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Reviewing the Shure SE530 (or, There's no going back)

I am worse for having listened to the spectacular Shure SE530 earphones, and here's why.


I can't really complain about my job. Oh, who am I kidding? Sure I can! But still, it's pretty sweet getting to test out hot new audio products day in and day out. (Don't lie...I know you all are jealous.) Yet there is an unforeseen downside to this gig, and that's that I often review things I can't afford to buy, and then I have to return them. Do you have any idea how painful it is to have a spectacularly sweet product wrenched from your loving (and slightly deranged) grasp? At best, it's just sad. At worst, it's excruciating.

Case in point: the Shure SE530 earphones, a sweet-sounding set that will relieve your wallet of $500. Now, I'm in the midst of reviewing these headphones and, yet, though they've been on my desk for about a week--waiting in the review queue--I neglected to take them home over the weekend for my extended listening pleasure. When asked by a colleague (who shall remain nameless, as he is entirely to blame for my newfound addiction) why I was waiting until review time to use the SE530s rather than taking advantage of their every second in the office, my answer was simple: the longer I listen to them, the harder the comedown will be. In turn, he came up with some perfectly logical analogy involving a desert island and some other stuff, and I folded, immediately pairing the 'phones with the worthy Zen Vision:M.

Need I even go on? It is heaven in my ears. I have never heard something so near perfection. Now I'm an addict. And what's worse is that my perfectly lovely Shure E4cs are now sub par. The day that I wrap up the SE530s will be a sad one, make that excruciating.