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. 🙂
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these IEM’s benefit?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- 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.
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?
- Orchestral sound
- Live music
- Choral music
- Live monitoring
- Female vocals
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.
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,