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Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer) by Review Summary ,  Sep 9, 2015

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Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Report Date: 09/08/2015
Based on 175 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.3
Returned or considering to return: 10.3%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Audio5.0   above average
Listening4.8   above average
Frequency4.6   above average
Comfortable4.5   average
Noise4.4   above average
Music4.3   average
Fit4.2   average
Service4.2   average
iPod4.1   average
Quality4.0   below average
Sound4.0   below average
Price3.6   below average
Size3.5   below average
Volume3.3   below average
Cable3.0   below average


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Audio

Audio:
"The ATHX-CK7 and NE-700 in-ear devices provide adequate passive noise-isolation in my opinion--far better than most headphones--but if you want a choice for active sound isolation, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 with Active Noise-Canceling ($75) will do very nicely albeit with a small sacrifice to the sound with the noise cancellation switched on."
_
"There's a high price for audio perfection."
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"Everything sounds good, but higher bitrate audio is recommended (I switched from mp3 to FLAC for that reason) if you're going to spend this kind of money on headphones."
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"He recommend I go visit the audio store nearby us I never knew of."
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"These little pieces of audio joy are just amazing."
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Cable

Cable:
"Also the cable on the 530 seems a bit flimsy."
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"It's a shame that the only thing wrong with these are the cables, and I paid so much for them."
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"Because after a few more than the two years of warranty, the cables start to get degradation splits and cracks, and finally in less than a couple of months, one or both earphones are not more longer in use as consequence of the cable degradation...just a few months after warranty expired..."
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"Regarding the Shure SE210 y SE530pth models and their cable problems."
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"The 3' cable already has a problem short in it."
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"In general, great sound, poor cable design and lousy support."
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"They come with an extension cord, but when you are trying to move with the earbuds on and have the extension cord attached (you pretty much NEED the extension cord), the weight becomes a small issue, as well as having the extra plug hanging down."
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"Great sound quality, the cord stays out of your way (for the most part) and the noise reduction is great."
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"Performs great but what good is that when they use such poor cables?"
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"Included are modular cables, allowing to tailor cable lengthes to usage:-volume control (good that you can decide if you want to have it or not, and if where you want to insert it."
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Comfortable

Comfortable:
"They aren't worth it... the durability is pathetic to say the least...Now for the comfort of these ... the whole wire going behind the ear takes a while to get used to but eventually the discomfort passes...Pros: Great soundCons: PriceDurabilityComfortDesign"
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"I won't go into durability, comfort, value, etc."
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"I've worn these on 2 international flights now and I had some comfort problems towards the end."
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"Use comfort: how well the ear buds fit and how comfortable they are with long-term listening."
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"Shure gives you a lot of fittings to try out in achieving a good, comfortable seal."
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"They are very comfortable and seam to be durable and do a good job with shutting out the outside noise."
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"Best noise reduction of any and more comfortable than any I listened to."
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"The SE530 isolation is very good, especially with the black foam inserts, and the fit and comfort are good enough that I can listen to them for 3-5 hours straight without wanting to remove them due to discomfort."
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Design

Design:
"And when stowing them in the provided carrying case, I make sure the ear pieces won't be impinged upon by the little nub that sits in the middle of the carry case (not the best case design; but it may have been improved by now).I did own a much cheaper (~$100) pair of Shure earphones (I forget the model number) that I handled just as carefully, but which nonetheless went part-dead on one side suddenly one day."
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"Sound quality aside I have to say I was disappointed in the wire design."
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"I know that many people have complained about PREVIOUS cabling issues, but they have changed their design and dealt with that flaw in their original design."
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"At this point in time, Shure has a strong history of root cause failure from this flawed design."
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"Also, the long nozzle and bulb-like design of the earpieces make them uncomfortable to sleep on."
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"In general, great sound, poor cable design and lousy support."
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"The ONLY complaint I have was very well covered by Robert C. The freaking wire design is out of line with the quality of these earphones."
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"The cord is heavy duty and I love the around the ear cord design."
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"The black foam not only looks better, but the tapered design makes fitting them in the ear much easier."
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"They are extremely light weight, and well designed to fit perfectly in the ear canal."
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Fit

