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Shure SE535 Replacement Earbud

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


I'm relatively new here but I've used this forum for a lot of information. I'm a newbie audiophile overall, mostly due to lack of funds more than anything. I would really appreciate some help on my situation below!


At some point I misplaced one of the Shure SE535 ear buds and I called Shure to see if they can sell me a replacement. I was told that if mine had broken I could send it in and they'd sell me a new one for $84, but for them to just sell me the piece would be $350!


That price sounds rather ludicrous to me, but I guess they don't want to just sell them out to people if they're not for replacement. Does anyone have any experience dealing with Shure on this? I feel that these are my options:


1. Suck it up and pay it since $350 is still cheaper than most IEMs on that level.

2. Pound the internet and see if I can find anyone who happens to have a broken SE535 earpiece that they can donate to me (or sell). Or maybe if I can find an authorized dealer who's in a position to help me.

3. Chalk it up to a lost cause, use the $350 and check out a different pair of IEMs, since I wasn't too hot on the SE535 anyway (feels a little too mid-forward). Plus, after thoroughly enjoying the Fischer Audio DBA-mk2 I think there is much more value to be found in the sub-$400 price range for IEMs.


On #3, what are some solid recommendations? I've been looking at the Sennheiser IE80, which is $100 above the budget but I've heard some great things about them. Thoughts? I can't say what I like listening to as my music library encompasses almost every genre out there. So typically I'd want an all-rounder.


These are what I've listened to and a brief summary of what I thought of them (I'm not proficient in examining them, so sorry if I sound a bit like a noob):


1. Westone W4 and 4R - Pretty much my favorite pair at this point. I really love the balanced sound signature and instrumental separation. The sound stage is quite awesome and listening to live tracks is really a treat to my ears. My only complaint is that it can sound a little dull sometimes. I read a review that I agreed with saying it's akin to watching a musical genius play a number; sure, on a technical level he/she hits everything perfectly, but there's little soul, creativity, or flair. You sometimes wish he/she would just deviate a little.

2. Klipsch X10 - I love these as my everyday "consumer listening" buds. The heavy bass, though a bit sloppy at times, it great for times when I sit on the train to work and just want to drown the noise while I read a book. The small construction and shape gives it great isolation and it's easy to get them in as opposed to the others, though I wasn't too fond of the durability. 

3. Fischer Audio DBA-mk2 - Love these, really. And it's what made me believe there's more value to be found in the mid-range price than anything else. They sound like the Westone 4, but with more liveliness to them, if a bit harsh at times. Sometimes the bass feels a bit suppressed, but I don't notice much due to the attention of detail given to the mids and treble.

4. Shure SE535 - I like the construction of these much than the Westone 4, and I like the liveliness of the music but overall I enjoyed the Fischers more, I think.


Sorry for the long first post. If anyone can provide some help I'd greatly appreciate it!

post #2 of 6
Based on what you have said, I would not pay the $350 to replace the Shures - you don't love them. I would move on to something else and look for an opportunity to sell the remaining earpiece to someone else in need.

As for what to buy - I have not heard IEMs in that price range, the closest I can talk about is the Ety ER4p. Ety might be an interesting option - it's a completely different sound signature from Shure - much more lively - you might find it interesting.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

My friend told me Etys tend to be very analytical and not really meant for casually listening to music. Is that true? I've been curious about them for a while but hesitated because of that.


Other than that, I contacted Full Compass and they said they can get a replacement from Shure for $236. Still not ideal, but I can swallow that price a little better. I inquired why it was so much cheaper than when I contacted them, and the gentleman on the phone said it might be because they typically don't deal with customers directly. I'm going give another call to Shure and see if that $350 is set or if I can talk them down a bit.


Kind of puts me in a bind, really. I was looking forward to maybe shilling out an extra $100 and getting the IE80 haha. But this is probably for the best.

post #4 of 6
That's the standard answer on Ety's "They are analytical" - but I think that puts some sort of negative connotation on something that is actually very positive. What I hear in the Ety's (I'm listening to a pair of HF-5 right now) is a very accurate IEM that does not overly emphasize any part of the response. If there is base in the song, you hear the bass. If there is treble in the song, you hear the treble. I have to admit that when I first heard an Etymotic, I thought it sounded much brighter than the very bass-oriented Klipsch IEMs I was previously using, and also brighter than the Westone UM1 I had been using before the Klipsch. However, after listening to them for a while, and comparing them to a wide variety of headphones, I came to appreciate the neutral sound of the Etymotics. They weren't really "bright" - they were just not treble-recessed and not bass-emphasized. Once I stopped *thinking* they were "analytical" and simply listened to the music - I liked it!! biggrin.gif

The ER-4p was quite similar to the HF-5 I have now. I would really need to hear them side by side to tell you the differences - and if the differences are at the very top end, I might not actually be able to hear them with my "well-aged" ears.

I'm not saying the Ety is the best IEM in the world - I just think it's an interesting addition to anyone's collection - especially if you aren't a hard-core basshead and can appreciate the rest of the frequency response.


One additional item on the Ety's - getting the right tips is absolutely CRITICAL. You must have a good seal and you must be willing to insert them rather deeply. You really need to spend some time to make sure you have the right style and size of tips so you can get both the best sound and the most comfort. That's not too different from the Shure SE series - but I would say it's probably even more important with the Ety's. I suspect many of the people who say Ety's are bass-light simply have not gotten the tips right. The good news is that the same tips that fit the Shure SE also fit the Ety HF3/HF5/ER4 (and also the Westone's), so there is a HUGE variety of tips to choose from.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 1/21/14 at 5:01pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

well that sold it to me; i'll need to check them out for sure. I'm definitely not a bass-head so anything that keeps them level works for me.


How do they compare to Westone 4R?

post #6 of 6
Sorry - I have not heard the Westone 4R.
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