Today, I went to Gravis, a store selling all things from Apple and equipment for it. Because I just sold my iRiver SlimX iMP 550, I wanted to check out the Apple Ipods. There was one other major reason why I went to Gravis. They had all Shure earphones there for customers to try. Because Shure earphones are extremely expensive, I wanted to test them. I myself only own a pair of Sony’s MDR-EX 71 SL.
I first took a look on an iPod nano. It felt pretty nice on my hand and the handling was very intuitional. I plugged the Shure E4c (~ € 250) in and listened for a while. Somehow, bass was missing. The sound was pretty clear but there was no bass. I was used to a clear and nice bass from my Sony 71, but I didn’t hear any on the Shure E4c. So I went to the EQ setting of the iPod nano and set it to “more Bass”. Now, I could feel a little bass in my ears, but nothing compared to my Sony 71. But then suddently, I could hear how the bass was scratching. The iPod nano seemed to reach it limit when trying to put just a little more bass in the sound. How dissapointing is that? My iRiver had so much more deeper bass. Wait, maybe it’s because the earphones… I took my Sony 71 from my pockets and plugged them in. There it was, some bass, still not much compared to my iRiver though and still scratching. How can people listen to this? It hurts in the ear! Maybe the iPod nanos look good, but they are lacking something very important, sound quality!
Next was the iPod Video. I plugged my Sony 71 first in this time. The sound was definitely better than the iPod nano, but still, not enough bass. So I turned the EQ to “more Bass” again and listened. Bass volume inceased a litte and unlike the iPod nano, there was no scratching in the sound. Compared to my iRiver, the iPod Video sounded more like a low class product. Now I plugged the Shure E4c in and listened. the bass was gone of course, but the highs were more clear. But with that little bass, it’s no product for me.
I wanted to give it a last try with the Shure E500PTH (~ € 600). These earphones cost more than my notebook, so I definitely wanted to try them out. After listening to them for a while, I have to say that they sound really good, maybe because of the noise cancelling, but still, they are lacking bass. For € 600, I’d expect the thing to have a miniature subwoofer.
In the end, I have to say the Sony MDR-EX 71 SL may not sound as good as the Shures in the highs, but they have some real bass, which is more important to me (and they are way cheaper). As for the iPods, they really suck. My cousin bought a PSP and I listened to some music on it and it sounded way better than the iPods. Now I finally have a reason to make fun of all those iPod users.