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Are Shure SE535's No longer top tier / high end IEMs? - Page 5

post #61 of 149

Yeah, being a dual driver 2-way isn't bad.  Really to cover the entire spectrum using BA drivers it just takes two.  One isn't quite enough, and there are either bass or high frequency drivers that can fill out the rest.  What companies like Shure or UE do is develop a 2-way setup running one mid-treble driver and dual bass drivers.  It covers the spectrum well and dedicating two bass drivers to the earphone helps keep distortion low and allows for rather high output levels.  Being a 3 driver earphone, even if not a 3-way setup, this added output capability and lower distortion is what they gain over the 2 driver 2-way options.  In a car or home setup, it's like running 2 woofers paired to one tweeter.  Even stepping to a full 3-way setup running 3 drivers might be a degradation if the output capability is reduced doing so.  A true 3-way may be able to better cover the entire spectrum because all the drivers would operate well within their bandpass, but unless the low frequency driver is large, there may be limitations to that setup.  It may be like running a 3-way with a 7" woofer, 3" mid, and a 3/4" tweeter.  You would rather want it to be spread out more like a 12" woofer, 5" mid, and a 1" tweeter in order to better cover the spectrum.  In the world of BAs, you would need a rather robust bass driver or step to a dual option.  If you're doing a 3-way, this steps to a 4 driver earphone which is something you don't see outside of customs.  There would of course be added cost to having extra drivers and added cost for the additional x-over cicuitry for a 3-way.  There will also be additional filtering in the nozzles and perhaps more complex molds to fit the drivers and route sound.

post #62 of 149

Quoting myself from the locked SM3 thread:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

A/Bing the SM3 and SE530, the most striking difference to my ears is better detail resolution and refinement on the Earsonics across the whole frequency range. Both phones have a quite similar smooth and warmish sound signature with laid-back treble, but (metaphorically speaking) the SM3 sound more like SE550 than SE535 in comparison. Therefore I suspect that the SE535's improvements over the SE530 may be not be significant enough to match the SM3.

 

Admittedly I haven't heard the SE535 and of course I'm not implying that they are no longer top tier. These are just my 2c. Anyway, I'm looking forward to more A/B comparisons between current top tiers and the SE535.

post #63 of 149

but (metaphorically speaking) the SM3 sound more like SE550 than SE535 in comparison. Therefore I suspect that the SE535's improvements over the SE530 may be not be significant enough to match the SM3.

 

Not sure I follow this logic. SE535 owners have all stated that SE535 is clearly a step up from SE530 yet you are saying SM3 sounds more like SE530?

post #64 of 149

^ 550, not 530. I used this metaphor to illustrate that the SM3 sound substantially (not only slightly) better then the SE530.

post #65 of 149

James, with regard to the treble presentation of both the SM3 and SE530, which is the most prominent in the overall frequency mix? I know that you have described the treble of the SM3 as detailed but slightly recessed. The treble of the SE530 is slightly rolled-off. Does the SM3 treble sound more prominent than the SE530 in absolute terms or just more detailed?


Edited by iponderous - 7/31/10 at 6:30am
post #66 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

Yeah, being a dual driver 2-way isn't bad.  Really to cover the entire spectrum using BA drivers it just takes two.  One isn't quite enough, and there are either bass or high frequency drivers that can fill out the rest.  What companies like Shure or UE do is develop a 2-way setup running one mid-treble driver and dual bass drivers.  It covers the spectrum well and dedicating two bass drivers to the earphone helps keep distortion low and allows for rather high output levels.  Being a 3 driver earphone, even if not a 3-way setup, this added output capability and lower distortion is what they gain over the 2 driver 2-way options.  In a car or home setup, it's like running 2 woofers paired to one tweeter.  Even stepping to a full 3-way setup running 3 drivers might be a degradation if the output capability is reduced doing so.  A true 3-way may be able to better cover the entire spectrum because all the drivers would operate well within their bandpass, but unless the low frequency driver is large, there may be limitations to that setup.  It may be like running a 3-way with a 7" woofer, 3" mid, and a 3/4" tweeter.  You would rather want it to be spread out more like a 12" woofer, 5" mid, and a 1" tweeter in order to better cover the spectrum.  In the world of BAs, you would need a rather robust bass driver or step to a dual option.  If you're doing a 3-way, this steps to a 4 driver earphone which is something you don't see outside of customs.  There would of course be added cost to having extra drivers and added cost for the additional x-over cicuitry for a 3-way.  There will also be additional filtering in the nozzles and perhaps more complex molds to fit the drivers and route sound.



