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making a leap with IEMs: Shure SE535 vs. others

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello everybody!


I'm quite overwhelmed now that I've started looking for IEMs, so I'd really appreciate your help to narrow the field!


I'm currently using a pair of 12 year old DJ headphones from Sony, the MDR-V500.

Actually I like them and even after comparing them to much more expensive ones, I still think they're quite OK.


What I'm looking for is sonic isolation and I already decided against noise cancelling headphones. Also I want the small size to tuck them away easily.


What I also want is to make another leap in the enjoyment of good music.

I was quite impressed when I got my USBPre 2 and drove my monitor speakers from it and no longer from the MacBook Pro's line out. It was huge difference!

I want to invest in another, bigger improvement now.


Now the Shure SE535 has some mixed reviews. So appearently it's not alone in it's class.

I name this particular earphone since I'd be willing to buy it. If a cheaper one comes close though, I'd also be happy to spend less.

I'd also go higher, but only if it's really much better.


Just to give some context: I tried Sennheiser's CX-300 II today and I think they're horrible. Some say the revision II is worse, but I don't know how close they are. I think they're really bad.

There are positive reviews about them here, so I know I have to be careful about subjective opinions.


So here are some factors that I hope allow you to hopefully help me:


• I listen to various genres, a lot of piano and classical, but also pop music like Daft Punk, some metal, ...

• I want them to not protrude / stick out. It shouldn't hurt to slightly press the head against the head and the ear. Ideally it's possible to rest the side of the head on a cushion.

• they should sound crystal clear and very direct. I care less about thick bass but I want direct impuses / clicks.

• since I'm about to make an investment hopefully for the next decade, the cable has to be replacable or known to last.


That's it for now.


I'd really appreciate if you read this and know something to say!


post #2 of 3

Okay, let me address some of your concerns.


First off let me just tell you that almost no IEM is going to last you a decade. They're just not built well enough to last that long. If you get a nice pair of over the ear headphones then you might have a shot. Some IEMS can last you quite a while but most will not. The ER4 is the only one I can think of where I have heard people say it lasted them 5-10 years. Most will be lucky to last you 2-3.


I do not think you would like the SE535. The SE535 has rolled off treble and forward vocals. It's not really a monster in terms of clarity. The Westone 4/Westone 40 could be an option. It doesn't have the best clarity either though due to the mid bass bump and upper mid suckout. It is more balanced and extended than the SE535.


If you are limited to IEMS only then I am somewhat at a loss for what I should recommend you that is also comfortable. If comfort/fit weren't an issue I would recommend the ER4S for sure and perhaps use the extra money on a nice portable or desktop amp.


I can also confirm the CX300's are indeed junk. Most of Sennheisers CX line is poor-mediocre.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Zalithian!


Luckily I found this thread:



and it totally conviced me to purchase the $99 HiFiMan Re-400.

The impuls response looks incredible and also I follow the author's logic on why it's possible to be in the same league for a quarter the price.

It's really just a psychological thing that one has to break through oneself.

But I'll hear for myself, tomorrow I hope.

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