- 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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front
- Logitech's excellent C920 webcam is just $50 today
- Audio-Technica ATH-AG1X review: A good gaming headset with one killer flaw
- Sennheiser GSP 350 review: A gaming headset that sounds a lot better than it looks
- Sennheiser Game Zero review: This headset's sound quality justifies its price
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTDatabase Engineer (Oracle)ACT
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- CCChange AnalystVIC
- CCCCNP Network EngineerVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- FTSystem Support Analyst, ERPNSW
- FTTeam Leader Solution DeliveryQLD
- FTIT Command Centre Support EngineerVIC
- FTDashboard Developer | up to $92 p/hrVIC
- FTLearning & Development Consultant, Wealth ManagementNSW
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FTApplication Support EngineerNSW
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Communications Advisor - Australian TelcoVIC
- TPLevel 1-3 Helpdesk OfficerQLD
- FTSenior Software EngineerACT
- FTSystem Analyst - IntegrationQLD
- TPAssistant Change Manager | System Implementation ProjectQLD
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- FTProject Manager HFC Capacity ManagementVIC