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Just Upgraded from UE Superfi 5 Pro to Shure SE535................ Thoughts............

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I have only posted a couple of times on here after first coming across the site when I was looking to upgrade from my Denon AH-C551 earphones which replaced my stock Apple buds.

 

After looking at a multitude of reviews I eventually went for a set of Superfi 5 Pros, and as the title suggests, I have just upgraded again to the Shure 535's and I just thought I would share my thoughts with you.

 

When I first  got my Denons the difference in sound quality to the Apple buds absolutely blew me away. It really was a complete revelation and I was hearing things in tracks I had never heard before. Everything was clearer, punchier, louder etc etc. I spent the full weekend locked away listening to everything I owned!

 

After a while I did start to think that maybe there was something even better again and duly started searching the web. Weeks of searching later my 5 Pros arrived and I was happy wih the increase in sound quality against what I had paid for them. They were better, but they didn't have that immediate 'wow' factor that the Denons had after my initial upgrade.

 

I have really enjoyed the 5 pros but spending time lurking on here made me get the bug to upgrade again and the general consensus was that the Shure 535 is the best there is in terms of Univeral IEM.

 

So off I went again and yesterday the 535's arrived. To say I am dissapointed so far is an understatement! Yes, they do sound fantastic and they are more accurate, but from what I have heard so far, I prefer the 5 Pros! I've never seen anyone on here say this before but to my ears the 5 Pros are much more fun to listen to. In terms of comfort and not looking silly with them on the 535 win hands down, but in terms of what I am hearing, I miss the bass of the 5 Pro!

 

Maybe I need to give them longer and they will grow on me over time but it has become apparent to me that there is simply nothing like your first good pair of earphones!

 

The impact and difference you notice the first time you hear something decent cannot be beaten and it really seems to me that after a certain level, the returns you get in relation to the money you spend just simply isn't worth it! I always thought I would simply have to eventually have the 'best' but I really think I have maxed out at the 535 - I guess I'm just dissapointed the 535 didn't blow me away the way the Denon did the first time round!

 

Sorry for the length of the post - be interested to see what you think..............

 

(apologies for any spelling mistakes)

post #2 of 24

it is not that the sf5 pro is better, but it fits better, what you would like to hear. think, the better upgrade for you what have been a tf10 or maybe sm3. both deliver more bass extension.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Yeah maybe your right. Don't get me wrong, the 535 is an absolutely outstanding earphone, the main point of my post was that the impact of each upgrade is less and less and the 'wow' factor, to me, lessens each time!

post #4 of 24

i'm sorry to hear that you are not 100 % satisfied with your purchase. I too have bought more expensive earphones only to find out that i actually liked some cheaper models more. I found out it had to do more with sound signature than price/quality/etc. I now read reviews with a grain of salt, seeing more how the earphones are described in their presentation, and the music preferences of the reviewer.

Sometimes its a lot to ask that the shure perform triple the price compared to your super fi. Law of diminishing returns i guess. Good thing they are easily resellable, perhaps move on to triple fi 10 ?

post #5 of 24

It gets to a point where there really isn't much of an upgrade to be had with headphones/IEMs. (unless you jump to the 1000$+ customs) You might find  better performance and/or bang for your buck upgrading your DAP or amp at this point. :-)

post #6 of 24

I'm not surprised. A lot of people praise the Shure SE530/SE535, but don't realize that the Shure sound signature is not everyone's cup of tea. A lot of emphasis on mids and a polite bass response is what I get out of the Shure sound.

 

You might want to let them grow on you though--you might actually begin to enjoy the sound signature after a while. If some time passes and you still don't feel it, return or sell them and get something else. This whole head-fi journey is about your ears, not other people's ears.

post #7 of 24

Yes, finding the IEM that fits your preferences is indeed important, but I do agree with your sentiments, Rydo, the so called 'mid-fi' units shan't be dismissed.

 

I personally find the Etymotic HF5 to be one of the best IEMs out there, all things concidered.

post #8 of 24

I'm relatively new to the 'upgrade journey' but have found out so far that the 'house sound' of a particular manufacturer matters a lot to me.  Perhaps read up on the Triple-fi 10?  Depending on who you bought them from you might be able to return with no or reasonable restocking fees.  I'd make sure to give them as many hours as you can within the return policy to make sure that it isn't a fit issue or if they sound different once 'burned in', or maybe just that once you get some hours behind them you'll like them better.

