Originally Posted by PeterDLai
I think that comparison comes out mixed. I believe one early reviewer felt that the E500/SE530 sounded better to their ears than their LiveWires, but HeadphoneAddict, someone who has owned both, prefers the LiveWires.
I'm guessing like most of the IEMs in the upper range, it all comes down to preference/priorities, like what music you listen to and how you like your sound shaped.
Deciding on priorities might bring up the discussion of LiveWires being custom instead of universal, comfort, less microphonic cable, etc.
The Livewires are closer to an Etymotic in detail, but with more bass than an Etymotic, combined with more midrange warmth like the SE530. Or, they could be said to be like Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro without the midrange suckout, and more warmth without being too bright. In other words, nothing like the Etymotic or Ultimate Ears.
The SE530 are more mellow than most balanced armatures, and with the right tips can be more balanced. They don't seem to add unfortunate coloration to the music, and the Denon and Livewires similarly just reproduce the music so that you can hear past the earphones and get right to the instruments and voices.
But, the highs are
more etched with the Livewires than SE530 or Denon, and some people want the more mellow sound. Then you get reports that the person likes the SE530 better. I think there is a right time for either kind of sound. The Denon are a middle ground, and I think are a bridge between the mellow SE530 and the more detailed full range Livewires.