[Review] Shure SE530


Recommended Posts

saxondale.

I was meaning to do a review a week or two ago. Since Netrack did a good review, it encouraged me to do one too. Since i have all my camera equipment packed away, i can't take photos i'm afraid, so i'll just use some from websites. It's all the same!

Brand: Shure

Model: SE530

RRP: $499

site_img_pa_se530_l.jpg

The Upgrade

I have been using my Senhesiers CX300's for a while now, very popular due to its price and what it has to offer in terms of comfort and quality. To simply put it, i'm an audiophile. A complete geek when it comes to audio. Yes i have an iPod, don't hate, i have many valid reasons! Anyway, i have a pair of AKG K271's i use at home. I wanted something which could deliver such quality but in an 'in-ear' form, so i can travel around with them. After endless of positive, raving, Shure fan boy, forum reviews, it led me into the Shure SE range. I was initially put off by the price tag of the SE530's but i knew i would have to pay a little bit more to get what i was wanting. It was one of those things when you think, if you're spending $400, you might as well get the $500 pair, since you're spending a ridiculous amount on headphones.

About

Key Features:

The SE530 and SE530PTH mark the bridge from the classic E Series line, to the new line of Sound Isolating Earphones from Shure (SE Models). Evolved from personal monitor technology road-tested by pro musicians and fine-tuned by Shure engineers, the SE530PTH and SE530 earphones deliver unparalleled acoustic accuracy. Triple TruAcoustic MicroSpeakers, one tweeter and dual woofers, deliver an expansive sound stage with full-bodied bass—for an auditory experience rivaled only by live performances.

Sound Isolating Design

Included sound isolating sleeves block over 90 percent of ambient noise. Combined with a low-profile ergonomic design and modular cable options, interruptions from the outside world are minimized—so you can focus on your passion. On occasions when you must tear yourself away from the music, the Push-To-Hear Control included with the SE530PTH activates a VoicePort microphone, allowing conversation without removing your earphones. Shure Sound Isolating Earphones require a proper fit to achieve the best sound.

Triple TruAcoustic MicroSpeakers

Optimized for listening to high-quality recordings and lossless formats, the SE530PTH utilizes three balanced armature drivers—one dedicated tweeter and dual woofers. Additionally, integrated passive crossovers ensure that high and low frequencies remain distinct and defined. The result is an incredibly wide and detailed soundstage, distinguished by precision highs and robust bass. This innovative triple driver configuration is first in class for universal fit, sound isolating earphones.

Packaging

Possibly the most unneeded yet amazing packaging for headphones. It comes in a steel type box. Not your standard plastic casing. It has a brushed metal look. Great.

Inside

Premium Fit Kit Includes:

Sound Isolating Sleeves

The role of the included sound isolating sleeves is twofold: blocking ambient noise and ensuring customized fit and comfort. Because every ear is different, the Premium Fit Kit includes three sizes (S, M, L) of the Flex and Black Foam Sleeves as well as a pair of universal-fit Triple Flange Sleeves. Experiment with the size and style that creates the best fit for you—a good seal is key to optimizing sound isolation and bass response as well as maximizing comfort during extended wear.

Wow, Shure provide you with every type of sleeve possible and in all sizes. This is such a key part to headphones. If they don't fit, you won't be hearing its full potential. I opted for the foam sleeve. This moulds inside your ear, creating a tight fit, great noise isolation and it makes sure you hear all the frequencies (18Hz – 19kHz) the headphones have to offer

Modular Cable

Based on extensive user feedback, Shure engineers have developed a detachable cable solution to enable unmatched personal customization. An included 3-foot cable (91 cm) and 9” cable (23 cm) allows you to tailor your experience depending on activity and application.

Thanks! I'm sure many of you get annoyed by the cable length of your headphones.

