Shure E3C or Ety ER6i?

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Ok everyone, in front of me are two of the best pairs of earphones $200 can buy. The Shure E3C I purchased for $99 (retail $179 www.shure.com) and the Etymotic ER6i I got for $129 (Retail for $149).



They sound the same to me, though I am no audiophile, however I am attempting to develop the gift. The Etys are great because they have white cables to match my iPod and there is a plastic ring on the headphone jack to prevent that sound of my iPod drive spinning from going into the earphones like I hear with the Shures, but for some reason the Shures sound a bit better to me and fit a bit better. Has anyone had any experience with one or both of these earphones? I really like the white cable and plastic-ring feature of the Etys but the EC3's foam sleeves seem to feel more comfortable.



I know that these things are usually objective, just looking for some input from those who have used both. Thanks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    First, good choice in earphones. The E3c's sound is nice and warm; with incredible clarity. They hit the mids and highs like no other earphones (better then their more expensive 5 series with dual drivers). However The iPod is to underpowered to drive the Shures properly. I notice to achieve any sort of decent bass without distortion I had to turn off the Equalizer and never have the volume to its max. This of course is not what I consider optimum so I pawned the iPod off on my brother. Besides the iPod got horrible battery life never above 5 hours. To achieve the quality of music your looking for in E3s you are going to have to use a portable amp like this or buy a better MP3 player, may I suggest the Archos AV400 (FANTASTIC sound output).
  • Reply 2 of 21
    I haven't actually listened to the ER6i yet, but I hear they are quite "flimsy" in comparison to the E3c. I love the E3c. Who cares if the cable isn't white. I'd much rather have a nice thick cable over that garbage cable on the ER6i. Shure did everything right with the E3c. Great sound, value, quality. Keep the Shures and drop the Etys.



    Ps. I think the iPod drives the Shures just fine. Not great, but nothing to squawk about.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Yeah, I'm leaning towards the Shures right now. I've been swapping each all day in my ears and between different devices. I figured out a way to get rid of the iPod hard drive spin up noise while using the Shures (scotch tape baby...oh yeah). And the Ety cables are indeed very thin, I feel like I'm going to break them every time I swap foams and flanges. And the Etys only have a one year warranty, meaning if they do fall apart, they better be within the first year. The Shures have a 2 year warranty, and they are close (Chicago) so I know service shouldn't take too long.



    The Etys do seem to separate the various components in sound better where as the Shures do have a "warmer" sound to them. The bass on the Shures seems to be much better than the Ety's too. If only they had a white cable (I think the E4c's that Shure announced today do), but looking at the Ety's cable, it's more of a beige than an actual white, which I think looks cheap. So I think it's going to be the Shure's, especially since I only paid $100 for them.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    IMO, the ER6i sound better than any of the in-ear phones under $200, but they really are sort of fragile. I like how they provide triple flanged inserts by default so you don't have to order them for additional money.



    If you are hard on your equipment, go with the Shures, otherwise go for the Etymotics.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    Relic, I'm not sure you like anything Apple. In the last 2 month's alone I've seen you bash just about every item you own made by Apple and offer some POS pc product. I'm not sure why, but it bugs the crap out of me and I'm calling you on your shit Mr. Gates Okay I feel better ..carry on.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SQUÅSH

    Relic, I'm not sure you like anything Apple. In the last 2 month's alone I've seen you bash just about every item you own made by Apple and offer some POS pc product. I'm not sure why, but it bugs the crap out of me and I'm calling you on your shit Mr. Gates Okay I feel better ..carry on.





    Wow, good for you on calling me on it. You?re absolutely right; but just towards their consumer products. I just think they?re cheaply made and are not worth the exuberant price Apple is demanding for them.



