Pros: excellent soundstage and imagery, musical, a masterpiece for vocal and orchestral songs
Cons: mediacore cables, lacks transparency compared to W4, still not a good choice for fast and heavy songs, warranty only available in asia
Shure SE535LTD Review
Packaging and Ergonomics
Nothing much to expect, they are very similar to the SE535 with the exception of the cheap packaging. Maybe shure is going green as i expected a much better presentation coming out from a high end universal IEM (haha even the Westone UM series has nice solid packaging). Accessories however are excellent, no different from the usual (olive foam tips, yellow foam tips, triple flange sillicon tips, cleaning tool, airline adapter, 1/4" adapter, attenuator and a hard clamshell carrying case)
Now here comes the disappointing part; the cables. I just feel that the cable is a tad flimsier than the SE535s and the cheap grey colour does not do any justice. Maybe someone can clarify this as I tend to be nitpicky with IEM cables. The metallic red shells are just sweet but the dirty grey cable doesn't complement it! Black would be waay suitable.
The cables just feel as cheap as my sennheisser's CX300. Shure has also reduced the length here (~1.2m) making it restrictive for tall people and monitoring purposes (i wouldnt recommend it anyway). However if you're fine with the original shure SE535 cables, then im sure this wont bother you much (it is just that i am so used to westone's excellent twisted multi stand cables) . Luckily the cables are removable and you may want to consider unique melody's "beat audio cable" for the shure series.
Source: Cowon J3 unamped, FLAC, no EQ
The SE535LTD has a total different sound from its predecessor. The massive soundstage upgrade is the most prominent difference here. Presentation is more spacious and expansive and songs will no longer feel compressed and confined which is prevalent in the SE535 and UM3x. The soundstage size is definitely larger than the westone 4 and the shure 535. Coming from an orchestra and contemporary classic listener, I would say that the LTD has a better sound depth than the SE535 and separates the instruments even better. Play a string quartet band or the fleur du mal's of sarah brightman and you will definitely be impressed with these red candies. Strings feel much more alive and 'eargasmic', cymbals seem to be placed at the right distance and piano gives a much fuller and accurate sound tested on a variety of genres ranging from pop punk band Hedley to new age Jon Schmidt.
I would describe SE535LTD sound signature to be warm and colored similar to that of its predecessor. This might be good or bad news to some as sound coloration is indeed subjective :). I find the warm and colored signature to sound weird in some genres particular rnb and clubbing songs.
You would still expect intimacy from vocals but they give you more room unlike its predecessor and the UM3x. I would place the intimacy range somewhat in between the SE535 and the Westone 4. But what impresses me most is the fact that shure had managed the vocals to remain full and realistic despite the increase in soundstage size. As a result, vocals are more lively and the added soundstage makes them even more realistic to listen to unlike the SE535. As much as I liked the Westone 4 for its smooth and balanced vocals, I just feel that they are not 'alive' enough in which I believe the shure triumphs over this area based on my subjective views.
Now back to our comparison with the SE535.. all you need to know is that the lushful and smooth midrange orientated LTD provides more realism and breathing room than its predecessor .
I would say there is a substantial improvement in the highs. Trebles are a little more prominent and the LTD does a better job at picking up fast and heavy music. I still wouldnt recommend the Shure series to iron maiden or metalheads. But do not get me wrong here.. the highs are nicely extended than what the SE535 was able to offer.
Previously on the SE535, i was dissapointed that the cymbals sound 'clustered' on mainstream pop punk/rock bands. I think the trick was to improve the soundstage and yes it does the job. Trebles are more extended making it even better for classical music. The biggest improvement here is how the cymbals sound as compared to the somewhat not 'fulfilling' sound its predecessor provides. The cymbals retain more detail providing a richer sound which is indeed a huge feat coming out from a midrange universal IEM. Unlike its predecessor, the LTD has no difficulty in picking up the heavy double pedals from the fast guitar riffs of death metal band kalmah while making mainstream bands such as simple plan enjoyable to listen to.
Well, don't pin your hopes high on this area as there are many IEMs out there with impressive highs. The SE535LTD is just not as alive and accurate as compared to the EX1000 and the westone 4. But i can assure you, the LTD does a much better job in this area as compared to its predecessor and the um3x 'dead and lazy' highs.
The lows remains well extended and pleasant to listen to, coming in only when necessary. They are tight and accurate and still lacks the impact of the westone 4 and hence basshunter and cascada fans might still have to look elsewhere.
The Shure SE535LTD is of a total different new level of its predecessor. I am still confused at shure's attempt in making this as a limited edition instead of branding it as a new series. Please pair the shure with the triple flange tips as i feel that it brings out the best of this series.
x Impressive wide and balance soundstage
x Less intimate vocals than the SE535 but remains lush and smooth
x Improved highs making the it suitable for a wider range of genres
x Bass performance is somewhat simillar to the SE535
x Warm and coloured signature