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SE535 vs SM3 - Page 4

post #46 of 80

That doesn't surprise me actually. I've had Shure earphones in the past and they offer the 2nd or 3rd best isolation I've ever had in an earphone. My customs are comparable to their isolation but not quite at Etymotic level.

post #47 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan03 View Post




I am using both JH5 and SE535. They both share a balanced, slightly warm and forward sound signature, but 535 has more warmth. However, JH5 has a slightly wider soundstage, a little more details and better bass thanks to its custom shell.

 

What really surprised me is the isolation of SE535. The isolation of SE535 isn't worse than the custom shell.



Thanks, those were also my impressions from CanJam over a quick listen. The JH5 mids surprised with how even and clean they were without being analyical. Just very low distotion top to bottom and I thought plenty warm enough though not as much as the 535. If SM3s are warmer than 535s, that's probably too much for me. I guess it comes down to what one feels is the right amount. Having owned 530s, the isolation was better than anything else I've had. Similar to the ETs I tried.

post #48 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan03 View Post




I am using both JH5 and SE535. They both share a balanced, slightly warm and forward sound signature, but 535 has more warmth. However, JH5 has a slightly wider soundstage, a little more details and better bass thanks to its custom shell.

 

What really surprised me is the isolation of SE535. The isolation of SE535 isn't worse than the custom shell.


Hey stefan03, would you say the JH5 have better overall sound qualities compare to the SE535 ?
 

post #49 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burma Jones View Post




Hey stefan03, would you say the JH5 have better overall sound qualities compare to the SE535 ?
 

Well, slightly better. Everything seems more well-defined. I've been listening to some David Garrett records, the better bass in JH5 makes the Orchestra behind more "lively". In SE535, the bass is a little bit weak and the Orchestra sounds like...well, recorded materials.

 

I will say that JH5 is better then most Universal Triple BA IEM I've heard or used (TF10, W3, UM3X and SE530).

post #50 of 80

 

[Also being posted in the 'SE535 - High tier' thread and SM3 appreciation thread]

 

I put the SM3 through music break-in for almost 48 hours (jumping in a couple times to test progress), and if it needs any more, the changes would be very minimal. The sound actually changed a lot within the first 24 hours, but then not so much afterward. I did some more testing this morning to music and test tones. The biggest area of change occurred in the lower highs, they became much more apparent and less recessed. The overwhelming bass calmed down quite a bit and became very nice... though still just a bit over-emphasized for my taste.

 

For me, the negative issue with the SM3 is the recessed upper-mids. There is a dip from about 1khz to about 8khz, with the recess bottoming out at about 5khz. This causes a slightly 'veiled' or dark sound to these cans. Somewhat muted and muffled in overall tone, with sparkling extended highs (well past 13khz) and mighty bass (strong through 20hz !). There also appears to be a hump at about 300hz. It's not as prominent as the recession at 5khz, but adds to the prominence of the upper bass. It's an odd mix.

 

In comparison to the SE535, the SM3 fails where the 535 excels and vice-versa. The SE535 is clear, clean and open. The SM3 is closed and a bit claustrophobic. The SM3 has recessed upper-mids, where the SE535 has  them in spades: accentuated and articulate. The SE535 has a lack of bass in the way the DT880/600 has: It's there, but not prominent. It's extended, but not pronounced. The SM3 kicks the bass in your face. The SE535 lacks the warmth of the lowest mids, upper bass and gives it a somewhat thin feel. 

 

Overall, the SM3 is warm, sonorous, somewhat dull (tonally) but fun. If you like your bass, this is the place to find it. They remind me of the M50 somewhat, but with slightly more recessed upper-mids.

The SE535 is clean, open, and spacious. Instruments are articulated with amazing exactness and clarity. There is no murk here, but there also is little sonority. 

 

These are both great IEM's. Taste in music styles has nothing to do with which one of these you might purchase, but how you like to hear that music will be everything. For example, some of the music I listened to (Classical, bluegrass, rock, jazz, etc.) sounded great with the SM3. Downright gorgeous. But some of all these types sounded like crap. The exact same thing is true of the SE535, but almost diametrically opposite.

 

So if you like the overall sound of all your music to have a certain warmth, or if you are purchasing the SM3 because you want your Classical music to be relaxing, rich and mellow... these are your IEM's. If you like your Classical (rock, jazz, etc) to have a lively sparkle with forward mids, the SE535 is your man. For rock and other high energy music, the SM3's will give you a thumping power that the SE535's just can't. That added to the sparkle on top can add to the 'fun' factor of these. In some ways they remind me of the D5000, but with more recessed mids.