But even 1 way BAs can play louder than comfortable without strain and have forever. Superfi 3 or ETs are ancient and had no issues, even when EQed. 2 ways like the JH-5 do all things as well as anything not custom (depending on preferrence). 2 is plenty and it's more about how well a desgn goal is reached and it's always harder with Xovers.


Edited by goodvibes - 7/31/10 at 7:37am
post #67 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by iponderous View Post

James, with regard to the treble presentation of both the SM3 and SE530, which is the most prominent in the overall frequency mix? I know that you have described the treble of the SM3 as detailed but slightly recessed. The treble of the SE530 is slightly rolled-off. Does the SM3 treble sound more prominent than the SE530 in absolute terms or just more detailed?

 

Let me put it this way: with the SE530's highs I miss something. With the SM3's everything is there, but I have to concentrate to hear it adequately, because the mids are demanding too much attention. After prolonged listening the brain adapts and I have to concentrate less. As long as I refrain from switching between the SM3 and phones like the e-Q7 or FX700, no big problem.

 

BTW three days ago I gave my SM3 loaners back to dkft. He had mostly been listening to the HJE900 in the meantime. Yesterday he told me that the SM3 sounded awfully muffled to him on the first day, but he held on to them and after the second day everything was fine again.

post #68 of 149

^ It appears that the SM3 might require more "brain burn-in" than most. It was actually dfkt's compelling review of the SM3 that reignited my interest in it, having decided that it probably wasn't for me.


Edited by iponderous - 7/31/10 at 9:33am
post #69 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by iponderous View Post

^ It appears that the SM3 might require more "brain burn-in" than most. It was actually dfkt's compelling review of the SM3 that reignited my interest in it, having decided that it probably wasn't for me.


I hope not.  I use 'brain burn-in' as part of my repertoire.

post #70 of 149

I must admit I love the new 535s....I own etymotics and westones and i previously owned the 530s...my problem with the 530s wasnt sound it was comfort and isolation.....for whatever reason the re-design of the 535 makes them the most comfortable IEM I have worn and gives them isolation that rivals the etymotics which are the champs....the 530s didnt isolate well for me so I sold them and used westones...I tried the 535s and am thrilled....to be honest,I have reached the point where westones and shures and other high end IEM's all sound so good that for me it is now a question of comfort,fit and isolation in terms of differentiating them.....as far as i am concerned the 535s are now the best combination of sound comfort and isolation!

post #71 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post





But even 1 way BAs can play louder than comfortable without strain and have forever. Superfi 3 or ETs are ancient and had no issues, even when EQed. 2 ways like the JH-5 do all things as well as anything not custom (depending on preferrence). 2 is plenty and it's more about how well a desgn goal is reached and it's always harder with Xovers.


Not specifically, no.  Just like dynamics, it really is dependent on the drivers being used.  Even BA drivers have SPL limits and will strain, change tonally, and otherwise introduce noticeable distortion.  Yes, some can get quite loud.  Some dynamic driver earphones can too.  The main issue between a single BA and dual or triple BA is adequate coverage of the audible spectrum.  One BA simply doesn't cover the range well.  Certain problems occur.  An obvious one is loss of sensitivity where the frequency response rolls off on one or both ends.  Another is a more ragged response on one or both ends.  There will also be uncreased distortion outside of the functional bandpass (region where the driver plays well).  EQing will typically emphasize any of these problems.  There very much are limits to BA drivers.  It's still a diaphram moving air, and there will be limits associated with the design.

