Shure 535, Westone W40, what else?
May 7, 2015 at 1:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Aurality

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Hi everyone! 
 
New here, and relatively new to the world of higher-end audio equipment. 
 
Here's my story thus far: 
Started with the Logitech TripleFi's when they were like $90 during the Amazon Black Friday sales. Used them for about 3 years until I lost the left bud during a long flight.
 
In finding a replacement, I tried the Shure SRH1540 to see if I could ever feel comfortable with over the ear headphones. Within an hour, my ears felt itchy and hot. So my long-held beliefs about over-ears seemed to be right: they're not for me. 
 
I wanted to step up the money a bit more to take my listening to the next level and so I ordered the Shure 535 and Westone W40 to try. 
 
Comparisons:
Comfort - Westone wins, so light and easy to put in. The Shures are a tank in comparison. I'm used to putting the wire behind the ear from the TripleFis, but the Shure wire was less comfortable for me since there seemed to be too much downward tension. 
SQ - Shures win by a mile. From what I read, others classify Westones as warm, but to me they sounded muddled. The bass didn't feel tight enough and the vocals were too recessed. The Shures had better separation and to me a better soundstage. They also had clearer, brighter vocals, though I did notice a hiss in higher notes, that I think the correct term for is sibilance? 
Style - Westone wins. I want something inconspicuous and not shout to the world, hey I have transparent headphones cause I'm a burgeoning audiophile. Black was great for me. (The TripleFis were bad in this regard with their metallic blue. And yes I know the Shures have the red and bronze as well, but neither of those appeal to me.)
 
Other details about me: 
setup: my music is mostly just MP3 V0 played via laptop/phone with no amps
main genres: pop, classical, alternative, soundtracks (movie scores)
price range: $300-1000 (If I really fall in love with $1000 IEMs, I'll get them)
important qualities to me: clarity/separation, vocal presence, beautiful mids
 
So with all that info out there, I'm looking for recommendations for IEMs with SQ and signature closer to the Shure 535s, but with styling/comfort like the Westones. Any thoughts? 
 
Cheers! 
 
May 8, 2015 at 2:47 PM Post #2 of 4

Aurality

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So I've been looking further around head-fi, and the Grado GR10 and the Sennheiser IE800s have come up as great alternatives. I really want to try them out, but the non-detachable cables are a huge turn off for me since I'm worried that the headphones will only last as long as the cables do. I considered the Shure 846 as well, but since I find the 535 already bulky, the even larger 846s might not be for me. 
 
Does anyone else have other suggestions? Pretty please?  
etysmile.gif
 
 

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