Shure SE846 Sound Isolating™ Earphone

General Information

Manufacturer Description:

Available August 2013

The latest addition to the award-winning Shure Sound Isolating™ Earphone line, the groundbreaking SE846 combines precision engineering and innovative technology in a sophisticated design for the most discerning audio enthusiasts.


For extended high-end clarity and unparalleled low-end performance
Four custom-engineered, balanced armature drivers tailored to blend precisely with each other
Three-way system configuration for dedicated low-, mid-, and high-frequency distribution


Groundbreaking low-pass filter enables low-end roll-off at ~3 dB at 90 Hz (~10 dB at 250 Hz), the previously unattainable deep low-end performance of a true subwoofer, without sacrificing clarity or detail
Ten precision-welded, stainless steel plates form 4 inches of high acoustic mass pathway, naturally enabling low-frequency roll-off to begin at about 75 Hz without distortion or artifacts

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Latest reviews

Pros: Sound, design, comfort, portability
Cons: Well of course they are expensive but you get what you pay for.
The cheap comes out expensive.... by that I mean that I always wanted these but was not willing to spend the money. Instead I bought
Klipsh S4 100$, not happy!
Sennheiser MM550x 550$, not happy!,
Audio-Technica M50x 300$, not happy!,
Phiaton MS 530 250$, not happy!,
Bose QC20i 280$, good noise cancelling, not a fan of the Bose sound
Ultimate ears Triple-Fi 10 250$, a little happy but don't like to look like a TV antenna
Sennheiser IE08 450$, kind of happy but not the most comfortable
and finally the SE846, VERY happy.
So I spent 2180$ plus taxes instead of 1000. Some of it was my fault because it took me a while to understand that I like earphones better than headphones. but don't get me wrong, the other ear/headphones above are all very good but my message is, if you want the 846's don't be cheap, comes out more expensive.
2 more things:
1. Yes they are worth the money
2. If you use them for lets say 5 years and pay 1000$, that's 200/ year or 55 cents a day to enjoy the very best earphones on the market and stop shopping for better (for a while at least)
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Pros: Light, great isolation. Easy to drive. Well balanced.
Cons: Cable, Cable, Cable
I finally took the plunge and got these. It's amazing how TOTL IEMS can sound so different.
Bass: Tight and full. Tip dependent. With the triple flanges thought my head was going to blow off. I like the silicone tips.
Mids/Treble:: A bit forward with roll off but very detailed. Good separation. Resolution is clean.
Highs:  Right there very detailed.
Soundstage: Not sure it's kind of right in your head.
I have the Westone w60's as well and so I was a bit overwhelmed by the huge presence these IEMS give. They are fun and musical. The w60's are more natural and organic and are more comfortable. The cable is a real disappointment on the 846's. It's too stiff and doesn't fit nicely around your ears. If I had to pick one it would depend on the mood I was in. The isolation on the 846's make them better for travelling. I have the Dunu dn-2000j's which are less half the price maybe  a third and on some tracks out perform both. The 846's are well made. Who would I recommend them to? People that like the Shure sound with great detail and in your face sound but not overly fatiguing. I'm done now. No more gear. I'm broke......
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Pros: Bass, Midrange, Instrument Separation, Layering, Comfort.
Cons: Price, Dark & Veiled, Lacking Treble Extension, Soundstage.
Shure SE846 - Black

Firstly i would like to say a big thank you to Paul from Shure UK for providing me with Demo unit of the SE846 in exchange for my honest review.
Before i start the review i would like to mention that i use a Chord Mojo as a reference dac/amp to ensure there is no bottleneck prior to my reviews. Also i will show a screen shot of the details rating system because Head-Fi changes this once my review is submitted.

Packaging And Build Quality
The 846 come in a very nice premium feeling presentation box that has a magnetic clasp on the lid, inside you get a high quality pelican like case, micro fiber cleaning cloth, adapters, tuning filters, ear tips and another smaller hard shell carrying case. The build quality of the 846 is quite good, its housing is a solid plastic shell and the cable feels tough and is a nice thickness. I would have liked to see a better housing material for this price as there are IEMs around £100 that are using materials like stainless steel or aluminium for a higher quality feel and reassurance.

Sound (Using White Filters)
Bass - So many of you wonder, does it really give sub woofer type of performance and the answer is yes, yes it does but not with all genres of music. To test it out i had go out of my heavy metal comfort zone and try out some of the more bass focused genres so i chose Reggae and Hip Hop. Instantly i was shocked at what these little balanced armatures could do, powerful, controlled and deep low end that kept in its own space down below, i found it so effortless and controlled with tremendous texture and impact, an excellent foundation for the rest of the music. I then tried it with songs im a lot more fimiliar with, whilst not being as impactful and deep with metal as it was with hip hop (usually due to the recordings) i still found it to sound great and never trying to dominate or distract from the midrange. 
Midrange - Forward and lush are what came to mind, electric guitar has plenty of power and aggression, vocals are pushed up front and instruments are well separated with good detail. A very intimate presentation.
Treble - This was the let down for me, to my ears it sounds completely cut off after around 8khz. As a result i think this is the reason the soundstage is so small and compact and the overall clarity suffers, you can tell there's a lot of detail in these little drivers but it can be hard to pick out if the mastering quality has a darker tone. I always felt myself wanting that extra sparkle, more air in the soundstage, more energy in the treble even just a little bit more extension. 
Conclusion - i have enjoyed my time using shures (previously TOTL) iem with its unique BA design and I really do love the bass and midrange of the 846 so its such a shame about the treble, the sound signature is too dark for me personally and i also like a medium to large sound stage. I cant recommend this to people that love their treble twinkly and bright but if you are somone who is sensitive to treble and are into night club type music, with its phenomenal sub bass it could the perfect IEM.

(Audio Quality Scale)
Harsh |---o--|------| Smooth​
Forward |--o---|------| Recessed​
Boomy |------|---o-| Controlled​
Compressed |------|o----| Natural​
Dull |----o-|------| Vivid​
Veiled |--o---|------| Clear​
Soundstage ​
Small |--o---|------| Large​
Slow |------|--o---| Fast​
Poor |------|---o--| Excellent​
Great review and lovely pictures. I've auditioned the SE846 several times and my overall impressions about it would be pretty close to yours. Enjoyable lush sound with impressive bass, but a completely anemic treble and great lack of transparency. 
I agree and thank you!


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