Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Comparing SE530 to DT880? Help to choose an IEM
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Comparing SE530 to DT880? Help to choose an IEM

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I finally got myself a new DAP (previous has been dead for quite a long time). It's a 3rd gen iPod Nano. Yeah, I know it has far from the best sound quality but, man, the interface and design are awesome.

Anyways, i need new earphones for it. Unfortunately I have zero chance to try anything so I'll have to buy them blindly trusting fellow Head-Fier experience. The only headphone on whose sonic signature I could base is Beyer DT880 ed. 2005, 250 ohm. I guess also HD595. I really like the way DT880 sounds, the clarity, soundstage, neutrality and detail are all awesome. The highs are sometimes a bit harsh (very rarely) and occasionally I'd like them a little bit more involving but most of the time they're fantastic. So, after doing some research I've come to conclusion that an equivalent IEM (I'm looking for an IEM) would be something from Etymotic. Namely, I'm looking at ER6i because it's relatively cheap and I like their low profile fit, ER4p sticks out too much. All nice and simple, right? Nah, lets make it more challenging - what about Shure's SE530? I know its sonic signature is different from DT880 but maybe I should try something new? How and in which way is it different? From what I've read SE530 is more melodic, lush (whatever does that mean) with pretty big bass for an IEM. What about clarity? The last thing I want is muddy sound. Plus the design looks good. I also really like the case, many tips and modular cable which would make organizing much better.

What worries me a bit about Etys is that together with iPod they might sound too thin, which the Shure might even out. But then again, if I can get the ER6i now, it's much more cheaper and I'll worry less about damaging them. How's the durability of both of these 'phones by the way?

Music mostly will be electronic (NO trance/techno, but IDM (Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Autechre and similar) and ambient), some rock (Beatles, Beck, Tom Waits, some others), jazz and some various others.
Files will be MP3, good quality (V2, LAME 3.97), no amp in foreseeable future.
Budget - around $400 (would like it to be less heh), I live in EU so factor in also shipping costs.

Things not to recommend - Ultimate Ears, because they look funny (and UE11s are way too expensive), lower end Shures.

Cherrs
gkl
post #2 of 23
from what i remember shures highs are so rolled off that coming from dt880 you will be pretty dissapointed. it is only slightly muddy, good clarity, bass is excellent and controlled, but weak treble. i believe etys with deep insertion will make you happier, make sure to wet the tips slightly to insert the deepest.

well i'm not sure how they sound with an ipod, you can always get a little cmoy. er6i's look fragile but i've never had a problem, though my friend's broke i'm not sure how he took care of them. some people's 530 tips broke off, but a more common problem is the cable breaking. design is much better as well.

i'd try out the im716
post #3 of 23
From my experience with SE530, ER4-P and ER6i I like the ER4-P better for the type of music I listen to. As far as the nano goes, all 3 headphones are sensitive enough to be driven to a volume louder then you should be listening to. They do not sound thin at all on most types of music. Infact, a stringed bass in jazz music sounds so amazingly real with the er4's that I rarely use the 530's. However, many IEM's bump the bass up 5dB to try to make up for the lack of other bass effects. Usually when we hear bass, we typically feel it through our whole body. I personally feel that adding more bass creates a muddy low end that removes details.

Of course your choice of music dictates which headphone is better for you. If you are not concerned with picking intimate details from the background of a high quality recording then the Shure's have some other advantages such as higher sensitivity and comfort. Of course for a super mobile user, the microphonics of the ety's can become annoying.

BTW, the er4's go in so deep that they do not stick out for me. I can lay down in bed on the side of my head without any problems.....

I recently gave away my nano and purchased the much larger X5 used off of ebay. I think the cowon line sounds far better and IMO makes a larger difference then your choice of cans when you are comparing ER4P and SE530's.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks people, excellent replies. In fact, you made me consider ER4p again. Just checked Headroom's pictures and they don't really seem to be that bad. But the potential microphonics hell is worrying me, is it really that bad? When I had the Vibes microphonics was one of the things I disliked quite a lot. I guess the over-the-ear design of Shure cuts it a deal down, right? But the potential sonical mud of them is worrying me as well.
Also, does anybody of you have pictures of yourself/others wearing ER4ps?

