I've just got mine and I'm sooo disappointed. After having read the review on here and elsewhere, I was expecting to be blown away and I'm not blown away at all. They sound harsh when driven fairly hard (anything above halfway on my ipod volume) and I simply cannot hear anything to convince me they were worth my dosh.

I got them from ebay - has anyone ever heard of fake ones? I am seriously questioning if they are what they say they are. They came with all the gadgets I was expecting them to and they look like the pics, but I cannot believe how mediocre they sound..The earphones themselves feel very light and a mate of mine has got the E4c's and he commented on how heavy they felt in his hand. The E500s seem extremely light. Can anyone comment on the weight of these - are they very light ocmpared to E4c's?

Posted by Nipperoony on March 1, 2007 at 5:04 AM (PDT) Comment 21

I've had the Shure E500s for a week now and am surprised that after reading all the rave reviews that I actually prefer the sound of the 5 Pros that I sold to help buy the Shures.

I found that only the foam tips worked for me, and although classical music came through clearer and more detailed than the's - I actually prefer the extra warmth and bigger soundstage from the super fi's. I felt the Shures were playing right inside my head which felt too stifling and closed. I know all the reviews say otherwise - but this was just my personal experience with them.

With the foam tips, I felt my ears would explode when the foam expanded! But none of the other tips created a good seal, and to buy new tips all the time would add to the already high cost.

I found the sound 'cleaner' than the's with minute detail coming through that was otherwise dulled with the's. In my opinion, the Shures are definitely clearer, but I don't feel the price difference is justified.

I did like the way they're almost unnoticeable when they're in - unlike the 'Frankenbolts' that are the's, but for long-term listening and all round enjoyment, the's win, so I'm going to send the Shure's back and buy the other ones again!

I'm glad I had the chance to listen to them though. In an ideal world, I'd like the clarity of the Shures with the soundstage of the's. . . so until then!!!!

Posted by julikat on April 23, 2007 at 7:58 PM (PDT) Comment 22

Which foams came with your 500s? If they were the yellow ones I would say try the new black 'Comply' type if you can get hold of them.
Also the foams do come in different sizes - have you tried a smaller size?

Like many things in life, 'phones' are a personal thing - while one may rave about a pair the next person may find them awful.

It's a shame that the IEM style tend to be a trial and error buy due to their style - you can't walk into most stores and ask to audition IEMs - "Sorry, hygiene rules state..."

Since getting them I have had a set of Westone UM56 custom tips made to reduce the expenditure on foam tips and I have worn the E500 on 12&13; hour flights now both to listen to music and cut out noise. So I'm very happy with my E500s...

Posted by Bob Levens on April 24, 2007 at 3:10 AM (PDT) Comment 23

It was the yellow foam tips, just one pair, one size. I tried the phones again today just to 'confirm' I was sending them back - but after hearing classical music on them, I don't think I can bear to! The direct comparison between 5 pro and e500 didn't even come close.

I haven't spent enough time comparing them with other types yet - acoustic, folk, latin american (not much rock), but I think I should give them another chance. Maybe I was too hooked on the's to give them a fair chance, but when your left ear is in danger of exploding, and you've spent what seems like hours pulling those rubber/silicon/foam tips on and off the flaming nozzle, it's hard to feel kindly towards them!

As Classical forms only a small portion of my music collection, I want to compare all styles. My one real gripe is that unless there's an easier way to use the foam tips I don't think my left ear would survive smile

I've tried each and every one of the other tips at least 3 times each - it takes forever to get them on and off the nozzle (is that just me?)and no matter what, I can't get a good seal - each tip produces horrible tinny sound, like leakage from someone elses phones. And having to roll the foam tips and let them 'expand' means I can never just pop them in and listen - like I could do with the other tips. Anyway, I'm going to start some studied listening now - classical rocks, definitely, so now to try the rest and give the Shures a bit more time.

Thanks for the tip about tips (the foam ones). I might put up with the time it takes to put them in if I could get smaller tips that don't hurt. I will probably update this in a couple of days after more testing. Yesterday I wanted to get rid of them - today I love them - but hate the tips. I kind of want to keep them but they have to be at least twice as good as the's or else the cost just isn't justified. Oh - I've become obsessed with headphones - dear God HELP!!

Posted by julikat on April 24, 2007 at 3:14 PM (PDT) Comment 24

Sorry - one more thing. The nozzle on the E500's - how tough are they? They look pretty spindly to me and every time I need to try a different tip - I have to force it off and put another one on by forcing the nozzle through the tiny sleeve, which can take ages because of the flexible rubber. Am I doing it wrong?

Does anyone else have this problem???

