Shure SE530 or E500 PTH Headphone Reviews

Headphone Details
Manufacturer Shure Model SE530 or E500 PTH
Headphone Type Canal Headband Type None
Weight (g) 30 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 30
Impedance (ohms) 36 Cable Length (cm) 142
Frequency Response (Hz) 18 - 19000  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$479
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.8 Bass Impact 7.7
Bass Quality 8.3 Mids Quality 8.3
Highs Quality 7.5 Soundstage 6.3
Detail 7.3 Portability 9.5
Isolation 8.3 Comfort 7.5
Durability 7.7 Improvement With Amplification 5.3
Value for Money 7.3    
Overall Score 7.8 Total Reviews 6

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member JMCIII on 04 Sep 08  18:34
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality9
Highs Quality8
Detail7
Comfort9
Durability7
Value6

One note that could ne be put into the review (review time being as short as it is) is durability. Twice since I bought the review pair I've had to send them back to Shure. The first time because the lead into the right ear pice began to crackle. The second time becasue the volume of the right channel become far, far lower than the left. Shure's reputation for superb customer service lived up to it reputation in both cses. Within a week I had brand new replacements sent. (E500s the first itme, the new E530s the second). I wouldn't hold it against these fine IEMs however. Other than those issues, the Shure's ahve regaled me, whether at home at night, on the road, or in a plane with wonderfully full, rich sound.

This review has been edited by the administrator to remove external links

Review by Senior Member DavidMahler on 29 Aug 08  08:03
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality7
Detail6
Comfort7
Durability7
Value9

Just the best universal monitor on the market.

Review by Senior Member jinx20001 on 08 Aug 07  23:21
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality9
Detail9
Comfort9
Durability9
Value9

these are superb,only overshadowed by customs,but only high end customs such as ue11 surpass the sound quality,these match the ue10 on sound quality and even give extended bass and highs,creating beautiful clean warm sound! i came to these and chose these over the superfi 5 and triple fi 10,the design and looks surpass the triple fi 10 and the sound is about even but in preferably different ways i.e the triple fi have harder bass but the shure has cleaner and clearer mids and highs IMO! the soundstage is never superb in iem's but these earphones do plesantly surprise in this department giving great feeling of presence overall a superb set of iems for those that dont require customs! also the new foams that i got with my se530 are icing on the cake comfort is superb.durability is decent but i would not sit on them to test them im not brave enough but ive owned them for a while and no hint of any wear and tear as of yet,i have owned some serious equipment and some wonderful home systems to boot,i am sure there is better earphones but these are very expensive earphones that will make very slight but quality differences,headphones usually give better soundstage hence my soundstage scoring,these do well but not superb,i am rating these based on the position they come in the headphone market,cheaper than most customs,although on par with the best of them such as ue10pro,better than anything cheaper although the triple fo 10 puts up great fight let down only by same bulky ue design and fitting! hopefully this explains my high scoring,i would recommend these to serious audiophiles who enjoy great compact sound,great earphones worthy of pricing,excellent!

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07  12:38
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality7
Detail7
Comfort7
Durability7
Value8

The Shure E500PTH, now known as the SE530, is an extremely well-rounded and versatile listening piece. The sound is generally neutral, and can be tweaked with the assortment of available tips. It provides a level of sound quality previously only attainable in much more expensive custom-fit monitors, thanks to a three-driver design. Overall sound quality rivals that of mid-high-end conventional headphones like the HD650 and K701, if differing a bit in flavor and presentation.

The first IEM I ever listened to, and owned, the Shure E5, greatly surprised me at the time by demonstrating that such a tiny device could create powerful and realistic bass. I think if Iíd heard the E500 back then, I might have blown a gasket, as the new generation Shure takes bass to a depth and realism Iíd not yet heard from an IEM. All but the very lowest of notes are presented with authority, but in a very clean and controlled manner to boot.

Donít worry, all this glorious bass doesnít overshadow the all-important midrange where the E500 again manages to shine. The relatively neutral sound signature allows the midrange to properly cut through with the essential nuances. While the midrange is properly present, it isnít overly so either, to the point of being ďwarmĒ or ďsweet,Ē and no particular region of midrange really stands out above the rest.

