble) than the E2c, so some material may sound more clear.

The E1c's should fit you, and they'll make your new portable sound better than you thought it could.

Okay, Thanks in part to this weblog I purchased my own pair of e2cs.....

Here is my initial review of the product:

The sound is great! I find that they are well balanced - the bass isnt overpowering and the highs are not harsh. I can definitely live with the sound of these phones.

Comfort-wise though, they are definitely hard to get used to.
I had really hoped that the reusable flex sleeves would be comfortable enough. I don't really relish the thought of a foam pad habbit! :-)
At any rate, I definitely got some soreness when wearing the flex-sleeves.

Its odd - I also got some discomfort in my throat! Whats that all about? I know your ears nose and throat are all connected, but I never experienced any throat discomfort when wearing ear plugs...

I switched over to the small foam pads tho and think they are quite a bit more comfortable, but I need to do some longer term testing before I can be sure (no pun intended).

Other notes for people considering these types of headphones:

1) I didnt notice any noise from the wires, but what I did notice is that any kind of head movement, or chewing (or even walking) equates to bass sounds that you will hear while wearing these phones. Not that big a deal, unless you plan to wear these while walking

2) The cable-in-back style of these definitely takes some getting used to. I dont much like it for when I am sitting down (which means I am sitting on or against the cord) but I do like it a great deal when I am standing or moving as the cord doesnt get in your way (but this is oddly negated by #1 above)

3) The carrying case is great! Very compact and yet still protecting of the phones.

Matt - can you get discounts on large numbers of the foam pads? :-)
Also, I would like to add a suggestion that you guys try and come up with a softer material for the flex sleeves. Maybe some kind of firm gel? I would definitely be first in line for a comfortable pair of reusable sleeves.

Frank: Thanks for the detailed comments!
Foams for E2 are available in quantities of 100 or 10.
The 100 packs are called PA753,
The 10 packs are PA752,
There are small, medium and large sizes available.

I received this message from B&H Video in manhattan:

Dear Customer

Thank you for your inquiry.

We would like to inform you that the Shure - SHE2C REG - E2c IN-EAR SOUND ISOLATING EARPHONES
you previously registered for notification has been discontinued and will no longer be
available from B&H.

We look forward to your next visit to our site. Please feel free to let
us know if there's any other way we may assist you.

Thank you,
The B&H Web Team
420 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001, USA

OK - I couldn't find them in New York City, but they had E2s at Guitar Center stores in New Jersey, and I got mine two days ago. On preview: Stan, I checked B&H's site on Tuesday and the E2s were listed as out of stock, but they're in stock now. I'd have bought mine there if they'd had them; I like B&H.

The sound is very good, and the isolation is excellent. This was the main factor for me, as the loud ambient noise levels on the train and at the gym have been alternately forcing me to raise the volume or to forgo my own music. I've been quite happy wearing the E2s in both train and gym environments, and they let me cut the volume from 60-75% of max down to 30-50% of max on my iPod. I did find that I preferred the sound with the "Treble Booster" mode (I used "Bass Booster" with the earbuds that came with my second-gen iPod) but that may be a matter of taste.

Like others here I was hoping to be able to use the flex sleeves. The mediums seemed to fit, but the left one loses its seal and slides out after a little while--I'm not sure whether it's too big or too small. They grew less comfortable over time, though. The medium foam pads are much more comfortable in my ears and don't fall out. The only discomfort occurs when I put them in too far and the hard plastic body of the plugs presses against the outer parts of my ear. I may experiment with the other sleeves, but I'm happy with the medium foams right now.

I did apply the wax guards, just in case, and this is my only complaint: the sheet of guards immediately separated from its backing, and the guards themselves are incompletely scored, so that it's extremely tricky to remove one from the clear sheet. I suspect that I will have worn the adhesive off of the sheet before I've gone through half of the included guards. This packaging has room for improvement.

Thanks to Shure for making a fine product at a good price, thanks to Matt for his attention here and all of the information, and thanks to Joi Ito for letting this thread turn into a personal audio forum. Shure ought to give Joi a set of E5s for his endorsement. Looks like he's helped make more than a few sales :)

stan: B&H may have decided to only carry the E2, rather than E2c. I'm not sure, but if I find out one way or the other I will post it.

Songdog: Joi is awesome. I appreciate this blog. Thanks for the comments!

I wish I'd gone with my instincts and saved myself £35.00 :-(

I previously owned a pair of Sony EX70s and wanted to upgrade. I came across the E2Cs at Headroom, read loads of reviews (including this page), decided to get them but then at the last minute I played it safe and bought the EX71s for £35.00.

The bass was clearer than the EX70s but the treble was far too harsh and I ended up having to use the equalizer on my iRiver IFP player to make it bearable. After two weeks of using them and noticing no improvement I decided to risk getting the E2Cs (£75.00 from HW International in North London, UK). I'm so glad I did.

The default plastic sleeves fit my ears perfectly and the treble is beautifully smooth. I actually find the bass better than the Sonys and I can increase it without it sounding muddy or boxy.

I know people rave about the ER4Ps but my friend has a pair and I find them painful to wear and the bass is almost non-existent.

I'm just sorry that I didn't listen to my instincts (and the people posting here) in the first place.

I'll just have to save the Sonys for when I'm feeling cheap ;->

Anyone know of a London (UK) retailer for the E2C's ?


167-171 Willoughby Lane, London N17 0SB
Tel: +44 (0)208 808 2222

That's where I got mine from. They're normally only distributors but they sell the E2Cs for £75.00 over the counter as they are not sent out to any of the shops over here.

Just to warn you - the second time I rang them to check when they were open until (5.00pm), the woman who answered told me that they don't sell them over the counter. I got her to double-check that and she found out that they did so persevere if you get the same response.

The nearest BR stations are White Hart Lane, Northumberland Park and Angel Road. HW International is on the corner where Brantwood Road meets Willoughby Lane.

Thanks Leonard

Matt, after reading through this thread, I am confused about 2 things .. I hope you can clarify.

It is great to hear about Shure's $55 reverse insure policy -- but is that only valid if the headphones were purchased directly from shure's website? I am considering picking them up through B&H or 8thStreet (as they are about $20 cheaper than what is available on the Shure website) ... but I am wondering if that warranty would still be valid?

The second question is about the differences between the E2C's and the now available E5c's (most of the posts on this site were made prior to the E5c's availability). I am a regular listener with just a regular ear ... not highly refined as some other posters on here. I do have a preference for high bass though. My only use for these would be during flights, and at the hotel -- listening to mp3s from my Ipod and DVD's from my laptop (thanks for the tip on the echo indigo Gen!). With that said, do the E5c's make much sense for me, or is the E2c going to be good enough for me?

Thank you so much for your valuable feedback on this topic .. im one step away from being convinced on the Shure brand (primarily due to this thread)!

Oops, sorry Matt, I forgot my 3rd question .. about the fit kit, is that standard with purchase of the E2cs or is that a special available only from the Shure website? i.e should it be included if purchased from elsewhere.


After reading and posting, I bought them (online from Shure). Unfortunately, I can't keep them in my ears. Long post coming but I need some HELP!

Did any of you find that they were hard to get into one's ears, and hard to get them to stay in? I figured they'd be like contact lenses: maybe a little funky for a couple days and but then second nature. However, it's been four days and I cannot get them to stay in my ears. I'm a 5'10" guy, pretty normal in all aspects -- never thought I had "small ears," whatever that would be. But when I look at the Shure site:

I see that the e2c is sitting all the way inside that ear. The pointy tip of the e2c (at the opposite end from the nozzle) is tucked *inside* the ear, too. Mine just don't want to do that. Am I supposed to shove the nozzle further into my ear canal? Hope not, they're already deep enough to bug me.... Notice in these photos too the difference in ear shapes; how the heck would the e1c ear hold the e2c phone?

The foam pads are marginally better for me than the silicone because the porous foam seems to grip a little better. (BTW Matt, one of my small foam pads arrived with the foam completely unglued from the inner rubber sleeve, will Shure send a freebie?) But no real luck keeping them in my ears. It's doubly frustrating because, for about 10 glorious minutes on the train last week, I had them in decently (or I was sitting magically still or something) and the sound was totally KILLING.

Caroline from July 16 I hope you're reading this. Look for response to this post and/or I'll post back if I have success. FWIW like you I am using the e2cs with a cheapo $45 Sony discman too and yes, they're worth it, those 10 minutes were blissful.

I should add that I'm not trying to move around vigorously with these phones, just sit on the commuter train. But they keep falling out. Thinking about returning them and resigning myself to a big earcup phone. Matt, I'd especially welcome some candid comments from Shure along the lines of: Do you get many complaints like this? Did Shure try demos in the office and find that some people just couldn't get a fit? That kind of thing. Rather than make me hate Shure, I'd be grateful for some straight dope on this -- the phones are beatifully made and sonically wonderful, but I don't seem to be able to use them. Ok, thanks for listening and please advise.



