One of my last posts ended with
More on that another time…
This time, I thought I should actually write more!
To start off, Shure are a brilliant company, I have nothing against them, and they make brilliant products. Not only in the microphone side of things – SM57 and SM58, two classic mics, but also with headphones. I’m not sure whether the whole headphone (esp. the noise
cancelling isolating variety) department is a new one at Shure, but they have some things right, and others wrong.
For starters, even if the headphone (or should I say earphone) department is flawed, then the PR/Customer Service side makes up for it. Then again, if you buy a product that doesn’t work well then you should expect a replacement or a refund, so on second thought; customer service is merely just doing its job.
Getting back to the point, I have bought or rather received two Shure products recently, the Shure SE210 noise isolating earphones, and the Shure MPA-3C adaptor. The former was a replacement for my Shure E3-C earphones that, well, decided to separate in my ear so the little rubber bit got lodged pretty far down inside… not good! The Shure E3-C earphones were a replacement themselves for a pair of E2-C earphones which frayed around the ear part and stopped working (that happened with two pairs). You might now be thinking that these headphones aren’t particularly reliable and not very good. Personally I don’t think this is the case. I was just unlucky with the first generation of earphones (I think the E2-C and E3-C may have been after all). At the end of the day though I keep coming back for a few reasons,
- I can’t afford Bose headphones.
- I doubt Bose headphones are better, I know their in ear ones aren’t.
- Sennheiser suck in comparison to Shure.
- You don’t realise how bad ‘normal’ headphones are until you change back and hear all the background noise.
- I don’t have to pay any extra to get them replaced, thus continuing to use them is a free option, unless of course they break outside of the 2 years, in which case I’ll be screwed. That won’t happen though, will it?
- They’re damn decent to listen to music through!
Overall, the E3-C headphones are very similar to the E2-Cs that I originally reviewed except that they sound better, cost more and hopefully shouldn’t break. They’re also modular, which leads me onto my next point, the Shure Music Phone Adaptor.
I knew my solution to the iPhone headphone socket problem was not going to be great and flawless for ever (even though it wasn’t particularly at the moment), so I splashed out on one of these bad boys, a Shure MPA-3C. I say splashed out, I mean that it cost me almost £50 to get it, that’s a lot for a cable, then again it has a Shure mic in it, which is generally a pretty good thing! It does make for an expensive headphone cable overall though at about £150! Summing it up in a few words, I would say that it does its job. It lets you use your Shure headphones (or any others in fact) with the iPhone. It will be a horrifically long cable when using anything other than modular headphones and even then the mic is far away from your mouth. It will also sound damn weird (and you’ll look really stupid) when you’re speaking to someone through them. I’m over it…
I would recommend both products to the iPhone user who cares about the quality of what they hear and wants functionality and style at the same time. The only criticism is that they’re quite expensive so you should work your way up through the various Shure products, getting them replaced one by one. Soon enough you’ll have the SE530s!