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Shure 425

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

 

Shure 425 In-Ear-Monitors:
 
Disclaimer,
First of all I am by no means a super professional audiophile nor does I learn about it or make a living out of anything related to audio products. Everything is purely coming out from a user point of view, and mind you this user has only started taking his headphones/iems and file formats a little bit more serious a couple of years ago. I found this forum massively useful when I was looking up information about different IEMs and AMPs and I thought I should give a little back, so here is my one cents.
Konkeive (kon-keith)
 
Source:
1. Nokia ESeries E72 mobile phone
2. Apple Macbook Air + iTunes
no amps, can't afford one :(
 
Music(to be discussed):
Hyyerr (Ft. Chip Tha Ripper) - KiD CuDi
Cold Desert - Kings of Leon
Shiver - Coldplay 
 
Part i - On the outside.
 
Shure IEMs from 3series to 5series come in similar boxes so no surprise here, though I would love the aeroplane seat adaptor that comes with Shure 535 too. I fly long distance sometimes so it comes in handy to have one of those. Shure 425 also comes with a hard case to let you keep the headphone protected when you are not using it. The good thing about this case is the size of it and the hardness of the shell. It is in oval shape and about 12cm width x 7cm height, which means you don't have to wind the cable(especially with the length like this) like mad when you are hiding it. The shell is pretty hard and is pretty promising as long as you don't sit your bottom on it.
 
The cable is a bit too long for my liking, because I am short and I am used to put my MP3 player in my pants pocket which I am not comfortable doing now with this longer cord. The upside is that the cable is THICK, I can probably tie an elephant to it and swing it around without breaking it. The jack has a L-shape housing which IS a bless for me. It is because I broke my Monster Turbine by always pulling the cable to unplug them. The two different colours IEMs come with different colour matching cable too. Silver comes with a black cable and clear comes with clear cable. I got to say even though the clear one looks very fancy, the silver one matches my macbook air a lot more aesthetically. I am just saying :)
 
The IEM body is fairly big compared to the ones I owned (UE/SF3 and Monster Turbine), but the Shure is also the one that fits me best. They pretty much sit inside my ear with minimal pressure that I can barely feel. I cannot imagine if they are even slightly smaller or slightly larger. That I am sure I cannot use them no more. I've read comment about people finding them hard to wear so here are some tips from me. First thing first you need to put tips that fit you (this lead to another problem I will talk about soonish, but you've probably guessed it, removing the stock tips is hell). I use the small size black foam tips that come with the package. I had the stock (medium size I believe?) on for the first couple of hours but my ears simply couldn't cope with the size of it.
 
Removing the stock tip was really difficult. I even torn the right hand side tip apart at the beginning because of frustration. Then I froze them for about ten minutes in the freezer naked and spent about five minutes to get the left hand side tip off. Shure really should do something about this, or at least reinforce the tube that comes out from IEM body a little bit more. My heart almost broke when I saw how fragile the tubes look like. I only hope next time when I am changing the tips, it will be a lot easier, time will tell.
 
Part ii - What is the sound like?
Okay, before I purchased this pair of IEMs, I was looking at Westone 2, Denon CK-10 and Shure 425. I needed something good at mid ranges. Though it was pretty funny because I only tested out the Shure and dumped the cash immediately. The reason was because with the Denon has no replaceable cable option, if it's broke, you have to have it repaired. And with the Westone, I've read on other forums that the size of the body is a little bit smaller than the Shure, so I didn't go with it. Yes, it was that simple.
 
So, how do they sound? What are they like? I can only tell you what I have been hearing since purchased. I didn't bother to burn in because I don't know how to. I have been using it for about twenty hours so I should expect that there are still rooms to improve, am I right?
 
