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Shure versus Ultimate Ears--Ask the Editors

Editor Jasmine France answers a question regarding which set of earphones is the best for an iPhone user.

UE 10vi Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Q: I just want your personal opinion on this as a CNET editor of music devices and accessories. Let's say money is not a factor. I am wondering which of the below is the best option (I have an iPhone 3G and love to listen to music): the UE 10vi, the UE 10 Pro, or the Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Headphones. Keep in mind I own and am very comfortable with the fit of the Shure SE110 Sound Isolating headphones, and Shure SE210 sound isolating headphones. Thanks.--Ashwin, via e-mail

A: Given that you are listening on an iPhone, I would recommend a set that either has an inline mic built in or an attachable accessory. This turns the headphones into a stereo headset, which is appropriate for both listening to music and taking phone calls. Taking this into account rules out the 10 Pro.

Shure SE530 Shure

The 10vi has an inline mic and call answer button, whereas the Shure SE530 offers an optional accessory, the Music Phone Adapter (MPA), which adds a mic and call answer button. Both sets offer comparable (which is to say spectacular) sound quality. I would choose the Shures only because the earpieces are a touch smaller and will sometimes even stay in my ears, and since you have had good experiences with the fit and comfort of Shure earphones before, these ones should suit you well. Personally, the earphones don't fit me at all due to their massive size.

MP3 Mailbox Monday is a recurring feature where I answer a selection of questions about MP3 players and accessories, such as headphones, speakers, and music services and software. Check back often to see if the advice presented here might be of some use to you, or send your questions directly to me. (Note: We never include last names, but if you prefer to remain completely anonymous, please state as much in your e-mail.)