Shure SE535s too loud with iOS, confused about impedance

  1. m4rkw
    I've just bought the SE535LTDs and after a day of rocking out have noticed that when connected to my iPhone the lowest volume setting is louder than is comfortable when I want to listen quietly. This is quite annoying and so now I've initiated a return with Amazon.

    I think this is because they are "super low impedance" but what's odd is I don't have this problem with the SE215s, and according to the specs those are lower impedance..


    SE215 - 17Ω
    SE315 - 27Ω
    SE425 - 22Ω
    SE535 - 36Ω

    Obviously I'm missing something here.. I'm now thinking that I might try the 425s as they have the closest impedance rating to the 215s which I know are good with my iPhone. Those numbers are confusing me though..
  2. Dulalala
    Yep, that's because impedance isn't the only thing that determines the loudness of your IEM. What's more important is the sensitivity rating of the IEM.

    Shure SE535 - 119 dB SPL/mW
    Shure SE215 - 107 dB SPL/mW

    this means that the SE535 can reach 119 dB with 1 mW of power while the SE215 can reach 107 dB at 1 mW (at 1kHz I assume).

    Also, how low of a volume do you listen too? The SE535 shouldn't be that loud at the lowest setting. Do you have some sort of EQ on that's adding gain or something of the sorts?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  3. m4rkw
    It's not insanely loud but louder than I'd like the minimum volume setting to be. Sometimes at work I want a quiet background sound but with these it's still quite in your face.

    It looks like I might have better luck with the SE425s as they have a similar sensitivity rating to the 215s so have ordered those.

    Thanks for your help!
  4. Oscar-HiFi
    Why not just get an iFi Audio Ear Buddy for £20, and use the SE535 :D
  5. m4rkw
    Im using the bluetooth cable, don't want wires! One that thing occurred to me is I could normalise all my music to about 50% of their original volume. Most of it isn't lossless though so would probably lose some clarity.. hmmm.. not sure.
  6. Oscar-HiFi
    You're already losing clarity with bluetooth so I wouldn't worry about it.
  7. m4rkw
    I figured out a solution, in itunes you can adjust the volume of individual songs so I just selected them all at once and put the volume down nice and low.

    The only problem now is the voice alerts from the cable itself - they're ear-peircingly loud and there's no way to turn them off. I dunno what shure were thinking with this cable, it doesn't seem anywhere near their level of quality.
  8. Oscar-HiFi
    Westone make a bluetooth MMCX cable that might work better, as it's designed for the UM1 which is single BA driver of low impedance and high sensitivity -
    • Sensitivity: 114dB SPL @ 1mW
    • Frequency response: 20Hz - 16kHz
    • Impedance: 19Ω
  9. Dulalala
    If I remember correctly, the cable was mostly designed for their SE215 so that’s probably why.
    Oscar-HiFi likes this.
  10. m4rkw
    I've just ordered a Capri lightning cable which should sound way better than any bluetooth cable :)
    Mariano3113 likes this.
  11. Mariano3113
    The Shure Bluetooth cable...that makes sense.

    Was going to suggest trying the attenuator.

    Glad to see you ended up going Wired with a lightning-specific cable

    Side-note: I found it funny to see a complaint about SE535's being too loud on the quietest setting.

    Mainly because a number of Audio performance reviews for Smartphones result in the listening level being too low.

    Where as I find volume levels fine on the SE535, but some Smartphones still have noisy artifacts in the background.(Large turn off for me)

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