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!
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.
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?
Not as good for:
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.
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.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.