    Look, I really like Apple professional computers but I also like and use other types of computers. At home I have a Sun Blade 100 (Solaris), HP d530 (Ecomstation), Dual G5 2GHz (Yellow Dog Linux), Powerbook 12inch (OSX) and a Sharp laptop MP30 (NetBSD/WindowsXP). I really can?t say which one I like the most, but in these forums people will worship and defend Apple even with the threat of being beheaded. This is the part that makes me lash out, using multiple types of architecture and OS?s gives me a little more of broad spectrum of what?s good and not good. I give the suggestions not based on any Apple hatred but on knowledge that a different product will fit the thread question better.



    In this thread the question was about the Shures earphones. I have these earphones, I had an iPod and I have a device, which would fit the user better. The iPod is not a powerful MP3 player, it just isn?t. The Shures are spectacular sounding earphones, which require a certain amount of power to drive them. The Archos is not a POS PC component; almost every PC or Audio magazine agreed this to be the best thing since slice bread. It can power the Shures just fine; take the Pepsi challenge for yourself and if you do not agree I?ll give it to you.



    I also happen to be in a financial situation where I can pretty much buy whatever I want tech wise; I don?t waste that opportunity down one road. I go wherever the new tech fever takes me, so in a way I could be a good resource for your future purchase.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    cj3209cj3209 Posts: 158member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    Wow, good for you on calling me on it. You?re absolutely right; but just towards their consumer products. I just think they?re cheaply made and are not worth the exuberant price Apple is demanding for them.



    Look, I really like Apple professional computers but I also like and use other types of computers. At home I have a Sun Blade 100 (Solaris), HP d530 (Ecomstation), Dual G5 2GHz (Yellow Dog Linux), Powerbook 12inch (OSX) and a Sharp laptop MP30 (NetBSD/WindowsXP). I really can?t say which one I like the most, but in these forums people will worship and defend Apple even with the threat of being beheaded. This is the part that makes me lash out, using multiple types of architecture and OS?s gives me a little more of broad spectrum of what?s good and not good. I give the suggestions not based on any Apple hatred but on knowledge that a different product will fit the thread question better.



    In this thread the question was about the Shures earphones. I have these earphones, I had an iPod and I have a device, which would fit the user better. The iPod is not a powerful MP3 player, it just isn?t. The Shures are spectacular sounding earphones, which require a certain amount of power to drive them. The Archos is not a POS PC component; almost every PC or Audio magazine agreed this to be the best thing since slice bread. It can power the Shures just fine; take the Pepsi challenge for yourself and if you do not agree I?ll give it to you.



    I also happen to be in a financial situation where I can pretty much buy whatever I want tech wise; I don?t waste that opportunity down one road. I go wherever the new tech fever takes me, so in a way I could be a good resource for your future purchase.




    Sorry, I don't agree that the iPods are not a 'powerful' player. I use the Etymotics 'older' er6 and the er4s/p and couple that with a Headroom Total Airhead amp with my iPod(http://headphone.com/layout.php?topi...tID=0000010001) and the sound rivals a very decent home stereo system. I've listened to the pc players like the archos and iRiver models and they are 'louder' but they don't sound any better than the iPods. I think if you use a good headphone amp like the ones from Headroom, and listen to good headphones like the shure or etys, you can't go wrong.



    Using a pc-based mp3 player vs. the iPod, now that's open for discussion...



  • Reply 8 of 21
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cj3209

    Sorry, I don't agree that the iPods are not a 'powerful' player. I use the Etymotics 'older' er6 and the er4s/p and couple that with a Headroom Total Airhead amp with my iPod(http://headphone.com/layout.php?topi...tID=0000010001) and the sound rivals a very decent home stereo system. I've listened to the pc players like the archos and iRiver models and they are 'louder' but they don't sound any better than the iPods. I think if you use a good headphone amp like the ones from Headroom, and listen to good headphones like the shure or etys, you can't go wrong.



    Using a pc-based mp3 player vs. the iPod, now that's open for discussion...









    If you would of read my original post I mentioned either replace the iPod for a more powerful one or get an amp. In you case you bought an amp, which is what I would have done as well, and yes the sound does rival any home stereo. But without the amp your Etymotics will not have nearly the base or clarity.



