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Shure SE535 vs Shure SCL5 / E5 / E5c

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I just got a new pair of SE535's back from Shure as a replacement for my broken E5s that were on back-order and thought I would post my comments here since I had read a lot of good information here prior to deciding to accept the upgrade replacement.  My background is that of a part time professional audio/video engineer and musician with 14 years of experience, so I originally purchased the E5s for their balanced performance as a portable studio quality monitor.  Also, keep in mind I literally just got back from the UPS depot with these and was listening to them on the way home with my wife driving, so this is very much first impressions.

 

The Sound

The sound on the SE535s is definitely far less "textbook level" in comparison to the E5s, though I'm not sure this is a bad thing.  I noticed far better response in around the 200Hz to 600Hz range with a much richer, cleaner texture.  (Something which I thought the E5s were lacking for drum and bass work and even some male vocals.)  On the flip side however, the high-mid roll off is definitely apparent.  Probably somewhere in the 4 to 6kHz range, there seems to be a sharp drop (though detail is still clear if muted).  It seemed to improve somewhat as it moved further up but the higher range was still probably a hair more subdued than the E5s.  My assessment of the overall sound is that while the sound may be less textbook, with some practice to get used to the sound and correcting for the response curve, I still hear plenty of detail in the high mids to be able to work with it without straining and the cleaner low end is definitely welcome.  If you are primarily working with female vocals, the 425 (supposedly similar to the E5s though I have not heard one myself) is probably a better choice (and cheaper), but I do like the sound of the 535s for more bassy instruments and vocals provided you are comfortable adjusting for the response curve.

 

The Hardware

The 535s are far smaller than the E5s.  I was shocked by just how much smaller (I'd guess at least a third smaller) though if you use the universal fit kits from the E5s, the silicon fitting I was using appears identical in size to the new ones (though the canal is significantly smaller, so no using the exact same ends.)  The connectors to the drivers themselves feel quite sturdy (like a heavy snap) and swivel easily for positioning but not too freely.  Not sure if that will change with wear.  The ear wire does not feel quite as sturdy as the E5s, however being so much lighter of a set, I'm not sure that this will be an issue and they seem to be fine so far.  The 1/8" jack seems similarly constructed to the E5s but has a more streamlined case.  They also added a nice lip to make unplugging a little easier without putting pressure on the cable.  (Which is what did in my E5s.)  The crossover (assuming it is even still on the cable (it is now not transparent even on the clear set) is much smaller and the drivers themselves have far less space for resonating though this does not seem to be a problem.  Also, it may just be a factor of the smaller chassis, but the drivers themselves seem larger.

 

My conclusion

While not a strictly flat, analytical set.  The SE535s maintain a solid, usable sound for recording, mixing (provided I can still pop them in and out easily) and general listening.  As someone looking for a pair of studio quality headphones I can take with me and use whenever I need a good set of monitors they don't disappoint.  They fix many of the issues that were problematic with the E5s.  I'm not sure that I would purchase them over the $300 SE425 for general stage monitoring if I hadn't't gotten them as part of a replacement offer, but for bassy vocals and instruments it could very well be worth it.  Also, for a nice pair of hybrid in-ears that can be used for both professional work and casual listening, they hit the spot nicely.

post #2 of 25

according your opinion is 535s an overall upgrade to the SCL5s ? what are the strengths of the SCL5s against the 535s?

 

I'm thinking the 535s as a future upgrade to my SCLs but I'm not sure that is worth it. I like to hear my music rather analytical with out coloration.   

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

The SCL5s are more analytical and balanced in terms of pure level response, but have less detail in the low end.  If you prefer level response for casual listening, the 425s would likely be a better ugrade since they pick up the replaceable cable and smaller size while maintaining the level response.  I have not however tried the 425s so I can't speak to their similarities or differences.

 

I also found the SCL5s to be slightly more comfortable to wear in comparison to the 535s, but I'm pretty sure that is just a matter of personal preference and being more used to the 5s than the 535s.


Edited by ajh16 - 7/12/10 at 12:46pm
post #4 of 25

thanks man, i hope to find a way to try both before i buy

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

A minor update to my original review.  I'm not as sure about the dropoff somewhere in the 4khz to 6khz range.  It might still be there, but I won't know for sure until I get a chance to check on a live analog source.  Now that I've been listening on more of a variety of sources I think it may have actually been artifacts from the source I was listening too (Second Gen iPod Touch).  My original pair was actually defective (wax guard was lose and made the left side quiet) and had to be returned to Shure so I wasn't able to keep testing as much as I wanted to.  I do have to say that I was very pleased with Shure's service though.  Very quick and easy to deal with.

 

All that said, the 425s should still be more analytical and level, the bass is still slightly more powerful than a flat response would be, but it seems easier to compensate when listening on my HTC Touch Pro 2 (granted my Touch Pro 2 has a fairly crappy DAC so it still isn't an ideal test.)


