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need views on shure se425

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

hi anyone bought the shure se425? care to share your views?

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

anyone?

post #3 of 17

If you're patient for a couple more days, I'll be able to comment.

Am just awaiting delivery of my trade in SE425 from Shure - my E4C cables broke after three years of daily use.

I'll be comparing them to the E4C and Sennheiser HD600.

Regards, Marin

post #4 of 17

After a week, I think I can comment on the SE425.

Due to the bulkier form factor compared to the E4C, getting a good seal is more of a problem.

With my ears the best seal is formed by the large black foam gaskets, followed by the triple flanges.

The black foam gaskets are a little better in isolating structure-borne noise as well.

All the other options, including the orange foam type which used to be my favourite on the E4C, don't work for me.

The SE425 is a lot more susceptible to microphony, as well as exhibiting weaker isolation than the E4C, which is a big minus when traveling/commuting/biking.

The nozzle can't be detached for cleaning like on the E4C, which is a minus in my book.

A real big plus is the replaceable swiveling cable, which should actually be a must with all costlier phones.

 

On to the sound:

First up, I'm spoiled by the Sennheiser HD600, especially when used with my dedicated DIY headphone amp.

Second, my listening impression of the E4C is by memory only, so is to be taken with a grain of salt.

The SE425 has better proportioned bass than the E4C, nicely linear and close to the HD600.

The same can be said about the mids.

That's a big plus.

The highs are their problem zone, though, especially with the black foam tips.

With those there is a peak in the mid treble, exaggerating detail and sibilance.

And compared to that the high treble seems to be missing in action.

The triple flanges tame that peak, but make the overall sound a tad dark from the low treble on up.

Depending on the music, I almost feel compelled to switch gaskets. But it's just too much hassle, especially outdoors, mind you.

The E4C seemed to be more even handed throughout the treble, but both IEMs lack the extension and finesse of the HD600 in that region.

Driving the cans with the amp, rather than with my 240Gb iPod, improves the sound; most with the HD600, a little less so with the SE425 and the least with the E4C.

With the SE425 the bass gains depth and resolution by using the amp.

Things may change a bit during further break-in, but I doubt it will be worth mentioning.

 

Would I buy them again?

Hard to say, because they don't fulfill my, admittedly, high expectations.

If it were easier to compare IEMs of the more costly variety in order to find my optimum solution, I could probably even justify a bigger investment.

 

Regards, Marin

post #5 of 17

Well, time has proven me wrong.

Further break-in smoothens the mid-treble considerably, the high-treble seems to blossom now.

Also, the SE425 doesn't sound as distorted any more when pushed beyond a certain louness level.

Meanwhile, I am using the black foam gaskets exclusively and am quite happy with the results.

By now the sound easily surpasses the E4C's.

I'll see how much more the SE425 will improve with time.

 

One more thing I want to mention is, that the SE425 is more sensitive than the E4C was.

This necessitates listening at a lower volume setting, causing the iPod's residual noise to bother me during soft musical passsages.

The only way to fix that is to use my portable amp, turning the iPod up to it's maximum and adjusting the volume at the amp, thusly improving the S/N ratio to a point where there's no audible hiss during silence.

 

That's it for now...

Regards, Marin

 

BTW: I rip my CD's lossless onto my iPod.


Edited by marin - 10/23/10 at 8:09am
post #6 of 17

Me again after one more month of using the SE425's daily.

There seems to be no more change in sound for a week or so.

 

Their bass is perfectly balanced, being linear but deep and tight with real impact, the midrange is very nicely fleshed out all the way up to the low treble, but ... depending on source material, the mid treble peak is still noticeable and sometimes overbearing to my ears.

The high treble is still too low in level.

 

Remember that all the above is in comparison to my HD600's.

 

So I worked on that peak and tried several things.

I finally ended up lightly twirling a little bit of cotton wadding to insert it into the nozzles - it needs several trials to find just the right amount  to attenuate the offending peakiness without adverse effects in the range below.

These little cotton worms do the trick and stay put in there just dandy with the additional benefit of keeping ear wax from making it up through the nozzles and into that extremely fine mesh.

To dial in the high treble, which gets muffled some more by this tweak, my ipod's equalizer eek.gif ,set to 'jazz', comes in handy.

That filters corner frequency and boost setting are just what the doctor ordered.

If, some day, I've nothing better to do with my time, I'll fire up my DAAS32+ audio measurement suite and try to verify these claims.

 

Really, I clearly understand lyrics now, which I had been guessing at with the Sennheisers on.

