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Shure SE846 Impressions Thread

  1. Angertobi
  2. m4rkw
    On the subject of fake vs legit headphones, apparently something that happens quite commonly in china is that workers at the actual factory where products are made will stay after hours and do unsanctioned production runs that essentially churn out almost exactly the same product, albeit perhaps with slightly looser quality control. The grey products produced in this way can then be sold via unauthorised outlets for large profits. This is how extremely good fakes can exist - I've heard from a car audio shop that they've had fake Hertz speakers that were completely indistinguishable from the real thing. At that point you have to ask if they are even technically fake, but I agree with previous commenters who stated the moral issues with stealing Shure's IP.

    In any case I have no idea if possible to do this with something as complicated as the SE846. I have the SE535LTD right now, I'm really really tempted to buy from e-infin but I'm worried they might not be legit. Also no manufacturer warranty would be a pain.
  3. m4rkw
    Ok so I just spoke to someone at Shure, sent them the link to the e-infin page and also a seller who is selling clear SE846 new on ebay for £585.

    They confirmed that:

    1. They are fakes, they are aware of e-infin and are currently engaged in efforts to close them down.
    2. The ebay ones are very likely fake too given the price.

    basically its not possible to sell a legitimate SE846 for £500 and make a profit, their wholesale price is higher than that. if it looks too good to be true. they also confirmed that fake versions of the clear SE846 are a real thing.

    i guess they must be pretty good fakes if they fooled head-fi audiophiles for over a year.. maybe grey factory runs like i said in my previous post. the lady i spoke to wouldn't comment on how the fakes are made because they don't want to do anything to encourage more of it.
    ZappaMan, tbritton and SteveOliver like this.
  4. tbritton
    I recall someone saying only one person could do the welds to make the folded bass trap - perhaps that is not true anymore if "after-hours" employees have learned how. This is real trouble for Shure - I hope they can stop it.

    Meanwhile, avoid supporting these criminals, for that's what they are, by not "bargain hunting" to the extreme, and pay a regular authorized dealer what they are going for, plain and simple.

  5. m4rkw
    Phantom runs can also happen using parts that didn't meet the QC specs.

    Either way I fully agree - don't buy this stuff.
  6. m4rkw
    Also worth mentioning that you'll have basically no warranty with these. Maybe they'll fix them if they break, if they're even still operating when that happens, but who knows what kind of repair procedures that will involve and if they simply don't reply to your emails what are you gonna do? Unfortunately there's not much recourse with companies operating outside the EU.
  7. SubMash
    Taobao.com (aliexpress inside China) is full of fake SE846 at 15$, 50$, 300$, 500$, 800$. Very popular at all prices. Same story with IE800. I think it's crazy to consider to buy those other than from large chain reputable store unless you pay 15$.
    Considering that Shure doesn't make armatures - I believe some fakes could be carefully cloned because there are plenty of 300$ DIY 4 armature IEM that quite popular in China without any brand stealing.

    But I wouldn't trust Chinese QC at such price. And 100% wouldn't trust Chinese who steal branding - those have no reason to do anything good in terms of sound because most people never going to be able to judge a sound.

    With all that said - I don't think that SE846 worth the price (I bought mine from Amazon itself).
    I'm quite sure that their cost is below 50$ and most of that cost is marketing.
  8. m4rkw
    The thing that annoys me is that the fakes make buying from the 2nd hand market fraught with danger, and that's the only way I could realistically afford the SE846. But with so many apparently convincing fakes out there it's just not worth it so I guess I'll stick with the SE535LTD.
  9. csglinux
    I used to feel the same way about cables until I tried sourcing the parts and making my own.
    I've got a challenge for you. Start your own IEM company. Rent some office space. Do enough R&D to establish something that's at least a little different from (and hopefully in some ways better than) the mainstream. Prototype your design in CAD and run some FEM and/or CFD simulations to verify your design. Fabricate several prototypes and verify with measurements. Perform enough listening tests to confirm your measurements and make sure you've not overlooked anything in terms of sound, fit, isolation or comfort. Design your cables, accessories and packaging. Figure out your plan to produce in bulk. Market. Bribe a deaf, gullible fool like Steve Guttenberg to write something vaguely pleasant about your product on CNET. Establish your distribution chain. Figure out what a reasonable profit margin is for you to stay in business. Post back and let me know what you think that number is (assuming you're right with all the above amounting to less than $50).

