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Thoughts on Shure IEM cable issues

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've owned a couple of EC2s as well as an SE115, and like so many other Shure customers I've had to return them for replacement due to tears in the earpiece cable cover. It's nice that Shure is willing to send me new phones with minimal muss and fuss, but it would be even nicer if the damage didn't occur in the first place. And so I ask the other Shure owners here:

 

1. Is it the top-of-the-ear cable positioning that causes the weakness in the cable cover? I see that the Shure manual shows an optional placement that allows the cables to hang straight down. Would this alleviate the problem? Anybody here actually wear their Shures this way?

 

2. It seems to me that the cable cover breaks after growing brittle and stiff, possibly from skin oils absorbed over time. Is it possible to improve some kind of "second cable cover," in the form of some type of insulated rubber jacketing, over the existing cable? I once tried coating a weakness in my EC2 cable with that flexible paint-on vinyl stuff people use for tool handles, but it flaked off pretty quickly. I could, however, see someone applying a permanent enamel that would freeze the cables near the earpieces into a permanent semi-coil to fit the user and prevent any further bending (limiting the chance of breakage at a flex point).

 

I'll entertain any thoughts, theories or ideas. I just had a brand-new replacement pair of E115s sent to me, and if there's some strategy I can employ to delay the inevitable, I'd love to hear about it.

post #2 of 15

Upgrade to the SE530's or the SE535. The SE535 have an upgradable cable, so you can hear a different sound sig biggrin.gif

 


Edited by cifani090 - 5/4/11 at 5:53pm
post #3 of 15

my e2c's broke the same exact way - bilaterally. and i babied those things like no other. but after almost 3 years of usage, the wire jacket cracked around the way they bend up around my ears.

 

shure replaced my e2cs out of warranty for 50 bucks with brand new ones though, so i can't complain.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubercaffeinated View Post

my e2c's broke the same exact way - bilaterally. and i babied those things like no other. but after almost 3 years of usage, the wire jacket cracked around the way they bend up around my ears.

 

shure replaced my e2cs out of warranty for 50 bucks with brand new ones though, so i can't complain.



Wow 3 years that is amazing. I owned 3 pairs and they all broke within 6-9 months. Does the new Shure earphones have better cables?

post #5 of 15

i told you, i babied them :P

 

honestly, i couldn't tell you if they are better or not. while they were off getting replaced, i did a bad thing, and fooled around with some ety MC5s and then i ended up getting a er-4p. 

 

i think the cable jacket feels softer for sure - i remember when my cable jacket broke before, how hard and unpliable it felt. not the case with these ones - which leads me to believe that the cable jackets on the e2cs just get harder over time/usage.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post

Upgrade to the SE530's or the SE535. The SE535 have an upgradable cable, so you can throw money at cable to hear a differnd sound signiture biggrin.gif

 


GanChan - please ignore this post.  This kid has no idea of what he's talking about and is posting stuff all over head-fi that is clearly incorrect.  The SE530 is one of the IEMs that suffered from cable cracking .....  And in this case replacing a cable on an IEM is not going to massively change the sound signature (face-palm).

 

To your original question - I had the SE420's - and I experienced the same thing recently.  The rubber housing on both earpieces tore to the extent that the cable restraints fractured at the apex.  Mine actually lasted very well (about 18 months) and I was very careful with them.  The Shure agents changed my 420's with 425's (with the new replaceable cable).  The cable seems far more durable - but more importantly the housing is hard plastic.  If a cable breaks - you just replace the cable.  The fit is a lot better (more flush with my ear), and I find them very comfortable.

 

If you want to stick with the Shure signature - I'd definitely recommend the newer builds.  I've had both the SE315 and SE425 - and the new build seems to solve a lot of the previous problems.  There's been quite a bit of 'buzz' about the SE215 which is the model you'd probably be looking at.  You may be able to recontact your Shure dealer and see what it would take to trade the 115's for 215's.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post

Upgrade to the SE530's or the SE535. The SE535 have an upgradable cable, so you can throw money at cable to hear a differnd sound signiture biggrin.gif

 



geez, they let ANY be a mod now... tongue_smile.gif

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post




GanChan - please ignore this post.  This kid has no idea of what he's talking about and is posting stuff all over head-fi that is clearly incorrect.  The SE530 is one of the IEMs that suffered from cable cracking .....  And in this case replacing a cable on an IEM is not going to massively change the sound signature (face-palm).

 

To your original question - I had the SE420's - and I experienced the same thing recently.  The rubber housing on both earpieces tore to the extent that the cable restraints fractured at the apex.  Mine actually lasted very well (about 18 months) and I was very careful with them.  The Shure agents changed my 420's with 425's (with the new replaceable cable).  The cable seems far more durable - but more importantly the housing is hard plastic.  If a cable breaks - you just replace the cable.  The fit is a lot better (more flush with my ear), and I find them very comfortable.

 

If you want to stick with the Shure signature - I'd definitely recommend the newer builds.  I've had both the SE315 and SE425 - and the new build seems to solve a lot of the previous problems.  There's been quite a bit of 'buzz' about the SE215 which is the model you'd probably be looking at.  You may be able to recontact your Shure dealer and see what it would take to trade the 115's for 215's.


Brooko, do you even know what you are talking about? OP, a cable cracking is not a big problem, there are not many cases of that happening and if it has, a nicer cable and be soderd into the SE530's

 

post #9 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




Brooko, do you even know what you are talking about? OP, a cable cracking is not a big problem, there are not many cases of that happening and if it has, a nicer cable and be soderd into the SE530's

 

 

Yes I do - you however clearly do not.  You have been pulled up for your comments in a lot of threads.

