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Shure SE425 sound terrible?

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  1. phillyd
    My new Shure SE425 sound awful. I just got them yesterday and have probably put in 8+ hours already. I just can't stand how they sound. The bass is extremely lacking compared to the SE215's I had. The mid range is not just forward but also sounds extremely unnatural. The treble is not particularly clear and it's laid back. They just sound bad. I've tried my LG V30, an iBasso D-Zero, my HiFimeDIY Sabre Optical Dac > Antique Sound Labs MG Head OTL MKIII tube amp and my friend's Fostex HPA4.

    Has anyone had experience with this? They are brand new, but I hear IEM's really don't need any burn in. I have tried all kinds of music and the source quality is fine. I side-by-sided them with my SE215's and while there is an improvement in mid-range clarity nothing else sounds as nice on the SE425.

    I think I will return them and try the SE315.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
    Arthur Li likes this.
  2. monitoringsound70
    Definitely wouldn't need burn in.
    The 425 is an acquired taste, very flat....some might say boring perhaps
    But they are very fast. And brilliant for an on stage or recording monitor. Personally I love them but as I said it's what you want from them. Just probably not your sound sig.
  3. Audiophonicalistic
    Yes I upgraded a few years back from the 215 to 425 and noticed the same thing. Switching back and forth, the bass is bigger on 215 but 425 is much more accurate. Accurate and detailed is how I describe it and yes very flat. It is an aquired taste but they definitely arent for everyone. For me the 535 was a big and pleasant difference in sound and really my first step into the sound signature that I like. I keep the 535 for gym and riding my bike cause the shure fit is awesome.
    willryu likes this.
  4. Colors
    I loved Shure 425 the moment I put them on. They’re just so flat and boring (which is appealing). You don’t need to focus when listening to them. Very laid back. Vocals are rich and accurate too. It’s also very comfortable and has amazing isolation. You guys are making me want to buy a pair haha.
    monitoringsound70 likes this.
  5. monitoringsound70
    Yeah. They are a very revealing, comfortable and never give any fatigue. Nothing is overdone on them.
    Always one of my favourites
  6. phillyd
    This seems right, I just struggle to see how anyone would like them.

    I'll consider that in the future, the Shure design is lovely and the 215's sound excellent IMO.

    This review makes sense to me too, "flat and boring" is exactly how I would describe them. If some people like this then that's the issue, they're just not for me.

    Thanks for this feedback. I'm giving the RHA T20i a try next!
  7. Colors
    Ya they’re the opposite of energetic and fun. But that’s what makes them great. Lots of IEMs out there (I have tons) that have a V-shape, a balanced signature or a bassy-warm signature. They’re the most popular IEMs for the general population. So it’s nice to see a really good neutral IEM (ER4s) or a very mid-centric IEM (Shure 425). They have their own special “spot” in an IEM collection and are not likely to be replaced unlike the others because what they offer is so different.

    T20 might be good for you if you’re looking for something energetic and bassy from what I’ve read about them.
  8. Audiophonicalistic
    I remember reading reviews about the T20i and how they are a solid headphone. I shelled out full retail price at the airport to buy them. They are different from 425. Bassy and V-shaped. They taught me what a V shape sounds like. Didn't really mess with the filters a whole lot. They were good headphones but were not special for me. Shure has a slight edge on sound isolation. I regretted selling the 425 for them as I prefer a more smooth approach to sound now but yes if you want a fast energetic with bass then they are better. Have a fair amount of detail on them as well.
  9. yong_shun
    I think you prefer a more engaging and fun IEM as compared to this "flat" IEM. I enjoy flat IEM a lot so I cannot comment much. I think SE315 will have the same sound signature as SE425 so you might want to reconsider :)
    Colors likes this.
  10. Colors
    I find the ER4SR engaging :)
    HiFiChris likes this.
  11. MarkF786
    I can totally related with the OP's opinion about the SE425. I got mine a couple years from Shure for a good price when I sent my old E4C in for replacement. From the day I got the SE425, I found them lacking in bass, thin sounding, grainy in sound, and generally awful. I searched onlined and found many people giving them glowing reviews, when truly baffled me.

    Since they, I've owned many other pairs of IEMs ranging in price from $25 to $1000 and they all sound better than the SE425. I periodically try them again, and give them a chance for my ears to adjust, but I always come back to the same conclusions. They must be the worst value in IEMs.
  12. yong_shun
    I think it just does not suit you else this IEM should not in production anymore. It is towards the extreme end being flat and maybe analytical. It suits certain people in this community that's why there are good reviews that puzzled you.
  13. MarkF786
    Just as people wouldn't consider a +5db increase in bass as "neutral", the -5db drop in bass of the SE425 is't neutral.
  14. yong_shun
    I didn't mention anything about SE425 being neutral I guess...
  15. MarkF786
    Sorry, other people used the work "neutral"; you used the word "flat". Flat as an upside smile :)
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