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Are Shure SE535's No longer top tier / high end IEMs? - Page 2

post #16 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishTX View Post

I love my 530s.  I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but as an owner of JH16s as well, I can't honestly say that the JH16s are $700 better than the 530s.  Don't get me wrong, I REALLY love the JH 16s and have them in my ears almost constantly.  However, I still listen to the 530s out of an ipod on public transport and whatnot and they are outstanding.  One of my favorite pairs of headphones.  


Law of diminishing returns.  Anyone looking at highend customs (or anything) for value is misinformed and misled.  The greater your desire and quest for perceived perfection, the most it will cost you.

post #17 of 149

The reason why people like different things is because of personal preference.  Everyone seeks a certain sound.  Since every earphone sounds different, everyone's going to want different earphones.  I've used the SE530, and it does certain things really well.  If those things are what you seek, you'll be really happy with the SE530.  The SE535 is an evolution of the product and would certainly be desirable if you still sought the same things.  I am not a personal fan of the SE530.  It is initially impressive and very unique.  It does some things better than any other earphone I've used.  It also doesn't do things I expect to have both in a multi-driver high end earphone and in accurate and holistic audio reproduction.  There are about a dozen earphones I've used since that I would personally prefer to use on a regular basis.  There also have been no earphones I've used before or since quite like the SE530 or could compete with the SE530 in certain ways.  Personal preference, expectations, and goals play their roles, so my choices deviate away from the SE530, but I still see the value in the product and the value in the newer SE535.  Apparently there were more fixes than just cabling for the SE535 too, so I would expect it to improve on some trouble spots.  The old SE530, especially a used one bought off another member is quite affordable.  You could very readily hop into a SE530 at half the price of a new SE535.  Since the SE535 is very much like the SE530 it replaces, there is question to the value of opting for the SE535 just yet.

post #18 of 149

I think most people want something:

 

  • Comfortable
  • Relatively neutral and balanced (no one frequency stands out or is lacking)
  • Nice full-bodied sound keeping previous point in mind.
  • Articulate without being too edgy.
  • Large enough soundstage that it doesn't sound like IEM's but more like headphones.

 

Problem is, we all have different interpretations of the above points.

post #19 of 149

The SE535s are my favourite universal IEMs. Their mids are the tops, their bass just right and their treble is no longer rolled off. Many new IEMs do get the favour of FOTM status...which tends to cool off after 6-8 months or so until many more users buy them and find out they aren't the greatest.

 

Time is the best judge for IEMs...Shure SE530/535/Westone 3/Westone UM3X/IE8....been around a long time for a reason.

post #20 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Breaking News!  String of Skullcandy users found strangled to death by the notorious 535 killer!

 

"Hello...I want to play a game." - Saw


Nice one...

post #21 of 149

With regard to the cables on the 535s--don't have them, but from the pictures, it looks like it would take SKILL to break those things, lol.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bledig View Post

could we lay off the cable problems already?

 

It's very distracting for a new buyer and shure have fixed it for YEARS!

and from reviews teh SE535 has pretty good cables

 

I for one bought SE530 more than a year ago and i LOVE the sound. It's my first expensive universal IEM and it really blew me away. I pass it around and my friends and family members are equally agreeable to the sound. I find them especially impressive for vocal centric music. I wish ihaven't sold it off. But waiting for my JH 16s so all's good :)

 

and ps no problems with cables AT ALL

post #22 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizard View Post

Those who like the SE535 are people who prefer looks, comfort and isolation above sound quality.

 

The SE535's are amongst the best for the aforementioned qualities but the sound is sub-par compared to other top tier IEMs.

 

The sound-stage is boxy. The highs rolled off making the sound dull and boring. Also the stereo field is not 180 degs!

I have recordings where an instrument is panned 90 degs right and only on the shures does it sound more like 80degs.