Fit:
"A word of caution: how earphones fit you plays a much more important role than most realize: a poor fit will cause discomfort in the long run but, just as important, it will significantly degrade the sound quality."
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"If you're not comfortable with things fitting snugly and deeply into your ear canal, Shure's high end products may not be for you."
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"I had tried that before, it didn't fit and the sound was terrible."
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"I broke the tiny nozzle that fits into the tips."
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"19-Sept-09 : I'm updating this review (see below) : The sound quality is good, but there continues to be problems with lack of sound isolation and fit."
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"2. make sure the demo earphones have been run in (used) for at least 12 hours otherwise they do not sound great straight out of the box and will sound quite shrill and thin 3. make sure the earpieces fit snugly into your ears or the bass will sound weak."
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"Moreover, a lot of people, not just me, on headphone forums agree that the SE530 (and the previous generation of shures, e. g. SE420, SE530) have a much more comfortable fit and seals better, which translates into better sound quality."
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"They come with something like 5 different sized ear buds so there is probably one that will fit in your ear comfortably."
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"Sennheiser IE 8 ($450)Overall tonal balance: slightly lean, very detailed though not analytical, just slightly lacking in warmth -- 92Clarity: well articulated sound, free from colorations across the entire frequency range -- 95Bass: very tight bass with excellent definition and timber; slightly short on quantity and impact -- 90Highs: extended highs free of harshness or stridency -- 95Use comfort: well shaped, excellent fit with my ears; could benefit from memory-foam buds -- 93Overall: 93Second."
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"Shure SE535 ($549)Overall tonal balance: lush and very musical if slightly lacking in inner details -- 95Clarity: slightly veiled in the mid-range; not the last words in articulation -- 93Bass: thunderous bass with great impact but somewhat lacking in tightness -- 95Highs: extended, smooth highs with good details -- 95Use comfort: excellent fit with my ears though large size & shape took some getting used to -- 92Overall: 94First."
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"Use comfort: how well the ear buds fit and how comfortable they are with long-term listening."
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Frequency

Frequency:
"Besides the missing low frequencies, the ER-4Ps are just too bright (and I even like bright)."
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"They are very detailed and pleasing throughout the critical midrange frequencies."
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"Sennheiser IE 8 ($450)Overall tonal balance: slightly lean, very detailed though not analytical, just slightly lacking in warmth -- 92Clarity: well articulated sound, free from colorations across the entire frequency range -- 95Bass: very tight bass with excellent definition and timber; slightly short on quantity and impact -- 90Highs: extended highs free of harshness or stridency -- 95Use comfort: well shaped, excellent fit with my ears; could benefit from memory-foam buds -- 93Overall: 93Second."
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"Any adjustments I made just didn't bring the frequencies out enough to appreciate so I coughed up the money for a set of ES-530s and man what a difference."
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"With three distinct speakers, I would expect a frequency response of at least 10-20,000.I guess these would be great for classical or rock music."
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"I have NO idea the frequencies that this piece covers, but you can hear all of them - very clear and distinct."
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Level

Level:
"They include the OSHA maximum time exposure to sound pressure levels before hearing damage occurs."
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"For those reading this, the wire problem still does NOT rise to the level of not purchasing these earphones."
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"The headset is safer to your hearing in load environments than earphones that just sit in the ears without sealing them like the those that come with the iPod, because you do not have to turn the volume up to damaging levels to over power outside noise."
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"For those people who complained about the level of base, my only suggestion is that you likely didn't insert them properly."
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"But you got the point: you may want to buy an additional plane adapter plug (it's cheap and small so it didn't loose a star for that, but I was disappointed as we're talking about high level stuff here).The other thing is that SE530, unlike the SE530 PTH, doesn't have this big device that you plug to the cord to be able to listen the outside world at the push of a button, and then back to normal."
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"In this case, based on my level of satisfaction, I believe that I have received good value for this purchase."
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"On the other hand, they are the best earbuds that I've listened to and also produce very good listening levels even from low powered MP3 players."
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"I am amazed at the sensitivity... at low volume levels on my zune these buds crank."
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"My old Sony MDR-EX71 paired with the Shure Music Phone Adapter sounded almost as good as the V-Moda in terms of bass level."
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"The isolation level they provide is amazing!"
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Listening

Listening:
"From my experience, the Shure SE530 not only are the most comfortable, but offer the best sound signature for most listening experiences."
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"Use comfort: how well the ear buds fit and how comfortable they are with long-term listening."
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"Happy listening! "
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"The best plug-in earphones I've been listening up to now."
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"Over the years, when it comes to listening to recorded music, I tend to gravitate to the best engineered and mastered recordings."
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"I think I will prefer the Bose for listening to my iPod on a long flight, because I think they will be more comfortable."
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Music