I swear I'm not being patronising but have you got them in the right ears? The pointy bit at the back should be pointing towards your head and not away from it. I only ask this because I kept going to put them in the wrong way round when I first got them as it looked right to me.


Bought my E2C's today from HW International (Thanks for the info Leonard)they cost £84.50 + VAT which was more than Leonard paid but such is life. I thought the guy wasn't going to sell them to me at first as they are, as he said a distributor not a retailer and suggested people who wanted them should order them from a music shop or some place similar.

Anyway, I will give my initial comments on them, firstly I think they will take a few days to get used as the material used is considerably stiffer than the Sony buds I have been using until today.

That aside the detail in the music that the E2C's produce is remarkable and exceeds my expectations. I used them on the way home on a crowded tube and they worked a treat.

Another plus having recently bought a 3gen Apple iPOD which the european version has a volume cap on (thanks to French legislation....I knew there was a reason for not liking them :)I have found the extra few decibels they produce is enough to counter this, so in a nutshell I am very pleased with them


Thanks bro! I appreciate the simplicity of the "have you turned on the power button" approach, but yes, I'm sure I have them in the correct ears.

The "pointy bit at the back" is pointing toward my head, as you say, but the length of the unit seems to be too great to tuck that pointy bit inside that part of your ear that will hold them in place. And again, I have pretty darn normal ears. I'm thinking that the answer must be to shove the nozzles further into my ear canals, but this is unappealing; they feel like they're already in quite far enough, thank you.

Hoping for more advice and/or pep talks from people who couldn't deal at first and then got the hang of them....

Thanks again,

Nitin: The $55 out of warranty replacement fee is valid no matter the retailer, as long as it is within the US. Other countries have their own policies.

The fit kit comes with the product - you get one pair of each sleeve, so it's 6 pairs total that come with it.

Also, is bass is your preference to highs, the E2c is definitely a better value for you. It is capable of deep lows, very similar to the E5c. The main difference between the two is the high freqencies. E5c has more. I hope this helps.

Mike: Sorry to hear that the small foams were defective. My recommendation would have been to try them. You should call the Service Deparment at (800) 516-2525 and tell them that your small foams were not assembled properly, and they should send you a replacement pair. This is most likely the best way to make them work. I've got a couple other questions for you if you're willing, my email is

I have a question for Matt (to whom I am also e-mailing the question, and who seems to reply fairly quickly to questions). I have been reading these posts and am almost sold, but I have a couple of concerns. I plan to do much of my listening while biking, with my CD player strapped to my back. Two questions:

1) There is apparently no in-line volume control, right? My CD player has a fairly loose dial to control the volume. What if the volume gets turned way up accidentally? I'll have to stop my bike and pull the things out of my ears, which could take seconds -- potentially a real problem if the volume is painfully loud.

2) The cord sounds pretty long for a bike ride. 62 inches, right? What the heck do you do with all the slack?

Looking forward to a response. Thanks.

Patrick F.

(To e-mail me, take out nospamplease

Matt, Thank you sincerely for your response. I have ordered the E2C's from B&H. 84.95 shipped. Cant wait to receive them! Thanks!

I picked up a pair of E2's last week and I must say, they are absolutely fantastic. The sound and build quality is incredible and I actually find them more comfortable than the iPod earbuds.

I have a question for you: the plug has the letters "KS" written in white lettering (almost looks like white-out), is this normal? And the right earphone came slightly cracked on the inside, but it doesn't appear to effect the sound. Does Shure send replacements for this?

Great sound - ipod users may want to use the treble boost in EQ because of slight lack in high frequency. Quite comfortable considering the last time I put something this deep into my ear I could't even talk. Silicon could be a little more forgiving and given that most people seem to use the small plugs - who are using the medium? I guess it's the pink elephants that use the large!

On the whole - good job Shure.

I just got my ipod 15G two weeks ago and was not satisfied with the earphone provided. I am desperately looking for an alternative earphone, the next day I got the Sony EX71s but was very disappointed with the sound, the bass was distorted and the sound seems to break up. After that I got a normal Sony earphone and was quite happy with it but still not satisfied with it. Finally my sister’s friend who is an Apple product user from PCs to MP3 player introduce me to shure earphone. He didn’t let me try due to hygiene reasons. At first I was kind of hesitant to try the e2 because I already spent quite a bit on earphone alone but decided to try it.

I did some reading for shure earphone reviews and was eyeing only at e2 because the e1 and e5 are far fetch for me due to the price.

I went to Sim Lim square (Singapore) and manage to get hold of one, I was quite excited to open and give it a try after reading so many reviews on how great is the product. To my disappointment the left side doesn’t work. I return it and that was the last piece and they could not replace the faulty e2. They gave me a full refund, but I’m determined to get one.

Finally after going to shure website I found the authorize distributor in Singapore and the email address is no longer in use. I went to a local search engine and found the correct one. I emailed them and finally they have it. I got it today and I’m totally satisfied with the quality of the sound and the built. I tried it before I left the shop and I was told I’m having last piece, I guess people in Singapore have to wait for the new stock to come in.

The only draw back is the rubber buds can be quite uncomfortable and lack of highs, I’m still trying different buds for the must comfortable ones. Overall I’m a satisfied customer.

The Shure website has the wrong email address about the distributor in Singapore.

Here is the correct contact information
Electronics and Engineering Pte Ltd
285 Outram Road
Singapore 169069
Tel: (65) 6223 5873
Fax: (65) 6225 3709

Hey - the E2Cs just got a great review at ExtremeTech:,3973,1205177,00.asp


Hey - the E2Cs just got a great review at ExtremeTech:,3973,1205177,00.asp


Nitin: very cool. I hope you like them.

Stan: It should be a "K5", not "KS". It's a datecode. All of our earphone products get a datecode.
As for the cracked caseparts, if it seems as though the crack will get worse, send it in to service for a free swap-out (that info is in the user guide).

Chan: thanks. I have notified the web team of this error. It appears that EnE has updated their service and we are late in updating our site. Thanks for letting me know!


Are you talking about the seam where the front and back of the headphone join? Mine looks as though it has a piece missing on the inside seam but I think it is just an optical illusion (possibly caused by whatever adhesive is used) as it looks fine from certain angles. The headphones work perfectly.

For the record, I tried the larger plastic sleeves but they were just a little too big for comfort. The medium ones are great and a few times I've been so impressed by the bass that I've checked to make sure that I haven't added any via the player settings.

I initially had reservations about the wire going down my back but now I have it under my shirt and it's fine. It's made me realise how careful I was with my old headphones to make sure I didn't get the wire caught on things when commuting.

I have been visiting this blog for quite some time now.The good reviews here finally convinced me to get a E2c for my NetMD.
I got one from yahoo store today and believe me , the attention it is getting is not at all over-hyped.

The build quality of headphones is excellent.I had Sony In ear headphones (Ex70LP-- 50$)but one can easily point out the superior build quality of Shures.

It fits comfortably in my ear, probably because I am already used to in-ear headphone.I had to use the small sleeve.

As per sound quality, it was pure MAGIC!!! David Gilmour's Guitar sounds heavenly and Bryan Adams never sounded better.
I even jogged with those on and there was no hissing
Thanks Joi for the recommendation

I like the headphones ALOT, I got them in mid June, I have used them almost every day since. Unfortunately the left channel is fritzing out on me, it has somethign to do with the plug, if the sound dies I wiggle it a little and it comes back. I know for sure that it is the phones and not the device. I dont' use them in any rigourous fashion, only for the walk to work, I generally don't use them at home. I'm disappointed that they have malfunctinoed after just over a months' use.

I'm looking for retailers of Shure e2c in sweden and/or europe, but I cant seem to find any, do you think you could help me out there?
a reply here or in an email would be greatly appreciated

I dont this its worth the money because they are somehow expensive, they need to lower their prices. Its like making big profit for just a small earphone.

I dont this its worth the money because they are somehow expensive, they need to lower their prices. Its like making big profit for just a small earphone. And E1C is boring, they need to make it somehow similar to E5C.

Markus: Our distributor in Sweden is TTS Scandinavia:

They should be able to point you in the right direction for dealers in your area.

Matt, hoping you're still reading this blog. I ordered a pair of Shure E2's after reading this site. I was thinking about the Etymotic ER4-P, but folks said the cable made too much noise when it shifted. I've tried the ER4-P's and like them, but the posts were overwhelmingly positive for the E2C's and they are significantly cheaper, so I figured what the heck. Here's the problem. I can't get these things in my ear. I've tried the smallest size foam and gel but it's super tough to cram these in the ear canal. Is this normal? I'm guessing my ear must be kind of small, but the Etymotics fit right in.

The Etymotic nozzle diameter is the same size as our E1 and E5. The E2 is approximately 50-60% larger. I've heard of a few other people that had difficulties with this. Not so many that we're alarmed, just a small handful. Some of those people returned their E2's and bought E1's for that reason, and none had fit issues with that.

