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Shure SE846: A New In-Ear Flagship From Shure. Finally! (Impressions p26-28) - Page 86

post #1276 of 3046

So other than Jude, who hasn't said anything about the SE846 apart from what's in the video, has anyone had the chance to try the "treble" filter yet? All of the impressions have just been about the bass and the mids, and a few people say the highs could use some work [using the standard "balanced" filter].

post #1277 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

You can take a freshmen level paper and grade it on a Harvard grad-school curve if you so choose. 

 

Wow. You're insulting him more than any of us.

 

But anyway: Yes, he can post what he wants. And we can post what we want about what he posted.

 

[Edit:] I've found his comparison between the UM3X and SE486 a lot more useful, in spite of the price difference.


Edited by Sinocelt - 6/16/13 at 11:16pm
post #1278 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post

Kind of funny that Flavio mentions he's a 16 year old.  While I think that might be the average age demographic of most of the posters in the IEM section of the forum, I suspect it's not the case for Flavio.


I like that he did a comparison to the UM3X as it's my primary IEM. 


I really like the concept of Shure's low pass filter.  I suspect that some of the advantage that the new hybrid designs have could be based on a similar goal of isolating the bass driver from the rest of the spectrum. 

Flavio mentions his son is 16 and that the fit of the 846 is not quite as snug for him...

post #1279 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Flavio mentions his son is 16 and that the fit of the 846 is not quite as snug for him...

 

lol...he's gone back and edited it, possibly after reading my comment. 

post #1280 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post

 

lol...he's gone back and edited it, possibly after reading my comment. 

Nope, he didn't change anything, he just made a phrase syntax mistake so it's unclear to you maybe. Give the guy a break! redface.gif

post #1281 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Nope, he didn't change anything, he just made a phrase syntax mistake so it's unclear to you maybe. Give the guy a break! redface.gif


 lol, I'd love to see both copies. 

 

Should have quoted it!   My fault!! 


Edited by roy_jones - 6/16/13 at 11:12pm
post #1282 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Nope, he didn't change anything, he just made a phrase syntax mistake so it's unclear to you maybe. Give the guy a break! redface.gif

 

Er, I read the same thing as Roy. Making a typo isn't a crime, but it's still Flavio's responsibility, not Roy's. Unless you're of the "Don't read what I write, read what I meant to write." school. Don't worry, you're not alone.

post #1283 of 3046

If you're both sure that there was only one edit, then the only other possible conclusion is that I was seeing things! blink.gif

 

I must be crazy! 

post #1284 of 3046

I'm a little late to the party... but I read something that Currawong wrote (waaaaay back on like page 20-something now), and thought I can add a little bit of perspective which might help (at least I hope).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

...I want to comment briefly on expensive universals versus customs: I understand the thoughts on that, but I think is too general to make a statement about the price against ALL custom IEMs, as they are many and varied. Custom IEMs, as I understand it, came about as a service for professional musicians. Because they started as a special option for professionals, they were the best designs available and starting with the UE10 (or 11?) pro, the most expensive and complex*. I think we have this image in our mind that a custom fit is necessary for the best sound. Maybe it is? I think though that for ordinary people, which is most people here, for those of us in the market, high-end universal IEMs are a more realistic option. Few existed though before the TG334, K3003 and now SE846.  I think the idea of top-end customs caught on because there weren't any top-end IEMs and that, in turn, has spurned a market for top-end universal IEMs. It seems to be rather like the arguments about balanced vs. ordinary amps: The only reason we argue about it is because the difference for the end user is very physically significant in that the headphones have to bee re-terminated. With custom IEMs, they have to been moulded just for us, which is very significantly different as well. If those big differences weren't there, the arguments about which is better wouldn't be there either.

 

So, overall, I think what people are trying to say is that with a custom IEM, one expects to get significantly better sound than with a universal IEM. It's considered a given. So the idea that a universal can achieve that is either a: something that renders a custom redundant, or b: impossible, when neither is actually the case, but more so that companies haven't tried making a top-end universal IEM until fairly recently.

 

*Though probably not many people realise that Etymotic IEMs, such as the ER4 have been available with a custom mould for years.

 

If you look back at when Shure made their first dual-driver IEM, there were already plenty of dual-driver CIEM in the industry that's been around for a quite a while. Indeed, these dual-driver IEMs were created to cater to the needs of professional musicians, thus they were the highest quality component available at the time. So I agree with Currawong that part of the reason why we often equate "custom IEM" with the "best IEM" is due to the history and legacy of IEM's development.

 

In the past couple of years, the line between universal and custom IEMs has certainly blurred, you cannot say for certain that any CIEM could outperform universal just because it was custom. However, there is still one very key characteristic that defines the difference between universal and custom. The magic word is "consistency".

