For the office: Shure SE530 or Senn IE8 or ..even Shure SRH840?
Sep 10, 2009 at 7:22 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

DarthSilverice

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Hi everyone,

First of all, I would like to thank everyone on this forum for all the useful audio related information. Been reading this forum casually for the past year and a half and definitely learned a lot from it.

Because of this forum, I first bought the Shure SCL 3 and then the Sennheiser HD 555 and did the soundstage mod myself. I was happy with the sound from the Shure SCL 3 until I bought the Sennheiser HD 555 mainly because of its better soundstage and bass over the SCL 3.

I wanted to use the Sennheiser HD 555 for my current Co-op workterm, but it turned out that I have to share the office with someone.

Because of this, I want an upgrade from my Shure SCL 3(also have some more money in my pockets now from co-op
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) and here comes the problem. I enjoy the sound signature of both Sennheiser HD 555 and Shure. I have heard the IE8 during the Senn soundtour (only chance to hear them out in person here) and was amazed by the sound. However, the tryout was very brief and was mainly pop music.

I've also heard of good things about the Shure SE530 as well as the SRH840 and seems to fit what I like.

I mainly listen to Jazz, and rock with some classical music. I prefer good mids and treble with a decent amount of(not overpowering) bass and wide soundstage. I will not be using an amp.

Here are some of my questions:

If price is not an issue, which one would be the best fit?
If price IS an issue, which one would be the best value?
I know the Shure SRH840 is cheaper than both IEMs, but would the 2 IEMs sound better than the Shure SRH840?

I am looking forward to your opinions. Let me know If missed something in my post.

Thanks in advance!
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Sep 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM Post #2 of 14

DeusEx

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For Jazz, I highly recommend the SE530. It has the most incredible, liquid mids, that bring vocals to life. Trebles are a bit laid-back, and you won't get the "bite" from violins (although EQ works wonderfully. With EQ, the SE530s gain that last several hz of extension, and sounds very good with classical).
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 8:33 PM Post #4 of 14

ZARIM

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I think UM3x willbe better fit for these genres and the frequency response you want but soundstage maybe not as wide as IE8 and Shure SE530 soundstage is small too. If you like IE8 soundsignature, details and soundstage then IE7 are the IEMs with better mids than IE8 and same soundsignature and wide soundstage. BTW FX500 has wide soundstage with better highs than IE8, and great mids with rich bass as IE8.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 9:00 PM Post #5 of 14

DarthSilverice

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Thanks for the reply guys.

Its not that I think the HD 555 has excellent bass or something, but definitely more than my Shure SCL3 as bass is like almost non-existent on those.

So the Shure SRH840 has a completely different sound sig as compared to its line of IEMs?

Also thx for the UM3X suggestion, I'll have to read more reviews/impressions on that.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 11:54 PM Post #6 of 14

milford302009

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if you've heard the IE8 and found them good i'd go for them, i own both IE8 and E500(old version of E530) i personally prefer the IE8s, which have a more laid back sound.
i found classical music to be very good with the IE8s due to the large soundstage.
rock i'm not so sure, the IE8s are good for slower beat music, i suppose the E530s would do better in this section.
tho by getting the IE8s you would probably have to play with the tips to get a good fit, and even if you get a good fit the isolation is not as good as the E530s.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 12:30 AM Post #7 of 14

big_sound

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Se530's are the best for jazz and classical. Those would be your best bet.
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Sep 11, 2009 at 2:11 AM Post #9 of 14

DarthSilverice

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Would like to thank you all for your replies again. I appreciate your opinions.

Right now I see a pair of Shure SE530 on sale in for sale forums for $200, good price to try it out I guess? If I don't like it I guess I wont lose much by selling it back to the head-fi community?

Also, I am actually looking more of a comparison between SRH840 vs SE530 or SRH840 vs IE8.

I don't mind circum-aural headphones at work, but if the IEMs can match the SRH840 or even beat them, I would gladly take the IEMs due to its portability.

Thx again all
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Sep 11, 2009 at 3:34 AM Post #10 of 14

Pianist

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Shure SRH840 does sound quite similar to SE530 in sound signature IMO. It has the same fullness and very nice soothing warmth in its sound. However, SE530 does sound better overall or, at least, it's easier to drive to its full potential. Maybe SRH840 can reach SE530 level of sound quality with good amplification and quality sources, but when I run them out of my Sansa Clip, Sony Walkman, MiniBox E+ and AMP3, it doesn't quite match SE530 level. SE530 sounded absolutely spectacular to my ears straight out of even my weakest portables. SRH840 still has magic in its sound, especially in the mids and treble, but it doesn't sound as perfectly smooth and dynamic as properly inserted SE530 does and also has a bit of that closed can feeling to it, unlike SE530, which sounds very open.

IE8 sounds even more laid back than both Shures. However, stock IE8 with the stock tips sounded way too laid back to my ears for most music. With custom sleeves (I tried a friend's IE8 with ACS custom sleeves and it did fit my ears somehow), it sounds much better to me. It has excellent deep and textured bass and very nice mids, but the treble is not as good as on SE530 or SRH840. Just not as smooth or accurate. I think SE530 is still more accurate sounding, but IE8 has a somewhat bigger, more realistic soundstage with custom tips and about matches the Shures in separation.

Overall, I think it's not easy to say which of the three is really better - each can has its strength and weaknesses. For SRH840, better sources and amplification will be very beneficial IMO and it may perform on par with IE8 and SE530 if fed enough juice and if synergy with sources is good. SE530 with stock tips sounds great straight out of cheap portable players, but they won't fit and/or be comfortable for everyone as they have to be put into the ear canal and each person's ear canals are different. It didn't fit my ears most of the time, so I had to sell it unfortunately. IE8, on the other hand, only sounds the way it's supposed to with custom tips IMO. I don't think the stock tips do it any justice at all, although for some types of ears they might.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 3:39 AM Post #11 of 14

Pianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DarthSilverice /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Would like to thank you all for your replies again. I appreciate your opinions.

Right now I see a pair of Shure SE530 on sale in for sale forums for $200, good price to try it out I guess? If I don't like it I guess I wont lose much by selling it back to the head-fi community?

Also, I am actually looking more of a comparison between SRH840 vs SE530 or SRH840 vs IE8.

I don't mind circum-aural headphones at work, but if the IEMs can match the SRH840 or even beat them, I would gladly take the IEMs due to its portability.

Thx again all
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That's a steal for SE530 if its in good condition IMO.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 10:21 AM Post #13 of 14

iponderous

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZARIM /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think UM3x willbe better fit for these genres and the frequency response you want but soundstage maybe not as wide as IE8 and Shure SE530 soundstage is small too. If you like IE8 soundsignature, details and soundstage then IE7 are the IEMs with better mids than IE8 and same soundsignature and wide soundstage. BTW FX500 has wide soundstage with better highs than IE8, and great mids with rich bass as IE8.


I'm intrigued as to why you say that the UM3X would be a "better fit" with jazz than the SE530. Care to elaborate?
 
Jan 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM Post #14 of 14

JTD131

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I have the se530 and the ie8. The ie8 is definitely better with classical music IMO if you like being overwhelmed by the music (in a good way, that is). If you want to hear every precise detail with less dynamic range, go for the 530, though isolation with the ie8's aren't as good. Personally I am keeping the ie8's because they sound so great.
 

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