We’ve panned many noise-canceling headphones that mask noise from the outside world by generating noise of their own. Shure has a much better solution: Its E4g earphones plug your ear canal and block outside noise. Even better, they sound fabulous.
Rock stars who use Shure’s earphones to monitor their on-stage performance benefit from a custom fitting. Consumers have to settle for Shure’s “fit kits,” which contain plugs in enough shapes, sizes, and materials that anyone should be able to find a pair that’s comfortable. Push the plug onto the stem of the earphone, insert the bud in your ear canal, and the outside world all but disappears . Finding just the right plugs is crucial to getting the most out of the E4g phones, a conclusion we arrived at while playing Call of Duty 2. The wrong plugs can be uncomfortable after extended wear, or they can slide out of position. Reseating them while listening to music is no big deal, but taking your hands off the keyboard in the middle of a firefight can be disastrous.
Once we’d found just the right set, we conducted several more hours of testing with a variety of audio CDs and games. The E4g earphones sound brighter than many headphones we’ve tested, but that doesn’t mean they don’t produce adequate bass (if your soundcard offers a “headphone” setting that can boost the low end, we definitely recommend using it). Listening to Primus’ Pork Soda audio CD, we were particularly impressed with how adeptly these tiny earphones delivered the shredding cello solo from “Mr. Krinkle.”
The E4g earphones are incredibly comfortable, surprisingly effective at cutting outside noise, and capable of delivering delectable audio. We highly recommend them.