One of the first things I realized about my PSP usage was the need for a decent pair of headphones. I love to play with the sound turned up, but am usually playing in public or around others who would not necessarily like to be disturbed. I had tried a fair number of earbuds and headphones but had been unable to find the perfect pair. When Shure announced that they were introducing a gaming line of their highly regarded and popular sound isolation earphones, I had to get a pair to try out.
I managed to get my hands on a pair of the high-end Shure E3g headphones for testing, and have to say that I’ve been loving them. Retailing for $179US the E3gs are the midrange earphones in Shure’s gaming line. Like most of you, when I first saw the price I didn’t understand why someone would pay $200, or basically the price of their PSP, for a set of headphones. After using them for a couple of weeks now I realize how wrong I’ve been.
The E3g earphones use Shure’s leading edge in-ear sound isolation technology. Basically this technology entails the usage of rubber or foam tips to seal off the ear canal from outside noises, creating an earplug-like seal. Unlike noise canceling headphones, this does not require the introduction of other negative frequency sounds to cancel out outside noise. Instead this technology allows full fidelity audio, while still blocking most of the outside noise from reaching your ears. Having been wooed by the Bose booths in the airports I was a little bit skeptical on how well these would work, but I have to tell you that I was more than impressed.
In testing these earphones I put them through a number of trials that would best duplicate all of the places I listen to music and game. The most impressive being my playing in the living room while the TV was on. I was able to game with virtually no bleed through of the TV noise. I actually continued to play for an hour of so forgetting that the TV was even on until I turned off the PSP and heard it. All in all these earphones were able to block out the ambient noise at home, in the car and on the bus; quite impressive.
I also tested an assortment of audio types ranging from podcasts to music to gaming. The sound quality that came out of these little earphones was nothing short of amazing. I’d become accustomed to the sound that my old headphones put out, and had forgotten just how good portable audio could sound. The frequency response was great all the way from thumping bass up to the high end; these earphones literally did not miss a beat. One nice side effect of using these earphones was that they didn’t require me to turn up the volume quite as loud as I was used to. This helped to remove some of the sound distortion that occurs at high volumes, but still allowed me to enjoy my music while riding home on the bus; a noisy bus I might add.
The only thing that puzzled me with these earphones was my initial fitting. Shure ships the E3gs with a pair of foam sleeves and sets of both the Flex and Soft Flex Sleeves in small, medium and large. It took me a little bit to find a perfect fit, but only after visiting Shure’s website did I notice that these earphones are meant to have the cord run over your ear. When I was using them and letting the cord run down I would constantly shift the cord, breaking the seal in my ear. Once I found out about the proper usage, I quickly found the proper sized sleeves for my ears.
I also loved the fact that the E3g’s come with both the soft and regular flex sleeves, as I have switched back and forth a few times now. The varying sizes also allowed me to let my wife try them out. Her ears are a fair bit smaller then mine, so the flexibility to change out the earpieces when needed was nice.
If you are looking for a great set of headphones for your gaming or music needs, I would heartily recommend the Shure E3gs. If price is a big issue for you, the E2gs retail for $99. I haven’t personally tested them, but I hear that they are a great set of earphones as well. Personally I’m going to be investing in a pair of these myself, I enjoyed them that much.
Unbeatable sound clarity
No need for batteries like most noise canceling headphones
|Buy the Shure E3g from Amazon||Link|
I haven’t been able to find a set of headphones that perform as well for the price as these.