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Old July 18th, 2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Low-priced earbuds

I'm looking to get some earbuds for loud environments and other situations where I need more isolation. I've always understood that the higher end Etymotic earphones were the way to go, but I'm trying to keep it down to $100 or so. Are the Etymotics in this price range worth getting? I'm leaning towards the Shure SE215s. Does anybody have advice for me?

Shure SE215 Sound-Isolating In-Ear Stereo Earphones SE215-K B&H
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Old July 18th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Low-priced earbuds

I've got a much older pair of Shure earbuds (E2 model). I use them for listening to music (and blocking noise) for air travel, and for monitoring audio at live events.

The problem with my older earbuds is that they have very little bass. Like none below about 200 Hz. :( Just yesterday, I was eyeing the SE315 models with Tuned Bass ports. I'd want to hear them first though. They might be tuned to compete with Beats(!)

The best features are that my E2s are robust and reliable and they block out noise well. For live event monitoring, they're awesome. They are small enough that people don't shun you. (Who wants to talk with somebody with big cans on their ears?) Also, you can pull one earbud and open yourself up to the environment. So they're stealthy and flexible. They might not give you full range sound, but they let you hear if you have a signal and if it has an obvious problem (bad clipping, poor connection, wrong mic setup...).

A disadvantage is that the cables are a bit stiff and can transmit sound to the earbuds. I use a paperclamp to attach the wire to my collar to isolate things. It's also a nice safety feature if you're using a single ear setup and the single bud falls out - it will stay off the floor and connected to your shirt.

I can only assume that the SE215s beat the E2s handily.

I don't know that they'll meet your expectations in the bass department, but I would think that they'll meet your production needs.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 06:05 AM   #3
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Re: Low-priced earbuds

You could also wear over the top for more blocking.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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Re: Low-priced earbuds

True! You can wear earbuds and put noise canceling headphone on top (with no audio signal) and get a very quiet result. Noise canceling in headphones can harm sound quality, but it won't affect the sound from the earbuds.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: Low-priced earbuds

That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.
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