YMMV.

 

Regards, Marin

etysmile.gif

P.S.: Whoa, that last smiley has got it's earbuds reversed!!! Damn...


Edited by marin - 11/23/10 at 12:44pm
post #7 of 17

Hey man been following this thread for a few weeks. Being a Shure man and current user of SE420's i've decided upgrading and as the last time i don't know if i should go for the 425 or the 535 because price difference is abysmal. Dunno what will i get but your impressions are being really useful for me. Thanks

post #8 of 17

Hi

Just saw this thread and I'll give you an additional opinion! (Remember these are just my thoughts on them)

I've owned: Shure 425/530/535/Triple.fi 10
Listened to: Too many
How I listen: FLAC --> Cowon S9 --> SE425

Regarding the IEMs themselves (I've had them for like 4 months listened to them pretty much everyday for 1-2 hours a day)

1. They are pretty neutral and flat which I enjoy
2. It does have a decent bass it's not a sub-bass but it's more of a punchy/crisp bass (It's not booming like the 530s)
3. Amazing attack speed - strings/orchestral/woodwinds
4. I've used the triple flanges modified to bi-flanges for a while but now I use the medium olives set just to the nozzle line. It increased sound stage for some reason
5. Same isolation as pretty much all shures (just depends on what sleeve you use)
6. The cable is just too awesome. Kevlar reinforced it has a nice feel to it and the IEMs are detachable.
7. The plug/termination is kind of on the big side (barely fits through my Cowon with Noreve case)
8. At least to my ears, I've found no EQ to be way too flat for my taste
9. The mids are present but isn't very predominant unlike the SE530/535s
10. The clear plastic shell is kind of disappointing seems pretty fragile

Personal summary: The cable construction, attack speed, neutral sound signature are the main reasons why I like them more than my SE530s/TF10s but it will disappoint a few looking for brain thumping bass and full mids.


 

post #9 of 17

Hi there,

just measured my SE425, driven by my DIY headphone amp, with and without the cotton wadding tweak mentioned in my post above.

These measurements were taken with the calibrated microphone leaklessly coupled to one earpiece with black foam gasket.

This was accomplished via shrink tubing of about equal length and diameter as ones ear canal, with the exception of the  sound path being straight on axis. (The graphs do look quite different from the ones at headphone.com which don't match my listening impressions.)

 

se425.jpg

The blue curve depicts the response without wadding in the tube.

These measurements nicely reflect what I heard, and they seem to validate what I came up with as a fix.

I still have to measure the iPod's eq influence, but that will take some time converting and transferring the mls-signals to it.

 

Next you will see the cumulative spectral decay plots of both configurations.

First the one without wadding:

 

0wcsd.jpg

 

Then with wadding:

 

wcsd.jpg

 

You can see that the wadding does nicely damp some resonance going on in the region around 2 to 3 kHz.

I don't know if that's the xover region, but it can also be seen in the acoustical phase plots, which I have omitted here.

 

Well, that's it for now...

 

Y'all have a merry xmas and a happy new year now!!!

post #10 of 17

 

(This will be my first review due to very little detailed review for this product at headfi)
 
Disclaimer: This is my first review. I am new to this, very little technical stuff/audio terms is used in this impression. [i]Please be reminded all of this is very subjective per person and musical preferences.
 
Picture: (copyright of ShureASIA)
se425-detachable-cable_10_cols.jpg
 
Shure SE 425: Technical Specifications
(c/o Headphone.com)
Acoustic Seal: Closed
Driver Type: Balanced Armature
Ear Coupler Type: IEM
Coupler Size: Small
Cord Type: Straight Y
Detachable Cable: Yes
Impedance @ 1kHz: 37 Ohms
Isolation: -12dB ~ -20dB
Connector Type: 1/8
Headphone Type: In-Ear
 
Frequency Response Graph (c/o headphone.com:)
 
(Compared to Etymotic ER-4s)
 
graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2741&graphID[]=743
 
Comparison graph between se420 and se 425
graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2741&graphID[]=833
 
Feeback comparison from Shure: (I emailed shure regarding what key changes was implemented betwen se420 and se425)
 
Attached is their email feedback: Though the specification looks the same, the sound tuning of the drivers are actually different between SE420 and SE425. Sound from SE425 will have more high frequency extension  while the balance between high, mid and low frequency remain natural. - ShureHongKong-customer service
 
