My only concern is that I do not like the 90 degree jack, the cable gets really easily broken. I listen music from my htc one x with jack plug on it`s top, and put it in my pocket.Using that with a 90 degree jack is just a cable killer!
Do you might have any other recommendations around 60 usd with a comfortable shell (possibly not plastic), linear jack, ideal for the above mentioned music, mainly rock?
Hmm... most higher-end earphones these days have an L-plug. One that comes to mind is the Astrotec AM-800. It's got a straight plug and a wood-and-metal construction. Sounds good, too.
I would agree the GR07 (I don't have the MK2) competes with the Westone 4 but saying that it sounds better is probably overstating it. If we're talking purely about balance, the GR07 has an advantage, being the flatter of the two earphones, but whether it's "better", or even as good, will come down to who you ask. Personally, I feel that both of these earphones make concessions but those of the GR07 are greater. For example, the treble peaks of the GR07 might be a dealbreaker for some listeners while the Westone 4 may sound a little boring, but not downright offensive.
First of all, great work you've done in this thread and on your own site reviewing so many different IEMs. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you for some advice.
I currently own the Shure SE530. Have owned these for about 4 years now. I'm anything but an audio expert and lack the vocabulary to accurately describe how they sound to me. I do like how they sound, though. I listen to various styles of music of which not all of them neatly fit into a specific category. But I can really enjoy Pink Floyd / David Gilmour, the guitar solos can give me goosebumps at times when listening through the SE530s. Or when listening to the song Spies by Coldplay (from their first Parachutes album), the opening guitar riff sounds really great and when the vocals kick in it's really something to behold. In addition to all that, the queer vocals with the mildly depressing tunes from Radiohead can also give me shivers at times when listening to them through the SE530s.
I also listen to a lot of electronic music though, such as for instance Underworld, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Tosca and Thievery Corporation. And other than that, depending on my mood I might put on some reggae, hip-hop, ambient, Hans Zimmer soundtracks, etc.
I usually only listen to FLAC and use an iPod classic modded with Rockbox firmware as my main listening source. Don't use any headphone amps as I feel like the Shure doesn't really need it. I have the EQ slightly V-shaped as I overall prefer a somewhat warmer sound (I'm not a basshead, but I do appreciate a nice full bass).
So after 4 years I feel like it's time to try something else. I'm looking in the € 400 / $ 500 price range. I'm wondering if there are IEMs out there that will retain the goodness of the SE530, yet add more other stuff as well, such as perhaps more detail, more instrumental separation, a wider soundstage (the SE530s sometimes do sound as if the music is right in the center of my head) and maybe even more/better bass? I'm not necessarily a treble head and the rolled-off treble everyone talks about has never really bothered me. But honestly, the SE530s were my first high-end IEM purchase, before that it was always low-budget stuff so the SE530 is also my only point of reference and I don't really know what I might be missing out on :)
Based on what I've read in this thread I've come up with Westone 4R, Earsonics SM64, UE900, Audeo PFE232, J Phonic K2 SP, 1964 Ears and perhaps other ones I haven't seen. I'm just not really sure how they compare to the SE530 and which ones I'd actually like. And here in the Netherlands most stores don't allow you to return IEMs once you've used them so it's not like I can try them all out myself :(
So can you perhaps give me a recommendation? I would greatly appreciate that.
As far as I know the K2 SP is currently only available in Japan and the PFE 232 has been discontinued recently. You can probably still find a pair but I don't think its sound will work for you. The UE900 is nice but doesn't have any more bass than the SE530 and might not have the midrange presence you are used to.
The W4 and SM64 would be better options. However, my pick would be the 1964-V3. It'll retain the rich mids of your Shures but add more bass and treble presence for a livelier, more exciting sound. It also has a more out-of-the-head presentation than most universal-fit earphones including the SE530. The V3 would be a larger change from your Shures than going to the SM64/W4 and isn't the 'safe choice' per se, but it should be easier to justify spending $450+ on.