In New York, tuning out the idiotic background commentary of other New Yorkers is a survival skill on par with learning judo. While some still resort to isolation methods perfected in the psychotic '70s -- furiously ranting to themselves in public, becoming shut-ins, serial murder -- most are now turning to iPods. Instead of saddling yourself with those ubiquitous white iPod earphones, Thrillist suggests upgrading your experience with a pair of Shure E3c's -- the best balance of sound quality and value in an earbud. E3c's are so effective you could stagger drunkenly into a construction site and still hear nothing but the bellicose pop stylings of your boy Tom Jones. They're driven by what Shure calls "noise isolation technology" -- a fancy way of saying you'll hear more music and fewer disturbingly personal cell phone conversations. Shure's unique earpiece is also fitted with either foam or a soft plastic sleeve, sealing you off from everything but your favorite tunes and your secret fear that your company will start drug testing. Weighing in at under a gram, E3c's still manage to shoehorn in topnotch quality for less cash than one horribly misguided decision to attend an Eagles reunion concert. With Twilo-style bass and impeccably clear treble, their efficiency delivering sound allows for listening at lower volumes, saving for your future wife the job of driving you stone deaf. In the end, you don't have to be an audiophile to appreciate the E3c's superiority. You just have to like music, and really, really hate everyone else on the 6 Train.