In addition to the sound isolating sleeves and modular cables, the premium accessories kit includes:

- ?” Adapter >

Offers a solution for home stereos or other applications with ?" jacks

- Carrying Caseb>

Provides a convenient, tangle-free solution to store your earphones

- Level Attenuatorb>

Allows for comfortable listening from any high-output audio source, including airplane armrests

- Airline Adapterb>

Optimizes compatibility with European airplane armrests

Build Qualityb>

Something i've noticed in many headphones is the build quality. Especially the wires. My Senheisers felt very fragile and the wire ended up breaking at both ends of the left and right speaker. The SE530's have shown no sign of wear as of yet. I have read of the wires breaking but apparently the Shure support is fantastic and send out a brand new set, even out of warranty is some cases (2 year standard warranty).Comfort/Fitb>

To put it simply, if they aren't comfortable, you've wasted your money. To get the full potential at of any headphones, they need to fit and be comfortable. As i mentioned before, Shure (many other high end brands) provide different sleeves for all sizes. Take your time and find the best fit. Simple as that. I tried all of the sleeves and found the small foam ones to be the best for my ears. From looking at reviews, it seems like the foam ones are most people's favourite type. Once again, this means nothing until you try them all. Soundb>

It will beat you. They pack a serious punch. It'll hurt if you're not careful (they can get very very very very loud). I find myself turning my iPod Classic down to halfway, which is more than acceptable. Something a lot of headphones fail on is the bass. Many can't produce the intended low ends from songs. A great example is Massive Attack - Angel. After the break in period, which can be around 10-14 hours, you can really test these babies out to its full potential. I put on Massive Attack and felt the bass go through me (obviously listening to it way too loud) but the clarity, presence it delivered was unbelievable. Just like the low ends, many cheaper headphones are far too tinny in the high mids/highs and can become ear piercing. The Shure supports a wide frequency band, with the tweeter powering the top ends and the dual woofers filling in the gaps and beating away at the low ends, it's a special experience. It's like a concert in your ears. You feel the energy of the song.

I use Apple Lossless as a regular format, combined with these headphones, it's like a wet dream, really.

I use an iPod Classic, simply because of the easy and simple integration with my Mac. I can transfer Apple Lossless files in seconds and the quality of iPods have improved ten fold in terms of sound. The classic complements these headphones very well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+StevoFC

That was an alright review...doesn't make me want to go out and spend $500 though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Creamy

Are you telling me that these headphones cost $500? Wow...that makes me wanna listen really...

Link to post
Share on other sites
instant.human

500 for headphones is... man... much.

i know how much you can spend, really, and as an audiophile myself i can somehow understand it but you could also get earbuds for like half the money and less that are maybe only a little less perfect...

shure kicks ass, though, i use shure mics for shouting and drums.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mathachew

$500..... Five. Hundred. Dollars...... for ear buds.

No. Thank. You. I've got mouths to feed and a home to improve with that kind of money.

Link to post
Share on other sites
QuantumTrickery

I have a set of high end Shure's myself. For an in ear solution, they sound pretty amazing. In comparison to a quality on ear/over the ear, they sound like garbage. I still don't know why people cry about the price of things. If you can't afford it, too bad for you. I never found mine to be terribly comfortable for long term listening, or anything over half to an hour at most.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrKuro

I really like my SE530's (although they are a tad warm sounding, on the bassy side, and not really travel friendly)

My favorite pair of IEM's are the q-JAYS .. so tiny and comfortable .. excellent natural sound across all ranges (better than the 530's in some areas), very eq friendly, and excellent price for the quality.

Glad you are also enjoying the Shure se530's :)

q-jays + ipod nano ...

1.jpg

Edited by WolfDV
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lqv2015

WolfDV, have you tried UE's Super.Fi 5 Pros? If so, how do those & your q-Jays compare?

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrKuro
WolfDV, have you tried UE's Super.Fi 5 Pros? If so, how do those & your q-Jays compare?

yes, my brother has a pair .. they sound quite nice, powerful, eq'd with a bias towards a slight warmer sound compared to the q-jays.. the q-jays are nice and tight bass, while i found the super.fi 5 pros have a better bottom end, but roll off more at the high end. Also ... they are huge and fatiguingly uncomfortable compared to the tiny q-jays (which you can hardly feel, could wear all day, and sleep on side without any issues, probably regarded as the more pleasurable IEM's to wear, mostly due the the microscopic size, shape, and light weight). plus the sound fantastically balanced, quite a nice peice of engineering :)

check out the forums at www.head-fi.org for users with much more in-depth reviews and comparisons.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jason S.

nice review (Y)

$500 is steep, but when youre an audiophile, you want the best of the best!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hooya

I certainly hope you're only listening to HD audio with those. I would think MP3 files would sound even worse with those things! Or maybe you're a .flac guy...

