I was pleasantly surprised that this IEM's true subwoofer really delivers what it promises. It depends on the song. In songs with sub-bass, this IEM really impressed me. The sub-bass is very deep. I would describe it as a booming sound that you hear when a large, heavy object such as furniture is thrown out of a building to the ground, creating that echo after a large boom.
I did some A/B-ing to compare them to my SE535LTD-J. The SE535LTD-J sounded louder and much more mid-centric. I would expect the 9 ohm 846 to be louder and easier to drive than the 36 ohm 535LTD, but I had to turn up the volume when I switched from 535LTD to 846 for every song. The mids on the SE535LTD sounded more fierce than the SE846. On the SE846, the mid and high sounded as if they were toned down. I changed the default blue filters with the white ones. It did improve the clarity and details a lot without sacrificing much bass. I think I'll keep using the white ones for now. I didn't try the black filters yet.
So far, this is my experience:
SE846 with default blue filter vs SE535LTD-J:
clarity: SE535LTD-J wins
bass: SE846 wins hands-down. No competition at all.
SE846 with white filter vs SE535LTD-J:
I have to listen some more to determine whether the blue filters expose more bass than the white ones. The white filters open up the mids. The mids sound as if they are blocked by something when using the blue filters, as if a piece of cloth is in the ear tips. That got me worried initially until the white filters were tested. I might try the blue ones again later, but the first impression didn't satisfy me, except the bass.
Size-wise, the SE846 isn't much longer than the SE535. If you have small ears like me, they will still fit. They are a lot fatter though. The SE846 stick out of your ears a lot more than the 535. They aren't suitable for sleeping. I'll keep my 535 as sleeping IEMs.
I would love to hear other people's SE535 to SE846 upgrade experiences.
Edited by s0ny - 4/11/14 at 12:12pm