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(Pocket-lint) - Up until the time of writing this review I believed that the only real way to block out all general noise while listening to your MP3 player was to invest in pair of noise cancelling headphones. It seems I was wrong.

While the noise cancelling option is a good one, the main problem is that it involves donning a rather large set of headphones on your head to achieve the desired affect. In steps Shure an earphone manufacturer that promises to offer the same results as the noise cancelling option but with considerably less baggage.

The company’s offering is a range of earphones under the E series. The primary differences between the four products in the Shure E Series, that ranges from 2 to 5 relate to micro-speaker technology is that each model employs and the sound quality associated with that configuration.

The E4cs incorporate the same precision components used by professional musicians to monitor their performances onstage and are equipped with High-Definition drivers and Tuned-Port technology-two to create an ultra-wide frequency soundstage with smooth, brilliant highs and extended bass.

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Without wanting to bore both of us to death - what this means in the real world is that rather than noise cancelling, Shure’s approach is noise isolating. This is done by offering a selection of soft or flexible sleeves that you can personalise to fit your ear. The box is packed with them in fact with everything from foam, to rubber to a slightly sticky silicon.

Shove them in your ear hard and deep enough and as you can imagine you won’t be able to hear a damn thing - and that’s the basics of how they work. Once the isolation is in place, the earphones merely get down to what they do best - producing a decent sound. That’s exactly what they do.

Of course there are drawbacks to the whole process. For one you’ve got to be prepared to lodge the buggers into your ear pretty hard to get the full effect and this may be off-putting to a number of people. Fail to get them positioned correctly and the results can be disastrous. At first, miss-placement made us believe that their was no bass to the sound, while pushing them too deep meant a lovely and appetising ball of wax came out with them when we were done (not helped by the fact that the plugs are white).


You can tell from the thickness of the 1.5 metre cable, the small padded case in which to store them with, and the plethora of ear sleeves and jacks, that this earphone set means business from the outset.

Get past the worries of what your mother always told you about shoving things in holes that you shouldn't and the E4c are a very impressive set of earphones indeed.

But then at the price of most MP3 players you would hope so. Amazing, but probably too expensive for most.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Editing by Adrian Willings.