Question for NM re Shure E3's | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Question for NM re Shure E3's

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kaz

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Jan 10, 2006
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Hi NM.
Just a quick question, hoping you can answer. I'm looking to purchase noise cancelling headphones or sound isolating earphones for long haul trip, and I did a search and found a few of your posts regarding the Shure E3's (sound isolating)

I'm drawn to the E3's as I think I will find the over ear NC headphones far to bulky for me to even try to sleep them on my head with as I tend to turn my head sideways to sleep.

I'm unsure what 'sound isolating's means, however with the E3's can you listen to the in-flight movies through them but with better sound drowning out the noises going on around you and then also as have them on to 'block' sounds around you when trying to sleep.

From my research I've figured that the noise cancelling enables you to listen to inflight movies at a better quality but still allows cabin sounds, however do the Ec's do the same function in terms of listening to an inflight movie as well as blocking cabin sounds while trying to sleep.

On my last trip from Singapore to sydney, I had to press the audio headsets given out by Qantas hard up against my ears to be able to hear the movie, and that became really really annoying for a 2 hour movie.

Also, I'm looking to purchase 2 sets of E3's (one for hubby) so I really want to get the right info on what they'll do before I lay out a fair bit of money, and I think your the guy in the know for this item therefore any information you could provide would be great.

Thanks
Kaz
 

caggs

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Kaz,

I have just purchased and used the E3G's (same as E3C but in Black) for a trip to Hong Kong around China and back. The sound quality was excelent, so good in fact that I had to use the lowest volume setting (one above off), otherwise the movie was way too loud. The fit and feel of the headphones was quite comfortable and they certainly keep out the cabin noise. You will never stop the aircraft vibration coming through, but certainly the rest of the cabin noise.

I had no problem sleeping with them in - had them connected to the iPod and with some nice soothing music, had the best sleep on a plane in ages.

I used to use Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones, but the Shure E3G certainly beats them hand down.

Cheers
 

kaz

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Thanks Caggs for your reply.
Been doing further research tonight and think I will get the E3s for hubby and myself and the E2's for our teenage son who forever listens to his ipod so they will serve a dual purpose for them after the trip overseas.

One thing if you could reply, did you have to buy an adaptor for the input connector to enable to be able to use them on your flight, or does the 1/8" connector that comes with the product suit all airline input connections.

Were flying on Air NZ, so I'm unsure of their jack connections.
thanks
 

caggs

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Sep 23, 2006
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Kaz,

I bought the adaptor from **** Smiths (P6645 $4.98).

Dont know about Air NZ, I am sure others on this site will have the answer though.

I bought mine on eBay. Much cheaper than retail, even way cheaper than in Hong Kong.

Cheers

Caggs
 

kaz

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thanks Caggs for the heads up on the adaptor product code and for the price of $4.98 it's worth just buying it in case it's needed.
 

Maca44

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As a result of NM's recommendation I purchased a pair of Shure E3C and was more than impressed with the performance they provided and the noise it really did isolate. You receive various in-ear plugs so that you can obtain a good seal and after using the foam ones on a recent USA flight I have now found that one of the others provides a great seal also. I travelled in QF J Sky bed seat which has a three pin audio plug so you need an adapter for that, don't know about NZ. They block out considerable aircraft noise, including other pax talking but be warned as it was also difficult to hear the FA asking whether you want another drink.

Jands are the Australian importers of the Shure E3C. I had a bad experience when I purchased my first pair of E3C's on ebay, but Jands replaced them for me so must give them a rap. Jands
 

NM

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kaz said:
Hi NM.
Just a quick question, hoping you can answer.
Reporting for duty
kaz said:
I'm drawn to the E3's as I think I will find the over ear NC headphones far to bulky for me to even try to sleep them on my head with as I tend to turn my head sideways to sleep.
That is one of the big advantages for me
kaz said:
I'm unsure what 'sound isolating's means, however with the E3's can you listen to the in-flight movies through them but with better sound drowning out the noises going on around you and then also as have them on to 'block' sounds around you when trying to sleep.
The Shure (and Etimotic) in-ear models isolate external sounds through the process of sealing the sleeve with your ear canal. That stops outside noise from reaching your ear drum. The level of isolation depends on the seal you yet between the sleeve and your ear, and a good seal will provide in the order of 20+ dB of reduction of the external sound. This reduction is complete across the audio frequency spectrum

Active Noise Reduction headphones like the Bose QuietComfort, Sony NC range, PlaneQuiet etc have a small microphone on the outside of the headphones that pick up the external sounds and add them out-of-phase with the program sound (what is playing on the device you have connected to). Due to the time it takes to detect the sound and feed it back to the speakers out of phase and at the correct level, these devices are best suited to reducing the level of low-frequency constant sounds such as air conditioning, engines etc. They do not reduce dynamic sounds such as someone talking or a baby crying very well.