The treble strikes a nice balance between smoothness and detail, such that you can hear the grunge on a rough recording, but it doesnít dominate or distract from the music. The high end does roll off, as is the case with every IEM, so this limitation must be accepted for now. The Westone 3, for instance leans toward a smoother sound that might be slightly less detailed, whereas the UE Triple-Fi 10 goes for a more detailed, but possibly more fatiguing sound. I think the E500 is a happy medium by comparison.

Despite that, the soundstage is as well defined as Iíve heard from an IEM. While still maintained between the ears, the soundstage of the E500 displays layering and depth that I did not know earphones were capable of. This allows individual instruments to be heard more discretely than with the lesser earphones Iíve heard in the past, and more along the lines of what a quality over-the-ear headphone is capable of.

The designers at Shure came up with a very attractive yet comfortable shell for the E500. It takes at least a couple of hours before any part of my ears become sensitive to wearing them, quite an improvement even from the already fairly comfortable E5. Ultimately, being that they are in the ears, the E500 canít match the comfort of the best headphones for long listening sessions.

Isolation depends on the tips chosen, but is as good as the E5 with the same tips. Only the Etymotic ER4 series, which inserts (painfully) deep in the ear achieves a better isolation in my experience. The E500 does isolate quite a bit better than the Ultimate Ears universal fit earphones, which donít insert very far at all.

In short, the E500/SE530 is an excellent pick for anyone who needs isolation, portability, or earphones in general (as opposed to headphones). The sound is as good as one can get without going custom, and the entire package is quite top notch. If one seeks a particularly warm or bright sound signature for a similar level of performance, there are other options, but they donít quite hit the execution as well in terms of fit, finish, and presentation as Shure does with this fine earphone.

My Ratings:
Bass Extension: 8
Bass Impact: 8
Bass Quality: 7
Mids Quality: 7
Highs Quality: 7
Soundstage: 5
Detail: 7
Portability: 9
Isolation: 9
Comfort: 7
Durability: 7
Improvement with Amplification: 4
Value for the Money: 8

Review by Senior Member Doug Greenberg on 11 Mar 07  04:32
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality7
Detail8
Comfort8
Durability9
Value7

These have become my everyday earphones for use with an iPod, though not for use at home with an amped system. These are durably made and reasonably comfortable, and they provide a full, rich sound with plenty of tight bass. Over time, however, I have found the midrange reproduction (especially of human voices) to be good but not great, and the high treble reproduction is recessed just enough to seem lacking a bit. They reproduce detail well, but not quite as well as the ER-4 series IEM's, which also are superior in reproducing high treble frequencies. The Shures are superior to the Ety's in bass reproduction, however, so it's a matter of taking your pick, as you cannot (yet) have it all in one package.

Review by Member CraneyR on 14 Nov 15  15:00
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality7
Detail7
Comfort5
Durability7
Value5

Shure E530 headphones do produce fairly accurate and clean sound throughout big spectrum with great isolation. Bass is punchy, mids are moderate and highs are quite nice. I would say those in-earphones would be great for portable use or onstage performance.
However, due to their size, material, good, but definetely not perfect shape, those pieces don't reach my specific demands in regard to sound I truly love.
There is no way you can convince me that Shure SE 530 model produces exceptionally wide soundstage. It is simply physically impossible for those litte audio monitors to do such thing. The soundstage of those is not any special which makes Shure SE 530 different from any other canal monitors. It is still narrow and sort of laidback.
I love big, deep and smooth bass, and I know that such thing I would never be able to get from Shure SE 530.
I love lovely and vivid representation of instruments especially piano and guitar. Such thing I haven't experienced neither from Shure SE 530 nor from any other in-ear-monitors.
The comfort of those headphones in my perspective is ok. I don't think I would enjoy wearing them for more than one hour.
There is one thing I have to mention about myself. I don't particulary enjoy putting anything inside my ears. However sometimes, I don't mind doing it. Especially in the hot summer day.
Don't get me wrong Shure SE530 are awesome in-ear-monitors. And I don't expect them to sound as much as large headphones or even speakers. They produce their unique, but certainly good sound. Therefore, if you got Shure SE 530 just accept them the way they are and do not expect anything superb from them in terms of soundstage or anything else.

headphones.