As a long time Shure SE530/SE535 fan (Since 2006, owned both for years and years) this new pricing on the flagship is retarded. Where is my reasonably priced SE540 with four drivers?
Two thumbs down for Shure.
That few hundred bucks more for a JH16 can quickly turn into a heck of a lot more when you consider the cost of ear impressions and shipping back and forth for refits. When I went down the custom IEM road my impressions cost upwards of $100 and after shipping back and forth six times for refits costing close to a couple of hundred dollars in shipping without any success I finally had to give up. I sold them for about half of what I paid not including all the shipping, taxes and impression fees. After that experience I'm only interested in universals and being an IEM guy I'm extremely excited whenever I see a new high-end universal that can potentially compete with top of the line customs.
Well, that was refreshing to read! Thanks! I wish more people would share their not so great experiences with CIEMs, but I guess CIEMs are pretty much holy cows around here. CIEMs can be great, but UIEMs in my experience can be equally great. As a matter of fact, my best sounding IEMs are universals (AKG K3003 and FitEar ToGo! 334). It will be very interesting the hear this new Shure UIEM.
Out of curiosity, is the high end audio industry regulated by any competition commission? The prices seem to go up exponentially every time... And the rest follow suit and rarely anybody attempts any undercutting (of course at the time of release, there will exist cheaper pre-released alternatives), instead they put up prices to match the most expensive product of the moment. I sense a cartel!
What about the upper frequency shimmer of the SE846? (Guess we're going to see all combinations... )
What's so great about customs, exactly?
I have that EXACT same question:
On the other hand:
You can get it customised for a personal aesthetic touch. If the fit is correct, it is also very comfortable. Certain CIEMs with many number of drivers have space limitations in going into an universal shell so need to be customised to fit the person's ear.
They aren't very fragile, unless you treat them very badly.... Although a lot of CIEMs seem to have cable issues with non-recessed sockets.
Isolation wise, I have many customs but none have surpassed the SE535 olive tips in my opinion. Customs normally are meant to provide 20-30 db of ambient noise isolation. The SE535, is 37db and I believe this is an underestimate.
Very interesting information! Have the AKG K3003 myself and the resolution is... I lack the words! Great to know I won't be needing the LCD2 or HE500 to improve in this field. Thanks for sharing!
Hilarious. Similar things running through my mind. And by similar, I mean exactly.
Bugs me to no end that people assume customs are better. They just aren't. They have their pros and cons. In fact, you all should be RELIEVED there is now Flagship-custom level sound without the massive fuss of Customs!
Oh, and why are people surprised about a $1000 price tag? Some of the most popular stuff around here are $1000+ universals.... 1Plus2, TG 334, 3003i, FAD stuff....Those threads are big! Those products have been out for a while.
Looking forward to the inevitable Westone Universal Flagship. But they have a problem. Their custom flagship has 5 drivers, and their universal flagship has 4. Can't make the universal have 5... so what are they going to do? Add rumble packs to attach to your chair to simulate visceral bass.
Hi there gelocks,
No, that's something I mostly did in one particular thread (you're familiar with), but it seems it didn't always go down too well — seems some people misunderstood why I did such (a 'terrible') thing.
Agreed, $500 off something overpriced by $1000 still makes it overpriced, although admittedly less so.
As an ER4S purist I can appreciate extra bass for a different flavor, but anything over 6dB for me is pushing it, and ~10dB or more is just not in the realm of accuracy. These sound like they could be pushing that 10dB boost, but we'll see. Having different filters is definitely a plus. It'd be nice if Etymotic did the same with the ER4.
Whether these new Shures are overpriced or not I guess is debatable — what is indeed a fact is that $1,000 is a hell of a lot of money. You can get exceptionally good-sounding IEMs for $100-$300 — hey, even $150-$350 is already a lot of money! Many, many, MANY people are still unaware of the "law of diminishing returns", and hype coupled with fancy audio jargon works wonders...
I don't know where the SE846 is made (my guess is it is made in China like the SE535), but at least the K3003 is made in Austria, the IE800 in Germany, and the TG 334, FI-BA-SS & Piano Fortes in Japan, countries with VERY high labour costs. Also, all of these companies—including Shure—have at least spent money on R&D and, specially in the case of FAD & FitEar, production runs are are very small, much more so in thecase of FitEar. Then we have, for instance, that the K3003, has the whole housings /earpieces and nozzles (all one unit) made of a single piece of solid stainless steel (no seams), and the TG 334s are virtually assembled all by hand, so those things have to be factored in, apart from SQ, when considering these very, very expensive products.
In my previous post I should have added:
-- Gotta love those claiming that for $1,000 you can (almost) get some of the best full-sized headphones out there — is the convenience and comfort of a full-sized phone comparable to that of many IEMs? Is the fact that a great-sounding device is truly portable relevant at all? Perhaps some people are not aware of the fact that there are tiny phones (known as IEMs) that can actually compete sonically with some serious cans, and also that, for instance, the 300-euro HD600 is an exceptionally good headphone, which isn't that far behind SQ-wise to the 1,200-euro HD800 (another case of the so-called "law of diminishing returns").