@jf4828
what kind of music do you listen to?
post #5 of 23
I own both and I can assure you that, if you are looking for something that sounds like a DT880, you should avoid the SE530 like the plague. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
post #6 of 23
I'll throw something a little different out there, how about the Sleek Audio SA6. I just received a pair and I'm very impressed with them so far. The sound is tunable via various treble tubes and bass ports. The cord is replaceable and has a nifty 360 degree swivel so it can be worn straight down or over the ear. They're much smaller and lighter than the pics would suggest and the overall design and implementation is very well thought out and executed.
post #7 of 23
I don't think any shure IEM will sound like a DT880. I love the new triflanges though.
post #8 of 23
I recommend UE!!! it doesnt have to be UE customs, it can just be TF10, those are decently priced compared to the Se530s
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post
I'll throw something a little different out there, how about the Sleek Audio SA6. I just received a pair and I'm very impressed with them so far. The sound is tunable via various treble tubes and bass ports. The cord is replaceable and has a nifty 360 degree swivel so it can be worn straight down or over the ear. They're much smaller and lighter than the pics would suggest and the overall design and implementation is very well thought out and executed.
Dango! Those Sleeks look really interesting! Thanks for the post on those ...

Otherwise .. @OP: I concur on the comments regarding the difference between DT880's and Shure SE530's ... I've listened to both extensively and they are completely different.

The Shure's can be EQ'd to sound like the 880's easy enough ... but for default sound more similar to the 880's, I'd stick with Ety's or UE's ..
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I don't think any shure IEM will sound like a DT880. I love the new triflanges though.
New tri-flanges?
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post
New tri-flanges?
well, new for the low end of the line, anyway

(got a pair of se210's recently, had e2c's before - they used different tips w/ no triflanges available)
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
well, new for the low end of the line, anyway

(got a pair of se210's recently, had e2c's before - they used different tips w/ no triflanges available)
Heh, you got me all excited there for a minute, I thought you meant they had a new tri-flange tip design.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
@s1rrah & earwicker7

oh I know they are different, I just wanted to know in which way and how much are they different. Different doesn't always me bad, I wouldn't mind trying a new sound. But then again, I might also get shocked.

@TSi

I really want to like UE but, damn, the fit looks extremely bad, like Frankenstein. Flip-flip mod could be an answer but meh

@elnero

Interesting 'phones but I'd like to go for some classic, well known manufacturers.

Oh why can't Ety sound be in a body of Shure/Westone, why!
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl View Post
@s1rrah & earwicker7

oh I know they are different, I just wanted to know in which way and how much are they different. Different doesn't always me bad, I wouldn't mind trying a new sound. But then again, I might also get shocked.
To my ear, the DT880's were not natural.

They were very entertaining and even what you might call 'glistening' or 'scintillating' ... but not a close approximation to reality. The highs were just too crystalline for me to believe (though I confess it did tickle my ears and sound wonderful ... sort of like taking a controlled substance that makes you love *everyone*).

The Shure's on the other hand, sort of sound like a real room or live performance - maybe even one that is taking place in a studio with carpet on the walls ... not quite 'woolen' in the high freq department, but certainly not 'bright' and certainly nowhere near the glistening sparkle of the DT880's. They sound more like a real, live performance would sound ... that's the best way I can think to describe the SE530's.

I happen to like that quality, I mean ... the neutrality and 'flatness' of the default Shure sound. But coming from several hours of listening on 880's, the Shure's will sound somewhat boring in comparison. I know ... cause every time I switch from my RS1's to the SE530's, at first, I think, "Man ... this is so dry!" ... then, as I acclimate ... I realize it's just a more reality-based sound. But I still like the RS1's more .

Otherwise, the overall sound of the Shure's can be dramatically changed via EQ settings (you can get the the same sparkle of the 880's if you so desire).

So really ... if you want the Shure's ... go ahead and get them and then just shape the sound to your liking via EQ settings. They are highly configurable via such tweaking.

Also ... you might think about holding out to try the Westone UM3's ...

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
haha I was thinking about Westones but come on, will it come bundled with Duke Nukem Forever and Optimus keyboard or something?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Comparing SE530 to DT880? Help to choose an IEM