We didn't change the sound quality of the SE420 too much, as it has been a customer favorite for the last three years.  The changes made to the SE425 acoustic network  resulted in a slightly more defined high end, but the overall signature and balance is very close to its predecessor. - shuretechnicalservices - HongKong
 
Equipment: Sansa Clip+ (no amplification)
 
Tips used for the impression: Stock Medium Shure Foam sleeves
 
Musical Preference: Vocals (Sarah Brightman, Mariah, Maria Callas, Nana Mosoukouri)
Pop Rock (Maroon 5, Greenday, Journey)
R&B/Hiphop (Jay Z, Rhinna, Beyonce)
Classical (Vivaldi, Prokiev)
 
Initial impressions: One of the main things if you read about the se420 and se425 model is the sound signature for this model is a "flat response" as defined by Shure. 
 
Sound signature as per SHURE.asia website describes this sound as "balanced and accurate"
 
My take on this sound signature is THE "quality will vary" depending on the recording that will be used for your reference. 
 
Musical examples:
 
Blueprint by Jay-z: Bass, instruments, vocals and other electronic sounds is well defined, very coherent and rhythmic. 
 
Stand out song: Empire state of mind 
 
American Idiot by Greenday: Guitar and drums are well executed, detail is really nice, with "Shure trademark" smooth and clear sound. (Though compared with my other earphones or headphones, I wish that the bass will have more earth shaking sound) - Though if the recording calls for it bass will be present but merely as part of the total sound and not a particular highlight
 
Songs that stand out: Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Jesus of Suburbia
 
Hairspray (Original Movie Soundtrack): Very lively and engaging. Vocals stand out. Example: Good morning Baltimore and Welcome to the 60's
 
--I sometimes think this smooth sound almost border to being boring...; But please don't mistake this sound as not good as it is still very musical and is simply a matter of how you like to hear your music
 
Sound Reproduction per frequency range: 
 
Low: When I think of this range, I just think of the thump. It is present if the recording requires, it will be felt and heard. (Hip-hop music for this type of sound signature is not recommended if you want the exaggerated earth shaking, heart-pounding sound) 
 
Mid: All I can say is this IEM reproduces life-like sound. I am simply [i]happy[/i]; the sound is really nice and defined. Very clear all across. Strings sound excellent (I am more into this sound signature) 
 
Highs: I have no idea how this sound at all. ? (I can't make an impression for this) If you ask me if cymbals do shimmer or bells tinkle in your head. I would say not really but still present. -This observation is compared to the SRH440 I have which is I consider has bright presentation.
 
Sound stage: Spacious and Airy (Though still in the head sound)
 
Isolation: Is Good to above average: Traffic noise is drowned out but you can still hear engine noise
 
Ergonomics/Fit: It is quite difficult to put on due to shape and size. But once properly placed is fits very snugly. Cable is very heavy but seems durable. (Kevlar reinforced - what can more can you say). I will you post pictures of how it fits in my ears.  ::)
 
ergonomicfit.jpg
 
Value: It is expensive ($300). This is a middle-end product placement not a flagship model but on the expensive side. I have no point of comparison on price/performance since I own full size and on-ear headphones. Though, in the long run having a replaceable cable will save you a lot more. It is cheaper than the se535 model (Phil retail: P21K). 
 
Warranty: Manufacturer's warranty in Southeast Asia is only 1 year 
 
Summary: I like this earphone a lot. This is very balanced across all the frequency range; nothing is emphasized. I think this may not appeal to a lot of people since this have a tendency to be boring due to very smooth transitions from low,mid and high. I would still describe this sound as warm of neutral.
 
Interesting note of this earphone is at the SHURE.UK website this is their recommended earphone for stage monitoring for vocal, guitar, and piano. (Check what earphone best fits you test)
 
For more information and comparison of the different Shure IEM lines: Please check this video
Please check this article for insight of one of the designers of Shure earphones. http://themacfeed.com/2009/10/untitled/
 
 
*Hopefully this will help you out in making your choices.
(This is originally posted at headphiles by the author)

Edited by jbluzb86 - 1/9/11 at 10:18pm
post #11 of 17

I m thinkin of buying new earphones..... I have to decide between IE8, Klipsch x10i, se425....... I want earphones which can perform well in all genre of music.... I like details..... Please.... help me ....

