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The problem with portable music players is that the earphones that ship with them are invariably rubbish. That in itself isn't an insurmountable problem, but the fact that the vast majority of users just use the earphones that come in the box, means that they are never really experiencing their player or their music collection as they should. This is a shame because the selection of high quality third party earphones has never been greater, and you don't have to pay the earth to experience a massive improvement in sound quality.
As with most products, you can spend as little or as much as you like on earphones and to a certain degree, you really do get what you pay for. I still maintain that the Shure E500PTH earphones are the best that money can buy, although you'll need a fair bit of money to buy them at around £300 on the street. That said the near identical Shure SE530 set (sans PTH module) can be yours for as little as £215, but that's still a huge outlay for most consumers, and probably more than they paid for their player in the first place.
With cost in mind, I was very impressed with Shure's SE210 earphones, which combined impressive sound quality with affordability. The SE210s carried a retail price of £99, but can be found on the street for around £70 online now, making them an attractive proposition for anyone who wants to improve the sound quality of their player without breaking the bank.
But now Shure has taken things a step further when it comes to affordability with the SE110 earphones. The SE110s represent the new entry level for Shure and to all intents and purposes, directly replace the hugely successful Shure e2c set. Although the £69.99 RRP on the SE110s looks a bit steep considering the fact that the SE210s can be had for a similar price on the street, a little bit of digging turned up a street price of £54.99 for the SE110s already. So you can expect these babies to drop below the £50 mark sometime soon.
So, what we've got with the Shure SE110 earphones is an affordable upgrade option from one of the most respected names in the audio industry, which can't be bad. But as always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or the listening, and the SE110s do hold true to the adage that you get what you pay for - to some degree at least.
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