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Shure SE535 vs Sennheiser IE8: What to buy?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am making my first high-end IEM purchase, and I am stuck in a dilemma right here:

Shure SE535 vs. Sennheiser IE8

 

My main concerns are (arranged by priority):
1. Durability

2. Sound Quality (I prefer a more natural sound)

3. Comfort / Fit

4. Compatibility with a 32 Ohm source (iPod classic 6G)

5. Customer Service

6. Isolation

 

I have heard that the Sennheiser IE8 leans towards bass, while the Shure SE535 is more on mids and treble. 

Also, I am  wondering, if what will be better for my IEM (and my iPod), 16 Ohms(IE8)  or 36 Ohms(SE535, of which is closer to 32 Ohms).

They will be in my pocket and my bag along with my iPod at times, so durability is an issue as well. 

 

post #2 of 25

natural sounding, isolation and comfort all of that is better with the shures.

post #3 of 25

Honestly, I think the EarSonics SM3 sounds right in the middle between the Shure SE530/535 and Sennheiser IE8. The Shure SE530 can sometimes sound "dull" to people and the IE8 is known for the mid-bass hump. I think the EarSonics SM3 offers a good middle ground in balanced armature clarity without a treble roll-off, and a good bass punch.

 

But if you had to go with either IEM, I would go for the Sennheiser IE8 because the soundstage (definitely larger than the Shure SE535), bass quality and sound signature is just superb. Also the IE8 has had very few problems with malfunctions/cable degradation on the forums. The Shure's have more durability problems than the IE8 from my observations.


Edited by SolidVictory - 5/29/11 at 1:47am
post #4 of 25

doesn't the shure have replaceable cords. if so durability shouldn't be a problem. right?

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

I don't really like too much bass, and from what I heard, the IE8 might have too much bass. 
Regarding the cable issue, I have been reading the Shure SE535: Reviews and First Impressions thread, and I have read that the SE535's durability is significantly better than the 530s, and that the build quality is "indestructible".

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoahReQQuiem View Post

I don't really like too much bass, and from what I heard, the IE8 might have too much bass. 
Regarding the cable issue, I have been reading the Shure SE535: Reviews and First Impressions thread, and I have read that the SE535's durability is significantly better than the 530s, and that the build quality is "indestructible".


It is true that the IE8's are bassy. If you don't like a bassy sound, then you should go for the SE535. Personally I thought the SE535 did not have the right bass impact/quantity and thus it did not sound "natural" to me, but the mids are gorgeous on the Shure's, that's for sure.

post #7 of 25

Well there's your answer. The Shures have the right amount of bass. They arent very significant bass but it's just the right amount for most music.

 

IE8 is huge on the bass side but they have their advantages over the Shures as well. They lose on the isolation side though.

 

They are quite opposite when it comes to sound signature. Why did you end up between the two over the other top tiers like the UM3x, SM3 and Turbines anyway?

 

 

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliKot View Post

Well there's your answer. The Shures have the right amount of bass. They arent very significant bass but it's just the right amount for most music.

 

IE8 is huge on the bass side but they have their advantages over the Shures as well. They lose on the isolation side though.

 

They are quite opposite when it comes to sound signature. Why did you end up between the two over the other top tiers like the UM3x, SM3 and Turbines anyway?

Money was an issue, and my budget was only $400.  I didn't like the Monster Turbines, because, as I said, I don't like too much bass.. The SM3 was too fragile (as I have read), and the UM3x, well.. I don't really know x)
Gladly though, I found Shure SE535s selling for $409.99, at AccessoryJack.com. First I thought those weren't legitimate, but I found in a Head-fi thread that buying there is pretty safe, so I decided to add those in my selection..

What advantages do the IE8s have over the SE535s? And, do they really have a better cable compared to the Shures?

 

 



 

post #9 of 25

The SM3 V2 has a new body that takes care of the "fragile" body. I had the SM3 V1 for over a year and dropped it several times, and it never dented/scratched/remotely came apart for me. The SM3 V2 should not have any build quality problems at all, as it was specifically made to fix the durability of the SM3 V1.

 

Link to SM3 V2.

post #10 of 25

I agree with the SM3 build problems, plus it's not exactly something I like compared to the other top tiers biggrin.gif the V2 should solve those but they are insanely expensive.

 

If you don't want too much bass then a BA iem is definitely up your alley. You might want to consider the UM3x then, it has a good amount of bass and incredible instrument separation and a neutral sound signature

 

The IE8s have the best soundstage among all IEMs to my ears, and its warm and bassy and generally fun sounding. The cables are definitely better, they are smooth and AWESOME. And they don't sound like crap like the TF10 stock cable redface.gif The imaging is also good and you can pinpoint the instruments and where they are coming from

 

The Shures are about music as a whole. The wonderful midrange feels like its live music and will hook you in with the guitar strums. I have the SE530 but I have heard the 535's last week as well :) They will probably fit your music tastes better, I would suggest looking at the UM3x as well though

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

The SM3 V2 has a new body that takes care of the "fragile" body. I had the SM3 V1 for over a year and dropped it several times, and it never dented/scratched/remotely came apart for me. The SM3 V2 should not have any build quality problems at all, as it was specifically made to fix the durability of the SM3 V1.

 

Link to SM3 V2.



What would you recommend? The SM3 v2 or the UM3x? In terms of SQ and durability.

post #12 of 25

They actually have a very similar sound signature but the presentation is very different. SM3's have huge 3d soundstage, and lush and dark sound, they are veiled too but they are wonderful for slow acoustic tracks and jazz music.

 

UM3x let the notes out more. 

 

My ears prefer the UM3x and i'll be getting my pair in a few days. I don't know about the durability problems though since each IEM has its own share of issues. You just have to take good care of them and use the provided case.

 

It would be best if you can audition them before purchasing though, but I wouldnt say the SM3 is a safe choice as its a love/hate relationship between them. For those who like the SM3 though, they are wonderful and heavenly. I have auditioned it a few times and it's always a love/hate relationship for me with those.

 

If you're not gonna have time to audition them then it's probably down to the UM3x and the SE535
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoahReQQuiem View Post


 



What would you recommend? The SM3 v2 or the UM3x? In terms of SQ and durability.



 

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliKot View Post

 

If you're not gonna have time to audition them then it's probably down to the UM3x and the SE535
 



 



That was gonna be my idea as well.
Although I have read that the UM3x has a small soundstage, but how does it compare to the SE535?

post #14 of 25

UM3x is balanced while the SE535 has a very forward midrange. Both are neutral but the Shures are more about vocals while the instruments take a step back to let the vocals shine and sing.

 

The UM3x is about the music and picking out each and every minute detail about what you're hearing, The soundstage is small compared to those with larger ones like the SM3 and IE8 and probably the 535 as well but I would say the soundstage of these are adequate.

 

I find that the same people who love the UM3x like the Shure 530/535 as well

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm about to "pull the trigger" for the UM3x, but, there remains a problem..


I use an iPod classic 160GB, and its impedance rating is 32 Ohms, however the Westone UM3x has an impedance of 56 Ohms. Would that make a difference to the sound quality, and the durability of the drivers of the UM3x?

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