Seriously, these things are outstanding. I was ready to buy a pair of ER6 etymotics but I HATE HATE HATE those hair-thin cables because I use my headphones to work out etc and they get tangled and broken easily. And I wanted the option of several diff earpieces, so the Shures made sense. But everything I read said the E3C just isn't quite in the same league so I figured I had some extra $ in my paypal acct and spent the $170 on the E4C. Dear GOD these things are nice. Even off the iPod headphone output... can't imagine what they must do with a decent headphone amp.