    If you can make all this work for less than a couple of hundred $s, I want in as your business partner.
    xxphunnixx, BobJS, tbritton and 2 others like this.
  10. m4rkw
    well said lol
  11. moedawg140
    My gracious. You made me



    for sure!
  12. SubMash
    Since we talk about experience - I've opened up a company from zero some years ago, now run 2 factories in CN and EU, 2 r&d centers, developed distribution in 100 countries and sold beyond 0.1b units of consumer goods that became dominant brand in some countries. This is not IEM, not even audio. I just feel that I know about production, consumer electronics r&d, operations and marketing enough to estimate that SE846 is very high marginality and low volume product that is made to drive sales of mid price segment.

    Shure as any other business has all the rights to ask any price they want. Nothing wrong with that except misconception among consumers that 846 is significantly superior and more expensive to make. I'm certain that r&d and production cost of 846 was comparable to any other model they do. Marketing, though, most certainly is tremendously more expensive and elaborate.

    I think that I've used wrong words and was misjudged for another "price is not fair, since cost is low" post...

    I don't mind that I bought them, i was not expecting any miracles and they are fine. But I feel sad when somebody is ready to spend significant share of their income for something that is not that different (and worse in some cases) from 100$ IEM. Up to the level that they consider purchasing potentially fake stuff.

    My opinion is that they worth their money only if such money is insignificant for you. Otherwise they totally not. That's all I wanted to say.
    SteveOliver likes this.
  13. csglinux
    I was only half joking about being your future business partner. Now I know about your experience in r&d and distribution I'm only 1/3 joking. In all seriousness, what number would you put on the SE846 as a fair price? BTW, when it came out, SE846 wasn't a mid-tier IEM (its plate-welded low-pass filter isn't an off-the-shelf part that can be bought for < 50 c like a balanced armature). It's just that since then, other IEMs (e.g., Tia Fourte) have come along with significantly fewer revolutionary concepts or manufacturing challenges and charged way more ridiculous prices. (Anybody remember when the $100 ER6i seemed like a lot of money?!) I agree the increasing prices don't always bring vastly improved sound, but quantifying any improvement in sound is subjective.

    I think if you'd sold your first-born child in order to fund the cost of a Utopia or a Tia Fourte, you'd realize what a bargain the SE846 still is, even four years after its debut.
  14. m4rkw
    I’ve never heard the 846 but the 535LTD at £350 from amazon plus £125 for acs moulds I got a few years ago plus £70 for the ES100 and £35 for a cable.. is all worth every single penny to me. I use them all day every work day. If I didn’t have such an expensive family 846 would be very very tempting.. :)
  15. SubMash
    If I was Shure I might price them the same. Because it looks like people ready to pay for it and threads about it are long and widespread.

    All those hobby areas are good business for those who make money on crazy perfectionists (I'm one of them). I saw the same in car aftermarket parts. But here those smart asses were capable to change people mind that worse IS better. Like short frequency range, crazy impedance curve, subpar tonal balance What can be fair price in such industry? Industry is unfair by design.

    I believe SE846 made to drive sales of 535. Because this way people think - well, 535 looks like a good deal to me, also 535 has more reasonable impedance... and pay insane for 535. Without 846 - sales of 535 would be tiny. Now they put electrostatics to drive sales of 846.

    I don't agree that quantifying sound is subjective. More linear phase, more neutral tonality, wide enough FR, low THD, IMD and SNL, high damping factor. If you have a preference for some style of audio damaging - can use some digital filters.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

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