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Shure SE846 Impressions Thread

  1. FactoryStock
    They are DAC/amps. External sound cards. Crazy guys (like me) use them to:
    1) Override the built in sound card in Macs/PCs
    2) Override the sound chips in smart phones

    Basically, the PC or smartphone is just a "tupperware" for your songs, the ingredients.
    With everything connected, when you press play on the e.g. phone screen, the ingredients get transported to the Mojo/Cozoy, and the Mojo/Cozoy cooks and serves them to your ears. Your phone doesn't do the cooking.

    There are various players in the market. I'm at work now so I can't really Google them down for ya. Soo...freaking...many. FiiO, iBasso, Sony, crikey. See what your ears like, try them out. When in doubt, trust your own ears, meng. No matter what the reviews say, at the end of the day, only your own ears will tell you what you like.

    Godspeed, and happy listening/hunting.
  2. Varekai
    Ah okay, so it's either a full out player like the fiio and akell, or a dac like that cozoy, which I would probably go with if I don't get a stand alone player since it looks nice and sleek.
  3. AndrewH13
    Mojo is a DAC with adjustable volume not an amp, it replaces the digital conversion in your phone or DAP. I Use with a DAP, best of both worlds.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  4. csglinux
    I agree that Samsung phones' audio isn't all that great. Real shame, because they're awesome phones otherwise.

    I was just curious where you saw those output impedance measurements. Ken Rockwell reports significantly higher numbers for the iPhone 6s: http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-6s-plus-audio-quality.htm

    Do you have a source for the z-out of the Snapdragon Samsung models?
  5. tbritton
    I don't care what you are using as a player - if you aren't hearing amazing low bass from these, then I suspect you are not getting a good tight seal with your tips. Which tips are you using? The tips each individually make a world of difference, and an airtight fit makes EVERY difference.

  6. FactoryStock
    D'OH, my c*ck-eyed reading getting the better of me. Not the OI of iPhone jack being good, but rather their dongles having good measurements. Sorry, my bad. Here (current lightning dongles measurements):
    You're right about the 6 and 6s OI as tested by Ken Rockwell. Whoopsies.

    Here's the OI of Korean/international S7Es. I read wrongly. 0.7-0.8 is volts, not ohms. Man, I'm such a derrrp:

    OI of Snapdragon S7s by ThomasHK:

    Heheh. Epic facepalm, moi. Sorry @Varekai, my comments about the impendances are [REDACTED].

    Now 'scuse me while I go work on my reading comprehension <insert fail trombone sound here>

    Pfft. Volts...ohms...howw the toot did I misread that.
    Varekai and csglinux like this.
  7. csglinux
    No worries :) And thanks for those links!
  8. joshnor713
    The IE 800 are actually more forgiving in this respect. You don't need a "crazy" setup for them to sound good. They of course do benefit from a great source, but actually sound pretty good out of my Note 8. The SE846 are pickier. They don't sound bad per-se out of a smartphone, but I can tell something is missing. And they're more prone to hiss than the IE 800; 9 vs 16 ohms doesn't sound like a lot but it turns out to be.

    That said, when you pair the SE846 with an appropriate source, it's a beautiful thing. They sound much more engaging than the IE 800.

    Sorry man, I feel ya. I (and I imagine many others) went through this confusion in the beginning. I feel like the SE846 should be advertised with an asterisk denoting that it needs a suitable player. But once you sort this out, you'll see why they're so popular. I've had a hard time letting them go (I'm in two years now). With the right source, they can sound like stereo speakers strapped to your ears.
  9. Varekai
    Thanks for the advice, so what would be recommended for a good minimal source? Just the dac, or a good fiio mp3 player? I see some people doing a fiio or other digital player and still pairing it with a dac or amp as well.
  10. Varekai
    Lol no problem, not like I know what any of these terms mean anyhow. This whole thing is giving me a headache, just want to enjoy my music.
    FactoryStock likes this.
  11. FactoryStock
    All right. Out with it, matey. Share.
    I want these to beat my Havis, so badly. I can't have my Chi-Fi trolling these triple digit IEMs.