    As for using a so-called PC MP3 player vs. an iPod.



    Lets discuss;

    I can use it on ANY computer that has a USB host.

    I don't have to format it to use it on a different OS.

    I can see my music once the drive is mounted without using any special software or command line.

    I can give people my music from my player.

    It's Linux so I can install custom software.

    I doesn?t scratch or smudge when I breathe on it.

    I can play movies.

    I can see photos.

    CF card built in to offload photos or data.

    No proprietary connections.

    Faster OS for color

    Better sound.



    It is heavy however.

    I can't play ITMS files. (There is no store in Switzerland anyway)





    ahh ahh aah victim of hype!
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Ok kids, settle down...lol . Thanks for the recomendation Relic, but you would have to pry my iPod from my cold dead fingers (especially since it was held and signed by the beautiful Natalie Portman ) But yeah, I am pretty tough on my gear, hence why I am holding on to the Shures...plus Shure just released the E4C's yesterday so I am going to get those when they come out anyway. The reason I started looking around for new earbuds, was because I was shooting some footage for my documentary in the frozen tundra that is known as Lambeau Field during a VERY cold and windy day, so I realized I need SOMETHING, I will probably end up getting some studio monitor phones, but it got me thinking about the Shures.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by filmmaker2002

    Ok kids, settle down...lol . Thanks for the recomendation Relic, but you would have to pry my iPod from my cold dead fingers (especially since it was held and signed by the beautiful Natalie Portman ) But yeah, I am pretty tough on my gear, hence why I am holding on to the Shures...plus Shure just released the E4C's yesterday so I am going to get those when they come out anyway. The reason I started looking around for new earbuds, was because I was shooting some footage for my documentary in the frozen tundra that is known as Lambeau Field during a VERY cold and windy day, so I realized I need SOMETHING, I will probably end up getting some studio monitor phones, but it got me thinking about the Shures.





    Fine keep your lovable iPod; you should try an earphone amp like cj3209 suggested. Trust me it makes a big difference, the Shures are studio monitors designed to assist singers, which means they?re usually plugged into an amp. They need power, if you add the juice; you?ll make them the most addictive listening experience you have ever heard.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    The e3cs need juice?? What?? These are 30 ohm cans... I doubt an amp would make them sound much different at all. The Shure e2c and e3c earphones are both more 'efficient' than even Grado headphones.



    Those little packs musicians wear around their waists are probably less useful as amps than as mixers if they are using Shure earpieces.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    Quote:

    I also happen to be in a financial situation where I can pretty much buy whatever I want tech wise; I don?t waste that opportunity down one road. I go wherever the new tech fever takes me, so in a way I could be a good resource for your future purchase. [/B]



    Please let's not get into what you can or can't buy, and music is one of my things. I'm fine with my ipod. it's sounds perfectly fine for it's purpose. My home system is a built around Sunfire components and Magnepan speakers, so i think i know decent sound.



    I'm not sure your a resource for everyone. Most of all not me. Maybe I was a bit harsh, but in the last 2 month's you really haven't had much nice to say about Apple products. I'm not an avid defender of Apple. I hated my basestation(POS) My pismo had the dvd drive die exactly 1 month after the one year warranty. I've had my fair share of bad experiences. I do however know myoverall experience is superior to any pc i could own.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,071member
    I fast becoming an apple fanatic, but I was also dissapointed

    by the sound quality of the iPod (I have the mini).



    When listening via the supplied earphones, it sounds ok,

    but hooking it to a stereo (via a basestation and the

    monster cable stereo connection kit) reveals the

    shortcomings of the unit.



    Even using lossless compression, you get crappy sound.

    Much worse even than a $100 CD player. It was the

    first thing my wife noticed "why does the music

    sound so bad?" - I switched back and forth between

    a CD and the same CD read into the iPod via iTunes.



    I'm not sure why the line out would sound so much

    worse than the earphones, possibly they corrected

    output stage problems by tweaking the earphones.



