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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Battle of the Buds

3. Shure E4g "Gaming Edition"

Key Features: The E4g features High-Definition Drivers with Tuned-Port technology to deliver premium-performance, ultra-wide range audio complete with brilliant highs and extended bass. Optimized for compatibility with the Sony PSP TM and other portable entertainment devices, including MP3, DVD and CD players, the E4g incorporate the same precision components utilized in the original E Series to bring incredibly accurate sound, with remarkable isolation for the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Speaker Type: High-Definition Drivers with Tuned Port Technology
E4g Sound Isolating Earphones feature High-Definition drivers with Tuned Port Technology for incredible audio reproduction. The E4g's Tuned Port design improves airflow around the driver to deliver professional-grade sound with extended bass response.

E4g Technical Specifications:

Speaker Type: High-Definition Driver with Tuned Port
Sensitivity (at 1kHz): 109 dB SPL/mW
Impedance (at 1kHz): 29 Ohm
Cable Length: 1.42m (56 inches)
Net Weight: 31g (1.1 oz)
Input Connector: 3.5 mm (1/8") gold-plated stereo plug

Design: he E4g Earphones are also an in-the-ear design. What is a little unusual is that the tips (either silicon gel or foam) are actually angled to go into the ear canal. Shure packages the E4g’s with six different size tips and compressible foam inserts. So you are sure to find the right fit.

These headphones are designed as passive noise canceling phones. When inserted properly, you get the sensation that you are under water. Every movement you make, every move of the cord or your clothes reverberates – but the outside world is shut out completely. Shure also recommends that these phones be inserted upside down with the cord wrapped around the back of the ear. It took a little getting used to – but they eventually were easy to insert. There is a great video on the Shure website illustrating how to insert them.

Sound Quality:These headphones are a little different from the rest in that they are designed especially to take advantage of the low frequencies and dynamic range of portable gaming devices. Can they be used for music? Absolutely. The sound quality of these phones is not to be believed. The bass was full and tight. I was amazed by the low frequencies I was hearing with these headphones. The highs were clear, the separation was great and the vocals were smooth as can be. I did not hear the detail like I did with the Altec Lansing’s, however – but the over all sound seemed more balanced and full. To be fair, these are $300 Headphones and I would expect them to sound incredible for that kind of money!

When I hooked these babies up to the PSP, things just got better. The special effects in both games and UMD movies were incredible. It was like having surround sound inside of my head.

Comfort: I am leery of putting things in my ears. Because of the unique way these in-ear phones sit in the ear and because of the wide array of choices in sizes of the tips, I was able to find a very comfortable fit. It took a little while to get used to the sound isolation, but once I did, I found I could wear these phones for extended periods without feeling any discomfort.

Conclusions: I don’t know how to judge whether a set of headphones is worth $300 – but these are incredible. The bass, the detail, the fit, the quality are all outstanding. They just sounded amazing.

Over All Grade : A

Pros : beautifully designed, comfortable, great sound quality, fullest bass of any headphone (save one)

Cons : pricey, somewhat awkward to insert correctly

vailable at for US$319.00

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