Sorry about this, but thanks for trying them. I hope you can demo the E1's.

Thanks for the clarification, Matt. I don't like the E1's - they look way too clinical. I'm now debating between the ER-4P and the E5c. The E5c is kind of expensive. Is it true what I said about the Etymotic, that shifting in your seat causes noise in the line?

Hi Matt,

The store I bought the Shure E2's from - Music One) - refuses to let me return or refund the Shure's I purchased. It's not my fault these things don't fit me. Is there anything Shure can do?

I totally agree with you Hussein Kanji, E1C style is boring, they should make it similar to E5C/E2C with clear/transparent design and they should lover their price, it way to expensive.

Hi Ive been reading this forum for a couple hours now and was wonderin if sum 1 (perhaps matt seeing as how he seems to be honest and works at shure) could point me in the right dirrection...

Ive currently been lookin at the etymotics er-6s however now im thinkin bout the shure ec2s. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me with this

very appreciative thanks in advance

Just to follow up the reason I am looking for some new head phones is mainly because I am about to buy an irirver slimx imp 550.

If any body knows which would be better (the etys er-6 or the shure e2c) for an active work out such as jogging, cycling and weight lifting plz post and let me know.

Aways apreciative


Just to follow up the reason I am looking for some new head phones is mainly because I am about to buy an irirver slimx imp 550.

If any body knows which would be better (the etys er-6 or the shure e2c) for an active work out such as jogging, cycling and weight lifting plz post and let me know.

Aways apreciative


Its Nate again im sure your all probbably getting tired of me lol.

However this time Im including sum product specs for the imp 550 (which can be found on for $154.99 I believe) just incase they might help for sum1 to determine which headphones I should use (the ety's or the shure's)

In the box: CD player, remote control, iRiver earphones, carrying case, car cassette and power adapters, 2 stick-type NiMH rechargeable batteries, AA battery adapter, headphone adapter, AC power adapter, user's manual, warranty information
Text display: Yes
MP3 playback: Yes (and WMA, ASF)
Compatible formats: CD audio, MP3 CD, WMA CD, ASF CD, CD-ROM, Enhanced CD, mixed-mode CD, packet-write CD
Includes radio: Yes (FM)
Built-in speaker: No
Antiskip protection: Yes (32 minutes with 64 kbps WMA files, 16 minutes with MP3, and 6 minutes with audio CDs)
HDCD decoding: No
Headphone jack: Yes (.125-inch)
Headphone volume control: Yes
Audio outputs: 1 optical digital-audio
Number of discs: 1
Random play: Yes
Remote included: Yes
Records CDs: No
Signal-to-noise ratio: 90 dB (CD, MP3)
Frequency response: 2 to 20,000 Hz (+/- 0.5 dB)
Batteries: 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries (included) or 2 AA Alkaline batteries (not included)
Battery life: Up to 55 hours (using supplied rechargeable batteries and 2 AA batteries)
Item length: 5.4 inches
Item width: 5 inches
Item height: .54 inches
Item weight: .32 pounds (not including batteries)
Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

Continually appreciative


nate: E2c and ER6 are very different in a few ways. E2c is inteded to go over the top of the ear and aroud to the back of the head, making it more stable for things like jogging.

The E2c tends to have more bass (low frequency) than the ER6, and the ER6 has a little more treble (high frequency).

So which would you say would be better? I mainly listen to alternative rock and trance. Ill probably have my iriver in front of me however I could just rearage the e2c cables.

Also I've read that the ety's provide 16db of isolation do you think you could tell me how much the shures provide

1 more point of interest at the current moment, I have been researching both sets of earbuds and 1 problem has been brought up about both in many of the forums-Microphonics. do you know which earbuds are worse?

Thanks again


Just clarifying a mistake in my last post...

The Etys provide an upwards of 26 dbs of isolation not 16.


Fantastic stream re. shure E2's. Does anyone know where I can get them from in the UK?

Hi Joi, great blog/thread..

Hey Matt, thanks for all your advice.. I am "sold", definitely buying a pair of Shures. Getting the E2's, but may pick up the E5's the next time I am in Chicago (USD500 vs GBP500, have seem them for GBP400.)

What convinced me were:
- your passion for Shure products, with out belittling other manufacturers.
- the sound quality (obviousily)
- the build! (I have a pair of Sony ex71sp, my first in-ear, no bad for USD40.. so consider them "disposible")


PS am a iPod and Powerbook (Ti) owner.. so am definitely into well designed yet study poducts.

Hi Joi, great blog/thread..

Hey Matt, thanks for all your advice.. I am "sold", definitely buying a pair of Shures. Getting the E2's, but may pick up the E5's the next time I am in Chicago (USD500 vs GBP500, have seem them for GBP400.)

What convinced me were:
- your passion for Shure products, with out belittling other manufacturers.
- the sound quality (obviousily)
- the build! (I have a pair of Sony ex71sp, my first in-ear, no bad for USD40.. so consider them "disposible")


PS am a iPod and Powerbook (Ti) owner.. so am definitely into well designed yet study poducts.

I posted in July about trouble keeping the E2cs in my ear. I was close to returning them, but thanks largely to some offline assistance from Matt (of Shure), I figured out a viable solution, which I offer hoping it will help others having trouble keeping the things in their ear. My comments:

-- Use the foams, not the silicon. The foams are grippier. I'm about 5'10" and my ears are not unusually small, but I'm going with the smallest foams. Lord knows who uses the big ones.

-- When you go to put them on, pass the fat cable around behind your shoulder and then drape the earphone cables over your ears from behind, *before* trying to insert the phones. (In other words, for a brief moment, the phones are dangling like earrings in front of your ears and yes, you look like a dork.) But my initial attempts failed sometimes because the weight and motion of the cables dangling straight down from my ears (instead of passing over the tops of my ears) would pluck the phones out. Hope that makes sense.

-- Roll the foams to compress before inserting the phones. Don't just push them in without rolling the foams.

-- I find it helps to reach over the top of the head w/ the opposite arm and pull gently up and out on the top of the ear. In other words, for the left phone in the left ear, I'm reaching across with my *right* arm and lifting my ear a bit, inserting the phone with my left hand. This is probably in the instructions, I can't remember.

-- Biggest breakthrough: The clear plastic tube on the cables. Slide it up against the back of your head! When Matt gave me this piece of advice it made all the difference. Once I have the phones in, they seem marginal, but once I've slid the clear plastic tube up (not super tight but reasonably snug) against the back of my head, it all falls into place. The tube puts some tension on the whole rig, and it works. I've found the clear tube utterly integral to my success with the product. Suggestion for Shure: the individual cables often get twisted inside the tube, creating friction and making it impossible to slide it. Also, the tube seems like it might tear at some point. Perhaps replace the tube with a sturdier slider that has two "channels" in it to keep the cables running straight?

There you have it. I will add that a colleague bought the newest, ~$300 Bose noise-cancelling earcups at about the same time, and I got to borrow them for a couple days to experiment on the train. The giant earcups definitely have it over the E2cs in terms of pure simplicity of application -- in other words, I still find the E2cs a little fumbly compared to slapping on a giant earcup -- but the E2cs blow them away in almost every other category. Besides the fact that the Bose are big and cost $200 more, they're too quiet. I didn't hear noise from the noise cancelling circuits, but I had to crank my discman to 9 with the Bose, whereas I'm usually around 3 with the Shure E2cs. Plus the E2cs are much better at keeping out sudden loud voices, etc. In other words, I'm totally sold on the principle of isolation vs. noise-cancelling.

Let's hear it for Matt at Shure -- hope that boy gets a raise.

Whew! I'm exhausted (and overwhelmed!) at the depth of this blog. Here's a new query, though. Does anybody have experience using the 1's or 2's in conjunction with a portable DVD player on an airplane? This is virtually the only application I would have for the buds. If not the Shure's, any other recommendations, with a particular nod toward comfort? Thanks!

Definitely came to the same conclusion as Mike (Sept 4) re the "method of insertion" on the E2s.

1. loop over ears
2. insert with foams!!
3. tighten clear plastic sleave

I am finding that I am choosing the medium foams (comfort and better isolation) over the small silicons (easy to maintain/clean), even though they are more fiddley to insert.

You are all far too kind!

Judge: An E1 or E2 will be great with a portable DVD player. In fact, one of our biggest dealers is In Motion Pictures. They rent DVD players at airports when you takeoff, then you return them when you land. The rental fee is $12 or $15. (hope you don't mind my little plug for them...) They started selling our earphones six months ago because they make the perfect companion to their portable players.

Basically, with our earphones you isolate lots of the plane noise, allowing you to hear movies with great fidelity and much comfort.

I love my iPod remote, but all that cabling.. with my E2s there must be 5 or 6 feet running abount my body.

I have found the (near perfect) solution without shortening the E2's plug and cabling.


A RF wireless remote. Connect this inline with your iPod and E2s, keep the remote in your pocket.. Et Voila.