 

While x-overs add complexity and cost to a device, issues associated with it come down to how it is implemented and what side effects exist from that implementation.  Some multi-driver earphones are tuned really well where you have zero sense of where the drivers blend.  The paired drivers and the x-over implementation is great.  The CK10 for example is a seemless transition.  The SE530 is seemless.  The Triple.Fi 10 is so-so but also partially influenced by the dual port design and orientation in the ear canal.  The UM3X is pretty messy across the x-over points and can sound a bit disconnected though the frequency spectrum.  The Custom 3 has a specific gap over the x-over region to emphasize bass and treble.  The UM3X has something like this too.  There's a lot of variation and effects from the designs, and engineers do their part to pick which compromises they want for whatever end goals they're shooting for.

post #72 of 149



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlbrach View Post

I must admit I love the new 535s....I own etymotics and westones and i previously owned the 530s...my problem with the 530s wasnt sound it was comfort and isolation.....for whatever reason the re-design of the 535 makes them the most comfortable IEM I have worn and gives them isolation that rivals the etymotics which are the champs....the 530s didnt isolate well for me so I sold them and used westones...I tried the 535s and am thrilled....to be honest,I have reached the point where westones and shures and other high end IEM's all sound so good that for me it is now a question of comfort,fit and isolation in terms of differentiating them.....as far as i am concerned the 535s are now the best combination of sound comfort and isolation!

Yea, good point.  With all due respect to other posters (with odd ear anatomy), I can't imagine even bothering with custom tips with SE535.  The fit and isolation is amazing out of the box.  I think they really did their homework with SE535 and spent a lot of time "re-engineering" it all the way around and why I respect the price tag of this masterpiece.  I don't think they left any stone unturned with it.

 


Edited by Spyro - 7/31/10 at 3:13pm
post #73 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post




Not specifically, no.  Just like dynamics, it really is dependent on the drivers being used.  Even BA drivers have SPL limits and will strain, change tonally, and otherwise introduce noticeable distortion.  Yes, some can get quite loud.  Some dynamic driver earphones can too.  The main issue between a single BA and dual or triple BA is adequate coverage of the audible spectrum.  One BA simply doesn't cover the range well.  Certain problems occur.  An obvious one is loss of sensitivity where the frequency response rolls off on one or both ends.  Another is a more ragged response on one or both ends.  There will also be uncreased distortion outside of the functional bandpass (region where the driver plays well).  EQing will typically emphasize any of these problems.  There very much are limits to BA drivers.  It's still a diaphram moving air, and there will be limits associated with the design.

 

While x-overs add complexity and cost to a device, issues associated with it come down to how it is implemented and what side effects exist from that implementation.  Some multi-driver earphones are tuned really well where you have zero sense of where the drivers blend.  The paired drivers and the x-over implementation is great.  The CK10 for example is a seemless transition.  The SE530 is seemless.  The Triple.Fi 10 is so-so but also partially influenced by the dual port design and orientation in the ear canal.  The UM3X is pretty messy across the x-over points and can sound a bit disconnected though the frequency spectrum.  The Custom 3 has a specific gap over the x-over region to emphasize bass and treble.  The UM3X has something like this too.  There's a lot of variation and effects from the designs, and engineers do their part to pick which compromises they want for whatever end goals they're shooting for.



Sounds good to me but ET's and Phonaks can play loud and are full range. Part of the multi way thing is because they can. Shure calls them micro drivers for a reason. I guess it comes down to what full range is and what else may be compromised in either a BA or dynamic to get there. Venting is often used in dynamics and sometimes BAs for bass augmentation for instance but at the cost of control and isolation. Often a fair trade but there's no free lunches in either driver tech. ET is adamant about 1 BA being all that should be needed and they still make some of the best IEMs.

post #74 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




I hope not.  I use 'brain burn-in' as part of my repertoire.


Then you should feel quite comfortable performing your SM3 soliloquy.

post #75 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Sounds good to me but ET's and Phonaks can play loud and are full range.


x2 on the PFEs, very impressive single BAs IMO. Final Audio Design's FI-BA-SS are (admittedly expensive) single driver BAs with quite similar sound signature to the CK10, yet to my ears they surpass the Audio Technicas in several aspects and can go louder than I can bear. Out of the phones I've heard I still believe the single driver one's sound more coherent, but we've had this discussion several times and I don't want to wake up that groundhog again.


Edited by james444 - 8/1/10 at 12:36am
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