Originally Posted by KCTO
After a month of enjoying my Shure SE535LTD, I stumbled upon Heir Audio and it's gorgeous universal IEMs. Reading up on them, I discovered that both the 3.Ai and the 4.Ai's sound signatures provide the extra qualities that I wish from my pair- heavier hitting, deep bass from the 3.Ai and an ever larger, more 3-D soundstage, clarity, and instrument separation from the 4.Ai.
I primarily listen to classical and a variety of Asian artists, ranging from singers like Teresa Teng and Davichi to Korean pop and Japanese rock acts. The SE535LTD does all of the genres well, but I feel as though another set of IEMs can pull of some of these genres better. My music collection is nearly split half-and-half between orchestral and more vocally-inclined songs compared to pop and rock music. I really enjoy the mids in my music, hence my choosing of the Shures. Since this goal has been accomplished, I am wishing for more from the lower end and overall clarity in my songs. I am really attracted to the Heirs because of their beautiful design, apparent quality, and the overall praise that these two get on here.
Since I can only get one or the either, can anyone help me decide on the better companion to my Shures for my music?
I have a pair of SE530's (not the 535's I know but similar enough) for a couple years now and finally made the switch to the Heir Audio 4.Ai. Similarly, I listen to a lot of classical music, classic jazz and EDM. After I got my headphones from Heir, I can safely conclude that it was definitely a worthwhile upgrade.
Standard rack - FLAC + Ray Samuels The Shadow Amp.
The 530's were great in classical music and jazz. What the 4.Ai does better here is that I think there is more clarity in the music (i.e.: The sound stage and instrument separation is better.). For example, the pizzicato from the strings is compelling for the 4.Ai, and I think that is the joy in listening to this type of music with neutral response IEM's. 530's make that happen too, but often or not, it sounds like there is a filter that covers the intricacies in the performance recording.
In the realm of more bass-heavy music like EDM (mostly progressive house and trance I listen to), the difference between 530's and 4.Ai is more apparent. Both of them aren't really suited for this type of music; you would have to look at IE80's for those. But the 4.Ai here still accurately produces the bass while maintaining the clarity. 530's are pretty muddled here in this respect and it wasn't a joy listening to this genre through them.
This short comparison may not mean much because after all, you bought the 535LTD's. But between the two, I'd definitely swear by the 4.Ai.