Only problem is it is not as pretty and compact as something Apple or Griffin Tech would make.



Re: Airport DVD rentals: This is an open forum, so plug away! The fact is, I was faced with an 11-hour wait at the Portland airport a couple of years ago, and the only way I maintained my sanity was by renting a DVD player and watching movies. Thanks for the tip!

I just won an auction for new pair of E2C's on ebay for $36! YIPPPPEEEEEE.....will I enjoy??

- Chris.

Hey if anyone has been waiting to buy the E2c (don't know why?) here's info about a great $74 deal, right from Shure.

Whoops - the url didn't come through the first time:

$74 Deal

In response to SeanB on August 20, about buying phones in the UK, I bought E2c's from:

arrived very quickly, no problems!

Joi Ito, I very much enjoy the site!


i am now on my second set of e2c and am wondering what the problem may be. my first pair after like one song blew out in the left earphone. i was using a sony portable cd player that time. i went and got another pair and now (about a month later-using an iriver cd player) again the left earphone sounds blown. I do listen to it loud but not to the point of distortion or anything like that. I have read where people use these phones with headphone amps and dont see how if mine are blowing out from a portable device


joe pickle:
I sent you an email. The Service information is already mentioned a few times in this (almost 9 month old) blog entry.

Hey Matt, its been a couple months since I bought the e2c's, and am absolutely loving it ... just one quick question. I left my zip case on the plane -- how do I go about getting another zip case? I dont want to damage the headphones by carrying them around in my pockets unprotected ..

Hi Nitin. I'm glad you like them!

We are in the process of making the case available through our website, but for now you can call our Service Department and let them know you want a 95A2232. That's the E2c Carrying Pouch.

Thanks for the reply Matt -- do you have a phone # for the service department? I'm not finding it online -- all I see is a couple email addresses. Thanks!

Nevermind, I think I found it, 888-88-shure! thanks anyways

Has anyone found a good place to order replacment foams? I found one site, but $17 for 5 pair seems crazy. Thanks! :-)

why do you need to replace them? did they tear or something? or is it cuz they got dirty? i just wash mine regularly, that brings them back to a "like new" condition ...

Wash them, eh? I should try that, I assumed they wouldn't hold up well to that, I must be wrong. Thanks for the info :-)

I just got my E2c's today. Wow, they are pretty impressive. My minidisc has never been clearer. First impressions are that figuring out how to put the earbuds in is counterintuitive. I think most ppl think that earbud is supposed to be jammed in like a q-tip. For my case, I didn't feel that the earbuds could go in. But what I did was take the smallest foams, and roll them as tight as possible. I wouldn't worry about ruining the foam, after all, it is foam, and they will expand back to their original shape.

What I found useful was after placing the earbud in my ear, I would hold them there for a bit, to wait for the foam to expand to fit my ear canal. If you place them, and pull them out immediately, you haven't given the foam a chance to expand yet, and the earbuds won't feel like they fit. Also follow the diagram given in the booklet.

Remember - Red = Right ( you will see a red wire inside the earbud)

The pointy end of the earbud actually kind of sticks up, towards the top back of your head. What I usually do is try to adjust the earbud so that the curvature of the earbud matches the curvature of my ear.

Look closely at the picture of the guy wearing the E2c, and try to match that fit in the mirror

If you stick your fingers in your ears, thats how your earbuds should feel. They just sit on the outside, filling in that entrance to your ear canal.

wow, what an excellent blog!

i've wanted to buy a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones for my boyfriend (who is very 'sound sensitive' -- an audiophile who enjoys the highest quality sound, but is also neurotic about distracting background noises)...i just wasn't quite sure about the bulky bose ones. luckily i found a review for the e5c in T3...and started browsing online for more info.

thanks to joi, matt and all of the great reviews posted here...i just might have to get a pair for myself too!

Shure E5 vs Etymotic E4:

I'm very tempted by the E5s. I've recently had problems with a loose connection in the wire near the mini-jack on my E2s which causes the left channel to cut out every now and again. Tying a knot in the cord seems to have solved it for now.

For those in Singapore, you can buy the E2 from SimLim Square at Wai Liam, #01-28. They carry a lot of Shure products. Just bought mine today, thanks for all the comments on this page, it helped the purchasing decision greatly.

I have 3 issues:
1. I would be using the e2c most of the time but would be lending them to my wife for plane flights. How easy are the ear pieces to swap?
2. Behind the ear phones are OK for me because I have short hair. They would be more difficult for my wife because of her hairstyle (I told her to get her hair cut but...). Can they be worn in any other way comfortably?
3. Does extensive use of headphones/ ear pieces damage your hearing in the long run?

Hi Mick.
1. The sleeves are easy to replace. A simple squeeze and twist and they come off.
2. They don't have to go behind the neck, they can come down from the ears. She won't get all of the benefits of having the cable secured behind her head, but unless she's bouncing around (unlikely on a plane... I hope) it should be fine.
3. I can't speak for headphones, but our earphones are potentially safer. They block outside sounds, so you can listen at lower volumes.

Thanks for the advice. I am intending to buy a set. I have read in this group that they have about 4 feet of cable. I normally use a MD player, where the in-line remote clips to my clothing, with just 12-18" lead to the earpiece. I assume there is no reason why a competent solderer could not shorten the lead. Mick

I'm really interested in getting a pair of the e2c's. but i was wondering how they do when working out? does the behind-the-ear cord fall from behind the ear when running around? do the buds fall out at all?

Mick: be careful. There is nothing abnormal about the cable we use, but proper shielding is very important.

Kent: if inserted securely, the earphones should stay in just fine. They were originally designed for musicians/performers (who tend to jump around a lot).

Got my iPod two weeks ago and now just got my e2c's in part after reading this weblog. And all I have to say is they are the most incredible sound you can get walking in a big city : you feel like you are in music bubble ! Next step in listening nirvana is the pair of Grado's SR60 that should get here at the end of the week. I'll use them inside where there is no noise. Haven't been so excited about music for a long time !

After lurking here awhile, I decided these really looked like what I wanted. I am thrilled with the results - had them for about three days now. My question is about custom molds. I know Shure doesn't offer them for the E2c, but some other folks do ( Is there something about the E2c that makes a custom mold inadvisable?

Eric: I recently got some from the vendor that provides them to the Earplugsuperstore, and the results were good. I personally still prefer the foam sleeve over everything else for comfort, but the sound is fine. The customs are a bit stiff, which make my ears sore after 20 minutes or so.


Is the $74.25 promo offer on DealMac still available? It didn't work this weekend when I tried it. There doesn't appear to be anywhere to input the "JAZZ03" promo code when you order from the Shure site. Has it been replaced exclusivley by the $99 free shipping and tax offer? I see many deals out there for $79, but I'd rather purchase directly from Shure.

Hi Paul. I am unaware of any current deals offered by us. I steer pretty clear of the sales area.


The promo memtioned above has expired. Only the $99 free shipping and tax offer is valid.

Just to let you guys know that Shure now have new E3C and it was reviewed by CNET, click on the link below. Anyways, Shure earphones still suck, I have mine for more than 6 months now and Im ditching them for Ety's earphones. Im sure Shure earphones are overhype and of course overprice and they dont have enough bass, they are more intro flat music and not good for alternative/rock type music.

Hi Mr. Throne... Or do you prefer Frozen?

I'm sure everyone has missed you since your last (impressive) post on August 8th.

Thanks for posting the link to the CNET review.

If you think that our earphones don't have a lot of bass, I'm VERY interested in your comments on Etymotic products (any of them).

I cannot resist following up on the response to Frozen Throne. The Etys have terrific clarity, but the base is weak. Someone who says the Shures "suck" and he wants the Etys because they have better base has either never listened to the two phones or has a hearing disorder. I have both Shures and Etys, and love both for different reasons, but the Shures clearly have better base. I personally cannot wait to try the E3s. Meanwhile, if you are following this thread, I advise ignoring the frozen man on the throne. The Shure E2s are very fine headphones and I would be very surprised if you are disappointed for the price.

Hey Matt, arent you from Shure?

I have Shure E2c that I bought last Sept. and though its has good sound coming from my iRiver iHP, Im not that comfortable wearing it. I have followed what was posted on Shure website and still not comfortable wearing. Is there a way I could trade this with the new E3c, I'll pay the rest since I bought this for $80 so I have to pay $100 to trade my E2c for the new E3C.

RR: unfortunately that's not an option. You best bet is to sell them.
Sorry for the discomfort.

Well I bought from a Yahoo store and they dont offer returns. I really have small ears and this thing isnt just comfortable on my ears. E3c should fit nice, E5c isnt an option because its just too expensive. If I were to sell it on ebay, it would only go for $50 or even less. Though this one got good sound, its just uncomfortable on my small ears, I kinda regret buying it.

I had a pair of E2s for about 3months. A great piece of equipment to compliment any music source.

