Shure E2 canalphones

Silence is golden.

I love listening to music, and I get very bored on long journeys. Combine these with the fact that I've been to the US three times so far this year and I had to get some new noise blocking or canceling headphones.

I ended buying some Shure E2s just before my last trip. They are much quieter than the Sony's, and sound better (but not as good as my Grado SR-60s), with good but not overwhelming bass and a sharper mid-range. In an effort to fit most ears they come with three sizes of flexible plastic sleeve, and three different foam sizes. I ended up settling on the small foamies, because the flex-sleeves ranged from uncomfortable to painful. I never forgot that I was wearing them, but they were acceptable enough to keep me in a private world for all of a 9-hour flight.

Overall, I'd recommend the E2 if you need the noise reduction. The Sony's are great if you just want something very portable that won't easily fall out of your ears, and the Grado's are fantastic if you're sitting still, there's not much external noise, and you don't mind everybody being able to hear what you're listening to.

(Incidentally, the E2 is exactly the same canalphone as the E2c - only the packaging is different. I got mine from Handheld Audio).

This page is It was first published on Friday 11 July, 2003 and last updated on Friday 11 July, 2003.