So the advantage of the NC headphones is that when the FA comes to talk to you, you can still hear them with the headphone on (assuming you are not listening to loud music). The disadvantage is that they can uncomfortable for sleeping and don't block out the more dynamic sounds.

Now these are the opposite for in-ear devices like the Shure E3. With these in your ears, you will not hear what the FA is saying and will need to remove at least one of them from your ears. If you are plugged into the aircraft IFE system you will still hear an PA announcements since they are fed through the IFE audio system. But if you have them plugged into an iPod, DVD player etc you may miss the cabin announcements.
kaz said:
On my last trip from Singapore to sydney, I had to press the audio headsets given out by Qantas hard up against my ears to be able to hear the movie, and that became really really annoying for a 2 hour movie.
You won't have any sound level problems with the Shures. They are very sensitive (meaning they produce a high sound level with low input level), and in some cases you may find it hard to turn the volume down low enough! This has the advantage that many cheap headphone amplifiers get very noisy as they operate at high gain level, so operating the amp at lower gain will often improve the signal to noise ratio giving you clearer sound.
kaz said:
Also, I'm looking to purchase 2 sets of E3's (one for hubby) so I really want to get the right info on what they'll do before I lay out a fair bit of money, and I think your the guy in the know for this item therefore any information you could provide would be great.
Yes, they are a significant financial investment. Note that some people find in-ear devices to be uncomfortable and it can depend on the shape of your ears. The Shure E3s come with a "Fit Kit" comprising different size and material sleeves. They also have available the disposable yellow foam type sleeves (one set included in fit-kit) that are like the compressible ear plugs. They will last for quite a few flights, but you will eventually need to replace these foam sleeves. They can be purchased in bulk packs and are sometimes available from e-Bay.
 

kaz

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

Thanks NM for your reply.
Do you happen to know what the pin type of the audio plugs is on Air NZ - economy seating. I'm thinking if you have flown Air NZ you may have noticed what the pin type for economy seating is if you've ever gone for a very quick 'stroll' to the rear section of the plane. ;)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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IIRC it is 3 prong in business, not sure about economy. From the NZ website

Active noise cancellation in Business Premier provides crystal clear sound
Implies only noise cancelling circuit in business. Not sure whether the wiring is there for economy but not supported by the complimentary headsets, or the wiring is limited to business.
 
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NM

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

kaz said:
Thanks NM for your reply.
Do you happen to know what the pin type of the audio plugs is on Air NZ - economy seating. I'm thinking if you have flown Air NZ you may have noticed what the pin type for economy seating is if you've ever gone for a very quick 'stroll' to the rear section of the plane. ;)
No, I don't know that. But I am sure Kiwi Flyer will be able to enlighten us.

I carry an adapter for the QF two-prong connections and the adapter fits inside my Shure zip case with the earphones. I have not had any problems on any OneWorld flights with using the E3s with either their 3.5mm jack or the QF-style 2-prong adapter.
 

kaz

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

thanks Kiwi Flyer
As I'm buying the Shure E3 which are sound isolating and not the noise cancelling type headphones - Would it matter if the seats in economy didn't have the noise cancelling circuitary. ??

Also, if business class seats audio is a 3 jack type prong, would you presume that economny is also 3 jack (but probably without the noise cancelling circuits)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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From memory the non-refit a/c (ie A320, 737, 767) all have 2 prong fittings in all classes. I presume a 2 prong plug headset in a 3 prong plug? IIRC the headsets are the same on all a/c in economy.
 

kaz

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

Sorry Kiwiflyer , but what does IIRC stand for ??

Also, are you saying that a 2 plug jack that I purcase at D**k Smiths will fit into the 3 plug fittings in the economy seat ?? So sorry for the questions but I'm a bit confused with plugs/fittings/jacks etc.
 

serfty

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IIRC, the two prong plugs will fit in the corresponding audio locations of 3-prong sockets. i.e. Same individual plug dimensions and separation.
 
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kaz

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

thanks Serfty.
Still don't know what IIRC stands for (& it's not my name) :shock:
 

NM

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When using a 3-prong socket, the two audio connections are the same spacing as the QF 2-prong adaptor and provide left/right audio. The third prong is either to provide power for the headphone's active noise cancelling circuitry, or to provide the microphone feedback for the active noise cancelling circuitry built into the seat.

Either way you can use the IFE system with any standard head/earphones using the 2-prong adaptor and ignore the third socket.
 

Maca44

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Re: Question re Shure E3's

kaz said:
thanks Serfty.
Still don't know what IIRC stands for (& it's not my name) :shock:
IIRC= If I remember correctly
 
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