 

More time will yield more listening. I had thought I'd be putting the SM3 on the FS thread today, but between the break-in and 'brain burn-in' mentioned above (not really psychoacoustics because it's not the sound that is changing after break-in, but my appreciation for it), I may have developed a liking and appreciation for their sound. I want to hold on to these at least until my DBA-02's come in so I can compare them directly.

 

Cheers

 

shane

post #51 of 80

Nice impressions @shane , so it sounds like you prefer the SE535 to the SM3 ?

post #52 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post

Nice impressions @shane , so it sounds like you prefer the SE535 to the SM3 ?


Generally, yes. Just as I 'preferred' the DT880/600 to the D5000 (and HD600), but I reeeeeeealy like the SM3 for some things. 

 

I think the SE535 is, on the whole, slightly more refined. I prefer, for most listening to hear the crystal-clear detailing and more forward mids. But I have to tell you, the SM3 can do some gorgeous sound. Round and warm and enveloping. This can be a bit claustrophobic at times, but also very nice.

 

shane

post #53 of 80

@shane ,  what tips are using on the SM3?  my sm3 is Crystal clear and not at all murky sounding 

post #54 of 80

Nice and interesting impressions @ Shane.

post #55 of 80

I think you made a wise choice Shane in waiting for the DBA-02 to compare it directly. Comparing from memory can only do so much. Also I think if you returned them there would be some stocking fee wouldn't there so you would have to take some loss so you get to give some head-fi member a discount :P

 

I'll need to wait for that comparison however so I can have a better judge of your impressions since comparing two earphones I've never heard is a bit harder to grasp compared to something I have heard in the DBA-02.

 

Also for some reason whenever you mention anything about the SE535 it makes me want to buy a set of those. From your impressions and others the SE535 seems to be more in line with my preferences.

post #56 of 80

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post

These are both great IEM's. Taste in music styles has nothing to do with which one of these you might purchase, but how you like to hear that music will be everything. For example, some of the music I listened to (Classical, bluegrass, rock, jazz, etc.) sounded great with the SM3. Downright gorgeous. But some of all these types sounded like crap. The exact same thing is true of the SE535, but almost diametrically opposite.

 


Interested in this paragraph. I am looking for another IEM that specifically has different signature to the SM3. Sometimes I wanna try distinct tastes. FX700 and DBA-02 are the two considered so far. It seems I should put SE535 into the list.

 

Of course, I will keep SM3. It is a wonderful IEM for me.


Edited by Sopp - 8/8/10 at 7:28pm
post #57 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post

@shane ,  what tips are using on the SM3?  my sm3 is Crystal clear and not at all murky sounding 


I have tried several on these and the SE535. For the past several weeks of owning the 535's I've tested everything from Monster hybrids (thank you for the inspiration there) to Comply's and Shure Olives, bi-flanges, etc.

 

Interestingly enough, when testing them I listened to each one on my three current IEM's (SE535, E4c and UM2) and found that they produced the identical characteristics regardless of which IEM they were on. e.g. if the Comply's muddied things up on one, they would muddy them all. If the bi-flange brightened one, it would brighten them all... you get the point. 

 

So once I settled on the Shure Olives for one, I found that they produced the best sound for them all. 

 

I tested and compared the two with both the Olives and the tip reduced (see kwkarth's suggestion) Comply's. I got similar results with both. Remember, there is no absolute here. Most of this is comparison, and the same tips were used on the IEM's when comparing, so if they reduced the highs on one, they (in any logic) reduce the highs on the other. For comparisons the only variable was the IEM. Tips, tracks, test tones, DAP, DAC/Amp, etc. would all remain constant.

 

shane

post #58 of 80

@ shane , the thing with shure olives is that they have the narrow opening , the sm3 really needs tips with the larger opening to shine in my experience 

post #59 of 80

Without wishing to seem like I just parrot what the fizzy energy drink man says, you really haven't heard the SM3 until you've heard it with a large hole tip - the Sensorcom dual flange are my choice du jour, but the JAYS singles also work well too (albeit by sacrificing some impact and weight for increased soundstage and airtiness). 

 

For some bizarre reason, Earsonics ship the SM3s with two inappropriate choices of tips - the utterly awful and downright evil Comply and a small hole double flange that does the sound no favours whatsoever.  Its a real shame.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post

@ shane , the thing with shure olives is that they have the narrow opening , the sm3 really needs tips with the larger opening to shine in my experience 

post #60 of 80

What the SM3's are missing for me is that last little bit of air around instruments. I'm anxious to get the sensorcoms from Ben and see if that makes a real improvement; if it does then I'll be very, very happy because otherwise I love their sound signature. I'm also going to pre-order a HiFiMan HM-602 today so I'll be able to compare against the RE252 that come with it, and there's a good chance that I'll order some DBA-02's as well. One thing is for sure... the IEM world is a whole lot more interesting now than it was when I put my iMod/xin/triple.fi rig together. 

 

gary

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