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Shure SE530 short impressions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Solid aluminium box with sharp edges. That's it. I don't do impressions on packaging.

Included volume control is cheap (overly so). The plugs on the airline adapter are already tarnished. 1/4 adapter is fine. The short 'extension' cable is of questionable usability.

Great Shure strain-relieving on the plugs and jacks. The most awesome I've ever seen, IEMs or full-sizers (owned SRH840 before, also as awesome).


Not having much experience with IEMs (the first and only being the Turbine Pro), it all comes down to tips. Really. They're that important.

I used to hate foams (thanks, Comply). SE530 came with 'medium' (two dots) black olives, I got them off without damaging them too much (ridiculously hard to get off, I think in the future these will be core donors).

Put on large Grey Soft-flex tips.

Turn on rig (see PortaRig in sig).

You know, after listening to the Turbine Pros and having read all that info about BA vs. dynamic IEMs, I always had the impression that BAs are more 'nimble' and 'quick' and 'resolute' and more jargons than an equivalent dynamic.

Well, these Soft-flex tips sure don't do that.

Sound is overly soft; absent bass; absent treble; overly forward mids.

But one thing I noticed is that the three-dimensionality of these IEMs are better than that of the Turbine Pro. Hmm. Potential. Change tips.

The triple-flanges don't fit, too long. So I used the 'voltag3 mod' (look up 'voltag3' in the search function, guy's banned for some reason) on them.

Much improvement: bass come out a bit, mids went a little bit back and treble actually came out.

(Oh, and I can't return them: bought in China PRC where I currently am, I verified the certificate of authenticity codes online. Those codes are of single-use only and the goods cannot be returned once the codes are checked)

So having that in mind, I thought maybe the foams won't hurt.

Two dots won't fit; used three-dots black olives.

No doubt the SE530 is mid-centered. Haven't listened to males yet, however Nelly Furtado (you will see her a lot in my subsequent impressions) has this indescribable 'layer', distance and texture to it that's just absent on the Turbine Pro. Bass, although it does sound full, is not punchy like the Turbine Pro. It does have some good detail to it. Not 'more' detail, just in a different way. High are not as rolled-off as I imagined, but hey, if you go to HeadRoom and compare FR graphs, it's about the same so I didn't notice much of a roll-off.

I'll update this in a couple of days... give my ears (brain) fifty hours to adapt to this changing sound signature.

Currently I'd say 'mids-centered but not overly done; warm yet detailed enough'. Sound field is about on par with the Turbine Pro. Dimentionality and location is 'excellent'. Binaural stuff just sounds so real on this rig (see sig again).

For those of you who say that I shouldn't compare BA to a dynamic (realised by Monster? eww), sue me.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Well, if anything I have to say, do not add resistors to this phone. Purchased a 75ohm resistor cable, and all I can say is that the sound is altered in a way that I do not like. Probably because of damping and crossover issues. I'll try this cable on my Turbine Pros, but SE530, no-no. Maybe an SE420 (search for it).

Bass: Nope. Not bass-light. You need the correct insertion. It does go deep, a bit less impactful than the Turbine Pro (run away! A BA vs dynamic post!). I don't dare try out extremely bassy songs yet, since the wires between the crossover and the twin woofers are extremely thin (inside the IEM body) and if bass vibrates enough, the wires may be shaken to the point that they break at solder points (TF10 problem). Try Ondekoza's Legend album. This is near-dynamic level.

Mids: Vocals. Yes, more Nelly Furtado. No idea how to describe this, but the forwardy mids of the SE530 makes her sound more 'crystalline' on most songs with better positioning. Ever seen one of those raw, hexagonal pieces of emeralds? Well that's the picture. Yes hard to imagine. Males, well, the softest one I have is Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits) and the SE530 presents the, um, friction I'd call it, of the voice. Other males are mostly metal of some sort, haven't tried this phone with fast tracks yet.

Highs: fine enough. Sopranos are fine. Doesn't feel that badly rolled-off. Enough to make the SE530 transparent and pulls the entire sound signature upwards a bit.

Resolution and detailing: Excellent. Always thought the MTPG is as detailed as ever, but the 530 just reveals a little bit more every time.

Dimensionality and general positioning is just awesome. Plain awesome. Too awesome for an IEM.

Cannot say that it's 'superior' to the MTPG, but just another taste. BA taste. Can't say which one I prefer, yet.

Edited by 3602 - 7/13/10 at 6:39pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Just a little bump so people can shoot somethin'.

post #4 of 4

I'll chime in.

  • slightly rolled-off highs
  • mid-centric but otherwise a balanced sounding earphone
  • excellent noise attenuation
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