Basically Shure 425 has a very smooth combination of lively lows and fronting(does that even make any senses?) mids. However there is a problem for highs and lows, they are not only not as pronounced as the mids, the lows sound like as if they are mids, and the highs sound like as if they are mids too! I guess the reason for that is because the frequency responds for the Shure 425 are pretty flat. And when Highs and Mids are relatively more forgiving in this aspect, the lows aren't. I hope this will make it easier to understand, when you are listening to the Shure 425, you don't hear the lows, you feel them. Definitely no heart stopping kind of feeling, but a more recessed, more of a supplementary to the vocals and guitars and pianos(music) kind of feel. I forgot to mention between the Monster Turbine and Shure 425, I've been hearing the AIAIAI tma-1 for about six months, and during this time, I enjoyed the very defined lows of it, but I found myself constantly tuning to EQ to vocal booster. I don't really do that no more with my Shure 425 or I should say at least to a lesser extend :P 
 
Let me use the following tracks to elaborate 425 a little bit more. Played back by Macbook Air and directly to IEMs, not amplified. I am writing this review on a plane right now hehee. All the tracks are in MP3 formats because I don't want to pack my 128gb HD with like three wav album :P
 
Hyyerr (Ft. Chip Tha Ripper) - KiD CuDi:
CuDi's voice really shines here, 425 smoothly plays back all the vocal transitions, for example from slow to fast and lows to highs. The lows are very engaging but like I said before, not stealing the spot light kind of engaging.
 
Cold Desert - Kings of Leon:
425 rediscovered the souls of the music that were lost during digitalising. Or maybe Kings of Leon is just too good. The drums and the guitar were really nice, I was actually surprised how much the 425 can get from a 13MB MP3 files.
 
Shiver - Coldplay:
The clarity of these IEMs handled this song very well, however, maybe because of lack of run in, I feel like the whole song can be pushed to another level as in whole experience, maybe thats where the amp comes in play.
 
I hope this little write up will be able to give prospect buyers something they are interested. :D
 
To be continued, I will keep updating this thread as I keep using these IEMs.
 
P.S. Shure 425 ROCKS!
P.P.S. I paid about 1700HKD for it and I think that really is the lowest street price you can get in Hong Kong FYI.
post #2 of 7

Glad you're liking the successor for the 425.

If the driver crossover is the same as it is in the 420 (it should be), try the 425 with a 75 Ohm adapter, you might just like it =)

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

thanks for the tips, I will look into that! Can you also explain what kind of effect the adapter will cause?

post #4 of 7

Well, the effect of the 75 Ohm adapter, in my experience, further flattens the response of the SE420, and brings out treble energy that I never thought the 420 had.

When ABing the 2, the adapted 420 does sound airier and wider and seems to have better spatial properties while carrying the original sound sig of the 420, and the mids does sound a wee bit forward still VS the rest of the spectrum, but in a good way.

 

In terms of raw performance, I can't say I like the 420 as much as the Klipsch Custom 3, but with the adapter, the performance of the 420 jumps ahead of the Custom 3.

 

I'd go out on a limb and go as far to say that a 420 with an impedance adapter is almost on equal footing with the Earsonics SM3 as well, major differences being a tad less mid-bass and with better treble extension. Bass extension for both sound equal, but the SM3 has better weight to the bass regions VS the adapted 420, while the 420 sounds airier overall.

post #5 of 7

Hi there ,totaly agree with you about the recessed highs.

Ive had my se425's just over a week now and using the triple flanges i get a good comfortable fit and isolation.

I wonder if using different tips would change them much ?

I like the premium feel and look of them(i got silver/chrome finish).

I have this nagging feeling that i bought the wrong iem's though,perhaps the treble will come through after a bit more burn in .

Let me know your immpressions.

Zwanchef

post #6 of 7

wow....i did as you suggested and bought a 75 ohm resistor on ebay for £10.00 what a differance this makes.

Everything has opened up,theres a bigger soundstage and treble has brightened up.

Perfect...i,m going to try my other phones with this.

Thanks again,

Zwanchef

 

ps it would good to hear other hfiers thoughts on this incredible upgrade.

post #7 of 7

The 420 and 425 are overlooked very often actually, not many people have done this before.

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