Anyway, I use these for several hours a day. After a while the entrance to my canal feels "tired" and aches. So recently I got myself some E1s and a set of custom molds from sensaphonics (in Chicago) and OMG, these feel incredible. Sounds even better than my E2s too. I have "small ears" so definitely work the extra cash for the inproved fit, isolation and sound.

Hi Matt

Could you explain why the E5s ($500, £276) are sold for £468 ($845) at which you recommended? Talk about a rip off>>>

I am in the United States. I only know of a few places in the UK that sell our products, so those are the places I mention.

You can always ask our UK office,
They will probably have more information.
This entry is quite long, but in case I haven't already mentioned it, the other UK dealer that I know of is:

I have no idea what they charge.

Hi all,
I just picked up the E2's....

first Impression: these suck....opps I have them on wrong hehehe

After some ajustments they are great, the bass is subdued a tad but present and trully covers a better range of frequency than any other headphones I've use the highs like everyone else seems to think is subdued as well.

The noise shielding is hevenly, these are great in ear monitors and thats what they do best they diliver a flat response to music which is what monitors are supposed to do....exellent job shure.

Those who like metal music STAY AWAY from these they are horrible for that, for classical music these things are trully unbelievable and very recommended.

These ear monitors lack warmth wich I think is the most enjoyable sound but they have some warmth and sound great and more importantly are suprisingly accurate.

The price is right on the money for $99 you get exactly what you paid for no more no less.

conclusion: Nice sound for nice price, the can benifit fom some EQ from your source in the bass and treble department but only slightly....very nice job :)


Happy Birthday to the longest blog entry I've ever seen. :)

I have used the Etymotic ER6 and also the Shure E2c's for a couple years now (since January 2002 I think). I use them extensively - probably averaging 2-3 hours daily. In my opinion they are both the best in-ear and isolating earphones in existence. I started with the Etymotic ER6's and then bought the Shure E2's as soon as I saw them advertised. I use them mostly while working out in the gym and yes--don't tell anyone-- while riding a bicycle and sometimes while driving. I know it's not the safest, but I'm addicted. As far as comparing the sound quality, I am not an expert and cannot tell much of a difference between the two. They are both so far above any of the dozens of other earphones, earbuds and headphones I have used that there is really no comparison. I could never go back. I use the Shure E2's more now because they stay in my ears better as a result of their design which allows the cables to wrap around my ears. Also the cables have heavier shielding which decreases noise from wind and from the cables brushing against my clothes.
Unfortunately both earphones take quite a beating with all the physical activity. I'm on my second pair of Etymotic ER6 and my 3rd pair of Shure E2c's. The problem seems to be broken wires from motion and pressure associated with weightlifting. This is unfortunate, but I have not found any way to avoid it nor have I found any better earphone to replace them. If anyone has suggestions please let me know.

Oh yes, other advantages of the Shure E2's is the 2 year warranty. Etymotic does not publish a warrantly timeframe and charged me $60 for a replacement pair after a few months of owning the ER6's. Also I have noticed the Shure earphones have significantly stronger amplification at the same volume settings on my MP3 player.

Does anyone have an opinion of the E3 vs. the E2? The 3, according to the Shure site, has a better high end, but is it worth almost twice the price?

Matt, last week I sent my E2c to shure service department for repair or replace. I would like to know how long does it take to get it back? Do you have a telephone # I could call to check the status?

After reading the comments recently on this page, I was curious to find out more about the e2c. i called up the local distributor in Singapore and was quoted a price of S$174 (APPROX US99) which is fair but he told me the warranty is only for 1 year and doesn't cover normal wear and tear. So even though it's the same price, I get a depleted warranty deal :( I was wondering if anyone knows of a shop that honours the 2 year warranty and USD55 replacement and ships internationally? at least if anything happens, I don't have to pay full price....

After reading the comments recently on this page, I was curious to find out more about the e2c. i called up the local distributor in Singapore and was quoted a price of S$174 (APPROX US99) which is fair but he told me the warranty is only for 1 year and doesn't cover normal wear and tear. So even though it's the same price, I get a depleted warranty deal :( I was wondering if anyone knows of a shop that honours the 2 year warranty and USD55 replacement and ships internationally? at least if anything happens, I don't have to pay full price for a new set.

Chun: (800) 516-2525 is the number for our Service Department.

gimj: Sorry, I don't know of any shops that would make that possible.

I should get my e2c tomorrow in the mail (I hope). Got them from I just found this blog. I just finished read 1 YEAR and more of talking about this headphones!! Unbelievable :) I can't wait for my own pair to be delivered. I'll compare them with my Sennheiser HD-497.
I'll let you guys know what you already know: that these headphones were very well engineered.

After reading the blog I do think that from Matt and his team, only good stuff can come out :) So keep up we the good work!


Oh I finally got them today! (were shipped at the wrong address)
Nothing to add to what people already said :) they're amazing...

Great job.


Just have to say that I too am expecting my Shure e2c to come next week. I ordered them and an iRiver iGP-100 from Amazon today.

I can't wait!!


BTW, this has to be the longest, but still informative, blog ever!

Well, I got my e2c today. The only problem is that I have a huge midterm to study for so I only let myself open the box and take a peak!

No fun for me until Thursday!


Ordered the e2 from for $75 today, mostly based on the comments in this thread. I hope it's as good as you all have said. :-)

I ordered the E3 from on Monday and received it on Wednesday. Awesome customer service. For those interested, the Coupon Codes they sent me via email for discounts are: F149E3 for $149.00 + shipping for Shure E3, F75E2 for $75.00 + shipping for Shure E2 and F389E5 for Shure E5 + shipping.


I ordered some today. Wish me luck!

OK! I have them. First impression... OW! They hurt. But only for the first minute or two... then I just can't stop smiling... nothing buy my heartbeat and the music, and hearing my heartbeat speed up because the sound is sooo good.

I'm not getting very much bass though, and I'm sure I have them inserted properly. And I've tried this on music as diverse as Crystal Method, Diana Krall, Van Halen, Brian Setzer Orchestra (they sound really fantastic if you pop the equalizer to acoustic for some reason), Modest Mussorgsky, russian choral music, Styx and Roger Waters (Styx sounds crystal clear, and Roger Waters' Amused to Death album sounds absolutely fantastic, you can hear all the tiny background bits with the TV changing channels, the dog barking, and everything...)

Any suggestions?

Well I've had my E2's for a week now and I personally think they sound much better than the ER-6's from Ety. The ER-6's have no bass whatsoever and overall they sound shrill. I bought the ER-6's around 6 months ago have tried to like them but I just can't. They sound so bad I think there must be something wrong with them. I'm in love with these E2's and considering they cost me about $60 less than my ER-6's I'm a very happy customer, well other than the fact that I threw away $140 on the ER-6's. I can only imagine what the E5's sound like and look forward to upgrading in the future.

just a quick question...

i bought my e2 while i was in USA but now i have returned to my own country. but since i bought the e2 in the states with teh receipt to prove it, can i assume that i am also covered under the 2 years warranty ?

thanks a lot

hi, I want to buy a pair of e2c's, but i live in canada. I have followed the links posted so far, but am finding that most places are charging nearly $30USD for shipping to canada. Does anyone know of a good site that has free shipping EVEN TO CANADA, or other great deals that are still valid.

dear matt....

can i check with you if i had bought the e2 in US but now i am residing overseas, am i still eligible fr th2 year warranty ?

also i was reading the shure's warranty websit, it just said that the warranty is 2years for the products but there is no sentence which said that international customer are not covered under this act. so i am just curious as to why the international customers are not covered under this act.

also since i heard from other forums that the new batch of e2s that were without cable problems were released in Jul 03, i am just curious as to is it possible for you to teach us how to identify the production date of our phones...

really appreciate your answer

JC: Still not happy with the low end (bass)? It's something that usually gets better with time.

GD: Thanks, that's awesome.

elaine: I'm sure if you provide a US sales receipt that your warranty will be honored here in the US.
The cable issue with the E2 was with a very small number of units that got out. If you have a letter/number combo, your unit was made before the fix. If you unit is all numbers it is after the fix.

mael: check with:

thanks for the info....

but just to check.. since i am now overseas, do i need to pay for the return shipping to my current country of residence ?

i am asking first just in case...

touch wood :)

Hi Elaine. The way I understand it is you would ship it to us on your own, and we would send it back to you. So you'd pay for it to be shuipped to us, we'd pay for it to be shipped back to you.

hi matt...

thanks a zillion.....
great warranty :)
will definitely upgrade to e5s when i can afford it :)

Matt wrote previously:

"The cable issue with the E2 was with a very small number of units that got out. If you have a letter/number combo, your unit was made before the fix. If you unit is all numbers it is after the fix."

