Some folks have a hard time justifying the cost, even though they are a very good set of IEM’s. They just may not be $500 good due to some glaring flaws that cannot be ignored. More on that later.
The good news is that the mid-range here is phenomenal, which is a quality that is somewhat lost in this day and age of over-hyped bass response. They have an accurate but fun sound, and work best with genres that aren’t bass heavy.
The signature that could be described as warm and lush, with an intimate quality, meaning the sound is closer to you in proximity.
May lose contact between the cable and the ear piece. Left or right channels cutting out/bad seal.
Cheap chord/sub-par build overall.
Swivel design causes sweat to seep into the buds, causing them to break over a short period of time.
Takes awhile to get a good fit.
Lacking bass. Some say that the response is meant to be quality over quantity, and that the 535’s were never meant to be bass heavy.
These puppies will sound fine without an amp. They do well with your iPhone, iPod/portable device, Macbook Pro, etc. The FiiO E12’s are said to do very well, just be aware of the dial. You shouldn’t need to turn them up too high to get great sound. How to choose a headphone amp!
Who these IEM’s benefit?
Jazz, especially “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis.
Not good for:
Cardio at the gym. The sweat starts to accumulate in the filter, attenuating the signal.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
Make sure you purchase from an authorized dealer.
Make sure your source audio files are of a good quality. This is a very important consideration with IEM’s.
Custom fitted ear pieces may be the solution to discomfort/bad fit.
A good seal is critical for these to shine at their fullest potential.
Comes with 2 cables. One is for volume control only, and the other is for volume control and phone accessibility. The one for phone accessibility only works on iPhone. Both cables are pretty long and not conducive for on the go situations.
Customer service is hit or miss. Some have had great experiences, others have not.
Phenomenal mid-range, crisp highs, and an accurate sound. Overshadowing this somewhat is an uncomfortable fit, issues with the right or left going out, and a sub-par build overall.
Similarities & Differences
Not much in the way of similarities. Their acoustical engine is the same, which creates the frequency response that you hear. Other than that there are a lot of changes.
The SE535’s are more durable than the 530’s.
The 535’s have better highs than the 530’s. They aren’t as rolled off. They extend more.
The 535’s have a better soundstage than the 530’s.
The 535’s have a detachable cable while the 530’s do not.
The 535’s are smaller and fit better with an improved seal.
The cable on the 535’s swivel while the 530’s does not.
The 53o’s are more fun but less accurate, while the 535 is more neutral.
The bass on the 530’s is a bit deeper.
Even though the 535’s have their flaws, I would definitely purchase them over the 530’s. As for purchasing them outright? Yeah I would probably give them a chance, but I may also save up for Shure’s flagship model, the SE846.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.