Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!
- 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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- Beats by Dr. Dre and Disney unveil headphone collaboration
- HyperX announce Cloud Earbuds
- Jaybird releases X4 and Jaybird Tarah Wireless Sport Headphones
- Audiofly launches wireless headphone range
- Razer launches Broadcaster headset
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 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