Matt, I have spoken with you previously. I got an E2 and it is a bit over a month old, so I can't return it to the dealer. The cable shows a 'K5'. If there is a problem with the cable, I really would like to get this unit replaced. I am using the E2 at gigs and I have to be completely sure that it will not fail. Since I live in the Chicago area, can I stop by Shure in Niles and get it exchanged? I do not want to pay for shipping if I do not have to. Please let me know.

is there a difference between e2 and e2c?

e2 is white & black and e2c is with a little bit of brown right?

is there a difference between e2 and e2c?

e2 is white & black and e2c is with a little bit of brown right?

The E2 and E2C are the same product. Packaging is different and somehow the E2C is targeted to the consumer market.

Hi Matt -- woulda contacted you off-list but can't find an easy way to do so, despite checking out your blog and the Infrasonics site...

I bought E2cs in mid-July 2003, inspired largely by your assistance on, and off, this blog. I've been really happy with the phones until about ~6 weeks ago, when I started having problems with (I assume) the cable(s). Sound to one or sometimes both phones goes in and out, or gets crackly, depending on how the cable is positioned. The only way I can get them to work correctly now is to sit still and move the cable around, like I'm doing magic tricks or something, til I hit upon the right combination of straight/bent etc. It's a drag. I should add that the phones have been treated very gently -- I commute with them, but no sports, no dropping, etc.

Upon returning to this blog today I see several mentions of cable problems, including "e2s that were without cable problems were released in Jul 03" but I'm not sure what to do next. I'm hoping that if I return the phones with proof of purchase they'll get fixed, but I'm not sure if I should use the PDF "service" form on the Shure site or etc. Also, is there some code (letter/number?) I'm supposed to check?

Please advise. Thanks!


Hi Matt -
Bass is OK now. Not great, but OK. I'm not big on bass heavy music anyway, so not a huge deal. I love being able to make out lyrics even in complex music, it's so much easier with these e2s. It's a bit odd though, most things I've read people have said that they only need to have the ipod at less than half volume for these, but I find I need to run mine at 75% or higher. I don't have any hearing problems (yet), but it seems high. I had to do my ipod earbuds at about that, too, so it may just be my ipod. Definitely pleased with my purchase, though. it's a pure joy listening to music and hearing the instruments individually instead of mushed together. And man I love the earphone case. :-) If only it had a winder on it so I didn't have to wind and unwind the wires by hand all the time... maybe like those ziplinq guys do? worth a look... :-)

Mike: Send the product, a note descibing the problem, and your return shipping address to:

Shure Incorporated
Attn: Service Department
222 Hartrey Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202

Or call (800) 516-2525 to make arrangements. The product is still under warranty, and will be replaced for free. Sorry for your problems.

Also, I don't mind if anyone jumps on my blog to talk about this, even if it's not the topic that is currently up there. I appreciate the effort. :)

JC: what bitrate are your MP3's encoded at? Also, are you in the US? European ipods have the same SPL limiting circuitry as CD players and such.
Are you using foams or clear flex sleeves?
Thanks for the case comments. I will look into ziplinq.

FYI - is carrying e3C's right now for $129, $6 shipping, no sales tax. Get'em while they're hot!

Thanks for the eCost tip!! Just got some for my Karma!

I can't resist extending this thread a bit more. I bought my e2cs around this time last year (yay post birthday), I had to return them once in Oct. because one wire at the base of the plug developed a short in the left channel (mighta been that bad batch). You guys replaced it in about a week if IIRC, felt kind of strange just dropping it in the regular mail to the address but one came back brand new.

Anyway, I'm interested in the e3c now that it's available (I don't recall seeing it before). Are there any aural disadvantages to upgrading? What improves? Would you say they are more or less noticable in the ear? Same wire configuration--up and over ear?

I don't really like the required refresh of the foams every month or few with the e2cs, and would really appreciate the silicone flange I think. The plastic plugs are unconfortable.

Originally I had my doubts about the high price for the first few weeks but I noticed that since using the e2cs I don't like to listen to my Logitech Z-560 speakers as much as the e2cs, their highs are soo much better. Bass on the e2c can't match the 400watts but this is offset by a large margin.


Bought an e3 a month ago and within a week I sent it back to Shure because the left channel was gone. Shure sent me a new replacement and within a couple of days the right channel was a problem. The signal comes and goes if I play with the base of the plug connected to my player. I just sent it back again and I hope I get a good next time. I am very happy with the sound but if the third one is bad again I will have to give up on Shure product.

Matt - Sorry for the extended delay in response.

MP3s are mostly at 192, AACs are the same. I'm in the USA, and I use the clear flex sleeves... but I came back here to see if you had any updates on releasing the softer sleeves or triple flange sleeves for the e2. :-)

As for comment about ecost... usually has them at a better price, and if you follow, there are usually coupon codes to get them much cheaper. :-)

Just got my Shure E2C headphones, and find the sound superior to my Sony MDR EX71SL. Spent 30 minutes getting the right fit and found the large size foam inserts fit me best. I just want to listen to music all the time now, as the sound is not tiring at all. The Sony's would always fall out in the gym, but these are very secure in my ears. Now I must order a Mini Ipod.

Just popped in to find out about the EC2's (along with half the iPod community!) and was after a bit more detail of the actual music people are listening to and how they classify their use?

It's apparent that the phones are very well liked but the application could make all the difference!

I want to listen to music such as the Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, Eminem, Nirvana, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy to name a few common ones (anything from grunge to hip-hop) on my iPod. Most encoding is 160bps VBR, coming in around 170-180.

I am happy listening to this on the home system via the dock but want phones for flying, gym, as well as keeping sound *in* at night time.

I am far from an audiophile but like a clear, weighty, warm sound to my tunes.

Are these for me?! TAI!

I just got an e2c and a 4G iPod. The headphones are great, no complaints. I haven't compared them to anything else, but I don't think I would want to anyway.

1 Question for Matt or anyone else familiar with it. I know the frequency response is a bit lower on the mid-hi. What is a good EQ setting in iTunes and iPod to counter this? I am not really into diff EQ for diff types of music, just this one issue, I am using lounge right now.

JC: We have samples of the new sleeve, but we have some small changes to make. Our schedule at the moment looks like they'll be ready and shipping by the end of the year. You know - just before Joi's E2c blog entry turns two! :)

darkside: I have talked with many users who have described scenario's much like yours, and many of them are very pleased with their E2c's for that kind of music and those applications. If you buy direct through (in the U.S. only) you have a 30-day money back guarantee if you're not satisfied. So you're covered if you don't like it.

vickabu: I haven't played with the EQ on my ipod very much. I switch my earphones so often that I usually try to listen for the differences from unit to unit, so I leave the EQ off. I tried the lounge setting and a few others after reading this, and I think I like the treble booster setting for use with E2c.

Thanks for the feedback Matt!

I found a set of these, brand new, on Ebay (UK) for £44 so I couldn't resist. I promptly shifted my 'standard' earbuds for £16, which offset the cost even more. £28 outlay. Nice.

First impression was that they didn't fit so well and lacked bass. I played around and now the fit is great and I can explain the bass!

It's not really a 'lack' of bass compared to my other 'entry level' headphones as much as a full spread across the frequencies. After 5 minutes on the e2c's, I popped my Sony behind-the-head-band jobs back on and was startled - the bass was about the same but sounded like all other frequencies were being played through cotton wool! The sound prescense on the Shure's just fills out the frequency range but bass is still rich and strong. With a bit of listening, you can tune in to the bass on the Shures and they sound mint.

As for comfort and sound deadening...
Last night an incessant house alarm was sounding in our street. After struggling to block it out with a pillow, I remembered the 'phones. I stuck 'em in, sans tunes, and fell back asleep. I woke up this morning with the 'phones still in my ears - fortunately, my girlfriend heard *her* alarm clock ;).

At the moment, I will agree with the statement made in this blog title - the best headphones I have ever used too!

Can't wait for my next long-haul flight and an uninterupted chance to listen to my 4G iPod on the E2c's!

Has anyone tried the Shure E2 or E5's on a motorcycle? I have a Harley and would like to know if I can throw away my old ear protectors and get good sound at the same time. Any thoughts?

Hi Matt,

Was wondering if you had heard of any people using these to listen to drum and bass which includes alot of very low frequency tones. I read on reviews that the e3c arent to good if you listen to bass heavy music but im unsure on how the e2c's perform in that regard.

Kind of hesitant to pay over 100 bucks for a earplugs hard to find info from people who used them to listen to dnb or jungle.

Matt: Hmm i can't find a single website that is based in Canada and sells these things.

I dont really feel like orderign from the US just to pay 30 bucks shipping plus taxes since no one can send it as a gift and not declare a value.

So what to do? Is there any dealers within Montreal that carry these? Any idea seems next to impossible to find them anywhere...

Isnt that dangerous? you wont be able to hear cars or people on the road if its as good as they say.

And I am definately going to get me a pair of these when i get my Iaudio M3l sometime soon.