Music:
"Bought a set of Klipsch IMAGE S4's first (lower cost incentive), listened for a couple weeks, and they aren't the most accurate earbuds for really complex dense music passages, but they sound very good and have some fun & well controlled bass."
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"I never liked to listen to music in my mobile( Google G1)."
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"Because if you love music, and you have a good ear, you won't be happy with any other 'phones once you've heard these."
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"Since I broke them, I cannot listen to music the same way."
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"I had these headphones for a few months and was pretty disappointed with how they sounded on both my iAudio U2 1 GB Digital Music Player and my iPhone."
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"I want to listen to all my music again to discover the hidden melodies that have been drowned out by my old c-grade head phones."
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"Since I use good quality earphones, I encode all my music files to 320k for my iPod iTouch iPhone 4."
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"If you prefer a lot of bass and impact in your music, the Shure SE535 is the best choice."
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"The ER-4Ps remain an excellent earphone, but given how much I listen to earphones, and how much I love music, the 530s are the best investment I've made yet in my musical life."
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"All music details are clear for every style of music I could throw at 'em...even in the most complex and information dense music."
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Noise

Noise:
"I am using my players in several environments; Planes, Gym, Outside; prior to buying the SE530, I used several earbud types, and for the past 2 years, a Jabra C820S headphones Jabra C820S Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphones, until it broke and I had to purchase a new device in replacement."
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"The headset is safer to your hearing in load environments than earphones that just sit in the ears without sealing them like the those that come with the iPod, because you do not have to turn the volume up to damaging levels to over power outside noise."
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"One of the truly remarkable features is the sound isolation -- unlike most other so-called sound canceling apparatus, these 'phones really do block ALL external noise -- and that can be a problem if you're driving, or walking cycling in traffic, so be careful out there."
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"They block out almost every annoying noise you can think of."
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"Noise isolation is passive and work very effectively as long as the ear buds stay in the ear."
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"The ATHX-CK7 and NE-700 in-ear devices provide adequate passive noise-isolation in my opinion--far better than most headphones--but if you want a choice for active sound isolation, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 with Active Noise-Canceling ($75) will do very nicely albeit with a small sacrifice to the sound with the noise cancellation switched on."
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"Between the extremely high quality of the sound and the noise isolation, this will likely be the best sound system you ever own."
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"Great sound quality, the cord stays out of your way (for the most part) and the noise reduction is great."
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"They are very comfortable and seam to be durable and do a good job with shutting out the outside noise."
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Price

Price:
"For the price I payed, I thought I was acquiring a unique headphones, one in it's kind but, though I admit that the sound is superb, the quality of the cable is awful, after using them for a few months, the cable start peeling off, specifically around my ears, so it started to harm my ear, and even the sound of the headphones is still good, they are useless... so I don't recommend this product at all as for the price they are, they should be a lifetime product! "
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"If you listen to mostly MP3 and other compressed recordings, you are probably wasting your money and missing most of the virtues of these $500-earphones."
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"The downside is the price."
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"Only one negative thing I have to say, save your money and don't get the PTH."
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"I have used models that cost a third of the price that sound nearly as good (but not as good)."
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"I can't believe the amazing prices these headphones are now selling for! "
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"For whatever reason the vendor priced these well below the prices offered by the other vendors."
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"I bought these at the unbelievable price of $ 149.00."
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"If Shure America made the SE 530 this good the SE 846 might be much better for the $1000 price."
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"While these sound extremely good for earbuds, the price is a bit tough to justify."
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"The sound is pretty much the same, the price is the same, and the wire is built like a tank to fix the E5XX wiring splitting problem."
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Quality

Quality:
"Thank you Shure America for the perfect jobWhat can I say, I am a music lover, I like Quality not quantity, The best or nothing, but the SE530 can do until the Shure SE846 come long."
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"iPhone 4, has a newer chipset for music so you'll hear a difference in music quality if you use an older mp3 iPod with <320k quality files which doesn't sound so well."
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"A word of caution: how earphones fit you plays a much more important role than most realize: a poor fit will cause discomfort in the long run but, just as important, it will significantly degrade the sound quality."
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"I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the overall sound quality when I received this."
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"Too bad I couldn't also replace the cabling going to the headphones themselves to replace the crappy quality ones included.. who knows how long those will last if the extention cable goes bad after 5 days."
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"Sound quality aside I have to say I was disappointed in the wire design."
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"Since I use good quality earphones, I encode all my music files to 320k for my iPod iTouch iPhone 4."
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"Between the extremely high quality of the sound and the noise isolation, this will likely be the best sound system you ever own."
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"Great sound quality, the cord stays out of your way (for the most part) and the noise reduction is great."
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"It's GREAT if you want awesome sound quality."
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"I'll tell you why...At first they were great and produced great sound quality...Then after about a 9 months of just about everyday use (listen to music while I am on the computer working) the rubber on the ear buds started falling apart..."
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Response