Posted by julikat on April 24, 2007 at 3:19 PM (PDT) Comment 25

2 small foam tips on AmazonUK is £10?? For tips that last a week or two?

When you said 'comply' tips - did you mean the new black 'foam' tips that people seem to be talking about? Or is comply something else? Sorry for the ignorance but if there's any chance I can try different tips, then I really want to buy them - but not at £10 for 2!

Posted by julikat on April 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM (PDT) Comment 26

The tips which came with my E500s were the yellow foamies, the hard clear(ish) silicon tips and the softer black silicon tips.

Of the 3 I prefer the foamies but have used the soft black tips. I cannot wear the clear ones - they are too uncomfortable.

The new black foam tips are a coated foam so they will last longer than the yellow foam tips. They are similar in material to the "Comply" foam tips. They can be just wiped clean with a damp cloth and will retain their expansion properties for longer, unlike the yellow foam tips which when washed and dry tend to lose this ability to expand properly. These are really comfortable (for me at least) and they come in three sizes. Shure usually sells their tips in sets of 5 pairs. £10 for 2 sounds a bit steep but as these are new tips there might be a bit of profiteering going on!

It sounds like your ear canals are of a different size hence the issue with your left ear?

I took the risk and had these UM56 tips made for the very reason that the cost of new foams over a year would be quite a bit. They are hard plastic but are moulded to your ear shape. After 'breaking' in my ears to wearing them I can have them in for hours without discomfort.
If you read the comments to my piece you'll see there is a comment from Comply about their tips. I had a real issue getting them off my E500 as you will read.

I would say that finding that perfect fit can be a trial for some people but as you are finding out the effort will be worth it in the end.

Posted by Bob Levens on April 25, 2007 at 2:30 AM (PDT) Comment 27

I read what you wrote about the Comply tips, and the Shure yellow ones that were supplied with my E500 just disintigrated as soon as I took them off.

The outer half peeled off and left the rest stuck on the nozzle, and they were the Shure foam tips so now I don't have anything to use. It was as if the foam 'melted' on the nozzle. Do your custom tips give you the same seal as the foam tips? I'm a bit worried about spending any more money if the seal is not as good. The sound is totally different with the foam tips and that's the sound I'm after!

Posted by julikat on April 26, 2007 at 3:55 AM (PDT) Comment 28

The UM56 tips are molded to the inside shape of your ear - so once inserted properly they give a good seal. I won't say as complete a seal as the foam tips as they (when new) exert a slight outward pressure to create the seal. The UM56 on the other hand are hard and so sometimes the seal gives slightly if you yawn or are eating.

I wore the UM56 on the flights to and from Singapore recently and they cut almost all noise out - I had the PTH unit attached but sometimes I had to remove the phones to hear someone talk to me.

I would say try the new tips before you do anything else. Paying the £80 I did for the UM56 was a gamble that paid off for me - it might not for someone else, so I would not recommend it unless you really, really want to give such custom tips a try.

Posted by Bob Levens on April 26, 2007 at 4:20 AM (PDT) Comment 29

I bought a E500PTH in January 2007, and I broke it on the same day by running it over with a pumptruck at work. Accidental, of course! However the inner driver is not affected, only the outer case (the brown facade) is broken. I was so devastated since it costs so much, but managed to fix it with superglue and its been working fine. I bought it cheap from eBay however, at £200 here in the UK is about less than half price the RRP.

Last week I noticed that the cord near the left driver is torn and the wiring coming out, and I thought "YEAHHHHHH!!" and sent it to Shure distribution centre in UK for warranty replacement.

To my amazement, 2 days later they sent me a replacement which is not a E500PTH, but the newer version the SE530PTH. This is the same earphone of course but with added extras in the package. I was so happy, now I got a new one without a broken earpiece!!

2 sets of E500s at £200 - what a bargain.

About the sound, what can I say, the best earphones ever! I used to own a E4c and this is wayyy better sounding and a big step up in everything.

Posted by john_ate83 on May 6, 2007 at 9:48 PM (PDT) Comment 30

Just wanted to follow up my post of one year ago. Hving saved up the money, I've spent £250 on the E500 PTH (Dixons at Gatwick airport, London); they are eveything the review (and Bob Levens' subsequent comments) have said. Absolutely wonderful. My faithful e4cs are now on eBay!! BTW I find the medium soft silicon tips the most comfortable but that the 'phones are much less sensitive for sound quality purposes that earlier Shure designs.

Having also bought a 5.5g 80Gb iPod I have also realised that it has an improved sound signature compared to my early 5G 30Gb unit - was this to be expected?