Hi. I stumbled on this blog and think it is very helpful. I plan on buying an E2c for my IPod I just ordered. I have a question for you Matt. You said that if the headphone is damaged we can get another one for $55? Is that only for the two year warranty or for life? Also what qualifies for a "legit" reason. In the warranty on the Shure site it says:

"Shure is not liable for any incidental, special, or consequential damages. If this Shure product has any defects as described during the warranty period.......
This warranty does not cover abuse or misuse of the product, use contrary to Shure's instruction, ordinary wear and tear, an act of God, or unauthorized repair."

What other reasons is there to turn the product in than those? I hope to hear from you.

stef: use caution wearing these on a motorcycle. Because they block out sound like earplugs - but can also provide sound for you - it can be distracting. We don't recommend it, but many people have told us that they use our earphones while riding motorcycles.

vortexdr: E2c has great low end. It's the strong point of the product.

Dan: try It's our Canadian distributor.

Arzola: During the 2-year warranty if there is any product defect it will be replaced at no charge. If you cut it with a scissor during that time it will cost $55 to replace it. So bascially most failure modes are covered by the warranty (free replacement), but intentional damage is not covered ($55). After warranty expires it will cost $55 to replace an E2c regardless of the failure mode. I hope that clears it up.

Matt, thanks so much for answering so many questions. A few hours ago I was set on the Ety' I'm set on the E2's (and happier about the price), mainly due to price/performance factor, but also that they have better bass than the Ety's, even though maybe not the best.

Maybe you could produce another user specific model that could have a special bass boost feature or increased bass response? I'm a huge bass buff. I don't like to hear it too much, but so much of the quality of a song depends on the beat. I wouldn't be worried about this, but I'm getting a Zen Touch soon. I've currently got a Sony Discman D-E251 with Digital MEGA BASS and some Sony MDR-E828's, and I swear that has the best bass (and other frequencies, makes my 128kbps MP3's sound like the CD) boost I've ever heard. All the equalizers in the world couldn't do what this seems to do. If there's any way you could produce an on cord chip/switch for something like this, I think it'd only improve the phones. But you still have a great product.

Your continued support has been phenomenal, something rare these days. Definately a breath of fresh air. It makes me happy that smaller, less noticeable companies are working so hard to give their customers wonderful products (and support!) for a price that makes them a best buy. Assuming I love these, as I'm sure I will, I'm definately going to be recommending them to my music-buff-buds. I haven't been to your site yet, but you should link to this page as a good search/read for help/questions about your products.

Thanks again!

I found this site just prior to purchasing my Shure E2C's and it really helped in my decision to purchase them. I have had several oppurtunities to use these since receiving them and I am nothing short of amazed at these little wonders. I will say at first I was not liking them, but it was due to the way they were seated in my ear, and that was user error. Once I figured out the right ear piece and read the CORRECT way to place them in the ear, I fell in love. Thanks to all that have contibuted comments here, I myself found them very helpful.

Actually I went for the E3c's, after hearing of bass mudiness. I really do wish they were a bit more bass-powerful...and I'm not entirely sure if they were worth the 120$ I payed for them at I prolly should have gotten the e2's. These are still great, however.

I use earphones to listen to music while xcountry skiing and biking on trails. With all earphones I've tried so far wind noise is a big problem. Many models even amplify this noise. During cold weather the wires become very stiff and make things even more uncomfortable. Like using a cheap vinyl garden hose in January.

How do the e2c fare in windy and cold conditions?

Matt, if you're still looking in, test these things outside when it's cold like in Canada in Jan. Tell me the wires aren't vinyl and I'll be sold.

Hi Jos. The E2c cable is a rugged PVC, so it is vinyl. As the temperature drops to around freezing (it's currently in single digits here in Chicago) the cable will become slightly rigid. I talked with people who ski or snowboard with our earphones, and they typically tuck the earphone cable down the back of their shirt and out the bottom to their player. The cable is 60 inches long, so there is usually adequate slack/length.

Regarding the wind issue, even though our earphones go in the ear to isolate outisde sounds, stiff winds will cause vibration on the outside of the earphone that could be audible. It won't be as bad as a non-isolating earbud because the wind won't be fluttering around in your ear.

just wondering, has there been any progress on the softer sleeves or triple flange sleeves for the e2?

wow Matt, i can't believe you're still replying after 2 years!

Ray: I'm happy to confirm that the new soft flex for E2 is shipping. There is an assortment bag, it's called PA749A. I think our web price is $7.60. Here's a link:

I can't believe it's been two years. It's been a fun ride so far.

I just received the E2c model as a birthday gift from a friend, and I must say, I will be thanking this friend for years to come! These are quite simply the best earphones I've ever had the pleasure to use. I'm also quite fascinated to see that Matt, a bona fide Shure employee, has been on here helping and answering questions for two years! This really speaks to the quality of not only Shure products, but also Shure employees. Really, hats off to you guys who worked on these earphones. There are not enough good words for me to say about my new E2cs!

My ear canals are very small, so I've had trouble in the past with regular earbud type earphones, which really make my ears sore after only half an hour or so. These have been a dream. The smallest size flex sleeves provide a decently comfortable fit that is still a great improvement over typical earbuds I've used before. But the foam earplug style sleeves are just perfect. I use the smallest size; they fit perfectly in my ear and I just forget that I'm wearing them. The sounds quality is fantastic; the range is beautiful and the response is very good. On top of that, they just look damn cool. Smart design is everywhere around this product; even a little thing like having the cord go over and behind the ear is such a nice touch that has me wondering why nobody ever thought of that before. It looks great, feels great, and most of all sounds great. And at under a hundred dollars, I think it's the wisest personal audio investment that anyone could ever make. Very sincere thanks to Matt and everyone else at Shure for making a truly perfect product.

I ordered e2c from the Canadian distributer. They arrived 3 days later. I tried on the plastic sleaves they ship with. The sound was poor and the fit was uncomfortble. Then I switched to the foam sleaves and wow. Comfortable for hours, they stay put, incredible sound isolation and the sound is just fantastic. Today I tried them skate skiing with a breeze and so little wind noise it's almost eery. (see entry 307 and 308)

Matt you're selling your product short. In windy conditions these are as good as it gets. All I have to get use to is not hearing people who try to speak with me even when I turn the volume to 0. One has to come out. That and no longer being satisfied with my lower quality mp3 files because I hear the compression artifacts. Reminds me of when I bought my first Shure record cartrige and I had to get rid of all my scratchy vinyl albums.

I never regret buying quality.

I have a bit of a problem i'm hoping you could help me with.
I have a friend who is a pretty hot dj, and very well known locally. Unfortunately, he has been told that he's going to go deaf if he keeps playing with loud monitors etc..
I read in a dj mag somewhere about some new in-ear headphones which would allow him to play, but at majorly lower volumes.

Any ideas on how he should go about this, and what recommendations would you have? It seems you lot know what you're tlaking about, hence this post.


Hi Matt, Joi & All
Just had to add my comments on my brandspankingnew E2cs that arrived a few hours ago -just my initial reaction...which is, WOW! These are **SUPERB!**

Took me about 15 minutes playing with the different sized rubber tips (haven't even got to the foam yet)...settled so far on large (must have an empty head!), then off to a couple of favourite CDs (on a Sony D-NE900) -Future Days by Can, and a compilation of Siouxsie. Great solid coherent soundstage,wonderfully tuneful & organic sound, BASS I could feel in my jaw, and detail & separation I haven't noticed before (on a series of pretty dang expensive Sony buds/NUDEs). My 'test' simply ran on into the most enjoyable listening session I've ever had on my portable. E2c = LOVE EM! Forgot I was testing -just kept listenin'...Can't wait to try some classical. I'll bet they're good on chamber music too. Thanks Shure & Matt (like others here, I am so impressed at your commitment & advice - last time I came across anyone so helpful was with Linn hi fi in Scotland, yonks ago when we all had vinyl). And thanks to this site, too - everyone's comments etc helped me a lot in choosing E2cs :)
Two questions I'd be grateful for some info on: is it worth getting the new supersoft tips? And should I stick to the same size? And does anyone have some advice re headphone amplifiers? I read in your blog, Matt, that you used to use a Supermini. I've been looking at Head Room's Airhead, but the SM is smaller and it worth getting an amp for the E2cs? Not so much for the volume, but for the sonic treats (if any)of driving them with their own source...Many thanks for your help!
(oops...sorry for the long first post!)

My first post got swallowed, so here's the short(!) version :)

Got my E2cs yesterday, & I can only say WOW! They are superb! Spent a happy fifteen minutes fiddling with the tips (tried the foam but didn't like em, so using the cute clear rubber) then onto some test CDs: Siouxsie, Can, Cream & Emmylou it enough of a compliment to say I simply forgot I was testing within the first 20 seconds and just happily carried on listening: solid, spacious soundstage, a real organic musicality that had me grinning, & *great* separation (so much easier to follow every musicians lines) and DETAIL I just hadn't noticed before (on several Sony Fontopias/NUDEs that always left me unsatisfied) -Ginger Baker yelling something satge right on Sunshine of your Love f'rexample, BASS that rattled my jaw when I got the fit right...and, hey, you're right! I don't have to have the vol on full to get involved.

