Summary: Have had these buds for a couple ears now. The sound is very clear but lacks some bass. Had a chance to try out some e530's, which put these to shame (expected given the price differential).
I had to send back my original pair b/c of a fraying wire. Shure has some unbelievable customer service. They sent me a new pair immediately after receiving my old ones.
Summary: Looking for something better than the Sony, over-the-ear headphones I was using with my 5th generation 30-gig iPod, I went and tried these out. One of my co-workers had a pair of the Shure E2c headphones that he brought into work and let me try out. Once I got them to fit properly, I really did like how they sounded. I thus decided I wanted to go a step up and get the E3c. The models beyond the E3c were getting beyond what I wanted to pay for a pair of headphones.
Summary: Most people that would be interested in these buds are people who listen to portable audio devices. I use these headphones with an iPod. It's true they are quite a step-up from the buds you normally get with an mp3 player or disc player and they do make what you listen too sound good if not better. I have read what most reviewers have written about how thin the sound is from these Shures and at first I thought the same thing.
Summary: The Shure E3c is a cool, if pricey, pair of headphones for portable audio. The sound quality of the Shure E3c is very good, but not mind-blowing. Its midrange is its greatest strength, with very little distortion evident, and very high transparency. Bass and treble are good, but a bit lacking in the frequency extremes. It doesn't sound as "airy" as, say, a good pair of large Sennheiser headphones (like the HD430 I've had for 15 years).
Summary: Pretty good sealed earphones, but a bit pricey. Sound is generally clear, but highs are definitely muted. Sensitivity is good. Isolation from the environment is good, and they come with a wide variety of plugs to fit your ear.
Excerpt: Perhaps I have strange ears. Perhaps that's it and I'm a freak. Either way, I've always had trouble with earphones, finding them uncomfortable, easily broken and lacking in both sound quality and the blocking of external noise. This was my typical experience with the default earphones I had received with every music player as well as those in the £15 range that had been a necessity of my childhood...
Pros: Exceptional comfort, Durable protective case
Cons: It's a high price for high levels of quality .
Excerpt: Ive had these headphones for probably a little over a year now. I was actually allowed to try before i bought them. First impressions were very good. Sound quality was high. Bass response was good. Very light. Ambient noise is mostly shut out by their snug fit(if fitted properly) Now the first thing you will notice about these headphones is that they are inner ear headphones.
Excerpt: Had these earphones for a year now and they have been fantastic. The sound quality can only be beaten by the E4C or E5C. Very good tone and bass range. The only two minor negatives i could suggest is that the small cylindrical end piece of the earphone is removable and may snap off causing damage if you dont use the supplied protective case! (If they do snap off, use Loctite superglue).
Summary: Upon trying the e3c's for the first time, I encountered the arguably archaic earphones and cables. However, after some fine-tuning I was up and running with the cables nestled under my ear in a comfortable position. One thing that struck me right away was the look of the earphones. Even though they will be the smallest parts of your listening system, these 'phones look very, very respectable. Onto sound quality.
Pros: Great sound quality, build quality, look
Cons: Not a bunch of bass, lower codec'd songs didn't sound all that great