Brett Burney is the Legal Technology Support Coordinator at Thompson Hine in Cleveland, Ohio. He regularly reviews products for Law.com’s Automated Lawyer and Law Office Computing Magazine. Feel free to e-mail Brett with your legal technology questions
Shure Sounds Good!
I wouldn’t consider myself a snobby audiophile, but I do like my earphones to sound good. I’m tired of buying cheap pairs of earphones and phone headsets. I’ve finally found two great products from Shure that suit my taste perfectly..
| Shure has been making professional audio products since 1925. You can find their products on most stages today and in the ears of many musical artists.
Fortunately for us, Shure has ported that same technology down to the consumer level. That’s where the E3c Sound Isolating Earphones come into the picture.
The “sound isolating” part doesn’t refer to a specific technology, but rather to the way that the earphones actually fit into your ear. The E3c “earbuds” slide into your outer ear canal, thereby cutting out extraneous sounds from your immediate environment and properly funneling music into your brain.
“Sound-isolation” is not the same as the popular “noise-canceling” technology that has received a good amount of attention in recent months. The Shure E3c earphones do not produce extra noise to cancel the outside din and therefore don’t need any batteries (unlike their noise-canceling counterparts).
The only hurdle I had with the E3c earphones was getting comfortable with the way they fit into my ears. Shure includes a “fitting kit” with the earphones that includes several different replaceable plastic, rubber, and foam ear-pieces so you can find the perfect match for your ears. I tried several and decided the foam inserts worked the best for me.
Once I got used to the feeling of the E3c earbuds sticking in my ears, the sound was a complete and total reward. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything else sound quite this good. Because the earphones block out all other sound, all you have left is beautiful music. I was literally mesmerized with what I could hear from familiar CDs and songs. I had never heard my music sound so good before.
You can tell that Shure takes their earphones serious because they even include a user’s guide for them (a user’s guide for earphones!). It provides pictures on how to properly insert the E3c phones into your ear. This is important because they go in sort of upside-down and the wire wraps forward and over your ears. It’s hard to describe but works amazingly well once you get the hang of it.
Shure also includes a marvelous hard-shell case for the E3c earphones. You wrap the cords around a little plastic spool on the inside which is an excellent way to keep everything untangled.
Lastly, if you’re curious about the E3c earphones, you can try them out without a worry because they come with a 30-day money back guarantee. This usually helps people get over the $179 price tag a little bit easier. It certainly helped me because I didn’t think I would ever pay that much for a pair of earphones. And while you might be balking at the price tag too, I am here to tell you that these are just some of the best sounding earphones you will ever have the pleasure to use. The price is completely worth it if you care at all about how your music sounds.
Phone Home with this Fantastic Headset
| If the E3c earphones were not enough, but Shure produced a phone headset based on their amazing audio technology. The headset is called the QuietSpot because of the way that it literally blocks out sound around you.
It’s been a personal quest of mine for some time to find a good-sounding, perfect-fitting headset for my phone. I don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled phone so a wireless headset was out of the question. I came across the Shure QuietSpot and have determined that my quest is finally over.
The Shure QuietSpot looks a little big by today’s standards, but its size allows it to be functional. The main part of the QuietSpot looks like an enlarged hearing aid. The earpiece sticks out and gets inserted into your outer ear canal just like the E3c earphones above.
When inserted properly, the earpiece blocks out all surrounding sound so that you can hear your conversation without any strain whatsoever, even in noisy conditions like a car radio or a windy day.
The microphone boom extends about 4½ inches and comes with an optional foam wind blocker that you can slip on the end. All of the plastic on the QuietSpot is slightly translucent which gives it a very cool look.
The performance of the QuietSpot is amazing. With previous headsets, I would have to hold the microphone in certain sweet spots so people could hear me correctly. I would also have to sometimes hold my hand over my ear to hear the other side. With the Quiet Spot, I am free to use my hands for other things and both sides can hear perfectly.
It took me a few tries to get the QuietSpot to fit comfortably in my ear, but I soon could jam it in easily and flip the rubbery ear piece over my ear just fine. I was impressed with how well the QuietSpot stayed in place. I could turn my head quickly as I drove, checking my blind spots, and the QuietSpot didn’t budge one bit.
I think the QuietSpot is an excellent bargain for $49.99, especially when you get such a high-quality product for the price. People don’t pay much attention to their headsets, but just think how annoying it is when you have to talk to someone that you can barely hear because their headset is just crappy. You owe it to the people that call you to give them crystal-clear sound with a product like the QuietSpot.