That's rather presumptuous of you. How do you know what these people prefer? Have you surveyed them? And now for the obvious question, have you heard the SE535? Or is your viewpoint merely an extrapolation based on your experience with the SE530?

post #23 of 149

I wish I could have a listen to the SE535 to confirm.  I've used the SE530 and the sound stage was one big fault of them.  They did have pinpoint location and great separation, but everything was wrongly placed.  EQing does help balance out the perceived distancing (we reference some through expected tone and change of that tone), but it's never entirely fixed.  Part of the issue with the SE530 was that notes are presented so short and clean that there is almost no texture to the notes.  It's squeaky clean without the body and in-between detailing.  This in-between detailing is a large part of where ambient information resides.  We use these other noises in the track to perceive placement, distancing, room size, as well as articulation within the notes that define the instruments and nuances involved during play.  When you make something too clean and short on note, a lot of this gets lost.  The SE530 had awesome dynamic range which helped it some, but there were limitations to it.  You typically find much thicker presented notes offer a better sound stage layout, that is until you get too muddy or sloppy to accurately portray information.  You find earphones like the Custom 3, ER4S, C751, UM3X, and Triple.Fi 10 offering significantly better sound stages simply because they articulate more information.  Trade-offs exist to the type of presentation chosen by the manufacturers.  Shure is no different.  These earphones do certain things amazingly well but also trade some aspects for others that limit and gear the product in certain ways.  Back when I had the SE530 I also had the IE8, UM3X, and Triple.Fi 10.  I had the pleasure to directly compare a lot of the top level products back to back song after song for weeks on end.  The Shure SE530 at least does a number of things really, really well.  Yet, I also found it to be the most flawed and limited from a holistic view point.  I will say it was the most physically elegant and refined product.  The build quality and looks of the unit are outstanding.  I think the bulky multi-piece cord is a bit excessive and heavy, but it reminded me of the beefy Ety ER4S cord and offered a good sense of durability.  the SE530 certainly improves upon the cord in a lot of ways which is nice to see.  I think their build quality is certainly top notch.  Some hints from users say the treble is no longer recessed, but I haven't listened to a pair to confirm.  I haven't really heard anything about the bass which for me was a big problem point.  It rolls off way early, and the high dynamic ability only offers so much assistance.  It gave a robust high bass presence, very strong sounding, but there was no low end to back it up.  There are a number of dual driver earphones that cover the span better at a much cheaper price point, so I always faulted the SE530 for that rather significant limitation in a 3-way configuration.  They SE535 may improve, but I haven't read anything specific about it.  I also haven't read anything specific about the sound stage changing either, so these are kind of concerns.  I too did find the SE530 sub-par when compared against other high end earphones.  The SE530 was one I listened to a bit initially and was impressed by the clean sound and dynamic ability, but after the initial wow factor wore off, I stopped listening to them.  I always grabbed another option more readily, and that's not a good sign.  Even if I take out the bias of personal preference and logically step through the earphone, the SE530 was more limited in what it offered for sound.  Packaging and looks only get you so far.  I sure hope the SE535 is better, and there are hints to that, but there just hasn't been enough information out there nor enough direct comparisons to really say it improved in a number of its weak areas.  The more forward highs is the only thing I've seen described different outside of the physical design.

post #24 of 149

I think your just talking about how there is a flood of middle market iems pouring in that aren't going to break the bank and are actually competitive with top tiers. That doesn't mean that these top tiers are obsolete. Just now there is more options and more competitiveness in the market. Which I see it as good thing. Before there were, basically just crappy headphones and then you got a few companies products upheld as the undisputed best. There weren't many options, and a total lack of mid line competitiveness gave these companies the power to set the price tag as high as they see fit. Now with the pressure on, your going to see that these companies are going to either have to make better iems to justify the higher price tags, or lower there prices to prevent losing customers and thus, there foothold on the market. This changing tide might be tough on companies but it is great time for us buyers.      


Edited by tacomn - 7/27/10 at 3:28pm
post #25 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizard View Post

Those who like the SE535 are people who prefer looks, comfort and isolation above sound quality.

 

The SE535's are amongst the best for the aforementioned qualities but the sound is sub-par compared to other top tier IEMs.

 

The sound-stage is boxy. The highs rolled off making the sound dull and boring. Also the stereo field is not 180 degs!

I have recordings where an instrument is panned 90 degs right and only on the shures does it sound more like 80degs.


Hey I'm quoting myself! What I wrote above are the most accurate 4 lines of text to be found on head-fi 

Yes I'm being presumptuous again. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone hears differently.

