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SE535 vs SM3

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 

has anybody heard both of these earphones and care to give me some input about their SQ?

im currently using UM2, planning to upgrade to W3, UM3X, SM3 or SE535.

i havent heard SM3, and personally prefer UM3X and SE530 to W3.

 

i know, W3 is still in the picture because i got a great offer for it.

im from singapore, and the offer for a 3 months old W3 is for about 250USD.

 

so can any of you kind souls reading this thread give me some suggestions to their comfort and SQ, comparing to earphones, allowing me to make a much easier decision!

 

thanks loads.

GC

post #2 of 80
Thread Starter 

sseriously, nothing at all? D:

post #3 of 80

With the hype of the SM3, it seems like an obvious choice, at least if you have the money to pay for it.

 

I'm not the greatest fan of the SE530, and since the SE535 has the exact same sound, I can't say I would be a big fan of that.  It's not that the earphone is bad.  Frankly, it's quite good for what it does do.  I just hate that a 3 driver earphone can lack so much in frequency response range.  It takes a LOT of EQing to even out and extend the bass response, and despite the drivers dynamic breadth it is pretty much impossible to even get them to extend to 30Hz without massive, massive amounts of low frequency EQing gain.  Midrange is super though, and that's worth something.  Treble is extended and barely tapers in sensitivity, although it is perceived as slightly recessed from the midrange.  The way I see the SE530 is like it's a really well refined single BA earphone.  It only offers the response of an ok single BA earphone but does it with more less distortion and in a much more smoothly refined way.  I really wish Sennheiser would change the bass drivers on the earphone, but I think they're afraid they'd lose long term customers if they changed it.

 

If you have the money, it seems like a no-brainer towards the SM3.  This isn't to say there aren't great options at a more pleasant price.  Earphones within the $200 price point like the CK10, RE252, and DBA-02 are outstanding products and products I would favor over the SE530.  I'm a big fan of the UM3X for its capabilities that you are already familiar with using the UM2, but it's a sound signature and presentation not everyone likes.  It tends to put much emphasis on details and sound stage (location and separation) but doesn't really create a "real" sound.  I've bought a pair of UM3X earphones twice, and I've sold them twice for just that reason.  Realism is a hard thing to get.  Few earphones pull it off well.  My OK1 buds are very good.  The RE252 is quite good.  The CK10 is very good.  I wish I could add the DBA-02 or SM3 there, but I have not listened to either yet.  Descriptions have been quite favorable though and from some folks who have used a number of high end earphones already.  I will say the SE530 has a very realistic sound too, but it is so hindered by the frequency response.

 

Out of what I have personally used, I have been most surprised by my OK1 buds, but sticking to IEMs, I have been very surprised by the quality of sound offered by the more mid priced products like the RE252 and CK10 than I have of higher priced products like the SE530 and UM3X.  I have used the Triple.Fi 10 and IE8 as well, and while I actually do like many of these products and value their quality of sound, I have come to prefer what something like the RE252 and CK10 offer in terms of sound quality, balance, and price.  I would certainly toss the DBA-02 in there too because it's priced really well for a dual driver BA and is apparently up there as well in terms of sound quality, balance, and enjoyment.  Given that you could pretty much buy all 3 of these for the price of just the SM3, you might consider giving one or several of them a try and see what you think. 

 

Really the ideal choice comes down to what you're looking for in the overall presentation.  The UM3X is more than likely a product that will sound most like the UM2 that you already have.  However, if if you're looking for a different signature, there are many other great options.  Should you just grab the SM3?  Maybe.  Should you try some of the very well regarded more budget minded options?  Maybe.  That's for you to decide.  Frankly, I'd buy everything and keep the one that fits me the best, but that takes a willingness to put that much money in limbo until you decide and sell off the others.  Buying used is also a big help in keeping cost down and making sure you sell without a loss.

post #4 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

With the hype of the SM3, it seems like an obvious choice, at least if you have the money to pay for it.