My thanks to posters on this site who really helped me in choosing E2cs, and especially to you Matt -I have been so impressed by your commitment, advice & willingness to help/listen to your consumers. That's rare, and really quite sincere thanks.

OK, forgive me for two last questions (sorry, long first post: the new soft rubber tips - advantages? Worth trying? And (almost over!) - I've been wondering about a headphone amp (Airhead from HeadRoom -$149) - would it have any sonic treats used with E2cs? (I use CDs on a Sony D-NE900). Phew...sorry bout that! It's all over! Thanks for all your help, suggestions & advice.


OOPS-now my first post shows up!
'Pologies for putting up two!


I just bought a pair of E2c's off Amazon a couple days ago. I should be getting them in a couple days. After reading all the great comments here, I'm wishing I had paid more for shipping! :(


I would like echo the views of another person who posted above like 2 years ago...nice to know that people in those corporations actually care about us..anyways i was looking for ear phones to use while biking, walking and just general listening....i was wondering how dangerous is it to use these noise cancelling ear buds while biking and some one said that they normally cancel loud droning noises not sharp noises like horns, is that true? Furthermore if these are not suitable, do you know of any products (from Shure, or from any other company) that offers high quality sound without noise cancellation?

Thanks in advance

Hey all, I've been looking at all these comments and reviews on the E2 headphones and i think I'm going to buy them this weekend. Where can I get them in singapore besides the apple store. They charged like way too much at the apple store. Thanks...

david: lots of DJ's are using isolating earphones rather than headphones or traditional floor monitors. Check this:

But protecting his hearing is not limited to performing, he should also be using custom earplugs when he is in loud environments. I've been going to shows and mixing bands for over ten years and I was foolish for the first few years, not wearing hearing protection. It was only when I began working here that I started taking hearing protection seriously. Luckily it wasn't too late for me. Have your friend call Sensaphonics ( and get some custom earplugs. That's the first step. For performances he could substitute headphones or floor monitors for earphones, but he still has to keep the volume in his ears down.
I hope that helps.

steviebee: Thanks so much. The soft tips for E2 are more comfortable than the clear tips, so lots of people are using them now. I find them easy to put in, and for me they stay in place when I move about. I have heard some people say that for things like jogging or working out the soft tips do not stay is as well. I have also hear people say that they don't isolate as much as the foam.
As for headphone amps, I've used lots of them. With the E2 the super mini (which is now discontinued, I think) opened up the high end just a bit and helped reinforce the low end punch. E2 already has a big bass response, the super mini served to bring life to the upper frequencies which in turned made the bass seem a bit more powerful. If your CD player doesn't have a line out a headphone amp won't be as helpful, because the headphone out of the CD player will serve to color the sound. A line out is preferred.

Fahad: Our isolating earphones will drown out most sounds if you have music playing at a moderate level. If you listen at a really low level you may hear some outside sounds, but there's no guarantee.
I wish I could recommend you something that isolates, but as of now your best bet is probably a non-isolating earbud. Many people who like the E2 but don't want the isolation have switched to the Koss KSC-35 or KSC-50. It's a sport clip type that sits on the outer ear and supposedly offers a pleasant sound. I haven't heard them yet.

Paul: I don't know of any dealers, but you can contact our Singapore distributor and ask them:

I own a pair of E3c earphones and have done for some time now, and they are incredible, the only problem I have with them is that after a while the grey silicone buds become slippery and slide off the the earphone itself and get stuck in my ear when I am trying to take the things out. Any suggestions? And where can I buy more ear buds from in the UK as shure themselves wont ship to the uk from their site.

hi people please help me!!! i have just bought these headphone and it is awsome but if i look closely i can see there are bits inside the headphone where the front and the back join has got white bits like its cracked or something and it is on both earphones please help!!! i dont know if anyone else has got the same thing or is it faulty? thanks alot!!!!!

I've been thinking of getting a new pair of headphones for my iPod Mini. I've taken a look at all the types of headphones and came to this conclusion (based on my internet research):

Canalphones (in-ear-phones): Best quality sound usually. Since Canalphones are able to eliminate outside sound without bulky electronic filters they provide excellent clear and crisp sound. However, often they lack in bass. Also, they can get very waxy since they're right in your ear canal. You also have to be careful about volume since it's so close to your ear drum. They can be quite expensive depending on which brand you buy. Very professional but has its drawbacks

Headphones: These are rather bulky and are outside of the ear. There are a few types, some that completely cover the ear or "open-air" models that don't even attempt to block off outside noise. Open-air models are much less bulky but don't block off nearly as much noise. Regular headphones have varying quality depending on what brand you choose. Usually, however, they have better bass than most other types of headphones. Also, these ones are the most comfortable.

Earbuds: In between regular headphones and canalphones. They rest in the ear but not in the canal. They don't offer as good quality as either canalphones or regular headphones but they are the most easy to use. They are not bulky and don't require the 5 minutes it takes to adjust canalphones into the canal.

Personally, after reading dozens of reviews on various types of headphones, I think I'm going to get the Sennheiser PX-100. It got great reviews on multiple sites and at around $50.00-60.00 it's not too expensive.

I have the Sennheiser PX-100. I also have Shure E2Cs. I purchased them both at the same time because I was so torn. While they both are for listening to music or playing games, these two are totally different beasts. The PX-100s are fine for a quiet room where, and in cases the people around you don't mind hearing your music. They have virtually no isolation and leak a lot of sound. Their sound quality is excellent, and they have a shocking amount of mid bass. Still, though, they are not in the same class as Shure E2Cs in pure fidelity.

If properly fitted, the Shures E2Cs have a far deeper reach in the lower bass. They isolate the outside almost entirely from the listening experience, and the outside cannot hear your music either (isolation goes both ways). They also have a much more detailed type of sound that makes hearing of static and artifacts from bad MP3 encodings inevitable. It's like one can almost hear the growling of the vocalist's stomach in the quiet spots and the like. But on the flip side of hearing stuff that you'd rather not, one can also hear some fantastic detail in good recordings that simply cannot be heard with the PX-100s.

For casual listening in a quiet environment where privacy is not a concern the PX-100s are nice because they are easy to slip on and off and sound really quite good. My wife uses them exclusively because they are not so "sonically intrusive" which rather frightens her about the E2Cs. For high-intensity listening or for listening in a noisy environment like an airplane, the E2Cs blow the PX-100s away sonically.

Has anyone tried out the E2G? If so how do they compare to the E2C?

I purchased a set of e2cs for my dell axim x51v pocket pc
to listen to mp3s and after listening to them il never buy another set of headphones again unless there shures.

Is Matt still around?

I really really wanna know - what's the difference between E2C and E2G sonically?

Hello Wakaka and Paul H.

Sorry for the delay in response.

There is no difference sonically between E2, E2c and E2g. They all feature the same driver (speaker) and the same enclosure, the color is the only difference.

Where does one link into the $55 replacement for the E5c by shure, anyuone know?

I am working on a lithotripter with high decibels which has caused hearing loss at 4 KHz levels. Will E2c help? How and where do i get it in india?

Is the $55 replacement for e series headphones, only for US customers, or can Canadians also use the $55 replacement fee after the two year warranty

I have a iPod Nano. Could you tell me at what Bitrate should I listen to music ?
I generally listen to Indian music.
I have my mp3 files encoded at 128kbps.
I am very much interested in buying shure E2C.


I've bought a E3C. Is it better than E2C really? I can't compare them because I have E3C only.

Folks, have had the E2's for about a year now and love them, especially for riding my motorcycle. One problem - my ears are very waxy and I am going thru the wax guards like crazy. $9-10 per sheet is incredibly expensive for these things... is there a place to get them cheaper? Thanks in advance for responses... hdxlcowboy

The E2Cs.. did NOT fit under my motorcycle helmet.. my Er6's fit perfectly with no problems tho. unfortunately... they just crapped out on me..

I wish i could try a pair of E5's to see how they fit under a full face helmet. The E2s are too bulbous and big for that use though...

I received my e2c's yesterday and after reading this whole blog I started fiddling with the various options and once I found the ones for me (foam or soft black rubber tips) I have to agree with everyone on here regarding the sound qualilty!!

I never knew there was so much detail in the music!! My ipod is the best invention ever, but with the e2c's it takes the whole package to a new level. Amazing sound, amazing fit, cool looks, blocks out all external sound and no need to go higher than about half valume on the ipod. Can get em for 45 quid delivered in the UK ... don't even try anything else, just buy these.

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July 25, 2003 3:39 AM

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So, I ordered Shure e2c headphones after my third pair of Sony MDR-A35s in as many years had one ear stop working when the cord got yanked. I'm a little wary about owning a $99 pair of headphones, especially for... Read More

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Budding earphone geeks may find this Wired article on in-ear canalphones of interest.

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