Response:
"The only complain really from the UM1s was the very thin bass response."
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"Other reviewers report that they are disappointed with the bass response."
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"The added bonus to all of this is that the E500s had a weak response zone in the 3-12 KHz range -- they just seemed off..."
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"With three distinct speakers, I would expect a frequency response of at least 10-20,000.I guess these would be great for classical or rock music."
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"The bass response is very clear and as drummer that is important to clearly hear the bass."
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"If you want an earphone with a completely flat response I recommend you look elsewhere."
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"With these phones, its distortionless response all the way thru...Clearly the best in ear phones (custom earphones aside)... but the issue with the cable cracking does worry me some."
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"The E4c has a neutral and flat response and they sound great because of this, but they lacked truly deep, bone rattling bass (they don't go below about 20hz or so) and the highest of high frequencies seemed to roll off."
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Service

Service:
"I'm never buying anything from they again and I would highly recommend that you look at a better company that doesn't have a customer service that just disappoints."
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"While I am awestruck by the sound, I have been nonetheless extremely disappointed with the customer service from Shure."
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"I am very pleased with the service and absolutely love the product."
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"Great Price Great Service Great Product."
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"However I had some confusion (my confusion problem, not a problem with anything they did) and contacted OneCall's customer service to get it resolved."
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"There customer service is outstanding and reliable."
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"Bottom line: Shure has EXCELLENT customer service."
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Size

Size:
"Cutting the foam off with a small knife, is not such a good option either, from the discussions, so I'm planning on trying the freezer method."
_
"However, I ran into a small problem that I see others have reported."
_
"But you got the point: you may want to buy an additional plane adapter plug (it's cheap and small so it didn't loose a star for that, but I was disappointed as we're talking about high level stuff here).The other thing is that SE530, unlike the SE530 PTH, doesn't have this big device that you plug to the cord to be able to listen the outside world at the push of a button, and then back to normal."
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"I've never liked the full size headphones because of the weight and lack of portability those headphones burden the user with."
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"Overall the wire situation is a small negative compared to a very big positive of the amazing sound reproduction."
_
"Shure SE535 ($549)Overall tonal balance: lush and very musical if slightly lacking in inner details -- 95Clarity: slightly veiled in the mid-range; not the last words in articulation -- 93Bass: thunderous bass with great impact but somewhat lacking in tightness -- 95Highs: extended, smooth highs with good details -- 95Use comfort: excellent fit with my ears though large size & shape took some getting used to -- 92Overall: 94First."
_
"The ATHX-CK7 and NE-700 in-ear devices provide adequate passive noise-isolation in my opinion--far better than most headphones--but if you want a choice for active sound isolation, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 with Active Noise-Canceling ($75) will do very nicely albeit with a small sacrifice to the sound with the noise cancellation switched on."
_
"They come with an extension cord, but when you are trying to move with the earbuds on and have the extension cord attached (you pretty much NEED the extension cord), the weight becomes a small issue, as well as having the extra plug hanging down."
_
"The tiny speakers produce amazing bass for their diminutive size, along with clear highs."
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"It's pretty easy to get a good seal with the different sizes and whatnot."
_

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Sound

Sound:
"I was very disappointed about the sound of this Shure earphones even that they look as brand new, I don't understand how it can cost almost 300$ and sounds worst than my 12$ ordinary earphones."
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"iPhone 4, has a newer chipset for music so you'll hear a difference in music quality if you use an older mp3 iPod with <320k quality files which doesn't sound so well."
_
"A word of caution: how earphones fit you plays a much more important role than most realize: a poor fit will cause discomfort in the long run but, just as important, it will significantly degrade the sound quality."
_
"I had tried that before, it didn't fit and the sound was terrible."
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"You will not need to wrestle the tip that much.. For those of you who are not happy with the sound, like myself before I use the double-flank tips, give it a try."
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"For me their sounds is terrific."
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"For $79, the 215's produce great sound."
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"I'm not a reviewer like some of the others who write technical war and peace novels, but a listener who knows bad sound from good sound."
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"This review is for someone who just wants great sound."
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Treble