I didn't read the whole review because if I'm going to spend over $100 on headphones they'll be over the ear style anyway. I had no idea they made earbuds this pricey.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lqv2015
yes, my brother has a pair .. they sound quite nice, powerful, eq'd with a bias towards a slight warmer sound compared to the q-jays.. the q-jays are nice and tight bass, while i found the super.fi 5 pros have a better bottom end, but roll off more at the high end. Also ... they are huge and fatiguingly uncomfortable compared to the tiny q-jays (which you can hardly feel, could wear all day, and sleep on side without any issues, probably regarded as the more pleasurable IEM's to wear, mostly due the the microscopic size, shape, and light weight). plus the sound fantastically balanced, quite a nice peice of engineering :)

check out the forums at www.head-fi.org for users with much more in-depth reviews and comparisons.

If you were to choose, you'll chose the q-Jays right? I'm having a hard time deciding between the two. My gut feeling tells me to go with UE, but they do seem uncomfortable for a long period of time. I've notice the price on the SF5Pro are dropping, so maybe UE is going to release something new to replace them.

I had no idea they made earbuds this pricey.

I think some goes up to the thousands. But they're custom molded IEMs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
LJ50

I'm always suprised by how many people who seem to think a couple of hundred pounds (or $400-500) is outrageous, or a waste of money.

I listen to my Shure SE310s for not much less than 4 hours a day. Sometimes longer if I'm travelling with work. I watch probably not more than an hour's TV each night. But spending ?1,000 on a TV raises no eyebrows at all from those who think that 20% of that is too much to spend on headphones.

To me the best thing about my Shure's (and I had the e3c's before these) is the sound isolation. I don't have to listen to the pathetic natter of the drunkard on the train even if I'm only listening to Radio 4 (speech radio) and therefore have the volume low.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrKuro
If you were to choose, you'll chose the q-Jays right? I'm having a hard time deciding between the two. My gut feeling tells me to go with UE, but they do seem uncomfortable for a long period of time. I've notice the price on the SF5Pro are dropping, so maybe UE is going to release something new to replace them.

my first purchase was the se530's .. which i love, except for the fact they weren't exactly sleep friendly or comfortable for extended periods of time (especially when travelling/moving around)

I bought the q-jays because of the excellent reviews for both sq, and comfort .. which they were spot on about. The bass is less in the bottom end, but completely acceptable for the size difference.

Home / air-travel -> SE530's .. everywhere else -> q-Jays

now you are comparing the q-jays to the sf5pro's ... it depends on your needs like i stated earlier

If i wanted perfect sq .. the se530 are them, the q-jays are near that level of sq, and very comfortable. to me the few times i tried the sf5pros (despite have nice sq, are also quite bulky and not worth the loss in comfort).

overall if I could only have one set, I'd go with the q-Jays, they really are extraordinarily well designed.

but don't base solely on my decision, check out reviews on each, and ask questions at head-fi. You are making a nice purchase, get one that fits you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6785077276

I've had the Shure E500 since March last year and it's excellent. But I agree though, they are expensive at ~?200.

Link to post
Share on other sites
(Spork)

500

SCREW that nice review but 500 hell no

Link to post
Share on other sites
hobsgrg

I've got these and have to say they are amazing, I was a bit disappointed with my Shure e4c as the bass was weak, but these have amazingly clear sound with powerful bass, everybody I know thinks I was crazy spending ?214 on them, but if you can afford them the sound is incredible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
revvo

Yeah the high-end models by Shure and Etymotic are pretty expensive, in the $500 range but their entry models are much more affordable, in the $100's (Etymotic ER-6i for example) and they're way better than most crap out there and even better than some of those huge earmuff headphones that make you look like a Daft Punk DJ.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Creamy
Yeah the high-end models by Shure and Etymotic are pretty expensive, in the $500 range but their entry models are much more affordable, in the $100's (Etymotic ER-6i for example) and they're way better than most crap out there and even better than some of those huge earmuff headphones that make you look like a Daft Punk DJ.