 

I started with Klipsh S4 & the presentation seemed forced & thin, they were my first IEM but I've had experience in other arenas of sound (car stereo, playing several instruments, critical listening) so I knew that while they seemed well made I didn't like the way the bass came across & thought the mids were too recessed & highs were too emphasized without the amount of detail & lack of sibilance that I prefer.  I like a warm, detailed, textured sound, smack in between a bright or dark mood, with slightly emphasized mids, a clean, crisp & present enough bass & highs that are not rolled off or recessed, but don't require me to adjust EQ or turn volume down during the presentation of brighter & sometimes naturally sibilant instruments such as an alto sax playing altissimo, crash cymbals, powerful violin solos that contain high notes & harmonic tones, etc. etc.

 

I was impressed with the cost-sound ratio of Monster Turbines (that were bought on a lightning deal for $79) so tried out the Turbine Pro Coppers.  Again I was very impressed with the overall presentation but after ordering a set of Westone UM3X & hearing the clarity, detail, warmth, lower extension I'm very happy with the Westone sound.  There are things that I'd prefer different about the UM3X and from reading many reviews & impressions of the Westone 4 I have a set arriving tomorrow.

 

Luckily both the Coppers & UM3X were bought on Amazon & are still eligible for return.  I've put many hours in on both to determine if the price differences were justified by my sound preference, to make sure I wasn't having a placebo effect due to price differences (it's more expensive so it must sound better thoughts) & make sure this is a hobby I will enjoy putting my expendable (there isn't much) income into.

 

I believe I came into this hobby slightly better prepared, by coincidence, due to having performed vocally, played piano for many years, saxophone for many years & violin for several years some time ago.  I already understood my sound preferences & how I intepret expressions like bright, dark, warm, sibilant, roll-off, etc. due to shopping for different instruments at times, especially saxophones as they run the gumut depending on manufacture, vintage, material, etc.  Even miniscule details like the piece that holds the reed on the mouthpiece changed the sound drastically.  If I didn't study & figure out ahead of time what my end desire was, I'd spend entirely too much time focusing on one small piece & not practicing playing the actual instrument!

 

That was pretty long winded... hope it helps a bit.

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gduck View Post

i'm sorry to hear that you are not 100 % satisfied with your purchase. I too have bought more expensive earphones only to find out that i actually liked some cheaper models more. I found out it had to do more with sound signature than price/quality/etc. I now read reviews with a grain of salt, seeing more how the earphones are described in their presentation, and the music preferences of the reviewer.

Sometimes its a lot to ask that the shure perform triple the price compared to your super fi. Law of diminishing returns i guess. Good thing they are easily resellable, perhaps move on to triple fi 10 ?



Oh don't get me wrong - they are absolutely fantastic and I can understand why they are so highly regarded. I guess its just a shame you can never try these things before you buy!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Goronok View Post

It gets to a point where there really isn't much of an upgrade to be had with headphones/IEMs. (unless you jump to the 1000$+ customs) You might find  better performance and/or bang for your buck upgrading your DAP or amp at this point. :-)



Agree - I would say my Denons were 200% better than Apple buds, Superfi 5 Pro 75% better than Denons and 535 30% better than 5 Pros - all about how much that extra % is worth to you I suppose! 



Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

I'm not surprised. A lot of people praise the Shure SE530/SE535, but don't realize that the Shure sound signature is not everyone's cup of tea. A lot of emphasis on mids and a polite bass response is what I get out of the Shure sound.

 

You might want to let them grow on you though--you might actually begin to enjoy the sound signature after a while. If some time passes and you still don't feel it, return or sell them and get something else. This whole head-fi journey is about your ears, not other people's ears.



'Polite' is a great word for it - I miss the thump in my dance / electronic music!

 


Thanks for the responses guys!
 

 


Edited by Rydo1888 - 3/22/11 at 10:30am
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesta View Post

I'm relatively new to the 'upgrade journey' but have found out so far that the 'house sound' of a particular manufacturer matters a lot to me.  Perhaps read up on the Triple-fi 10?  Depending on who you bought them from you might be able to return with no or reasonable restocking fees.  I'd make sure to give them as many hours as you can within the return policy to make sure that it isn't a fit issue or if they sound different once 'burned in', or maybe just that once you get some hours behind them you'll like them better.

 

I started with Klipsh S4 & the presentation seemed forced & thin, they were my first IEM but I've had experience in other arenas of sound (car stereo, playing several instruments, critical listening) so I knew that while they seemed well made I didn't like the way the bass came across & thought the mids were too recessed & highs were too emphasized without the amount of detail & lack of sibilance that I prefer.  I like a warm, detailed, textured sound, smack in between a bright or dark mood, with slightly emphasized mids, a clean, crisp & present enough bass & highs that are not rolled off or recessed, but don't require me to adjust EQ or turn volume down during the presentation of brighter & sometimes naturally sibilant instruments such as an alto sax playing altissimo, crash cymbals, powerful violin solos that contain high notes & harmonic tones, etc. etc.