    I'll probably sheet breeks, and I'm anticipating a high price tag, but I like to keep an open mind.

    Would prefer to keep my wallet closed, doe.
  12. csglinux
    Some thoughts which I hope will help:

    1) I think Terry made the most important point I've seen so far. If you're lacking bass, that won't be the fault of your smartphone. I would try different eartips and make sure you have a good seal. Even with a good seal, different eartips can make a huge difference to the sound. Given your current issue, I'd start with some Comply P-series tips (they come in S, M & L sizes - most likely you'd want M): http://www.complyfoam.com/products/p-series/ Make certain to roll and insert them properly.
    2) As Josh says, you'll want a good clean source with low output impedance. Some of the older-generation FiiO DAPs can be found relatively inexpensively these days and ironically have a lower noise floor (less hiss) with the SE846 than most other DAPs, including FiiO's own current flagships (X5iii and X7ii). I would look for a second hand X5ii (second generation X5, not third generation!). If you like streaming (Tidal, Spotify, etc.) you could consider the X7i (first generation X7, not second generation!). You'll find both of these DAPs second-hand for bargain prices.
    3) Don't forget you can adjust the sound of the SE846, beyond that of just the stock black, blue or white tips: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/se846-filter-mod.802350/

    P.S. IMHO, you made the right decision choosing the SE846 over the IE800. I used to own the IE800 too. It has quite an exciting sound, but it has a lot of problems - a very piercing treble spike at about 11 kHz, short, non-replaceable cables that can't be worn over-ear (and more microphonics as a result) and way less isolation than the SE846. Spend some time going back and forth with eartips and filters. It takes a while to reach a solid conclusion on all aspects of the sound, comfort, isolation, etc. The 1More triple drivers are good earphones, but with a bit more listening time, I think you'll appreciate what you'd be missing if you returned the SE846.
    tbritton likes this.
  13. FactoryStock
    Heh, wrong quote, I think? :ksc75smile:
  14. joshnor713
    For a DAC/amp, the Mojo or iDSD BL are my picks. The Mojo is more manageable on the go, but there's ever-so slight hiss like someone else mentioned here (while the BL has a silent noise floor). The Mojo can also pick up EMI noise when paired with a smartphone (all them radios), where the BL doesn't. But you can't argue with the Mojo's size :p

    I've tried the DragonFly Red and wasn't a big fan. It sounds better than standard smartphone output, but not to the SE846's full potential. And it's loud. But you can't argue with its convenience.

    I've tried the Fiio X7 Mark II DAP and it's great with the SE846, but that is if you're running Balanced. I didn't care for it in 3.5mm. This is something you'll have to keep in mind with DAPs that have both balanced and unbalanced outputs (like A&K and many others). They will probably sound better Balanced. But that means you'll have to shell out more $ for a balanced cable when you've spent on the earphones and are going to spend on a player.

    The SE846 are princess IEMs. But they do pay out when you put all the pieces together :)

    I have Fiio's new Q5 DAC/amp on my desk. Haven't opened it yet. It looks promising. I can give an update after I've tested it.

    Stacking a player with an external DAC has its benefits. Generally, external DACs sound better for the money than DAPs (because they're not trying to fit all those other components). And it frees up your smartphone if you stack. And when you're on the go and don't want something so bulky, you can detach and use the player, which is still better SQ than a smartphone.

    My mobile setup is an Xperia Z3 Compact on top of the Mojo. That made more sense to me than a high-end A&K DAP that costs thousands (vs. ~ $600) and has comparable performance. And I can take the Z3 and plop it on a different DAC if I want a different sound. More flexibility, more options.
  15. Rizob
    I have only had my SE846 for a couple of weeks, but I will say that I think they sound amazing from the FiiO X7ii using a Balanced cable. I can't say that I have had any major issues with hiss to be honest. Maybe a little bit when needing to really crank the volume for some quieter recordings, but fortunately/unfortunately these are few and far between with todays brickwalled mixing.

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