 

I think we're all familiar with how much an IEM's sound characteristic changes when you use different tips. Even a small change in the way the IEM seals against your ear, or the distance that the sound port is placed from your ear, changes the sound characteristic drastically. I think most (I can't speak for them all, only the ones I know) CIEM companies strive to ensure that the output level of each of their drivers at the port opening complies within a few percentage point of variance to the specification of their design.

 

This becomes even more complex as you increase the number of drivers in the CIEM, because the placement of those drivers may alter just a little bit due to the shape of the user's ear. So each CIEM is carefully measured and calibrated until they're consistent. Even with all those careful calibration, none of this accounts for the last few millimeter of space between the end of the sound port to the ear drum.

 

So if you consider all the measurements that goes into ensuring consistency in CIEMs, imagine just how much more variance there are in any pair of universal. I'm sure everyone's also experienced the pain of matching sound signature with IEM tips, and having to make compromises between what "sounds best" and "what's the most comfortable".

 

With a CIEM, at least in theory, you have comfort alongside of the most consistent sound you can possibly get from an IEM. That's a differentiator against universal which could qualify custom IEM being the "best experience", even if one can debate on the relative sound quality against other universals on the market.

 

So if the debate comes down to whether a $1000 CIEM is always better than a $1000 IEM, we simply can't make those blanket statements anymore. However, if I was given a choice between both, where the CIEM might score a 90 on some sound test, where the IEM scores 100, I would tend towards getting the CIEM for the sake of consistency and comfort. 

 

Anyway, back to the Shure SE846, which I think is an intriguing flagship product. They're essentially throwing aside consistency to a degree: You can change the filters, you can change the tips, and somewhere in between you might find just the right tweak to get your perfect sound. It's certainly an interesting angle, if you can't get complete consistency with your high-end product, why not just make it more customizable? I like the approach (or risk) they've taken, and being universal doesn't automatically preclude this IEM from being worthy of its price. Time will tell? Maybe?

post #1285 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post

If you're both sure that there was only one edit, then the only other possible conclusion is that I was seeing things! blink.gif

 

I must be crazy! 

 

I don't know. I read the review after your post. And I did read "my 16 year old ears" as his being 16, not as his having a 16-year-old son, though his status as a seller made the mistake obvious in context.

My sixteen-year-old ears. = My ears are sixteen years old. = I'm sixteen years old.

My sixteen-year-old's ears. = I have a child who is sixteen years old.

post #1286 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindrone View Post

I'm a little late to the party... but I read something that Currawong wrote (waaaaay back on like page 20-something now), and thought I can add a little bit of perspective which might help (at least I hope).

 

If you look back at when Shure made their first dual-driver IEM, there were already plenty of dual-driver CIEM in the industry that's been around for a quite a while. Indeed, these dual-driver IEMs were created to cater to the needs of professional musicians, thus they were the highest quality component available at the time. So I agree with Currawong that part of the reason why we often equate "custom IEM" with the "best IEM" is due to the history and legacy of IEM's development.

 

In the past couple of years, the line between universal and custom IEMs has certainly blurred, you cannot say for certain that any CIEM could outperform universal just because it was custom. However, there is still one very key characteristic that defines the difference between universal and custom. The magic word is "consistency".

 

I think we're all familiar with how much an IEM's sound characteristic changes when you use different tips. Even a small change in the way the IEM seals against your ear, or the distance that the sound port is placed from your ear, changes the sound characteristic drastically. I think most (I can't speak for them all, only the ones I know) CIEM companies strive to ensure that the output level of each of their drivers at the port opening complies within a few percentage point of variance to the specification of their design.

 

This becomes even more complex as you increase the number of drivers in the CIEM, because the placement of those drivers may alter just a little bit due to the shape of the user's ear. So each CIEM is carefully measured and calibrated until they're consistent. Even with all those careful calibration, none of this accounts for the last few millimeter of space between the end of the sound port to the ear drum.

 

So if you consider all the measurements that goes into ensuring consistency in CIEMs, imagine just how much more variance there are in any pair of universal. I'm sure everyone's also experienced the pain of matching sound signature with IEM tips, and having to make compromises between what "sounds best" and "what's the most comfortable".

 

With a CIEM, at least in theory, you have comfort alongside of the most consistent sound you can possibly get from an IEM. That's a differentiator against universal which could qualify custom IEM being the "best experience", even if one can debate on the relative sound quality against other universals on the market.

