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Shure E3c delivers music directly to your brain

Got an iPod? Need better sound quality? Got money to burn? Check out the latest in-ear, noise-cancelling earphones from Shure

When choosing a digital audio player, people are all too quick to forget the importance of a good set of headphones. As impressive as the iPod is, its accompanying earphones don't do it justice.

If you're as serious about audio as Crave is about gadgets, you'll be very interested in the Shure E3c. We blagged ours on Friday afternoon and, seeing they were part of Shure's premier sound-isolating range, we decided to take them to a club on Saturday night, so we didn't have to listen to the cacophony of noise the DJ referred to as "bangin' choons".

Like all in-ear earphones, they feel extremely weird to new users. They don't just hang above your lobes, they're designed to sit just millimetres from your ear canal, which to us feels disturbingly close to the brain. They come with an assortment of sleeves, including some self-moulding ones, so we quickly found a comfortable fit.

We can't criticise the design, though. The minute we tried them on, all outside noise was a distant memory, and the badly synthesised pop blaring from the club's speakers was no longer a distraction.

We fed the E3c some of the latest Kanye West, and although we were literally dancing to a different tune, we enjoyed hearing every word of Golddigger without having to crank the volume up to obscene levels.

Being a Shure product, the E3c doesn't come cheap. It has an RRP of £115, but you can find them for around £92 online if you shop around. If you have the money, you could always go for the top of the range E5c, which retails at £315. That, or buy a second-hand car. -RR

Update: a full review of the Shure E3c earbuds is now live.