I’ve been playing live for 27 years now and the high volumes of rock music has taken a definite toll on my hearing. I’ve gotten very careful about protecting my hearing. I switched to a wireless ear monitoring system about a year ago and it has really helped me keep the volume that reaches my ears under control. I’m very critical about sound quality so I wanted to get the best possible in-ear headphones to use with my monitor system. I didn’t mind paying a lot but I didn’t want to break the bank either. After trying out a few brands I finally decided on the Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating Earphones.
Like I said, I have extremely critical ears when it comes to sound quality so the biggest thing that attracted me to these earphones is the fact that they have 3-Micro Speakers in each ear. One is a dedicated tweeter that handles the mid and high frequencies while the other two handle the bass frequencies in a dual woofer format. When I first got these earphones I was expecting an excess of bass and was worried it would wash out all clarity in the mids and highs. I was wrong, the bass is extremely detailed. It honestly took me a bit to get used to it because I had gotten so used to boomy sounding bass. All in all it was a revelation to hear the bass with so much detail in the low-mid frequency range. Listening to Rush bass player Geddy Lee, I could hear so many different sounds in the way he attacked bass notes that it was a pleasure to dig out all my Rush CD’s and give them a listen through the Shure SE530PTH. I have used these earphones with my iPod as well but they bring out all of the inherent weakness of the iPod hardware and MP3’s themselves. They make the iPod sound as good as possible but you’ll hear some noise that you wouldn’t from cheaper earphones.
Another thing I really like about the Shure SE530PTH is their sound isolating ability. They come with a large package of different sized sleeves designed to mold themselves to your ear canal to seal out external sound. Since they give you so many options it’s easy to find one that works well. I decided on the yellow foam earplug style. They conform very comfortably to my ear canal. I did find that if they don’t seal well you pay the cost in bass response so if your bass seems weak your earphones are not properly sealed and isolated. Once they’re in place the Shure SE530PTH seals out sound incredibly well. When I’ve been onstage using them people have to yell for me to hear them through the sound isolation. That’s where the PTH Control (Push-To-Hear control) comes into play. With the PTH Control you can slide a switch and activate a condenser microphone on the PTH Module that will let you hear normal conversation. I use it all the time when somebody comes to the stage to request a song. It’s a very convenient feature to have. You can also disconnect the PTH Module and just use the headphones without having the module along.
Using the Shure SE530PTH Earphones onstage with my wireless ear monitoring system has been fantastic. I can hear what every instrument is playing and they all sound great. I can hear my vocals perfectly and singing in tune is a breeze. I can also sing longer since I’m not trying to push my voice too hard when I can’t hear myself sing.
There are other sound isolating earphones out there that have this level of sound quality but they’re more expensive than the Shure’s. So I’m recommending the Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating Earphones if you want the best Sound Isolating Earphones in their price range.
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