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Shrue E500 Triple-Driver Earphones

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Shure E500 Earphones

Shure E500 Earphones

Shure, Inc.

The Bottom Line

The Shure E500 triple-driver earphones, with the included push-to-hear module, showcases cutting-edge technology, but with a price; robust sound quality yet lacking features in the build department for nearly $500, the E500 is a good choice, but should be compared carefully to other options for your personal needs.

The Push-To-Hear module is very unique to the E500; a small pack that goes between the earphones and the sound source, that with a quick switch, opens an ambient microphone so you can hear around you, perfect for any situation where you need the ability to quickly hear.


  • Good Sound Quality
  • Triple-Driver Design
  • Many Fit Options


  • Price
  • Build Quality
  • Fit (Your mileage may vary.)


  • Triple-driver/passive crossover technology (2 bass, 1 high/mid).
  • Included accessories: Fit kit, cleaning accessories, storage pouch, push-to-hear accessory.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 16Khz
  • MSRP: $499

Guide Review - Shrue E500 Triple-Driver Earphones

The Shure E500 was introduced with lots of fanfare over triple-driver technology; while not a true three-way earphone, the E500 works on the principle that spreading out the bass duties among two matched drivers gives a much better bass experience, while allowing the high/mid driver to do much more accurate work. In theory, it works perfectly; but the E500's sound quality, while way better than any single-driver earphone, leaves a little bit to be desired.

Compared to similar offerings (The Ultimate Ears UE-10 Pro was used as my comparison for all baselines except fit, since the UE-10 is a custom fit product), the bass in the E500 has an awkward bump in the low-mids, which can be fatiguing when listening to bass-rich music. The mid frequencies stand out quite a bit on the E500, aside from the rich bass; on some material, the mid frequencies seem pushed forward, which can be good or bad, depending on the recording quality.

My main concern with the E500 is the build quality. First, no memory wire is included over the ears, which makes the fit very awkward unless you adjust the cord to the back of your head. Second, the build quality on the driver housing itself could be an issue with extended use; made of (what feels like) light plastic, and the stem going into the ear canal seems like it could snap given a moment of carelessness (which, knowing my luck, would result in a trip to the ER for emergency sound-stem extraction from my ear canal). The build quality on some of Shure's other offerings, including the E5 dual-driver, seem much better.

Overall? A good earphone, really good if you want the ultimate in bass reproduction. However, there's other offerings in similar (or less) price ranges you may want to consider, unless you can find the E500 at a discount. With a lower price point, the E500 would be a phenomenal bargain.
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