Posted by drevo_uk on July 2, 2007 at 3:17 AM (PDT) Comment 31

Glad to hear that you are happy with the Shures.

Posted by Bob Levens on July 2, 2007 at 5:17 AM (PDT) Comment 32

I also own a pair of UE10pros and proudly own the Shure 540pth. I must say these are VERY impressive. Being someone that has been reviewing products for years, these monitors offer great low end while not sacificing mids. Good resolution is important when listening to good sources like sacd. So, now comes the part when we talk about the highs. UE10pros are unmatched in this category. With all of the selection out there, its touch to justify the dough for 10 pros, so I must say hats off to Shure and their 2007 line. UE10's are still the king, while Shure is making a run for it.

Posted by audio geek on July 12, 2007 at 1:45 AM (PDT) Comment 33

in reply to gianlucam...the shure 500/530 really are made for the people that can tell the difference between high end earphones,the shure 500 are without doubt better,but only to trained ears or people that really know what to listen out for,now the ue super fi 5 are great but earphones dont get rapidly better the more and more you pay,but theres that difference that makes them better,such as beetween mids and lows,the shures fly in this department compared with the ue superfi pro,but my advice to people is if you cannot tell the differences beetween high end phones and ultra high end phones then by all means stick and be happy,he also states the ue superfi 5 pro has stronger highs and harder lows,i have had the ue 5 and can confirm the ue has slightly harder bass frequency but thats where the shures really kick off because the balancing is so much better,cleaner mids,with still enough bass to call it real warm sound,the shures are miles better but only if you can tell why,if u cant tell the differences thats when you stop spending your cash and be happy,in reply to julikat,the nozzle on the e500 is a tuff one,but the bonus to this is you wont ever lose sleeves which can be worth the effort when you consider how easily lost sleeves can be with cheap earphones

Posted by jinx20001 on July 19, 2007 at 6:24 AM (PDT) Comment 34

Does anyone know if the microphone feature on these earphones work with the iPhone?

Posted by lunarboy on July 24, 2007 at 9:56 PM (PDT) Comment 35

I have owned the SE530s for a few months now and am definitely satisfied. I also own the Bose QC2s, and I understand that these are two different class headphones. I am just wondering if there is an IEM that has a sound that would be more comperable to the QC2s. I am happy with the sound of the E530s, but sometimes would like to get a little more warmth and bass response that I get from the SE530s. I am sure that I have found the right tips for the right fit, but I still find myself wanting a little more bass response when listening to certain types of music. I'm thinking that my longing for a little more warmth and a little more bass might be caused by my getting used to the sort of sound that I get (which seems to not be so popular) from the Bose headphones. I'm just wondering if there's an IEM that might give me that sound that I have found in the QC2s.

Posted by BlindGuy500 on August 26, 2007 at 12:49 AM (PDT) Comment 36

I'm a long-time, happy user of the Etymotic ER-4P, and just bought the SE530. After a week of listening, my conclusion is that the SE530 is a superb earphone, but not worth $450, which is nearly three times the market price of the Etymotic.

My impression is that SE530 has a warmer, somewhat darker sound than the ER-4P, which may or may not be good, depending on your tastes. The soundstage is very obviously larger than the Etymotic and the imaging is better defined. The bass of the SE530 is impressive for an earphone--deep, tight and resonant. The midrange is smooth and rich as well. However, the treble is darker and slightly recessed compared to the Etymotic, whose highs are bright, crisp, and transparent, sometimes exhilaratingly so.

I was listening, for example, to the jazzy soundtrack of the movie "Kansas City" using the SE530 and found that the bark of the saxes and the crackle of the trumpets didn't have the edge or "bite" that they have when I listen to the album through the Etymotic. Same thing with a recording of Vivaldi's string concertos. The string sound didn't quite have the fresh, crisp, silvery tone that the Etymotic produces. But the bass and midrange of the SE530 was clearly superior.

So the SE530 is not the near-perfect earphones that the iPod lounge reviewers claim it to be. It is definitely not "an Etymotic plus great bass" (now that would be true perfection!). As a result, the SE530 is not worth $450.

In short, don't immediately buy into the hype for the SE530. Test drive it before you reach for your wallet.

Posted by Corbin on August 26, 2007 at 8:38 AM (PDT) Comment 37

"I'm a long-time, happy user of the Etymotic ER-4P, and just bought the SE530"

Why spend $450 on a set of earphones when you're happy with your current set up?

Any type of ear or headphone is a purely personal thing - no two people have the same hearing so what you might find good another may find not so good.

I would say that try before you buy is a good idea but with IEM types this is not always an option.

Posted by Bob Levens on August 26, 2007 at 9:39 AM (PDT) Comment 38
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