Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating Earphones
It takes a little while to get used to properly inserting the phones and getting them situ...more
These earphones are an absolute dream. The sound quality is amazing, better than the average home stereo and better than any headphones or earphones I've ever heard. Each side has two woofers and a tweeter. It takes a little while to get used to properly inserting the phones and getting them situated just so, for optimal sound quality and noise isolation. But you get the hang of it before long, and then it's pretty easy. The sound isolation works pretty well (if you have the phones situated properly in your ears). You get a good seal, which greatly reduces the amount of outside sound that can get in. I've found it works very, very well on airplanes and at the gym (the two noisiest environments I'm typically in). In contrast, "noise-cancelling" headphones do not block outside noise, rather they add an electronically generated noise designed to cancel the frequencies of the outside noise. They require batteries, and I don't like that they are adding noise to what you're hearing. The modular aspect of the cabling is clever and very useful. The phones themselves have a very short cord. But Shure includes a variety of extension cords of different lengths, which allows you to have the right length cable in different situations. One of these modular cables has a built-in volume control, handy for when your device doesn't have a volume control (or it's not accessible for whatever reason). If you order the SE530PTH rather than the SE530s, you also get the push-to-hear module, which has a little mic and volume control. If you turn it on, it transmits sound from the mic into the headphones, allowing you to have a conversation with someone without removing the earphones. (Removing the earphones is easy, but putting them back in and getting a good seal takes a minute or so, especially for newbies.) I find the PTH to be a neat accessory. If you get it without PTH, you can always buy it separately, though it's cheaper to get them together. The build quality is exceptional. The cords are thicker than any other headphones/earphones I've seen, and where they attach to the earphones or accessories is very well reinforced. Even the case they come in is a work of art in itself, very well packaged in a brushed aluminum case. They also come with a 2 year manufactuer's warranty, which I have yet to have to use, but from what I read Shure is fantastic to deal with on these matters and quickly replaces any faulty earphones with no hassle. In summary, I love the SE530's amazing sound quality, terrific build quality, and generous bundle of thoughtful accessories. Retailing at $499 from Amazon themselves, I have to recommend that you look through some of the resellers - a much better price. I went with sarjo_distributions, got them for $290 I believe at the time, and they are now down to $279 plus about $5 shipping. The shipping was quick, the product legit.