Shure SE846 Impressions Thread
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TK33

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@ruthieandjohn
I have followed your posts on the Grado thread and am familiar with the meticulous work you have done on rating the various Grado models. I find your rankings to be very close to my preferences.

I am curious to know which iPod you are using.

I have had my SE846 for about two weeks and initially used them with my desktop set up (Schitt stack...Modi-Loki-Magni3). I found the SE846 to be just as I expected...and very much to my liking. Excellent bass, perfect mids, subdued, but very nice highs. The OI of the Magni is according to Schitt <0.2 ohms.

Using with either of my iPods (30Gb Video and 160 Gb Classic), I did not find the sound to be as sweet as it is from the Magni. Directly out of my iPods, I found the sound to have less presence of the bass and highs...the overall sound signature being almost muddy. I have not done any sophisticated tests...just using my ears...same ear tips used on both setups...medium Westone Star tips. It was my understanding that the OI of the iPods (definitive information is not easy to come by) is approaching 5 ohms, and not very compatible with the SE846 given its low 9 ohm rating and high sensitivity.

I have also used them with my iPod - LOD - JDS Labs C5 (OI about 2 ohms). With this setup, the sound was about the same as coming directly out of the iPod...perhaps a little closer to my expectation...but still not as good as with the Magni.

I have since purchased an iFi iEMatch and have a further improvement to very near what I hear out of the Magni, either directly from my iPods, or via the C5. I would be very interested in your impressions of the SE846 directly out of an iPod.
I too find myself using my SE846 more at my desk ever since i started working from home earlier this year. I agree with you, the SE846 really is sensitive to output impedance.

I originally got an IE Match to use with my Dragonfly Cobalt and didnt really like how it changed the sound of the SE846 (though worked fine with my SE535s and SE425s). It did resolve the hissing I was getting on my Cobalt on Android but I discovered Android resampling was the issue and UAPP fixed that for me.

At my desktop, I was using it with a Grace m900 (.08 ohm) which sounded even better to me than the Cobalt. Unfortunately, the Grace m900 has an issue (makes a popping noise when sample rates change) when I feed it out of the digital outputs of my Node 2i. Customer support confirmed they get the same behavior and that it is likely a firmware issue so I got in on the last Drop for the Aurender Flow (.06 ohm I believe) to try with the SE846. I resisted the Drop for a long time but my curiosity finally got the best of me.
 
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zombywoof

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I too find myself using my SE846 more at my desk ever since i started working from home earlier this year. I agree with you, the SE846 really is sensitive to output impedance.

I originally got an IE Match to use with my Dragonfly Cobalt and didnt really like how it changed the sound of the SE846 (though worked fine with my SE535s and SE425s). It did resolve the hissing I was getting on my Cobalt on Android but I discovered Android resampling was the issue and UAPP fixed that for me.

At my desktop, I was using it with a Grace m900 (.08 ohm) which sounded even better to me than the Cobalt. Unfortunately, the Grace m900 has an issue (makes a popping noise when sample rates change) when I feed it out of the digital outputs of my Node 2i. Customer support confirmed they get the same behavior and that it is likely a firmware issue so I got in on the last Drop for the Aurender Flow (.06 ohm I believe) to try with the SE846. I resisted the Drop for a long time but my curiosity finally got the best of me.
Thank you for the detailed response. I did not notice that the iEMatch significantly altered the sound from my iPod Classic. I also have the SE535. It was primary IEM prior to getting the SE846. Thanks again, and stay safe.
 
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I just change eartips from Westone Star silicone to Spinfit CP800. Mid and high tonal are impressively improved. Overall tonal balance is a little brighter than Westone Star silicone eartips. But what I'm impressed is that it widens soundstage and improves image separation too.

However what I dislike is CP800 somewhat decreases low bass. Deep bass is too shy, compared to Westone Star silicone.

Anyone has similar experience like this? How much would it help if I switch to black filter. Currently I use blue filter.
 
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davidcotton

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I just change eartips from Westone Star silicone to Spinfit CP800. Mid and high tonal are impressively improved. Overall tonal balance is a little brighter than Westone Star silicone eartips. But what I'm impressed is that it widens soundstage and improves image separation too.

However what I dislike is CP800 somewhat decreases low bass. Deep bass is too shy, compared to Westone Star silicone.

Anyone has similar experience like this? How much would it help if I switch to black filter. Currently I use blue filter.
Don't know how old your spinfits are but the older ones tended to skew toward the treble end which it what it sounds like you are hearing.
 
