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Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm Not Going Deaf I'm Shure

Anytime I’m away from my desktop you can rest assured that my iPod is connected to me.   I never thought I would get as attached to this piece of hardware as I have.  I’m obsessed!  In the gym, running outside, cutting my grass, in my cage and yes, on my motorcycle.  

The whole iPod revolution started (with me, at least) out when Apple released the Mini.  It was a cool gadget and while the nay-sayers cried that no one would pay $249 for a four-gigabyte mp3 player especially when you could get the 20Gb version for fifty bucks more….well, “they” were wrong.   I managed to get my hands on quite a few Minis and turned them for a fair profit on E-Bay.  On a spur of the moment decision, I decided that I should keep the last one as a reward.  

At first I really didn’t get much use out of it and seriously debated on selling it.  Then I got hooked.  I could have my favorite tunes with me all the time and no commercials either!!  It turned into a full-blown addiction.  I had the FM transmitter so I could even listen to my tunes in my car and I wasn’t satisfied--I had to have a cleaner signal.  So I installed a dock and wired it directly to my head unit so now I have some great sound….in my cage.

Of course, I wanted the same tunes while on my bike.  Installing the iPod on me wasn’t a problem; I have a carrying case for it.   Hearing the music, however, was a totally different problem.  I wear a shorty helmet or sometimes none at all and the wind noise drowns out any bit of music that I could hear.   I do wear hearing protection when I ride so cranking up the volume defeats the purpose of hearing protection!!

I can’t tell you how many pairs of headphones I tried (all the various electronic stores around town, however, can tell you) and each time met with failure.  I did get good response with the Sony MDR-EX71SL headset and could hear the music without volume issues.   However, after three months of daily use, I just wore the wiring out.  There is a one year warranty, but Sony didn’t want to deal with me every quarter, so my search continued.

I had been eyeing the Shure's E2c headphones for a couple of months and the $99 price tag just put me off time and time again.  I finally decided that I’d bite the bullet and try them.  If they didn’t work, they’d just be another casualty in my search.

I’m happy to say that my search is over!  Putting them in is a bit strange because of the design.  However, once they are in, the sound is unbelievable!!  Of course getting on the bike was the test.   These headphones passed with flying colors!  At normal volume, I can hear the music on my iPod.  My both my motorcycles have stock pipes so I’m not rumbling too much, but I’ve also had the opportunity to ride on the back of several modified bikes (ahem…LOUD) and I still have tunage!!!   The best part is hearing the music and at normal volume levels, but I also get hearing protection when my iPod is off (and I can chat at the red light with that cute guy………).  

The wiring is heavy duty, there’s great sound and Shure stands behind their two-year warranty.  They are a great bunch of folks!!  I won’t use anything else, that’s for sure!

I added a remote transmitter so I can control my iPod from my handlebars.  So I’m geared up.  Just remember your local regulations regarding headset wearing and operating any motor vehicle.  I won’t debate that issue with you; that’s between you and your local law enforcement agency.  

As always, safety is priority one…then fun!!!

Keep the shiny side up!!



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