In a bad way. Biased and irrational people usually are.
I'll start you off (with correct grammar included):
"The IE8s are very much a last-generation iem from a time when technology in most earphones was pretty bad. Back then they were great, but I really think technology has caught up with them and they're no longer a "top-tier" iem in my book, whatever "top-tier" means."
1 - audiophile technology crawls like a snail. 20 year old headphones are able to hold their ground today. The ER-4 is around 15 years old and is still one of the most neutral and transparent earphones ever. The IE8s themselves have accumulated reasonable age. The difference between them and the SE530 is insignificant.
2 - burn in is not equivalent of caterpillar to butterfly. I've compared my veteran ie8 with my friend's brand new one and it is not an argument to rely on when you're defending it.
3 - The IE8's mids are 'equal' to the SE530's in the same way that the SE530's soundstage is 'better' than the IE8. There are different tastes, and some people don't like an enormous tube soundstage accompanied by a phat midbass encroaching on the mids; it feels like swimming in molasses and chocolate.
Honestly, I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that I'm "biased & irrational," based off a single post you happened to have read & disagreed with. (By the way, if you're going to insult my grammar, you should probably check your own, and capitalize the first words of the sentences you wrote in point 1 & 2, smart ass. You also have some commas missing, but we're getting off topic.
1.) If you'd ever bother to read some of my other posts on this forum, you'd very quickly find that the ER4S are my all-time favorite iem, and I'm very well aware of their age. I've said countless times that I've heard nothing better than the ER4's, and I suspect I probably won't for a long time. However, I think there's a pretty good consensus that BA/Dynamic-driver technology has improved pretty significantly since the SE530 was introduced. Many single-driver iems simply have better sound quality than older, multidriver iems (RE0, IE-series, GR8, & EQ7.) Of course, this is totally my opinion; but I've listened to nearly all of the respectable, universal iems available, so I've had a pretty long while to develop my opinion.
2.) I'm not going to bother arguing 'burn-in effect' with you, especially since you had to rely on using a friends "burned-in" iems to compare. There are countless posts on this forum describing the change that the IE8's have over time. Some people don't agree, and that's fine. I never claimed that I was preaching the Gospel.
3.) You're definitely entitled to your opinion that the IE8's SQ is comparable to swimming in various fluids; I honestly don't care what you think. Just as you said that some don't enjoy the massive soundstage & larger quantity of bass, I don't enjoy the way in which the treble of the SE530 completely falls off a cliff after a certain point. I'd rather have a bit more bass & larger soundstage (not sure when a larger soundstage became a bad thing) than a complete lack of representation in the upper-frequencies, especially from an IEM w/ a $500 msrp.
Your opinion is yours, and mine is mine. I think mine is better, but in the end, it's all opinion.