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGomdoRi View Post

Hi

Just saw this thread and I'll give you an additional opinion! (Remember these are just my thoughts on them)

I've owned: Shure 425/530/535/Triple.fi 10
Listened to: Too many
How I listen: FLAC --> Cowon S9 --> SE425

Regarding the IEMs themselves (I've had them for like 4 months listened to them pretty much everyday for 1-2 hours a day)

1. They are pretty neutral and flat which I enjoy
2. It does have a decent bass it's not a sub-bass but it's more of a punchy/crisp bass (It's not booming like the 530s)
3. Amazing attack speed - strings/orchestral/woodwinds
4. I've used the triple flanges modified to bi-flanges for a while but now I use the medium olives set just to the nozzle line. It increased sound stage for some reason
5. Same isolation as pretty much all shures (just depends on what sleeve you use)
6. The cable is just too awesome. Kevlar reinforced it has a nice feel to it and the IEMs are detachable.
7. The plug/termination is kind of on the big side (barely fits through my Cowon with Noreve case)
8. At least to my ears, I've found no EQ to be way too flat for my taste
9. The mids are present but isn't very predominant unlike the SE530/535s
10. The clear plastic shell is kind of disappointing seems pretty fragile

Personal summary: The cable construction, attack speed, neutral sound signature are the main reasons why I like them more than my SE530s/TF10s but it will disappoint a few looking for brain thumping bass and full mids.


 




Thanks for your sharing! It's good for reference.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGomdoRi View Post

Hi

Just saw this thread and I'll give you an additional opinion! (Remember these are just my thoughts on them)

I've owned: Shure 425/530/535/Triple.fi 10
Listened to: Too many
How I listen: FLAC --> Cowon S9 --> SE425

Regarding the IEMs themselves (I've had them for like 4 months listened to them pretty much everyday for 1-2 hours a day)

1. They are pretty neutral and flat which I enjoy
2. It does have a decent bass it's not a sub-bass but it's more of a punchy/crisp bass (It's not booming like the 530s)
3. Amazing attack speed - strings/orchestral/woodwinds
4. I've used the triple flanges modified to bi-flanges for a while but now I use the medium olives set just to the nozzle line. It increased sound stage for some reason
5. Same isolation as pretty much all shures (just depends on what sleeve you use)
6. The cable is just too awesome. Kevlar reinforced it has a nice feel to it and the IEMs are detachable.
7. The plug/termination is kind of on the big side (barely fits through my Cowon with Noreve case)
8. At least to my ears, I've found no EQ to be way too flat for my taste
9. The mids are present but isn't very predominant unlike the SE530/535s
10. The clear plastic shell is kind of disappointing seems pretty fragile

Personal summary: The cable construction, attack speed, neutral sound signature are the main reasons why I like them more than my SE530s/TF10s but it will disappoint a few looking for brain thumping bass and full mids.


 




Thanks for your sharing! It's good for reference.
post #14 of 17

The information on this topic are fantastic!

A comment about the Shure´s representative email: The SE420 has rather a flat sound, but not natural. Already, the SE530 lacks a flat and neither a natural sound, despite doing better in this respect than the SE420. Just to create a point of comparison, I consider my Ety ER4P/S a example of success both in timbre and naturalness of sound. At the same time, I do not know if it is flat or not, since it presents exactly what was recorded. And I do not see any problem with the acclaimed lack of bass and harshness in the treble. This is my reference headphone.

On the other hand (and everything in life has another side...), the sound of the Ety can become tiring after a while, because of its great clarity.

Returning to the 420/530, both without amplification, I consider the SE420 boring, and SE530, very fun. Both have the same sound signature, leaning towards the dark side, with the same mids, however, the largest punch and definition of the bass and treble of the 530 bring a soul and weight to music that makes it delicious. As I said in another topic, listen to Black Sabbath + Cowon J3 (properly equalized) + Shure SE530 is an unforgettable experience.

The big advantage of 420 over 530 is when we use a headphone amplifier. The 420 is better molded by an amplifier, precisely because of its flat response. And the result, depending on the equalization and amplifier used, is fantastic, nothing too much or too less, with improved soundstage, airiness and so. The 530 is much more difficult to amplify, because the excitement found in the bass and treble, while the mids remains correct. It's hard to explain, but it is as if the 530 had the bass and treble as sand, too soft to amplify, while mids are a modeling clay, with the perfect weight to amplify. I hope someone understands what I wrote... biggrin.gif

Finally, both are excellent headphones and I do not consider one superior to the other: They are just different, made for different people and tastes.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter


Edited by cardozo - 12/29/10 at 2:18am
post #15 of 17

Interesting. I've been listening to an amped (iBasso T3) SE420 for a year. Yesterday i tried my new SE530 amped.

It seems the SE530 just does not need any amp vs the 420 which improves quite a bit amped.

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