    Or maybe my unit is busted.... But it seems to work

    fine otherwise.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by e1618978

    I fast becoming an apple fanatic, but I was also dissapointed

    by the sound quality of the iPod (I have the mini).



    When listening via the supplied earphones, it sounds ok,

    but hooking it to a stereo (via a basestation and the

    monster cable stereo connection kit) reveals the

    shortcomings of the unit.



    Even using lossless compression, you get crappy sound.

    Much worse even than a $100 CD player. It was the

    first thing my wife noticed "why does the music

    sound so bad?" - I switched back and forth between

    a CD and the same CD read into the iPod via iTunes.



    I'm not sure why the line out would sound so much

    worse than the earphones, possibly they corrected

    output stage problems by tweaking the earphones.



    Or maybe my unit is busted.... But it seems to work

    fine otherwise.




    If you want cd quality on an ipod, either put aiff or save at 320 kbps. it's not the ipod it's the quality you import at. Many people like to blame the player, but the bottomline is the ipod is capable of very good quality. You have to choose to put quality on it in order to hear quality out of it. That's the bottomline. Hope this clears up some confusion.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,071member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SQUÅSH

    If you want cd quality on an ipod, either put aiff or save at 320 kbps. it's not the ipod it's the quality you import at. Many people like to blame the player, but the bottomline is the ipod is capable of very good quality. You have to choose to put quality on it in order to hear quality out of it. That's the bottomline. Hope this clears up some confusion.



    I was talking about AIFF - you missed the bit about

    "lossless compression".
  • Reply 16 of 21
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by e1618978

    I was talking about AIFF - you missed the bit about

    "lossless compression".




    lossless is not the same as aiff, there are 2 different option in itunes one is called lossless ..one is called AIFF. I understood what you said, the question is are you sure you understand what I said?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    The e3cs need juice?? What?? These are 30 ohm cans... I doubt an amp would make them sound much different at all. The Shure e2c and e3c earphones are both more 'efficient' than even Grado headphones.



    Those little packs musicians wear around their waists are probably less useful as amps than as mixers if they are using Shure earpieces.




    Actually 26 Ohms, which is why it sounds week with a iPod. Shure is releasing the E4c with a lower Impedance of 16 OHM and the ETYMOTIC - ER6i are also 16 which make these ideal for the iPod. The E3's need a AMP with the iPod if the listener want's here the full potential, AND THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,071member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SQUÅSH

    lossless is not the same as aiff, there are 2 different option in itunes one is called lossless ..one is called AIFF. I understood what you said, the question is are you sure you understand what I said?



    If the compression method is lossless, I don't see

    how it would matter which one I use.



    You put the bit stream of the CD in, it compresses

    and uncompresses to provide the exact same bit

    stream out. The D/A converter will not be able

    to detect which lossless compression method you use,

    the PCM data will be identical.



    I am an audiophile, but even I don't think that you

    will be able to hear a difference between different

    types of lossless compression.



    In any case, I was using AIFF, and the sound quality was

    abysmal - try it yourself and you will see how bad it is.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    There is one sound quality difference, at least in a certain sense, between Apple Lossless and AIFF.



    If you play two tracks one after the other, tracks that don't fade to silence but which play through with constant sound from one to the next, using AIFF they will play smoothly in iTunes. With Apple Lossless, you'll hear a brief drop-out during the track transition.



    There's nothing inherent in the AL format that causes these drop-outs (there are some inherent problems with AAC and MP3), it's just an implementation detail in the iTunes software.



    (PLEASE - to those inclined to bring this up: Turning on crossfade with the delay set to zero is NOT the solution you think it is.)
  • Reply 20 of 21
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    e also make sure sound leveling isn't on or checked in itunes before you import or sound enhancer on. One last thing don't have the eq of the ipod on either. I'm not saying it's a perfect music solution, but i also don't and wouldn't ever connect it to my system. For a portable I'm happy.
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