February 14, 2012

"No question about it: this is now my reference earbud in the sub-$300 category" - Technology Tell on the Paradigm SHIFT E3m

Dennis Burger of Technology Tell was one of the first reviewers to get his hands on a pair of Paradigm SHIFT E3m earbuds. It would be easy for us to say that Dennis 'loved' them but we think he says it best... "My goodness, these things are fun to listen to!" ... for example, or how about "No question about it: this is now my reference earbud in the sub-$300 category."... and that's just a couple. Read on for a selection of highlights taken from the review.

"Try as I might to tangle the e3m's cord just to show how easy it is to untangle, even a ham-fisted crumpling of the cable resulted in a tidy little coil."
Listen Please!
"My life would be infinitely easier right now if I could sit you down in front of me and say, “Here, stick these new Paradigm Shift earbuds in your ears"... Because while most headphones lend themselves to the sort of superlative praise (“These earbuds positively sparkle in the high end!” or “These earbuds boast some truly whopping bass!”) or sensational condemnation (“These earbuds were made by Bose!”) that I tend to gravitate toward in my reviews, words like “balanced” and “neutral” and “unobtrusive” just aren’t the sort of exclamation-pointy language that’s fun to read."

Designed & Engineered by Paradigm
"As I discovered in my recent trip to the Paradigm/Anthem factory in Mississauga, Ontario, a few months back, though, what makes Paradigm’s buds stand out (in addition to the exceptional build quality and a handful of other nice touches, which we’ll get to in a sec), is a refusal to merely select from a buffet of pre-determined EQ curves and slap the Paradigm name on the result. Instead, they played their own Signature series speakers and measured their response inside the ears of a manikin, and applied the resulting in-ear curve to the e3m. (The entry level e1 and mid-priced e2m are likewise voiced to replicate the sonic signatures of Paradigm’s Monitor and Studio speakers, respectively)....What this means is that when you stick the e3m in your ears, what you’re hearing is all Paradigm."

Acoustically Speaking
"...What it also means is that, because most manufacturers tend to opt for a second helping of a bass-heavier curve when “designing” their earbuds – and because that bottom-heavy sound is what most people have come to associate with a good earbud – your initial reaction may well be, “where’s the bass?” Cue up some Fatboy Slim or Roni Size. You’ll find it there. I promise. In abundance...But that’s the thing: if you’re conditioned to hearing (everything) thump when you’re wearing earbuds, you might need to give your brain a few days to shake off that Pavlovian expectation after picking up the e3m. It’s worth the effort, though, because... when everything booms, it sort of stops mattering much if anything does."

"It’s a weird compliment to say that a product is easy to ignore, but that’s the thing that keeps popping into my head when reflecting on the e3m. It’s such a beautifully balanced, wonderfully neutral earbud that you tend not to think about it much."
"The tips are color-coded! Seriously, why isn't every other manufacturer doing this?"
"Speaking of deliciously beautiful, I really love the shell design of the e3m. It’s very sleek and simple, very unobtrusive in the ears yet incredibly easy to insert and remove, and feels pretty bulletproof. I also cannot stress how much I love the cables."

In the End
"Don’t let the low $129.99 price point fool you — the e3m positively (but politely) smokes earbuds costing multiples as much. No question about it: this is now my reference earbud in the sub-$300 category."  ... We think he likes them, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Click here! to read Dennis' review of the Paradigm SHIFT E3m in full.
For more information on the E3m and to buy online click here!

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