Pros: Sound Quality, Comfort, Replaceable Cable, Array of included tips, Sound Isolation, Durable Included Cable with Kevlar
Cons: Price (UK), No iPhone mic and controls included
I'm no audiophile so sorry if I don't use the appropriate terminology within my review. I'm just a guy who likes to enjoy his music where ever I go. I usually commute most my life (to university and work) so I want a really good pair of earphones that will last as my companion for as long as possible and are compatible with my iphone 4, these are my requirements.
The path to the shures se535
First I bought the shures se315 and I weren't really impressed with them so I changed to these. I've come from a few high end headphones (for me anyway):
Shures SE115m+ - I really liked them but I was looking for something better so I gave them to my girlfriend which she is currently using moved on.
Bose Quietcomfort 3's - I couldn't justify the price for the average SQ and noise cancellation that hurts you so I just had to return them.
Monster Turbines Pro Gold - These were really good, clear and bright music but lasted only 6 months, so I am currently waiting for a replacement which I'm deciding to give away once I get.
Sennheiser IE 8 - which had amazing SQ and bass but the Sennheiser logo came off and put me off the build quality.
I then bought the shures se315's to replace the IE8's but was very disappointed with the sound quality as it sounded very muddy and it lacked bass (it could've been just my pair that I got that were faulty) so I had to send them back. Then I decided to take the plunge and buy the se535's due to all the good reviews on the net. I couldn't find a single bad review about them so I thought it'll be an investment as I've come through so many headphones already.
Coming from the disappointment of the SE315's sound quality, these sounded like heaven when I first plugged it into my iPhone to play "Just can't get enough" by BEP. Comparing it to the Sennheiser IE 8's I had previously (from what I remember) the detail that I hear in songs is much better in the SE535's. The only downside is that there isn't as much bass as I hoped but it does have a very good amount to enjoy music to. With the bass I guess it depends on the individual's tastes of how much bass he/she enjoys but I think the bass in the se535 is perfect for the majority but its just me that likes it to have just that bit more to make the tracks a bit more exciting.
The main reason for purchasing the SE535's is because of the removable cable. The reason for changing headphones most of the time is because the wire at the jack end slowly breaks in my jean pockets (where I always keep my iphone) and causes sound to cut out from one of sides of the earphones. Now this solution will save my buying a new pair all the time and instead just get a new cable. So investing in good earphones such as these is more logical than getting the SE315's or anything lower (well that's what I told myself anyway). I bought the replacement cable that enables song skipping and answering calls and I really find it very irritating. With the Shure SE range you're pretty much stuck with wearing the wire over your ears which as most reviews say "isn't for everyone". So wearing the new replacement cable I got, it didn't have the kevlar support as the original cables had that came with the earphones so I found the cable coming out of place very often. It got so annoying that I switched back to the original and downloaded a tweak for the iphone to skip tracks by holding down the volume keys (like the blackberry range). The kevlar coating on the original cables are AMAZING. They mould to the shape you want so they'll hold on your ears. I don't know why Shure didn't implement this on the iphone replacement cable as well seeing as it costs £50 for a replacement cable. The iphone replacement cable is also thinner than that of the original, where the original seems much more durable.
I've used these for the past two days now and they do make me want to carry on listening to them whenever I get the chance to (or maybe it's the price that makes me want to justify their use!). They do sound crisp and I do hear things that I didn't with some previous earphones. I've yet to "burn" into them as most reviews suggests but if they do get better then they'll sound even more amazing then they currently are. I read one review that said that these earphones don't have that "blow you away" effect and I completely agree. After these two days I'm slowly appreciating the sound of these earphones a little more and more and hope to carry on doing so. As I said above, I think it should have that bit more bass to give it a bit more punch to my music. The range of music I listen to is usually RnB and the old school songs like backstreet boys (it reminds me of my school days). I also listen to my Thai tunes (Thai classical instruments and Thai pop and RnB) but I don't think not many people who read this would relate to me. That's why I think it lacks that bit of bass as RnB requires a slightly high amount of bass to get into the fee of the songs. However, my old school songs Thai Songs sound really great. It feels like the instruments are separated so you can hear each and every one.
Comfort and Isolation
Wearing the these correctly does make a difference in the sound you get back from them as they give the appropriate seal. I liked the foam tips that come with them, but I upgraded to the comply TX-100 foam tips instead as I saw in reviews that they were apparently amazingly better than the shures'. In my opinion they are actually a bit more comfortable as they're more soft and they also have the wax guard but apart from that there's no other perks so I recommend to stick with the shures' foam tips. Another recommendation is to not where the kevlar hooks too tight on the ears as they start to hurt after a while, just hook it enough so that it holds. Sitting on the bus and tube in London, there's so much unnecessary noise that people make, but then again, that's public transport for you, and that's where these earphones are a godsend. They block out majority of the noise so with the music playing, it does cover up pretty much all the sound.
In the end of it all, I still believe I need more time with these earphones, but my initial impressions on them are that they are really worth having. I know i'm no music artist but as I said, I really do appreciate my music. The price tag still doesn't justify what the earphones offer but I'm hoping that over time that it will. My recommendation is that if you can afford it, then get it as I do believe that it will be an investment as there aren't many earphones with replaceable cables out there. I also don't have any experience with others so I've yet to try the others. Hopefully I won't need to as these ones will last!