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UE900 or SM3 v2 to replace my lost SE530's?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've really enjoyed my Shure SE530's over the last couple of years but, alas, they are gone. :(  There are many things about their sound that appeal to me but, rather than replace them with the same model or the newer SE535, I'm interested in finding something with similar strengths but less weaknesses.  Strengths?  Obviously, the mids in the SE530 are remarkably lush, upfront and detailed.  I love that!  But there's no doubt I've always pined for a bit more low-end and an extra hint of sparkle at the top.  That said, I'd take the SE530's in a heartbeat over anything with a true V-shaped signature (ie TF10, which were not my cup of tea.)  

 

After much reading on this site and others, I'm wondering if the Earsonics SM3 (v2) or the newish UE900's will provide what I'm looking for - a relatively neutral sound signature, but more fullness at the bottom, and less roll-off at the top.  Any experiences or thoughts on my dilemma?  I'm happy to consider other alternatives, if they fit the bill.  Thanks!

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Would love a little feedback here....
post #3 of 13

I used have the SE530 for many years and now I have had the SM3 V1 for about three years.  The sound signature is quite similar; however, there is more bass and treble extension and more instrumentation separation.  I had to re-rip all my 128kb tracks to 320kb because SM3 is much more detailed. 

 

However, the SM3 V1 build quality is not that great.  I think the V2 is better. 

post #4 of 13

While I only tried the SM3 V2 for a week, from the OP's preference (better bass and better high extension/sparkle - without being too V shaped) I really wouldn't recommend the SM3.  While there is no doubt that the SM3 had more bass, I personally found that it was missing something  from the upper mids, and the highs also don't really have that much sparkle.

 

I actually found them pretty lifeless and boring for my tastes.

 

In the end I went with the SE535 Ltd Ed.  It retains the Shure mid-range, and adds some sparkle / extension to the top-end.  The only thing missing from the OP's "request list" is the extra bass.  The SE535 LE will give you beautiful bass definition / quality - but not quantity.  However - this can be fixed with a slight touch of EQ (it does respond well).

 

Unfortunately haven't tried the UE900 so unable to comment.

 

535LE are now available in Nth America.  Worth a look IMO (http://www.shure.com/americas/products/earphones-headphones/se-earphones/se535ltd-sound-isolating-earphones)

 

And here's a comparison of the std 535 with the SM3 V2 - kind of matches my own thoughts (http://www.head-fi.org/t/572161/westone-um3x-rc-vs-earsonics-sm3-v2-vs-se535-showdown-updated-10-5-11)

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. I'm reluctant to go with SE535's because I've continually heard they're so similar to the 530. Don't et me wrong, I love that sound but do believe it's missing a bit at both ends of the spectrum. I'm curious to hear how the UE900's or even Westone 4's compare.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teeter View Post

Thanks for the feedback. I'm reluctant to go with SE535's because I've continually heard they're so similar to the 530. Don't et me wrong, I love that sound but do believe it's missing a bit at both ends of the spectrum. I'm curious to hear how the UE900's or even Westone 4's compare.

 

Someone else will need to help you wit that one.

 

Also - the SE535 LE are quite different from the SE535 standards.  Just keep that in mind.  They really are quite nicely tweaked with the top end. Still won't have the bass you want though (great quality, but not great quantity)

post #7 of 13

The UE900 also has a dip in the upper mids/lower treble region, which will make female voices slightly less intelligible and less clear. The lower midrange is still quite forward, and vocals will have a good deal of thickness and weight to them.

 

Treble wise, I think there is definitely more treble presence on the UE900 than the SE535.

 

The bass on the UE900 is an interesting issue. Logitech designed the UE900 with 2 sound bores, a large one and a much smaller one. The smaller one (called a mini bore) acts as a sort of resonance chamber for lower frequencies. This bore will be blocked by earwax and other ear secretions within 2-3 weeks of use, and this causes the mid-bass in the UE900 to drop quite noticeably. The out-of-box UE900 bass response is definitely quite present, but after 2 weeks or so of use it drops down (VERY NOTICEABLY) to slightly more than ER-4 levels of bass. It is remarkably punchy and well extended bass, but I can see how some people may feel they want a more present low end.

 

Hope this helps.

 

*EDIT*

EarSonics has a new IEM that I assume succeeds the SM3 v2, the SM64. 
http://www.earsonics.com/en/sm64/

 

You may want to check them out.


Edited by Peculier - 1/2/13 at 7:31pm
post #8 of 13

This is the exact choice I'm facing as well, UE900 or SM3v2 (or SM64 really). Coming from a BA200 as my best IEM. It's fantastic, I just want more extension on both ends and more of the great detail the BA200 provides.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
FYI, I chose SM3 v2 and couldn't be more pleased. I've been blown away by how much more "complete" they are than my SE530's were. The mids are similarly lush, but the bass is MUCH better and the highs much more alive, while still being a bit laid back. I'll also say the soundstage is much larger and I find them to be a more engaging IEM overall.
post #10 of 13

Supremely helpful, thanks! Now I just hope to hear if others have been on this journey... for what it's worth, I'm at this particular crossroads because the UE900 and SM-series seem like the best universals that don't have a pronounced V signature and have extreme levels of detail. If anyone else has a truly, truly top-tier recommendation for that area, I'd love to hear it. Better than the ER4 preferably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teeter View Post

FYI, I chose SM3 v2 and couldn't be more pleased. I've been blown away by how much more "complete" they are than my SE530's were. The mids are similarly lush, but the bass is MUCH better and the highs much more alive, while still being a bit laid back. I'll also say the soundstage is much larger and I find them to be a more engaging IEM overall.

Edited by soundstige - 2/10/13 at 10:33am
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teeter View Post

FYI, I chose SM3 v2 and couldn't be more pleased. I've been blown away by how much more "complete" they are than my SE530's were. The mids are similarly lush, but the bass is MUCH better and the highs much more alive, while still being a bit laid back. I'll also say the soundstage is much larger and I find them to be a more engaging IEM overall.

I haven't heard the UE 900 or the 530/535 but this really peaks my curiosity about the SM3 v2.  I've heard the PFE 232 and the Westone 4 and love both for different reasons.  I really wish there was a way to hear it before getting my hands on one!  I might have to break down and give it a shot.  Out of curiosity what types of music do you listen to?  I'd love to hear thoughts on classical (orchestral or opera) or vocals either here or PM.  

post #12 of 13
I have owned the SM3 (v1) and have just picked up the UE900. The UE900 definitely has more treble and the same or slightly more bass. The mids of the SM3 were thicker and a bit more forward. Personally I found the lack of treble to much for me with the SM3 so ended up selling them. The UE900 so far does not have this problem. I think both of them have good sound stages but I think the UE900 is more traditional sounding as the SM3 puts you more un the center of the sound field.
post #13 of 13
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