Nice comparison! :D

I do believe you that these headphones sound better than 10$ crap from wal-mart but I certainly do not think that you would hear the difference between a 100$ and a 500$ earplug.

Am I wrong?

Link to post
Share on other sites
MightyJordan

Man, ?250 is far too much for just a pair of headphones. I wouldn't spend more than ?50 on a pair!

Link to post
Share on other sites
revvo
I do believe you that these headphones sound better than 10$ crap from wal-mart but I certainly do not think that you would hear the difference between a 100$ and a 500$ earplug.

Am I wrong?

The difference ain't big that's for sure, and you would have to have good quality music to notice it like high vbr bitrate or a lossless codec like FLAC

I personally wouldn't spend beyond the $100 range for earbuds, but I would go that high because in-ear earbuds in those range allow you to use a low volume and isolate your music from outside sound. Some people might think in-ear earbuds aren't safer but they are. What's more dangerous for your hearing? Having cheap buds with the volume at near max because you're trying to listen to your music rather than to the noise of the subway or to have high end buds with low volume and nothing else?

Right now I have a pair of Sony EX71's but it's time for me to change those.... As good as those Shure sound, $500 surely aint my budget for many things out there today, so yeah..... I'd have to aim the $100ish priced buds.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quillz
I'm always suprised by how many people who seem to think a couple of hundred pounds (or $400-500) is outrageous, or a waste of money.

I listen to my Shure SE310s for not much less than 4 hours a day. Sometimes longer if I'm travelling with work. I watch probably not more than an hour's TV each night. But spending ?1,000 on a TV raises no eyebrows at all from those who think that 20% of that is too much to spend on headphones.

To me the best thing about my Shure's (and I had the e3c's before these) is the sound isolation. I don't have to listen to the pathetic natter of the drunkard on the train even if I'm only listening to Radio 4 (speech radio) and therefore have the volume low.

I feel the same. You spend your money on what you want, what you think you'll need. I know for me, I'm a bit of an audiophile myself, and thus I don't see spending $500 on earbuds to be a huge investment the way others would. It's only money, after all. No pointing making it all if you don't spend it once in a while.

BTW... Do the earbuds bundle the new iPhone compatibility jack, or do we still have to buy it separately?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
SamNeeds

Unfortunately, I'll never get along with that type of headphone. At any size, the bit which sits in your ear, just makes it feel like a plunger is sucking on my ear. Meh!

My ideal type of headphone would have to be the BOSE Quiet Comfort 3's. They are comfortable, sound spot on and are basically an all-round excellent pair of [albeit expensive] headphones. But hey, you get what you pay for.

Link to post
Share on other sites
lunamonkey

What happens when the cable snaps near the ear from over-bending? Or it's yanked out by accident?

Do you have to cover it with personal insurance?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quillz
I feel the same. You spend your money on what you want, what you think you'll need. I know for me, I'm a bit of an audiophile myself, and thus I don't see spending $500 on earbuds to be a huge investment the way others would. It's only money, after all. No pointing making it all if you don't spend it once in a while.

BTW... Do the earbuds bundle the new iPhone compatibility jack, or do we still have to buy it separately?

Well, I just picked up a pair of these earbuds myself, so I guess I can answer my own question now...

No, the SE530 do not come bundled with the phone adapter module, even though they should. However, Amazon was selling their own bundle for just over $400, which means you get both for about $100 cheaper than Shure sells just the earbuds.

What happens when the cable snaps near the ear from over-bending? Or it's yanked out by accident?

Do you have to cover it with personal insurance?

The earbuds come with a standard 2 year warranty, and even then, I know from personal experience Shure is pretty liberal about replacing defective earbuds even after two years, so long as you have some sort of proof of purchase. So save your receipts and/or e-mail.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.