Home IEM comparisons Shure SE425 vs. SE535 | Differences?

Shure SE425 vs. SE535 | Differences?

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on

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Updated 8/10/20, 1/29/21.

Sup friend and Welcome!!

Before we delve into the Shure SE425 vs. SE535, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

I will outline the Shure SE425 and then compare/contrast it with the SE535 towards the end. 🙂

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these IEM’s benefit?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Shure SE425



  • Type: In-ear
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 19kHz
  • Sensitivity: 109 dB
  • Impedance: 22 Ohm
  • Color: Clear or Black
  • Cable: 3.5 mm with 1/4″ adapter (64″ long)


The Shure SE425’s can be described as a mid-range oriented IEM with an accurate overall representation of sound. The chord is replaceable, and they come through crystal clear according to many.

A couple of things to note is that the bass is lacking, which is pretty much unanimous, even for folks who enjoy the headphone. The discrepancy comes in the 5-star reviewers, who claim that there is plenty of bass but you must have a good fit. Speaking of, it may be a challenge to get these in your ear and keep them there. Persevere!

These are more for audiophiles than bass heads. Check out Tyll Herstens’ review!!


  • Good mid-range, very detailed, though some claim it’s a bit too forward.
  • Highs sparkle. Not tinny or sibilant. What does sibilant mean?
  • Overall detailed and clean sound signature. Pretty neutral. Think precision.
  • Great Soundstage. What is Soundstage?
  • Accurate representation/balanced.
  • Replaceable chord and good cables.
  • Good sound isolation.


  • Cheap construction/plastic casing. Break right out of the box. The plastic casing of the actual earbud (the stem) that holds the tip seems to have a major design flaw, breaking at the point where it connects to the main part of the bud.
  • Uncomfortable/hard to get a good seal and fit.
  • Minimal bass. Keep in mind a good fit will reveal the bass response significantly more.

Video Review

Amp/DAC requirements

Apparently, they do require more power than your average IEM. How to choose a headphone amp! Bottom line is that I wouldn’t stress too hard about amplification for these.

Who these IEM’s benefit?

Good for:

  • Orchestral sound
  • Live music
  • Choral music
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Live monitoring
  • Country
  • Folk
  • Gospel
  • Choir
  • Female vocals

Not as good for:

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Electronic
  • Metal
  • Rap/Bassheads

I wouldn’t use them for cycling, jogging, or biking. The sound isolation may actually be too good, causing you to not hear that mack truck charging right at you. Lol. I remember reading a few weeks ago that a guy almost got hit by a bus because he couldn’t hear anything going on outside of the earbuds.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • The mid-range is good, but may actually overpower the bass and treble, causing the sound to become “nasally.”
  • The bass on these gradually rolls off at around 100Hz. The treble is said to be rolled off as well.
  • A lot of people like the SE535 or SE215 over the 425. Keep in mind the SE215 is a fairly V-shaped IEM.
  • Some burn-in time will benefit these, as the sound starts to open up considerably after some time (10-12 hours minimum).
  • A lot of folks like them best with the triple flange tips, which may improve the bass response.
  • These do not have an inline mic with volume control.
  • Be aware of the quality of your source. This is perhaps the single most important thing to consider when buying any IEM, or headphones for that matter.
  • A lot of people say they’re not sure the 425’s are worth the $300 price tag.
  • If you have the correct fit, then conversations outside of these should sound extremely muffled, to the point where it feels like you’re underwater. With music on, you shouldn’t hear a thing.
  • It does lack some crispiness that brings out certain timbres of string instruments. What is Timbre?


Great mid-range and treble, lacking bass without a good fit. Becomes uncomfortable over time. Construction is suspect. Provides an accurate representation of sound. Good isolation.

Similarities & Differences


  • The fit on the SE535 and SE425 is pretty much identical.
  • Both still sound pretty laid back, despite the differences listed below.


  • Both require different ear-tips. They cannot be used interchangeably.
  • The SE535’s may sound more intimate, meaning closer to you and more amplified. The 425’s are more distant.
  • The 535’s have better Soundstage and instrument separation, as well as being more detailed.
  • The 535’s are smoother and fuller.
  • The 535 is more balanced over the spectrum than the 425.
  • The 535 has better sub-bass and less overall roll-off below 100Hz. The 535’s is basically a flat line, which is my preferred response.
  • The 535’s are more versatile for a wider range of genres because the sound is more even across the spectrum.
  • The mid-range peak on the 425 is a bit more in your face and intense vs. the smaller peaks at 2 and 3 kHz on the 535.

Final Word

I would say the 535’s sound signature is handled better in the mid-range and is the better solution.

  • SE425 = 4kHz peak that can become problematic.
  • SE535 = Smoother overall response, flatter, better mid-range (less in your face), flat bass, and plenty of slam. Treble is handled better at 6kHz as well. The 425 takes a nosedive around that area and can sound kind of wonky.

With that being said, I would go with the SE535 and call it a day. It’s going to be less fatiguing and sound more even across the frequency spectrum.


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Shure SE425 vs. SE535.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Which of these tickles your pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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Jose Burgos-Polo July 28, 2020 - 5:03 pm

What do you mean when you said “more analytical and laid back” regarding the 425’s? Thanks

Stuart Charles Black August 10, 2020 - 3:52 pm

Hey man! That needs to be fixed. It’s completely wrong. The first point in “Stu’s Notepad” is the most important takeaway. The 425 has a more pronounced peak around 4kHz of about 5dB, which can cause some problems. The 535 is actually a much more neutral and smooth response. There’s still bumps at 2 and 3k, but they’re done much more tastefully. I would go with the SE535 for Shure. HAHA! See what I did there?


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