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Shure SE535 vs JH13 vs JH16 vs UE18pro

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thinking about selling my shure SE535 and replace it with one of these custom molded IEM.

- I wonder if it is a wise decision or am I on the way to fall  for marketing and advertising gimmicks??

- Does the number of the driver really matter?

- Does anyone really notice any difference?

- Ok!! these molded custom IEM are more expensive than the Shure but I wonder if it is because of the sound quality or because it is a custom molded that's why they charge more. Usually custom made tend to be very expensive


post #2 of 7

The number of drivers does matter, which more drivers there is less sonic stress on each level (low,mid,high). There is a huge difference in custom and universal, you will just have to make a decision with the pros and cons of each. The reason these are so expensive is because you are i a luxury nitch, the drivers are very small and you cant go anywhere to buy them, they are handmade, and there is brand loyalty and celebrity clientele.

post #3 of 7

Let me see if I can help:

- Customs sound much better than any universal I have owned, and I have owned several top tier universals

- Supposedly more drivers can make a custom sound more effortless, or produce more tactile bass, but no one that I know has taken a JH13, for example, and disconnected half of the drivers and then compared with a fully functioning JH13.  The JH16 uses additional bass drivers, but it is also tuned differently.

- Hard to compare apples to apples here.  Maybe a UM reshell where an additional driver has been added, but then again there is no A/B testing and it is really difficult to tell without doing that IMO.

- Making customs takes several steps, check out this article.


There is a law of diminishing returns, so spending double the cost of the SE535 isn't going to get you double the performance, which is usually true with just about everything.  The base TV vs. the top of the line isn't all that much better in picture quality, but it is better!  The most important thing with customs IMO is to get a sound signature that you will like as there is no sense in getting something that may be technically superior but you don't really care for the sound.

post #4 of 7

Well, for listening, I think the most imprtant thing is that you like the way the earphones perform. So if you dislike, even the most expensive custom sounds worst, right? However, there may be no chance to have a try on custom IEM, but they are really different from the universal ones.

post #5 of 7

I was also debating universals (SE535s) vs customs (Westone ES5) for my next purchase, and annoyingly I can't try out either without buying them first. Would those of you who've heard both, describe customs like lifting a blanket off the sound (much more clarity, separation, etc) vs the universals, or the actual difference far more subtle than that?

post #6 of 7

^ i would like to know too

post #7 of 7

It will DEFINITELY give you better sound.  Just realize you are paying 3 times the cost and whether the improved performance seems worth it will depend on your perspective as well as your budget. 


If you do not require a big bassy full sound, go with the JH13.  The speed, detail retrieval and transparency is literally insane!

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