 

I was impressed with the cost-sound ratio of Monster Turbines (that were bought on a lightning deal for $79) so tried out the Turbine Pro Coppers.  Again I was very impressed with the overall presentation but after ordering a set of Westone UM3X & hearing the clarity, detail, warmth, lower extension I'm very happy with the Westone sound.  There are things that I'd prefer different about the UM3X and from reading many reviews & impressions of the Westone 4 I have a set arriving tomorrow.

 

Luckily both the Coppers & UM3X were bought on Amazon & are still eligible for return.  I've put many hours in on both to determine if the price differences were justified by my sound preference, to make sure I wasn't having a placebo effect due to price differences (it's more expensive so it must sound better thoughts) & make sure this is a hobby I will enjoy putting my expendable (there isn't much) income into.

 

I believe I came into this hobby slightly better prepared, by coincidence, due to having performed vocally, played piano for many years, saxophone for many years & violin for several years some time ago.  I already understood my sound preferences & how I intepret expressions like bright, dark, warm, sibilant, roll-off, etc. due to shopping for different instruments at times, especially saxophones as they run the gumut depending on manufacture, vintage, material, etc.  Even miniscule details like the piece that holds the reed on the mouthpiece changed the sound drastically.  If I didn't study & figure out ahead of time what my end desire was, I'd spend entirely too much time focusing on one small piece & not practicing playing the actual instrument!

 

That was pretty long winded... hope it helps a bit.


 

Thanks for the post - i am definitely going to give them a chance to grow on me. Who knows, in a couple of weeks I could try my 5 Pros and find them muddy and bass heavy! :)
 

 

post #11 of 24

victory is right, the sound signature grows and you learn to love it. ive had scl2(e2c's) for years before moving up to srh840s (some people say its similar to the 530s which are a step behind your 535s) and i really just love the shure sound. then i made the jump to westone 4's which are arguably the top of the line universal (not the 535 as you suggest, but make no mistake the 535s are darn good headphones) and well, they just lack the vocal presentation i've grown to love with shures, especially since i listen to a lot of indie/alt/rock that are mainly vocal based. the westones are amazing (you should give them a try if you really dont like the shures) but when i first heard them (i got a lightly used pair plus they are armatures so burn in wasnt needed - maybe brain burn in but thats a different story) and my first impressions were wow, they are lacking the shure sound, the way the mids are up and sweet, and are instead put a seat back in the westones. took me a few days to get over it, the change in sound signature, but i really love my w4s. give the shures sometime and maybe youll start to love their sound signature.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

I'm not surprised. A lot of people praise the Shure SE530/SE535, but don't realize that the Shure sound signature is not everyone's cup of tea. A lot of emphasis on mids and a polite bass response is what I get out of the Shure sound.

 

You might want to let them grow on you though--you might actually begin to enjoy the sound signature after a while. If some time passes and you still don't feel it, return or sell them and get something else. This whole head-fi journey is about your ears, not other people's ears.



 

post #12 of 24

You aren't the only one. I have been using my super fi 5 pro's for working out up until they broke (my fault for being careless). I switched over to my SE535's and couldn't get into the music like I could with the super fi's. They have an awesome midrange presentation but the super fi's have a larger and more 3D soundstage with better bass impact and treble extension.  I guess it comes down to personal preference. I will be putting my SE535's up for sale and will be reshelling my super fi's into customs.

post #13 of 24

It's the different sound signatures.   Shure is very mid-centric where UE is more treble and bass creating a more U-shaped and fun sound and larger soundstage.  But I do find the SF Pro a little raw and slightly harsh.

post #14 of 24

SE530/535 is a huge upgrade from Super.fi 5 Pro in my opinion. The mids on the Shures are several leagues ahead of those on Super.fi 5 Pro. The bass and treble are much more neutral and accurate on the Shures as well. Super.fi 5 Pro has very badly matched drivers that cause muffled mids, overblown bass and an annoying lower treble spike.

post #15 of 24

I purchased the SE535s last summer and put them up for sale the next day, that's how terribly disappointed I was by their SQ (anemic bass and somewhat pronounced & grainy treble). 2.5 years ago I bought the SE530 (£230) and sold them after 4 weeks - pretty disappointed, too - they only sounded marginally better than my Super.fi 5v2 (single-driver and worth £89, and not to be confused with the older and well known Super.fi 5 Pro, which has two drivers, is more expensive and I've never heard myself). On SQ alone I'd take the SE530 over the SE535, but build-wise the SE535 is better. The biggest disappointment for me, though, has been the SM3.

 

By contrast, the UM3X and now the W4 are significantly better sounding IEMs to these ears.


Edited by music_4321 - 3/22/11 at 4:47pm
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