I’ve forgotten how much external sound my Shure E3c blocks out until I walked to work this morning using the standard Apple white headphones. With the Shure, the only sound I hear in the busy Manhattan street is the rumbling of the bus/truck engines. But with the Apple headphones, I can almost hear the conversation from across the street! So to compensate I have to crank the volume up from 50% (for my Shure) to at least 70% (for Apple headphones). Even then not all the noise are blocked.