 

But seriously, no I have not heard the SE535 but from what I have read the people who have heard them say they sound pretty much the same as the SE530s - ergo, they are sonically flawed

post #26 of 149


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizard View Post


Hey I'm quoting myself! What I wrote above are the most accurate 4 lines of text to be found on head-fi 

Yes I'm being presumptuous again. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone hears differently.

 

But seriously, no I have not heard the SE535 but from what I have read the people who have heard them say they sound pretty much the same as the SE530s - ergo, they are sonically flawed

I too would like to quote you... "no I have not heard the SE535," "Hey I'm... sonically flawed"

 


 

post #27 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizard View Post


Hey I'm quoting myself! What I wrote above are the most accurate 4 lines of text to be found on head-fi 

Yes I'm being presumptuous again. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone hears differently.

 

But seriously, no I have not heard the SE535 but from what I have read the people who have heard them say they sound pretty much the same as the SE530s - ergo, they are sonically flawed


'nuff said.
 

post #28 of 149

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bledig View Post

could we lay off the cable problems already?

 

It's very distracting for a new buyer and shure have fixed it for YEARS!

and from reviews teh SE535 has pretty good cables

 

Sorry this issue bugs you, but I don't think Mnhnhyouh said anything out of line.  And, while I'd say they fixed the worst of the problem years ago, I'd suggest that the 535 _is_ the actual *full* fix for the cable problems.  In that context, they *just* fixed the problem.

 

I think Mnhnhyouh's experience with the company is relevant in a number of ways.  One, Shure policy in the past (I haven't checked the 535 warranty)  that you must purchase from a an *authorized* Shure dealer otherwise you don't get warranty service.  The way they handle the authorized dealers (at least when I purchased) means you end up paying MSRP which as people have pointed out is a bit steep.  Second, also related to the first issue, when I had to send them my E500s in for this problem they also required proof of purchase.  Basically even if you pay full MSRP and purchased from an authorized dealer, they still hold the warranty over your head.  Better check who you are buying from and keep a copy of that receipt!

 

I won't go on about the ways I don't like their policy, but Mnhnhyouh and I are hardly the only ones who haven't been totally happy with how they handled it.  I think that is a relevant issue.

 

That said, a couple of thoughts.  Despite the issue with the cable, the 530 is a well designed and good sounding 3 way IEM.  And it appears the 535 addresses the cable issue head on.  This means the 535 improves an already very good product.  Bottom line, this is a decent 3 way IEM.

 

If you are willing to purchase from an authorized dealer and keep your proof of purchase to get the warranty, it is all good.  Or, if you are willing to blow off the warranty to get a lower price, it is all good.  But, it is a decision a new purchaser needs to be aware of.  I think that is very relevant.

 

As for the OP question, I think it is more of a context thing.  The 535 should be competitive *in its range*.  Basically amongst other high quality 3 way universals.  But, as some have noted, the lower priced options continue to become more competitive and the high end continues to push the high bar even higher (for a price).

 

As others have pointed out, if you have picked a class of IEMs, there tends to be a number of good products and the real "sound" issue is to pick the IEM that has the set of trade-offs most compatible with your desires.

 

Good luck!

 

-john

post #29 of 149


Quote:

Originally Posted by ccfoodog View Post

That said, a couple of thoughts.  Despite the issue with the cable, the 530 is a well designed and good sounding 3 way IEM.  And it appears the 535 addresses the cable issue head on.  This means the 535 improves an already very good product.  Bottom line, this is a decent 3 way IEM.


Unless Shure changed the crossover between the SE530 and SE535, the SE535 is a 2-way IEM. 

post #30 of 149

 

My understanding is one of the two components you see in a 530 is a *dual* driver.  So they all are "three way", or three driver IEMs.

 

Cross-over is a different issue, and I have no idea about how the x-over is configured.  My understanding is most of these IEMs tend to stretch the definition of cross-over.

 

From the 535 brochure:

 

"Triple High-Definition MicroDrivers
The SE535 utilizes dedicated dual woofers and a single tweeter to
deliver spacious sound with rich bass."

 

But I understand the confusion.  It sure *looks* like a two way.  And you could dispute if a "dual woofer" is one or two components.  Although, in another thread, it was suggested it indeed is two mechanical components in a single case.  YMMV.

 

-john


Edited by ccfoodog - 7/27/10 at 5:28pm
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