 

So if the debate comes down to whether a $1000 CIEM is always better than a $1000 IEM, we simply can't make those blanket statements anymore. However, if I was given a choice between both, where the CIEM might score a 90 on some sound test, where the IEM scores 100, I would tend towards getting the CIEM for the sake of consistency and comfort. 

 

Anyway, back to the Shure SE846, which I think is an intriguing flagship product. They're essentially throwing aside consistency to a degree: You can change the filters, you can change the tips, and somewhere in between you might find just the right tweak to get your perfect sound. It's certainly an interesting angle, if you can't get complete consistency with your high-end product, why not just make it more customizable? I like the approach (or risk) they've taken, and being universal doesn't automatically preclude this IEM from being worthy of its price. Time will tell? Maybe?

 

Would I be mistaken for thinking that the "custom" fit of the earphone into the ear is the only bit that makes it a CIEM over a Universal (that has to fit all ears).   So for the CIEM all the internals are the same as anyone else that owns that particular CIEM?

 

So, If I purchase the SE535 LTD or even the SE846 and take them to ACS to have a custom tip made they are effectively a hybrid IEM/CIEM?

post #1287 of 3046

Don quote me on this but I THINK the way crossovers are done as well as driver positioning is slightly different between universal and customs so its not exactly the same but not entirely different either? :/

post #1288 of 3046

every single shure IEM I haven't liked, I hope these change my mind

post #1289 of 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrys30 View Post

 

Would I be mistaken for thinking that the "custom" fit of the earphone into the ear is the only bit that makes it a CIEM over a Universal (that has to fit all ears).   So for the CIEM all the internals are the same as anyone else that owns that particular CIEM?

 

So, If I purchase the SE535 LTD or even the SE846 and take them to ACS to have a custom tip made they are effectively a hybrid IEM/CIEM?

There are companies that will take your IEM and make custom shells for them, although I can't recall which company does this off the top of my head. However, every part in the design of an IEM goes towards shaping the sound signature, so there's no guarantee that by simply taking your favorite IEM and put them into a custom shell, you'll get the same exact sound.

 

It's really not any different than any other audio equipment. If you take a wooden cabinet speaker and put them into an aluminum enclosure, you'd get different sound characteristics. We have a lot of modders that take their full-size headphones and change out the ear cup from plastic to wood, or fill the ear cup with cotton, or even just change the ear pad to a different type. All of those things affects the sound characteristic.

 

In the case of taking an universal into a custom shell... You'd be changing the sound port distance, the sound tube material, if the IEM had filters, you'd be changing the filter placement. Even the direction and the routing of the sound tubes would make a difference in sound. In the end you're just dealing with a lot of variables.

 

Although this is not a direct parallel, but I guess you can draw something out of the experience. Before I ventured into custom IEMs, I had custom sleeves made for my Shure E5c (yes, I'm an old timer) from both Sensaphonics and Westone. The sound signature of the E5c changed dramatically with both of these sleeves. IIRC, the Sensaphonics sleeve made the E5c extremely warm and bassy, but rolled off the trebles even more (and it's never been known as an IEM with sparkly trebles). Westone made the sound a little more dry. In the end I wasn't happy with either, and continued to use my normal sleeves with the E5c.

post #1290 of 3046

You know, after re-reading my post and kerrys30's question... I realized I kind of answered kerry30's question in a round-about way and got onto a different topic than the original intent. A part of that is just some thoughts I had circulating in my head, and then I just went off on a slight tangent. I think I did address the second part of the question (getting a custom tip), almost unintentionally.. but for the first part of the question:

 

Quote:
Would I be mistaken for thinking that the "custom" fit of the earphone into the ear is the only bit that makes it a CIEM over a Universal (that has to fit all ears).   So for the CIEM all the internals are the same as anyone else that owns that particular CIEM?

 

It all comes down to the driver size inside the CIEM. When the construction of the CIEM is simple, in most dual or triple driver models, the physical space required for the driver placement can be very consistent across all ears. So you can mold the CIEM around a specific length to the sound tube, and have near-exact placements inside the custom mold.

 

However, as you move up to the super high end, six-driver, eight-driver models, you might have issues with placements of the driver inside the custom mold as you're running out of room. If you look these high end CIEMs, the placement of the driver gets very creative, and the routing of the sound tube also gets more complex. In fact, if your ears are too small, they will simply tell you it's impossible to make a particular model for you.

 

So for these complex, high-end CIEMs, the placements of the drivers can be varied due to the shape of your ear. Which also means they have to recalibrate the output of the drivers to compensate for the variance. They measure the output level of each of the driver at the port opening after the CIEM is complete (or half-complete, as in.. shell's not closed yet so they can continue to make adjustments) to make sure everything is still within spec. If it isn't, they will have to tune and adjust each driver until they are.

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