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Old 26th July 2005
Here for the gear
What kind of sound do you want? Do you want exaggerated bass or do you want well-balanced sound?

I have some Sony MDR-EX70's. I think they were around $40. Very surprising sound for the money. However, they do have an exaggerated bass and a little tizz in the high-mids. Overall though, I like them and recommend them to anyone shopping in this price range. They are very comfortable to wear for extended periods. They are also very small and almost invisible if you are wearing them on the street.

Second, I have some Shure E2's. The downside to these is that they are a little unusual in the way they are worn and do take a little getting used to. After insertion into the ear, the wires go up and around your ear, then behind it. The good part is that they are extremely polite and nice sounding. They are extremely well balanced, no exaggerated bass, mids or highs. The wires are thick and low-noise. I got the "pro" version at Guitar Center for around $80. If you see some E2c's (consumer version) at some electronics store, the only difference is the packaging. If you are constantly takings your buds out of your ears and reinserting them, I think that you may not be happy with the E2's as it is not an easy task. The Shure e2's are very visible for street wear.

If I were buying another pair of earphones today, I would go for the Shure E4's, based on the fact that I love the smooth sound of the E2's and the E4's are reputed to have better sound and a higher level of comfort. However, they are $300.