Type: Quad high definition micro drivers with true subwoofer
Fit: IEM (in ear monitors)
Impedance: 9 Ohm
Frequency response: 15hz-20kHz
Material: plastic, some metal
The SE846’s are Shure’s flagship IEM, and boy howdy do they deliver. The build is impressive, even being mostly plastic with a touch of metal for the ear nozzles. A great feature of the 846 is the different tips and tubes that can be inserted, which change the sound to your liking.
The overall sound is exceptional, with a bass response that isn’t muddy or overpowering, but rather tight and controlled while still retaining a sense of authority. The treble range sizzles, and the overall signature gives an excellent sense of clarity and accuracy. As for soundstage, it’s remarkable. What is Soundstage? This was definitely a stand out among-st reviewers. They described the experience to that of listening with open back headphones, (Closed back vs. Open back headphones), and commented on the 846’s startling nuance and phenomenal instrument separation. Everything here sounds as it should, and nothing seems misplaced or pronounced. As monitors they do an outstanding job, and isolate sound extremely well.
The comfort factor is a mixed bag. A lot of people say they are completely satisfied, while others claim they’re a bit hard to fit inside their ears at first. Smaller ears may have some issue as well, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Great sub bass, as well as an overall strong bass frequency. Not overpowering. Adds a nice bed of warmth for all of the other frequencies.
Comes with a large plastic case, as well as a zippered case.
Isolates noise very well.
Very comfortable. Can wear for extended periods with slight adjustment.
Overall sound is clear and accurate. Cymbals sizzle, bells ring, and the sound decay with delicacy and immediacy. No sibliance. What does sibilant mean?
You will hear things in music previously unheard. They have an open, airy sound to them.
*Sound-stage wonderful. Feels like you’re listening with open back headphones. Instrument placement/separation is also phenomenal.
Neutral sound signature.
A vast array of features. The video below will outline them!
No iPhone/Android compatible cable.
Smaller ears may have comfort issues.
I only found a few conflicting reports on amazon, but they still need to be addressed nonetheless.
Ear bud shorting out within a year. One amazon reviewer noted that changing your cable out helped with this issue.
Sound isolation is so-so.
They don’t have the depths of a true sub-bass.
Stock cables a bit bulky.
Check out the unbox/sound test with everything you need to know!
No amp needed. They will do just fine with all of your portable devices, laptop, PC, etc. However, the 846 truly shines with some sort of amp. How to choose a headphone amp!
Who these earphones benefit?
I’ve seen them endorsed for:
Use at the Gym
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
It’s important to use the right tip with these, as well as finding the right fit for your own ear. It may take some time so be patient.
They are fantastic monitor earphones, and provide a neutral sound signature. So if you want to hear the sound in it’s purest state, the 846’s will deliver. Consider your source however. The 846’s sound best with lossless audio as well as FLAC.
While the Shure SE846 is a phenomenal IEM, it’s not without some flaws. The majority of reviewers seemed to be in agreement over it’s strong suits. Complaints included needing to find a perfect fit, as well as no iPhone/Android compatible cable. Overall, the majority of reviewers loved the overall sound signature, sound-stage, and honest bass response that still provided depth and excitement.
Similarities & Differences
The noise cancellation on both is very good.
The 535’s are slightly smaller than the 846’s and fit a little better in your ear. Overall the 535’s are more comfortable.
The bass on the 535’s doesn’t deliver as hard as the 846. The 846’s bass is exemplary – perhaps the best for an IEM.
The mid-range on the 535’s can be a little too forward at times, while the 846’s are just right.
While the SE535 sounds very clean and neutral, the 846 is very musical and passionate. It can be overwhelming.
The 846 has a bigger, better, and wider soundstage.
The 846 is more detailed and nuanced in it’s sound signature.
The 846 is a bit harder to drive.
The 535 is brighter than the 846, but the highs aren’t as good.
I would say if you can afford it, go with the 846, as it is the top of the line IEM in this line of earbuds. The 535 is a great set no doubt, so you can’t go wrong there either. Some say that the 846 is 2x the price but may not be 2x as good. It’s really a matter of if you’re willing to shell out the big bucks.
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.