Edited by ajh16 - 7/16/10 at 6:07am
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

After having some more time with the SE535's I have gotten to like their feel more than the E5s.  The rotating connection on the cable makes them a little more finiky to get a good position which can make them put pressure on the ear just above the canal, but with some practice I've gotten to the point where I can normally position them such that I do not even notice they are in after a while and that is simply with the stock silicon sleeves.  With the E5s, I would normally get uncomfortable after extremely extended wear.

post #7 of 25

great info ajh16, i'm getting mine today.  Feel free to keep the updates coming as you keep enjoying them.  Are you still experiencing rolling off with the mids?  Thx

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajh16 View Post

After having some more time with the SE535's I have gotten to like their feel more than the E5s.  The rotating connection on the cable makes them a little more finiky to get a good position which can make them put pressure on the ear just above the canal, but with some practice I've gotten to the point where I can normally position them such that I do not even notice they are in after a while and that is simply with the stock silicon sleeves.  With the E5s, I would normally get uncomfortable after extremely extended wear.


Isn't that supposed to make the SE535 more comfortable to be worn?

post #9 of 25

I've been looking around for information about the differences between the SCL5, E5c and E5. I've been using ER4P's for IEM's but recently left them on an airplane and have an opportunity to get SCL5's for the replacement cost.

 

I play bass and have home studio with Tannoy monitors powered by an Alesis RA 100. I usually use AKG-240's for monitoring. I'm into detailed, mostly flat frequency response but will be using the the SCL5's with my Touch Pro and iRiver H10 for casual listening.

 

I didn't call Shure, I just filled out the online form and sent them in (both sides cracked where the tube meets the body). Shure sent back a response indicating replacement SCL5's. I thought they were E5c's so I started researching the difference and haven't found many threads discussing the differences. They look exactly the same so perhaps its the crossover that's different?

 

Your thread is very recent, I wonder why they sent you SE535's but will replace mine with SCL5's.

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 25

Just used the head-fi search and found threads that explain that SCL means Shure Classic Line and that the SCL5/E5c/E5 are all the same unit as original post subject line suggests.

post #11 of 25

There is some great reading on head-fi.org! I kept searching on Shure E5 and reading threads last night until 3:30am (knew I shouldn't drink caffeine laden soda at midnight). Impressively civil also. Even the forsale posts were informative. I've concluded that the SCL5s are right for me and faxed in the OK for the replacement quote.'

 

A test for ajh16: Would you trade my brand new un-opened SCL5s for your SE530s? I'm not actually offering but it's an acid test of whether you think the SE530s really are an improvement.

 

I've decided from all the reading that, as many IEM experts know, a good bit of the variation in poster's reviews of the E5s SQ relates to how well they managed to create a seal with the stock tips. With my ER-4Ps I did something that was discussed here at length. I bought solid plugs for my Westone ER-15s custom earmolds I use while practicing with my band and drilled them so the ER-4P tube fit snuggly into the plugs which then recess into the ER-15s. That resulted in a big improvement in bass over any stock or modifed stock tip. There was discussion about how that changes the length the sound travels but I suspect the SCL5s will work with them just as well. It didn't change how the ER-4Ps looked but the SCL5s connected that way are going to stick out like the Frankenstein monster's neck bolts   I'm pretty good at getting the soft silicon tips to seal as my ear canals are exactly average (always the middle size fits) so hopefully I can skip the custom earmolds.

 

My decision is that despite many head-fi posters claims that you can bump bass EQ to compensate for the ER-4Ps lower bass "power" the E5s produce what I'm looking for natively which is a bit more impact in while listening to bass instruments (which I play) without over emphasizing which I can't stand. Hoping it will alleviate need for custom earmolds which aren't as convenient as stock tips for casual listening.


Edited by dsteinschneider - 8/8/10 at 9:14am
post #12 of 25

Been using the SCL5's with the grey silicone tips they shipped with. I really like the sound of them with my iRiver H10 running RockBox. The bass is just right, the detail is very good and I can wear them for much longer than my ER-4P's. I've been listening mostly to FLAC encoded music.


Edited by dsteinschneider - 8/29/10 at 8:35pm
post #13 of 25

Hi, I know it's been a while, but I'm wondering what was wrong with the E5s that caused you to get them replaced?  I have a pair that still seem to be working fine but the cables have oxidized and I'm wondering if that would be cause to return them.

 

thanks,

 

Alan

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cachitongo View Post
 

Hi, I know it's been a while, but I'm wondering what was wrong with the E5s that caused you to get them replaced?  I have a pair that still seem to be working fine but the cables have oxidized and I'm wondering if that would be cause to return them.

 

thanks,

 

Alan

Poor highs, mediocre lows...they highly resemble Bose.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cachitongo View Post
 

Hi, I know it's been a while, but I'm wondering what was wrong with the E5s that caused you to get them replaced?  I have a pair that still seem to be working fine but the cables have oxidized and I'm wondering if that would be cause to return them.

 

thanks,

 

Alan

the oxidation is pretty much a staple point for the scl5 and e5c, i dont think its a cause to return them

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