 

I'm not the greatest fan of the SE530, and since the SE535 has the exact same sound, I can't say I would be a big fan of that.  It's not that the earphone is bad.  Frankly, it's quite good for what it does do.  I just hate that a 3 driver earphone can lack so much in frequency response range.  It takes a LOT of EQing to even out and extend the bass response, and despite the drivers dynamic breadth it is pretty much impossible to even get them to extend to 30Hz without massive, massive amounts of low frequency EQing gain.  Midrange is super though, and that's worth something.  Treble is extended and barely tapers in sensitivity, although it is perceived as slightly recessed from the midrange.  The way I see the SE530 is like it's a really well refined single BA earphone.  It only offers the response of an ok single BA earphone but does it with more less distortion and in a much more smoothly refined way.  I really wish Sennheiser would change the bass drivers on the earphone, but I think they're afraid they'd lose long term customers if they changed it.

 

 

Sennheiser? 
 

post #5 of 80
Thread Starter 

i actually like the 'real' sound of 530s. im wondering if sm3 has this kind of sound, compared to the more analytical um3x?

post #6 of 80
Thread Starter 

@koonhua

 

yeah i was wondering. i think he meant shure.

 

wrt above, i really want to enjoy my music instead of analysing it. im currently running on ipod classic 160g, without an amp. might be getting an amp next though.

post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerboyz View Post

@koonhua

 

yeah i was wondering. i think he meant shure.

 

wrt above, i really want to enjoy my music instead of analysing it. im currently running on ipod classic 160g, without an amp. might be getting an amp next though.



My advice get rid of that Classic and get a Cowon J3 - less capacity but it sounds waaay better with SM3.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerboyz View Post

i actually like the 'real' sound of 530s. im wondering if sm3 has this kind of sound, compared to the more analytical um3x?

Yes it does.
 

post #8 of 80

Okay, we know MVW2 doesn't like SE530 but has he heard either SM3 or SE535 which this thread is about (????).

 

For realism I think SE535 mops the floor with UM3X.  It is also more balanced top to bottom where UM3X is scaled more towards the lower register and is actually darker sounding.

 


Edited by Spyro - 7/2/10 at 5:04am
post #9 of 80
Thread Starter 

i kindda prefer the shures over the westone since long ago, but 530 had cable problems.

now that 535 is out is it right for me to safely say i should either get the shure or SM3?

too bad i have not had the chance to try SM3 myself.

post #10 of 80

Funny how those that haven't compared say that the 535 is exactly the same as 530. In other threads people talk about cables completely changing IEMs character. Here we have a phone with a different internal volume, driver placement, nozzle, filter and cable. They'd be lucky to make it sound 'exactly' the same if they tried.


Edited by goodvibes - 7/2/10 at 6:41am
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by koonhua90 View Post



 

Sennheiser? 
 


Lol, my bad.

post #12 of 80
Thread Starter 

is SM3 more for casual listening or analysing music for musician?

from certain threads i get that its like UM3X, just better. but Bennyboy says it has this 'real' sound ppl are talking about.

but obviously this BennyBoy is quite an SM3 fanatic (:

post #13 of 80

I've heard the SM3s and own the SE535s and my recommendation is that you really can't make a wrong decision here. But I do prefer the SE535s (their mids are tops with great deep and taught bass with NOW great treble that isn't rolled off) and their construction makes them pretty indestructible.

post #14 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Funny how those that haven't compared say that the 535 is exactly the same as 530. In other threads people talk about cables completely changing IEMs character. Here we have a phone with a different internal volume, driver placement, nozzle, filter and cable. They'd be lucky to make it sound 'exactly' the same if they tried.


Yes, good point. I have both and while I think the 535 sounds a little better than the 530, they sound similar enough that if you don't like the 530, you won't like the 535 either. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't like them, but then, I don't like the re0 and other people rave about them.

post #15 of 80
Thread Starter 

and can i safely assume the 535 wouldnt have the cable problems anymore, so if i liked the 530s, i should go ahead and buy the 535s or the SM3 and not give a look as westone right?

 

since many head-fiers says that sm3 is like um3x on steroids + bigger sound stage.

 

thanks for your input people.

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