I splashed out a little a couple of weeks ago and ordered some Ultimate Ears UE-5c's. They arrived on Friday and they are nothing short of brilliant.
Imagine sitting in a sound booth with really good sound isolation and really nice dual-driver speakers. Now imagine getting that experience in the convenience of some earphones. The only downside is that you can't wear them running or walking around town since they block out so much noise you won't hearing the honking horn of an approaching car ;) (Actually, because of their custom fit, they're great for running... and you can hear a little external noise from cars)
I have sent a picture of them to my picture blog (you can get directly to the picture here).
If you appreciate high quality sound reproduction and you can afford it, then you need to get some of these. They really are the best sound isolating earphones you can get. Standard fit models like the Shure E series can't touch the custom fitted comfort and sound quality of Ultimate Ears.
I just got back from Christmas with my family in New Zealand and a few of my friends asked how "the best earphones in the world" performed on the plane. Well, I can happily report that the Ultimate Ears were brilliant and made the 48 hours of travel (Fargo - Auckland return) MUCH more enjoyable and restful.
Before I left I had to pick up a simple Radioshack 'volume control for headphones' because (1) the lowest volume on the iPod was still too loud for sleeping to (yes, they are that good) and (2) I wanted to make sure that I could quickly mute any extra loud 'announcements' that came over the in-flight entertainment system.
Once on the plane I put in my UE-5c's and I entered a wonderland. The sound isolating properties drastically reduced the plane's engine noise as well as almost completely elimating any cabin sounds, and the high quality sound from the dual drivers in each ear effortlessly piped through Amy Lee's (Evanescence) beautiful voice. On the LA-Auckland leg I slept for 5 hours straight (an on-plane record for me) with the Ultimate Ears in and the music on super low. The comfort of the custom fitting allows them to be worn indefinitely without the soreness associated with standard 'one size fits all' earphones as I found out when I wore them for most of the 11 hour flight to NZ. They are super comfortable. The low profile (another characteristic you won't find with many headphones/earphones) also allows you to lie on your side with your ear against a pillow (like I did on one of the legs when I had a spare seat next to me).
If you spend a lot of time on planes or work in a noisy environment or just want super high quality sound from earphones that eliminate the noise of the world then these really are worth every penny. Get them here.