Treble:
"If I listen to my dinky Koss KSC-75's for more than a day, then use my Sennheiser HD-280s for some monitoring, then listen to my Grado SR80s, and THEN come back to my SE530s for a train ride or at work, the treble definitely seems to be missing something for at least a day."
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"I could see how if you are one that cranks trebles you may be dissapointed."
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"I am pretty sure that the treble is slightly rolled off because it can extend your listening session with less fatigue than other phones with harsh, loud highs."
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"The sound quality is similar to the rest of the Shure earphone line, in that the bass is adequate and fast, the midrange is pronounced and sparkly, and the treble is slightly recessed, but still detailed."
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"I can't believe how crisp and clear the trebles and mids are, and how pristine and powerful the bass is."
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"The treble is now nice and airy with a beautiful sparkle that introduces no unwanted sibilance in the voices of the artists."
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"the iem's just get better each time i put it in my ears...the soundstage is amazing, the bass,mids and treble sounds perfect, and compliment each other...the best iem's money can buy, i would recommmend it to any serious audiophile out there in the market looking for a world class iem's...shure se530 has blown me away!"
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Volume

Volume:
"My only problem was the volume wire attachment became loose and was creating static."
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"Unless I'm missing something, it's nothing more than a volume slider."
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"The headset is safer to your hearing in load environments than earphones that just sit in the ears without sealing them like the those that come with the iPod, because you do not have to turn the volume up to damaging levels to over power outside noise."
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"Be careful to keep the volume very low when initially listening, you don't need much gas - if volume is set high you could get a real unpleasant blast."
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"They performed good for literally 5 minutes until the volume in the right IEM turned down to less than half of the left IEM."
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"Included are modular cables, allowing to tailor cable lengthes to usage:-volume control (good that you can decide if you want to have it or not, and if where you want to insert it."
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"Something I would be wary to do, as earphones and high volume are a good recipe to dammage your hearing."
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"Also, I felt like I could break the SE530 accessories very easily in my hand (especially the volume attenuator)."
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"These are really the best earphones I have ever tried - amazing sound, full volume, clear and transparent sound."
_

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Warranty

Warranty:
"Because after a few more than the two years of warranty, the cables start to get degradation splits and cracks, and finally in less than a couple of months, one or both earphones are not more longer in use as consequence of the cable degradation...just a few months after warranty expired..."
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"If somebody consults the WEB, it is possible to find out that Shure replaces the damage, even out of warranty."
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"Shure sent me a new set with now problem but after the warranty they will charge $125 to repair them."
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"Good warranty."
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"Update March 2011.One has to give it to shure, their warranty system works good."
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"I'm pleased that they honored their warranty and am excited to try it again."
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"The durability of these head phones are tempered by the excellent customer service warranty, so no change in the three star rating."
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"the first two times they were replaced by a new pair no questions asked under 2 yrs warranty by Shure (I live near their HQ, great customer service and respect)."
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iPod

iPod:
"iPhone 4, has a newer chipset for music so you'll hear a difference in music quality if you use an older mp3 iPod with <320k quality files which doesn't sound so well."
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"The headset is safer to your hearing in load environments than earphones that just sit in the ears without sealing them like the those that come with the iPod, because you do not have to turn the volume up to damaging levels to over power outside noise."
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"I used these things for everything, and almost daily for two years; While running, lifting, sitting on the train or airplane, and often let my ipod nano hang down from the wire (not the greatest idea as it puts tension on the wire).Thankfully, I was still within the two year warranty, so I shipped the earphones back to Shure, and within a week I had a BRAND NEW set of earpieces with all the extras."
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"Efficiency is critical so the iPod doesn't have to be turned up as much to produce sufficient listening volume, meaning more headroom for full dynamics."
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"There are far more affordable earphones in the range of $50 to $80 that, on IPods and similar devices, will sound almost as good as their far-more-expensive brethrens."
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"iPod classic 160gigiBasso T3 amp (NICE little rig from China that really beefs the output from the iPod)Shure ES530sThe playlist and it's BEST spots:Hotel California (LIVE) (The Eagles) - it feels as if you can reach out and touch them...you hear EVERYTHING!"
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"They coexist perfectly with my 6th generation IPod of 160GB."
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