I have EC2 and recently gave these to my wife and bought a pair of EC3s. They are better, more isolation, clarity improved and bass extension was better. I wouldn't go crazy in pusuit with this though theres only so much purse you can make from a sow's ear. BUT this little micro system saves me when I am traveling on business, especially long plane rides.
The farther you go up the headphone/earphone chain you will likely require an external headphone amp of some sort (e.g., any from Headroom) to take advantage of any improved sound reproduction capabilities. You would also be urged to rip using a lossless format or you will easily notice sound degradation due to compression.
Hi Warren- IMO, the answer is yes you will hear the diff (I did with Ety 6s) but I would not go to far up the line, esp. if you use the Nano as portable, travel type music or background at work. If you go to a high res earphone, you will be able to hear the limitations of the format and machine more and more clearly.
My wife owns one and swears by her AKG K71 cans. I prefer my Sennheiser PX-100s. Either set blows away the stock buds and really, really surprised me as to how large the improvement was.
Agree with all above, I went for Ultimate Ears Super Fi5 (2 way driver system).
This was my fourth set of ear buds before settling on these.
My first were the Apple buds (suck), second was the next to most expensive Shure, then the best Shure and then the Sennheiser CX300 before settling on the Ultimate Ears.
Don't let anyone tell you these headphones don't sound radically different, some have serious inconstancies in tonal balance and on some music make the iPod unlistenable.
The Ultimate Ears (to me) have low distortion and a pleasant top end. They don't like the bass boosted nor do they need to be played at high volume to sound balanced. They are not impressive on a 30 second audition, but have staying power to last through a two hour workout without making my ears hurt.
Even with lossless files and moderate volume the iPod can be brutal with bad phones.
I'll go for the Shure E3C. Should be able to nail them for $100 (maybe less?) on Ebay. Thanks guys.
swampwalker, it appears, from the reviews, the ETY6is are soncially superior to the Shure E3Cs. Construction wise, the Shure seem to be the winner. Hey, brand spanking new with delivery they were $40 less than the best price I could find on the E3C Shures. Got to better than the cheapo buds I'm using, now.
Returned the ETY 6is the same day I received them. Very disappointed. Going for the wireless by WI-Gear.
i have travelled a similar path. upgraded earphones make a huge difference, and i would strongly suggest you check out options among Westone's alternatives. The UM2 was one of my favorites. I tried just about everything that Shure had to offer, and didn't care for any of them.
All of that said, unless you are planning to (1) use an external amp (even a very small one) and (2) rip in a lossless format, i wouldn't invest heavily in fancy earphones as your upside will be very limited.
warren- Sorry you did not like the Etys. Mine are 6, not 6i although I will confess that I do not know the diff. Jeffreybowan2k makes a good point about limited improvement, but I found that the isolation the Etys provide was a big factor, esp on a plane or at the gym. I am not expecting hi-end sound. It does take some time to figure out how to insert the little suckers to get the seal you need for proper bass.
I tried that jammy over and over and I believe I had a good seal. No bass. I mailed them back to the Ebay seller and he said he won't take them back or refund my $$. We're doing the Paypal Resolution center route. Won't bore you with the details, but he says that I should go to the manufacturer for a refund. Give me a break..
I ordred my wireless WI-Gear headphones. Had them for a 30 day trial this past summer. I loved them. Absolutely great, but interference due to a US Coast Guard station on the path of my run, was a negative that took the wind out of my sail. Hey, I'll suffer the 1.5 miles. I do have another 4 miles of my run and perfection. Have other routes, as well...
Sorry you were not happy with them. Glad you have a good altaernative.
He made good on the refund, and I wound up with an apology. Fancy that. He listened to the earphones and found that they were truly lacking in bass and were probably not defective, but just plain ole poor in the bass. whattayaknow. He is refunding my $$. I thought that was a lost cause.
I spent the weekend at Head-Fi Conference in San Jose trying out a variety of in-ear cans (Shure, Westone, Ultimate Ears, Crossroads) and found that you can go all the way up the line and get better sound, even with my ripped 192's on the nano or Shuffle, EXCEPT that the Shure SE420 and SE530 are so revealing on the top that it becomes a mixed blessing. The top-of-the line can's from Westone (including the new #3) and Ultimate Ears sound awesome even on nano and Shuffle. Generally I was blown away at the progress in sound quality at Shure, Westone and Ultimate Ears, and on the cheaper end the Crossroads UMB and UM2 sound remarkably refined and very enjoyable at the $45 mark. ($45 might be the introductory price, not sure)
Oops, the Crossroads models are called MB and M3. Not sure if they have a distributor yet in the U.S.