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Shure E5c Earphones
The price of the E5c might shock you. We’re talking about price per cubic inch
on par with, say, solid gold bars.
This is Shure’s top of the line model, and it comes in iPod-worthy packaging – a
metal cube with fun little inserts. Do you get what you pay for?
Style and Design
They certainly don’t have the same bling-bling as the equivalent amount of gold.
In fact, they look a little “stylish” in a 90s sort of way, before Apple
figured out the right way to do translucent electronics.
Design-wise, they are identical to the E2c, so check out
that review for specifics. The cord is a bit thicker and harder to flex which
can be annoying. But that’s because there are twice the cables in there. The
little spacecraft lodged in the middle of the cord where the splitter goes is
actually a crossover. A crossover?
That’s right, Shure has crammed both a woofer and a tweeter in each tiny
earpiece, in order to provide a fuller range of sound. And they are incredibly
efficient, too, meaning you don’t have to crank up the volume to hear them. In
fact, they are so efficient that Shure includes a little volume attenuator for
use on airplanes so you don’t accidentally blow out your eardrums.
But how does it sound?
Sound and Listening Tests
How can I describe the way the E5c’s make me feel?
You just have to hear it to believe it. I get a little childish grin whenever I
listen to music on these things. The bass is thumping, the high end is bright
and detailed (almost, almost as much as the ER4P), and the midrange is warm and
In short, if you want these, you’ll have to pry them from my cold, lifeless
hands. I’m not sending them back. We’re running away together and you’ll never
Comfort and Fit
Shure decided to “improve” on the cable design by adding these little wraps near
the speakers with a metal rod so the cord near your ear maintains its shape.
This is, in my opinion, a totally annoying and unnecessary gimmick. I think
Shure just wanted to slap a feature on them that would set them apart for
people that can’t hear the obvious sound difference.
I took an X-acto knife to mine and now they're much better.
One thing I should mention is that Shure has come up with a rubber earpiece that
actually works on this model, at least for me. The smallest gray-colored
earpiece fits perfectly into my ear and creates a great seal very easily, and
sounds just as good as the foam!
Also worth mentioning is the way the driver sits up inside the ridge of your
ear, instead of sticking out like the Etymotic models. The E2c is also like
this. It is just fantastic because you can lay your ear on a pillow or against
an airplane seat without dislodging the earphones or shoving them in far enough
to cause brain damage.
My new favorite thing to do is listen to these earphones on my iPod while
falling asleep at night. I wrap the cord around the back of my head with the
little sheath, and I can’t even tell they are there.