Known Johnson

October 2, 2007

Headphone dust

Filed under: General — Tom @ 7:56 pm

My favorite headphones bit the dust Monday, or, more correctly, sometime between Friday at 2:30 and Monday at 7:30 or whenever I actually plugged them in. And, to be completely correct, only half of them bit the dust – the right headphone no longer works correctly.

Shure E3C

These things are wonderful – Shure E3C in-ear headphones. For the year prior to getting these, I had a pair of Etymotic ER6i in-ear headphones, which were also very, very nice. The headphones I used at home during that time, a pair of Sony EX51 in-ear headphones (do you sense a trend here? I like my in-ear ‘phones) finally died after a long, loving life supplying sound to me. They had been surpassed greatly by the Etymotics and so I decided that I deserved something good at home. The Etymotics came home after a pair of the above Shure ‘phones arrived.

While the difference between the Sony and Etymotic headphones had been like VHS vs. DVD, the difference between the Etys and the Shures is quite a bit more subtle. It’s more like choosing better shades of color – there really aren’t any, it’s just what suits your needs and moods. The Etymotics are extremely clean and clear while the Shure are also extremely clear but also boast a bit more bass, making for absolutely the best listening experience I have ever had – the Etymotics were not far behind, however.

Well, as of this morning, I’m carrying my Etymotics back and forth from work every day again, and I have to admit that I’m kind of enjoying the change in sound just a bit. You know how it goes – you make a subtle change and suddenly new things appear in the sound spectrum. So it’s kind of fun to listen through these at work. In the meantime, my Shures will be in the mail back to the company to take advantage of their excellent 2-year warranty. So, while I’m let down about the problem, I’m at least glad there’s a great warranty backing their product.



  1. The sound quality of the Sony in-ear headphones is fantastic, but I went through three pairs of those because the coating kept wearing off the cords, exposing the wiring. This happened with all three pairs, and a the same thing happened to a friend of mine. How about you?

    I may have to look into those Shure in-ears (after the dust has settled from the wedding, of course). Currently I’m getting by with a decent, inexpensive pair of Sonys, but nothing beats the in-ear ‘phones.

    Comment by Chris — October 3, 2007 @ 5:37 am | Reply

  2. That didn’t happen with mine, but I did read about it happening. Mine just mysteriously died in one earphone, like my Shures, and mirrors an incident a coworker had – his Sonys died one ear at a time, too. We both only used them at work, so perhaps if you use them while moving about the wires became exposed due to friction. Not a good design, definitely.

    I’m very curious to see what I get from Shure. I just looked at their site and it turns out the line mine are from are no longer in production. I wonder if they’ll be giving me an upgrade to their new model, which I read are actually even better sound quality? (!)

    Comment by Tom — October 3, 2007 @ 7:31 am | Reply

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