Shure's SE210 earphones are no longer the entry-level model in the SE range, and have never deserved the "budget" tag they have occasionally been given in the past. They're a capable pair of 'phones in the sub-£80 category, with extremely comfortable tips and probably the best sound isolation of the four we've rounded up here. If you're into general rock and pop, these beauties are a certain hit.
Sennheiser's new CX 500s are the top model in their range. They excel at bass reproduction, and they offer a big fat punch in the mid-range as well. The high end is excellent, though not perfect, but their unbelievable comfort and wearing experience makes these a superb choice for people on the move. They also have great isolation and at around £50 are an extremely affordable choice. Excellent all-rounders.
Denon's C551s clock in at around £70 and are the chunkiest on offer, though they're not as awkward to fit as the SE210s. Nevertheless, they offer beautiful sound, with exceptionally clear and powerful bass. Their isolation is brilliant, too, and our in-house dance music connoisseur says they're the best earphones he's ever listened to electronic music through.
Sennheiser's CX 95s are for the sportier, more style-focused of you. They're ideal for gym fanatics and anyone jogging along the Thames with an iPod shuffle clipped to their t-shirt. With an overall balanced sound, the CX 95s are good for all types of music, but their slightly heavy bass means rock, dance and pop will sound that bit more powerful. These are amongst the best of their class, and at a superb price.