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ruthieandjohn

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@zombywoof , my iPod is the iPod Touch 6th generation. It has very low output impedance (less than 2 ohms, and I think even less than 1 ohm), which means that the frequency-dependent input impedance of the SE 846 is not a problem.

I do hear an improvement over the iPod when I go to a higher-end portable source, such as a Sony ZX1A or Lotoo PAW Gold, or use the iPod as just a digital source for a DAC such as the Oppo HA2 or the Chord Hugo.

However, none of these handle streaming (except the iPod). My one and only streaming source is the FiiO X5iii. Streaming that I use is only CD quality, not hi-res. Further, I suspect that wireless transmission to a portable source does not even get to CD quality.

Hence, for wireless streaming, I think the iPod works as well as anything and has a much better interface and music ecosystem.
 
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Don't know how old your spinfits are but the older ones tended to skew toward the treble end which it what it sounds like you are hearing.
The spinfits are really comfortable and they give a brighter rendering of the se846 sound. Though at times the treble sounds splashy to my ears making the mid region somehow 'unfocused' to use a descriptive term. At those times when I mentally attend to this and it becomes a little annoying I switch to Weston's stars or Shure olives. I wouldn't say the spinfits have any discernable effect on bass quantity though. It sounds fantastic with them as well.
 
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IEMusic

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How much would it help if I switch to black filter. Currently I use blue filter.
Personally, I haven‘t observed that changing the filter directly affects the bass response. It just seems to mostly affect the upper midrange and treble, thus when the upper frequencies are attenuated with the black filter, the bass may seem relatively more pronounced. It’s worth a try though. If the soundstage and imaging remain the same, but the overall tonal balance is more to your liking with the CP800, then perfect.
 
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So, I received iEMatch today. I had only been using my SE846 with my desktop setup (Magni3). My portable set up is iPod Classic - LOD - JDS Labs C5 - SE846. With the OI mismatch the 846 were not sounding very sweet. The iEMatch sure seems to do the job.
Enjoy!

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Hifiheadphones.co,uk have dropped these to a more reasonable £584!
 
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I’m very inexperienced when it comes to all-BA IEMs. In fact, the se846 is the only one that I’ve owned. What I’m wondering is how the se846 stacks up against some other excellent all-BA IEMs when it comes to speed. I’ve not had a chance to listen to IEMs such as the Fearless S8, Andromeda, 64 Audio u12t, Anole VX, etc.
 
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I’m very inexperienced when it comes to all-BA IEMs. In fact, the se846 is the only one that I’ve owned. What I’m wondering is how the se846 stacks up against some other excellent all-BA IEMs when it comes to speed. I’ve not had a chance to listen to IEMs such as the Fearless S8, Andromeda, 64 Audio u12t, Anole VX, etc.

-> Fearless S8, maybe the demo unit was broken, maybe I didn't get a good seal. My impression was that Fearless iems have mud clarity and instrument separation. S8 was okay, lancelot was even worse.

-> Andromeda, perhaps the safest buy of any iems out there. That little green thing. The tuning is more neutral than 846 without leaning towards anything.
 
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-> Fearless S8, maybe the demo unit was broken, maybe I didn't get a good seal. My impression was that Fearless iems have mud clarity and instrument separation. S8 was okay, lancelot was even worse.

-> Andromeda, perhaps the safest buy of any iems out there. That little green thing. The tuning is more neutral than 846 without leaning towards anything.
https://www.headphonecheck.com/test/mackie-mp-460/
I would recommend these.
Difficult to beat sound for the price.
 
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Still loving my Shure 846s after 5 years, now I will get some aftermarket cable to improve them even more.

Anyone here experience with the shure and upgrade cables?
 
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Still loving my Shure 846s after 5 years, now I will get some aftermarket cable to improve them even more.

Anyone here experience with the shure and upgrade cables?
Try a pure silver cable like the KBEAR Limpid Pro (same as the NiceHCK LitzPS Pro), or one from a banned brand Yy 7N Pure Silver Cable. Make sure to get them on AliExpress when they’re on sale, around $30.
 
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Still loving my Shure 846s after 5 years, now I will get some aftermarket cable to improve them even more.

Anyone here experience with the shure and upgrade cables?
Not sure what your price range is. I use the Meze Audio Rai Silver Plated cable (some people here had been using it for theirs) and I am very happy with it.
 
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