Earphones, is there a more consumer neglected area of technology? It still drives me crazy to watch you lot out there feeling all smug with £200+ iPods, tapping your feet confidently to the tinny output from the bundled earphones you could better inside a Christmas cracker. Want to see just how extreme earphone technology can get? Just check out Shure’s latest…
The E500PTH is the company’s latest flagship buds and at £419.99 they are the Bugatti Veyron of the earphone world. Each bud features three miniature speakers – one tweeter and two woofers – and uses an advanced sound isolating design to block outside noise to prevent it from interfering with the audio and to allow listening at lower volumes.
The results are mind blowing with sensitivity rated at 119dB SPL/mW and impedance at 35 ohms. The frequency range is from just 18Hz all the way to 19KHz and the gold plated 3.5mm input connector isn’t that hideous atom-thick rubbish they just about spray onto most sets (apart from Apple’s of course, since they don’t even have that).
Furthermore the PTH in the name refers to ‘Push-to-Hear’ technology, an innovative accessory which lets listeners “alternate between complete immersion in their music or audio activity and a connection with outside ambient sounds”. In other words, the sound isolation is so good there needs to be an option if you need to hear cars passing, police sirens or those depressing ‘service delayed’ excuses on the tube. PTH is switch operated and works by activating an external microphone while lowering the volume of the music, but best just filter those depressing notices out methinks.
Eight pairs of sleeves come with the E500PTH’s to ensure a personalised fit, along with two modular cables, a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter for home stereo listening, a volume attenuator for airplane use and a zippered carrying case.
If all this doesn’t convince you to splash £420 then please, please at least upgrade the rubbish that came bundled with your player. I love my Shure e3c earphones, but even 20/25 quid will make a massive difference over what you’ve got and it will stop me laughing at you, which has got to be worth the expense.