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Anyone compared the Ety's to the Shure E500/SE530?


TheSloth
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The more I think about it the more confident that I become in idea that the only thing I'll replace my Etys with is a pair of customs.

That's my feeling as well. It's either UE-10's/Sensas or nothing so far - but I've had musician's ear plugs made 3 times and I still don't have completely comfortable customs, so I am not so sure about the UE-10's either. Just wanted to know from someone who thought Ety's were incredible IEM's if any of the new bling top of the line models were better in those ways?

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I'm sort of awaiting the Westone 3, to see if any sort of significant progress has been made in the universal fit IEM world. Based on what I've read neither the Shure 400 or 500 series or the Triple-Fi 10's sound like they're for me. I keep hoping someone will come out with a decent sub-$500 custom IEM. I'd have to give that some serious thought.

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I haven't compared the two directly but I did give the Ety's an audition quite awhile back. From what I remember they were better than I was expecting but still a bit too brittle in the upper region and lacking weight in the bottom for my taste. When I got the E4's I felt they were more suited to my tastes but ultimately felt they still lacked a bit in the bottom. The E500's are darn near a perfect balance for my preferences and are a step up in resolution/detail over the E4's.

I think if you're happy and like the balance of the Ety's you would not be happy with E500's, the E500's are basically the antithesis of the Er4's in a balance and tonality.

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I think if you're happy and like the balance of the Ety's you would not be happy with E500's, the E500's are basically the antithesis of the Er4's in a balance and tonality.

I totally agree with elnero's comparison. While I wouldn't mind a little more heft to the ER4 sound, the E500 was way too dark. It reminded me of my HD650/Zu Mobius combo. Now, this doesn't mean that I'd never try the Shure again, but the Ety sound is closer to my liking.

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I totally agree with elnero's comparison. While I wouldn't mind a little more heft to the ER4 sound, the E500 was way too dark. It reminded me of my HD650/Zu Mobius combo. Now, this doesn't mean that I'd never try the Shure again, but the Ety sound is closer to my liking.

Ah ha, no wonder my HD650-fanatic friend considers the E500 godly. Hmmm...

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Ah ha, no wonder my HD650-fanatic friend considers the E500 godly. Hmmm...

You know, I think this is one of the problems with IEM's - they really do seem to interact with our ears in an even more specific way than other headphones. I find the 650 only slightly dark, and yet don't find the ER4s bright at all... At home, given a choice of all dynamic headphones, I'd listen to 650's, and on the road, given the choice of all IEM's (by the sounds of it anyway) I'd choose the ER4p or s (probably the s). At my ears, the both err just slightly on opposite sides of neutral but are both close enough for my ears not to sit there going 'if only they were just a bit more...'.

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TheSloth, Just to be clear, I was being a bit sarcastic to make a point which I think you illustrated in part with your post. We all hear differently, have different preferences and as you stated our ears seem to all interact differently with phones. As a general rule I've found myself quite sensitive to treble and anomalies in the treble region. I could live with Ety's for portable use if there were no other options but they could never be my only or my main headphone like the E500's are.

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I had a ER-4P and now have a ER-4S. I also had the E500 and E5c. I feel that the ETYs tend to have more highs (very detailed) and mids, with not much lows. But the E500 and E5cs have more of a soundstage IMHO, and also have more lows as well. The highs are detailed but not as detailed as the ETYs. jinp6301 mentioned that the Shure's are dark. I could see them as being dark as times as well. Much luck to you.

:mikey2:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had the Etys (ER4P/S) for a couple years now, before I even knew headphones could be a hobby, and I had the whole new line of Shures in my home for three weeks a couple months back. I thought the SE210s and SE310s had serious tone problems (does a flute really sound like a guitar ???) and should be trashed. The SE420s and 530s were worth listening to, and I found myself checking out the SE530s almost daily, toying with the idea of wanting to buy something new. I put my Etys aside through most of this period and used both a Larocco PRII and and a Hornet with an imod (lossless). At first, I found myself seduced by a sense of fullness the SE530s give that the ER-4P/S do not. There is a treble roll-off, as others have mentioned, but that doesn't bother me as I'm stupidly sensitive to highs, and had even been talking with a local DIYer about making a filter I can use with full-sized headphones. I enjoyed them, enjoyed just listening to music, sang loudly and horribly along with everything, and could keep them in for a couple hours without even noticing them in my ears.

Fast foward a couple weeks, and back to the Etys. It took me about five minutes to re-adjust. My first thought was that they felt empty, not thin per say, but missing something...and then the music took over...ah...this is how it's supposed to sound! I started shuffling back and forth between songs and genres, and everything sounded fresh, clear, and right. I went back to the 530s and everything sound okay and I liked it, but the that little rush you get when something just hits you as sooooo good wasn't there.

The 530s offer a couple nice things (fuller sound, a bit better bottom end, soundstage/headstage/brainstage/whatever, and zero problems for me with the highs) that the Etys do not, but the Etys win for clarity, detail, and timbre, which, at the end of the day, is more important to me. I agree with some who say the Ety's are bright, but only in comparison to much warmer headphones/earphones. They don't strike me as overly bright at all, and just to bright side of neutral. The Shures are much more colored, imo, dark and full, but I enjoyed for that while I had them. I totally get why people like the 500s/530s--they're good and fun, but they won't be replacing my ER 4P/Ss.

Oh...I did learn that I like the Shure foamies with my Etys (previously only the flanges offered a decent seal without pain), as they help tame the slight problem I had with the Ety's treble extension and are more comfy that the flanges. Win-win for me.

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On the flip side, Ety's are disgustingly bright. ;)

I'm with elnero on this one, and agree with his very nicely put impressions above. I understand how we all hear different and how different things come into our perception of sound, but man those ety's kill me, really bright sounding to my ears. The E500's have a more natural tone with more weight to the sound, they do somewhat remind me of cleaner, more detailed senns. Regardless, those two are on the opposite side of the aural spectrum for sure.

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then either your ears are broke or you never got a good seal ;). i know someone who owned a pair for years and never liked them, until i showed him how to insert them properly. it happens. they really need to go in deep, much deeper than most people seem to realize (may simply not be compatible with some peoples ear canals), and the ear canal needs to be straight when they are inserted. the things have a ravenous cult following for a reason. i like them a lot. i like my E5s a lot, too.

I really like mine, too. I agree, they do need to go in deep - I can only partially see red/blue part of them when I have them fully inserted.

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