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Shure SE535 are pretty awful at everything other than mids

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  1. Rocco Khan
    I own a good number of high end universals and customs and when I bought the Shure SE535s a few months back, I expected them to be outstanding from the reviews. However, since then I have realised that they have:
    1) Absolutely no sub-bass to speak of
    2) Rolled off and recessed highs
    3) Sibilance not present in the SE530s
    I wish someone had put this more explicitly in reviews when I purchased them. However, the mids are very smooth.
  2. Burma Jones

    I agree with all the above except #3, the highs are too rolled off to be sibilant. It's funny when you see balanced and SE535 used in the same sentence in some of these posts, but than again I wouldn't use "Hotel California" by The Eagles as my reference material.                         There are too many Shure fanboys, and to them it's blasphemy if you go around saying the SE 535 is not the best universal iem on the planet. 
  3. TheGomdoRi


    This is just my impression in response to your impressions.

    1) There was too much bass for my tastes but then again I am all about neutral and flat sound. Just in terms of bass, the TF.10s and the IE8s have better sub-kick impact and was more "fun".
    2) Highs weren't that amazing.
    3) I used to get similar sibilance from my SE530s without the stock attenuator.
    I A/B compared a bunch of universals and I found the SE535 overrated (imho I got them when they first came out and paid retail =_=) and wasn't much different from the SE530. In terms of a "fun" IEM, I preferred the TF.10 and for flat sounding IEM, I preferred the SE425.
    Just my 2 cents [​IMG]
    EDIT: But for the prices people seem to get these days, I think it's worth buying still as an overall everyday IEM.
  4. spazz
    I've owned many Shure's over the years and I've noticed their top of the line has a lot less bass than their entry level.  I've been using the 535's since they debut and really like the highs and the mids, but they lack in the lows.  
  5. shane55


    I also didn't get sibilant highs... But I was aware of an upper mid exaggeration that was, at times, uncomfortable.
  6. spazz


    I can't wear those universal plugs because they don't go deep enough in my ears.  You can get custom sleeves made from Sensaphonic and they are the best.
  7. Spyro
    That's pretty harsh.  I think they are ABSOLUTELY improved over SE530 and if you have siblance you have fit issues.  Are IEM's suppose to have sub bass??  I would think that would be a specialty IEM.
    SE535 is decent but not my favorite.  I have come to realize that forward mids do things to the presentation that don't appeal to me.  IMHO, forward mids...
    - are fatiguing if you listen on the loud side.
    - they push aside the bass and treble which sound more recessed.
    - they create less overall "space" around the presentation which shrinks the soundstage.
    I prefer the W3 which basically does the opposite but it is still a personal preference thing.
  8. music_4321


    I guess you never came across any posts by shane55 and music_4321, two members, amongst others, who were not very impressed by the SE535s. Unfortunately, there's been too much hyping of this particular IEM as well as the Earsonics SM3, in my view. Add to that that some of these forum threads are exceedingly long and it becomes even harder for people to get a better sense of what a particular (high-end universal) IEM is really like.
    I, too, found the bass and treble on the SE535s less than adequate, to put it mildly. I found the treble rather piercing at times and overall grainy and the bass anemic.
    The Westone UM3X, on the other hand, is an IEM that also has forward mids but in my view the treble and bass are rendered much better than on the SE535, and all 3 frequencies are presented in a much more convincing, lifelike way. One of the quite remarkable aspects of the UM3X and the new Westone 4 is that they're not fatiguing at all, even at loud(er) volumes, during long listening sessions.
  9. jlbrach
    I love my 535s and especially love the fit and the isolation they provide...i couldnt disagree more with the premise of this post
  10. Kurdt-bada
    Having own shure 530 replaced by shure 535, and um3x among other cheap iems...the 535 are the best by far.
    Less detail, clarity, treble and bass than the um3x but they sound much better and have a good amount of those too: wiiiiider soundstage than the um3x, more clarity detail and treble than the 530s but they keep the same sound signature(shure 530s bass is better)...the only thing I don't like is that in some songs I feel that the impact of the drums is not enough, maybe my new acs custom tips on the way will change that, not talking about the cable and the construction, in this shure 535 destroy the others, I find the fit and isolation better in 535 also...sorry for my bad english :)
  11. spazz
    Here is a picture of my 535's with custom sleeves from Sensaphonics.  They feel extremely comfortable in my ears.
  12. Rmccullo
    this is a funny post. Less detail, clarity, treble and bass, but still better than the um3x. Usually those traits warrant a better product. I've never heard the 535, but would like to
  13. Rocco Khan
    Unfortunately I didn't read your posts on SE 535. The hype that technology magazines and other review sites give this IEM are somewhat ridiculous. 5/5, 4.5/5 overall etc
    I would rate them:
    Treble 2.5/5
    Mids 4.5/5
    Bass 3/5
    Soundstage 3.5/5
    I don't want to sound polemical here, however, I think much of those reviews are based on pricing and marketing hype. I always thought, it's Shure, you can't go wrong, it's $500 and it's got 3 drivers, all sites say it's good etc... Obviously now I realise that's not the case.
    Regarding the fit issues that people talk of. I went and ordered the sensphonics custom ear sleeves and let me tell you that they are worse than the SE535 products themselves. They destroy any resemblence of treble and the IEM sounds muffled. Sensaphonics told me it was to do with the bass now being that much louder because of a better fit, but I can tell you that the difference is night and day, treble is destroyed! The actual fit and seal is perfect though.
    I agree with music_4321's comments about SQ on SE535 and forgot to mention that I also find the treble grainy - the UM3x apart from my perception of the soundstage is alot better. SE535's "bright" mids are incredibly fatiguing to listen to for long periods.
    I realise that there are those who love the very forward presentation of mids but if I saw a review on here with this title, i would have thought twice about buying them or at the very least tried to audition them before purchasing. I understand that for those who own the SE535s that it's difficult to not try and squeeze some enjoyment out of them and convince yourself that the IEMs are great etc etc, after all you paid alot for it (I did that for a couple of months and even tried to remedy the issue with sensphonics custom sleeves!! more money down the drain...), but I would encourage you guys to try some customs, JH's or westone 3s or UM3x, although I get sibilance with W3s.
    Since purchasing the SE535 have never bought a headphone without auditioning them extensively.
    I apologise in advance if any of this offends head-fiers. It's one person's view.

  14. james444 Contributor

    Believing that it's all just hype means underestimating how widely personal preferences vary. Let's face it, there are a lot of folks out there who love their forward mids and hate obtrusive treble. I'm not a lover of the Shure sound myself, but I can see why they have a broad following. Bottom line, "good" IEMs come in a lot of different flavors and IMO it's better to find out about one's preferred sound signature by trying a bunch of budget IEMs for starters and going for top tier later on.
    And btw, the number of drivers says absolutely nothing about perceived sound quality, I've heard my fair share of multi armatures and wasn't that impressed by any of them.
    JeffMcN likes this.
  15. EraserXIV
    Wait, the SE535 is warmer than the UM3x? If that's true, that's quite a feat. While they were great at many things, at times I felt the UM3x was pushing the tolerance of my warmness limit.
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