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Shure SE535 or Westone 3 for best isolation?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I want to buy some high quality earphones, but sound isolation is also an important factor. So am finally left with two choices. The SE535 and Westone 3.

Based on the specs of the SE535, the earphones have "noise attenuation" of 37 dB

Westone 3 earphones provide "up to 25 dB of noise reduction"

Does it mean that SE535 blocks out noise significantly better than Westone 3?

If indeed Shure's earphones block more noise, then I will get them. However, if they are identical in that regard, then I will probably pick Westone 3 because of the lower price.

There seems to be a debate about which one sounds better, so that's an added concern but there is some information about that, but no comparisons about their noise isolating properties.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could shed some light on this matter.

Thank you


Edited by digitalid - 7/22/10 at 10:06pm
post #2 of 36

I'm pretty sure the SE530s had the one of the best (if not the best) isolation for IEMs, so I can only assume that the SE535s are equally as good.  I used to own a pair of SE530 and I could barely hear the person in front of me talking even with the music off.


Edited by lazard - 7/22/10 at 10:28pm
post #3 of 36

the 530's didnt isolate as well as the various westone IEM's for me but the 535s are terrific...they changed the size and angle of the nozzle and at least for me the difference is dramatic....the w3 has a very short nozzle which for me causes problems with isolation...the um3x is better for me...that said,the 535 is the best IEM i have used thus far for isolation other than the etymotic er-4p...

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the information!

I think I'll dig a bit deeper in my wallet and get some 535s.

post #5 of 36

In my subjective experience it's more about the tips than the IEM, the tips are what makes contact with your ears after all.

post #6 of 36

I've used olives which are great for isolation on 3 different iems and the 530s were clearly the best for isolation. I think for Jlbrach, the 530 wasn't as good as the 535 due to the stem angle not sealing as well. I didn't have that issue and got a great seal with all 3 phones.

post #7 of 36

I currently own both and have never had fit problems with either.  I use regular size P-series complys on W3 and large size TX-100 complys on SE535.  I find isolation on both to be the same.

post #8 of 36

I actually find the isolation better with my SE535s over my W3s. Not much, but still better to my ears anyway.

post #9 of 36

Not to derail this thread, but if you really want the best isolation, I think no one will argue that Etymotic earphones do it better than most if not all earphones/headphones.


Edited by stevenswall - 7/23/10 at 6:11pm
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

Not to derail this thread, but if you really want the best isolation, I think no one will argue that Etymotic earphones do it better than most if not all earphones/headphones.


Not really. With my ears they weren't the best and the cable was horribly microphonic. I've always had the best seals with the Shure olives with my ears.

post #11 of 36

You mean they weren't the best at isolation; What tips did you use? I find the black compressible foam to isolate the most for Etymotics, though I have never tried the Shure Olives, unless they are the standard black tips on the SE535, in which case I tried them at Canjam. The newer Etymotic Mc5 has a better mylar coated cable then their older models... I notice little microphonics because I wear them looped over my ears.

post #12 of 36

Yes the black compressible tips are the olives. For my ears they are ideal.

post #13 of 36

Published specs on noise isolation from most IEM manufacturers are basically a best guess. There's no accepted methodology of measurement. Going back to the 90s, the emerging "gold standard spec" for IEM isolation has been 24 to 26 dB. As more companies have entered the market, no matter what the design, inevitably, the listed spec for isolation always seemed to be 24 dB or 26 db. Almost as if, no matter what you stuck in your ear, it would have the same isolation effect. Crazy.

 

IRL, the degree of isolation varies a lot, primarily with fit -- but also with the type of tips used, with the materials and physical design of custom IEMs, with variations among human ears, etc. Properly fit customs provide the best isolation.

 

Yet the published isolation specs of $20 mass market IEMs, $1,000 customs, and everything in between all appear to be the same. So take any isolation spec with a grain of salt. Or several.

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Yes the black compressible tips are the olives. For my ears they are ideal.


Yep. Work the best for me as well (Large) on the SE535. Sound and fit wise.

 

But I have to say for best isolation (not sound quality), the P-types Comply's work the best and have the best seal.

I also believe it's not so much the earpiece but the tip that creates 99% of the isolation properties.

 

shane


Edited by shane55 - 7/30/10 at 11:38pm
post #15 of 36

I owned the 530s and own both the w3 and 535s.......the 535s are for me hands down the best....the w3s are ok but the nozzle is too short for me and i never had good luck with the isolation of the 530...in my experience the 535s are by far the best hands down!

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