 

And FYI - cable cracking has been a huge issue with Shures with their older models.  Google it and learn. The other issue with the older Shures was the rubber skin around the driver housing - it is prone to tearing.  If it tears, it puts strain on the cable relief at the juncture of the housing.  If that breaks, so do the wires.  IMO the new design solves a lot of those issues (ie the new design you have on your 535's).

 

Oh and your comment re the 530's and soldering a new cable ...... please.  Where would you resolder - unless you mean a whole new reshell??

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post


 

 

Yes I do - you however clearly do not.  You have been pulled up for your comments in a lot of threads.

 

And FYI - cable cracking has been a huge issue with Shures with their older models.  Google it and learn. The other issue with the older Shures was the rubber skin around the driver housing - it is prone to tearing.  If it tears, it puts strain on the cable relief at the juncture of the housing.  If that breaks, so do the wires.  IMO the new design solves a lot of those issues (ie the new design you have on your 535's).

 

Oh and your comment re the 530's and soldering a new cable ...... please.  Where would you resolder - unless you mean a whole new reshell??


You look at your Head-Fi profile, and you are saying that your "superior" to me? I mean what a joke, OP there are alot of SE530 owners have has there SE530's either switched out by Shure for the SE535 for a small fee or have re-cabled them like this.

 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




You look at your Head-Fi profile, and you are saying that your "superior" to me? I mean what a joke, OP there are alot of SE530 owners have has there SE530's either switched out by Shure for the SE535 for a small fee or have re-cabled them like this.

 

shure hasn't been known to be so "nice". many times they just replaced the 530 with the same unit, with no option of upgrading. Also, i bet you don't have any experience selling yummy new zealand lamb across the globe. hard to beat that as experience being a 14 year old headfi mod
 

 


Edited by buffalowings - 5/4/11 at 6:51pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




You look at your Head-Fi profile, and you are saying that your "superior" to me? I mean what a joke, OP there are alot of SE530 owners have has there SE530's either switched out by Shure for the SE535 for a small fee or have re-cabled them like this.

 


What had the Head-Fi profile got to do with anything - and since when did I say I was superior??

 

Now lets look at the facts shall we?  In more than one thread lately you've been corrected for uttering absolute nonsense.  A lot of your posts are helpful - but in some of the ones I've seen lately you've commented on stuff you obviously have no idea about.  2nd - the link you supplied with the recabled SE530's even states that they had to be sent away to be remolded.  It's not a simple home solder job.  3rd - look at your post in THIS thread.  Reread it.  Then reread what I called you out on.

 

OP has a set of SE115's and you want him to go to a SE530 which will end up having the same cable problems, and is also ~ 3 times the price.

 

I am not and will not make a personal attack on you. If I've offended you, I apologise.  But can you please refrain from making inane comments on topics you do not have experience in.  Especially in a forum where people could be spending some reasonable money in their pursuit of audio nirvana.  All you end up doing is muddying the water.  That helps no-one - and least of all the reputation of this site.

post #13 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post




What had the Head-Fi profile got to do with anything - and since when did I say I was superior??

 

Now lets look at the facts shall we?  In more than one thread lately you've been corrected for uttering absolute nonsense.  A lot of your posts are helpful - but in some of the ones I've seen lately you've commented on stuff you obviously have no idea about.  2nd - the link you supplied with the recabled SE530's even states that they had to be sent away to be remolded.  It's not a simple home solder job.  3rd - look at your post in THIS thread.  Reread it.  Then reread what I called you out on.

 

OP has a set of SE115's and you want him to go to a SE530 which will end up having the same cable problems, and is also ~ 3 times the price.

 

I am not and will not make a personal attack on you. If I've offended you, I apologise.  But can you please refrain from making inane comments on topics you do not have experience in.  Especially in a forum where people could be spending some reasonable money in their pursuit of audio nirvana.  All you end up doing is muddying the water.  That helps no-one - and least of all the reputation of this site.


Re-read, thank you. OP i think the SE115 have a common problem of this, i dont think you can put something on it to fix it. Personally i would upgrade to another company of earbuds (Westone 4's?) or a pair of SE535 and you wont have to worry about the cable. 

 

post #14 of 15

I did get a few tips of taking care of the cable

 

-clean the cable after using the earphones

 

-straighten the cable after using the earphones

 

-store the earphones with those mini moisture absorbing white balls

post #15 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majin View Post





Wow 3 years that is amazing. I owned 3 pairs and they all broke within 6-9 months. Does the new Shure earphones have better cables?


Majin - sorry I missed this earlier.  I have the new design SE425's.  The cable is much better than the 420's.

 

For a start, the rubber skin around the driver housing is gone - it's just a hard shell now.  This also makes insertion and removal a lot easier.  The cables are also replaceable - and swivel at the replacement point.  I find that this also makes it easier to use.  To wear or remove the IEM's, simply swivel the cable out of the way.  The cable feels very sturdy, and is quite pliable.  I also find that the microphonics are less (YMMV), and for me it doesn't tangle.  I always loosely loop the cable after use (wrap it around my hand), then carefully place it in the carry case.  Won't be able to tell if the cable itself will crack until I've got a lot more time on them - but I'm pretty sure they've addressed that as well.

 

All in all - I think the corrections made really make the SE range incredibly durable now - and they would be one of the most well made IEM's I've seen  Very comfortable too.  The only thing I'm still not 100% sure of yet is the memory wire.  So far I'm getting used to it - but not sure whether I prefer with or without.  For a start it was annoying - now I hardly notice it.

 

The replaceable cable join (although they swivel easily) is very firmly attached, and no danger of accidental removal.  You really have to apply pressure.  Some good photos here if you want a closer look:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/550673/review-shure-se315-vs-se425-differences-with-old-se420-shure-s-mid-tier-iem-s


Edited by Brooko - 5/5/11 at 6:07pm
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