Edited by spook76 - 11/6/13 at 1:44pm
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Edited by spook76 - 11/6/13 at 1:44pm
They definitely have a lot of bass from my initial impressions. It really depends on the music though. I don't find music that isn't bass heavy to have a lot of bass, so it seems appropriate. I also have not found it interferes with the mids at all. Could it be because of the steel plates welded together? :p. Absolutely the best bass and mids I've heard in an IEM. With that said, I could feel how some people would not like the level of bass in these before they get some time. Treble as always with Shure - depends on how much you like it. If you really love your treble then I might steer clear of these, at least with balanced filters. I haven't tried the others yet.
Anyway, I've already decided to send the SE535 LTD's back as it looks like I'll be keeping these instead as a graduation present. I'm not one to hype earphones but I'm impressed so far. It seems to me that this new stuff in the S846 actually does what it's supposed to do. Is it worth twice as much as the SE535? Probably not. Then again, is the W4 worth the extra $200 over the RE400? Is the HD800 worth 3-4x the HD650? Is the Canon 60D worth an extra $900 over a $100 point and shoot? Is it worth twice as much as a Nikon D3200? Are your $60 shoes twice as good as a $30 pair? Up to you. If you really love music and listen often, have the money, and you want the best universal you can get - then I'd definitely check out the SE846 when you consider the other models like the IE800, 1p2, etc.
And then, finally, to IEMs. I'd imagine here the dilemmas are different again, since you're dealing with yet another kind of acoustic space, both more predictable (you're closer to the way the ear typically works) and less predictable (we all have variations in our ears).
Indeed, I would have thought that IEMs would be the easiest to get "right" for most people. However, I realized when I compared my 4.A and a 4.Ai loaner (same drivers, the former a CIEM, the second an IEM) that the difference could be stupendous. This experience also helped me "believe" that changes to headphone enclosures (e.g. T50RP to Alpha Dog) could greatly change the sound.
Again, I have to assume that companies with millions to invest in research on these issues have done so, for the tuning of both their headphone and IEM and CIEM development; it's fascinating to see the science of sound reproduction continue to evolve. There's still a very long ways to go!
Posted this on Reddit, thought I'd share this quick write up about my initial impressions:
A little background: I've owned many top tier IEMS and I'm an IEM guy in general. I've owned many top tier IEMS like the Westone 3, Westone 4, Westone 4R, UM3X, UM Pro 30's, ER4, SM3v2, SE535 LTD Edition, IE8, etc. I have never owned customs and I'm not that interested in them so I can't offer comparisons there, sorry.
The SE846 is better than all of the universals I have heard at least 2 areas, and in my opinion in all three primary areas of general sound. The two areas they excel are bass and the mids.
You may be wondering if the low-pass filter system is marketing or something that works. I can confirm that is does what it's supposed to do. The SE846 has the best bass I have ever heard in an IEM, even surpassing dynamics that I have heard. There is a a lot of bass but not more than the music calls for. The bass hits hard. It's visceral, reminding me a little of the W3 in that aspect. What makes it different? It's not an overwhelming mid bass that shrouds the mids/vocals or interferes with any other frequency. Of course due to the low-pass filter the sub bass is also very good. The SE846 easily has the best sub bass I have heard from an IEM, especially when you consider the bass does not interfere with anything else.
The bass is great, so doesn't that mean the mids are lame? Nope. The mids might even be the star of the show. If you've ever heard a Shure product you know that their mids are pretty much always great - the 846 is no exception. The vocals are sweet and smooth as you'd come to expect, similar to the SE535.
Treble? How about it? Well, if you like a smooth yet detailed treble I think you'll like what you hear. If you really love your treble then you might be a little disappointed. It keeps true to the Shure sound but I do feel it's improved compared to the 535. I have yet to try out the filters with treble boost so I can't say how much that helps. I prefer a smoother and less up front treble so I don't see myself changing to that filter unless someone is really curious about it.
So - overall the SE846 is the best universal I've heard by a pretty significant amount. I'm really impressed with what Shure has accomplished here. I didn't mention comfort but I feel they are more comfortable than the SE535 LTD's. If you're looking to upgrade your in ears, if you want an SE535 with better bass and a little more high end I would suggest checking out the SE846. If you really love your treble you might want to check out something like the Tralucent 1+2 or another IEM that's a bit brighter.
If you're looking to upgrade your in ears, if you want an SE535 with better bass and a little more high end I would suggest checking out the SE846. If you really love your treble you might want to check out something like the Tralucent 1+2 or another IEM that's a bit brighter.
Curious...have you actually heard the 1plus2's? If so, I would like to hear your comparisons and or impressions vs. 846's.
Unfortunately not, otherwise I would be glad to offer impressions about that. If you'd like a comparison to any of the other pairs I've owned (in my profile) then I can do that. What I know about the 1+2 is just from the impressions of other members. I don't see myself getting to hear a pair unless someone wants to send me a pair for comparison purposes. :p
Very true. I haven't even had a remote thought about trying any other IEM's since I've received my SE846's. Sooo nice to just enjoy the music with something that sounds like I want it to
Just tried the white filters. Pretty big improvement in treble even though they still take a dive after 10k. Does tame the bass a little so it could be a good thing if you feel the balanced filters have too much bass. Feels a little more airy with the whites as well. I might stick with the balanced but I'm glad I tried the whites.
I have a pair borrowed from a friend. The excessive bass that I heard at the previous Tokyo show isn't there (I guess they are, like some of my headphones, affected by use), though there is still too much for me on some tracks. The stock blue filter is definitely a bit too dark for my tastes. While in Tokyo I briefly tried another friend's white-filter pair with a Silver Dragon cable and it was about spot-on.
Well, I went out today in Tokyo thinking I might check out some iems, just to have a look and, after much indecision, many train trips around the city, many pages of Head-fi read in cafes, and many iems tested, I have just come home with the Shure se846.
I experienced amazing budget-creep today. I heard progressively more expensive earphones and thought about their varying degrees of cost-performance vs sound quality. And then I heard the 846s (in Fujiya-Avic). There really was nothing more to do or think about after that !
Haven`t modded a thing, yet, just listening with the DX50 with and without the ALO Continental. Truly remarkable.
I`m happy to be here.
I noticed over at HeadRoom the measurements for them show that the black filter lowers the bass to make the overall sound signature closer to flat. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to change the filters to try this, but I wonder if that would have an equally good effect in some respects.