- Excellent sound quality, comfortable, wide sound stage, background noise cut in.
The E500s are the best pair of IEMs we've looked at. They combine incredible sound with excellent comfort and the nifty built in microphone
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
There is a rare breed of people for whom, spending more than $700 on a pair of headphones isn't just a rarity, but a somewhat regular occurrence. If you consider yourself an audiophile, and have been craving something new to pair with your iPod, the Shure E500 In Ear Monitors (IEMs) are for you. Offering some of the best sound we've heard from a portable, unamplified headphone, they are sure to please even the most discerning listener. Be wary however, they don't come cheaply.
Once you listen to them however, idle concerns like money (may) simply drift away. The E500s offer quite a laid back sound; they don't have the same sort of forward presentation you'll find on something like the Koss s, but they sound absolutely exquisite across all registers. Bass, an area IEMs often struggle with, is tight and powerful. While it is the strongest element of the music, it doesn't sound bloated at all, as it tended to on Shure's previous flagship model, the . The E500's lows are powerful and crunching and offer excellent detail.
In fact this detail extends across the whole musical spectrum, with both the mid and treble ranges exhibiting excellent clarity. These are quite revealing headphones, so don't be surprised if you notice a few flaws or new elements you hadn't previously heard in your music. The mid and treble ranges are well balanced against each other, and while they aren't quite as prominent as the bass (this is only really noticeable in the mid range), at no time are they overshadowed. The treble has a nice smoothness to it that really complements the powerful bass.
The other area in which the E500's really excel is with regards to soundstage. They offer one of the best soundstages we've heard on an IEM. While it is extremely difficult for a small IEMs or earbuds to compete with bigger, over the ear headphones in this area, the E500s do an admirable job. Music is well positioned, sounding as though you're listening from the front row of a small, intimate concert.
One issue we've commonly encountered with IEMs in the past is a difficulty getting the correct fit, but we had no issues with the E500s. Most companies provide a series of different tips with their canal phones, to allow you to get the best fit possible. In this case we disliked the rubber tri-flange tips which were on by default, but had much more luck with the yellow foam plugs. These can be squeezed just before insertion, allowing them to expand and take the shape of your ear canal for a perfect seal.
In general we were pleased with how comfortable the E500s were. Unlike some of Shure's other offerings, which are quite large and can cause pain after prolonged use, we found the E500s were perfectly comfortable whether we used them for five minutes or five hours. They achieved a good seal, which helped block out external noise. They don't do the job quite as well as a pair of over the ear headphones with active noise cancelling, but as far as IEMs go, the level of isolation on offer is great.
However this time round, Shure has also catered for those who regularly need to converse while listening to music. The E500s come in two parts, the main pair of headphones with a short cable, and a second section of cable containing a small microphone. The microphone, which operates off a single AA battery, can be switched on at any time, which in turn dims your music, and pumps any background noise, such as people talking or busy traffic, through to the headphones. The quality is excellent, and at medium to high volume we had no trouble conversing with the E500s in. There is a slight delay, but it is no more than a split second, and won't cause big problems. Also note, if you don't want to lug the microphone around, an alternate section of plain cable is provided.
Overall, the E500s are the best pair of IEMs we've looked at. They combine incredible sound with excellent comfort and the nifty built in microphone. While the price tag is high, with audio equipment you usually get what you pay for, and for most audiophiles, the E500s will be worth every penny.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectACT
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2QLD
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- CCNetwork Specialist - IPAM TelcoVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXWA
- FTApplications DeveloperACT