The Shure SE535 isn’t a new earphone – it’s been on the market for six years. During that time, though, it has remained a popular choice for anyone searching around the $499 price point. How good does it sound, though? And is it the right in-ear headphone for you?
Shure SE535 Review
The SE535 comes with a wealth of eartips and a carrying case. The earphones themselves feature a removable audio-only cable, and you can purchase mic-and-remote cables separately from the manufacturer.
The build quality is decent. The earpieces themselves feature a hard plastic shell, while the cable seems thick enough to tie in pretzel knots without doing any discernible damage. While the looped design may take some getting used to, once you have these situated in your ears, comfort is commendable.
|Sensitivity||119 dB SPL/mW|
|Frequency Range||18Hz – 19kHz|
|Cable Style||64″ Detachable (at ear) with wireform fit|
|Colors||Available in Clear or Metallic Bronze|
|Speaker Type||Triple High-Definition MicroDrivers|
As you can tell from these specs, the 535 features a relatively standard frequency range and decent volume. While not shown here, the nominal impedance is a low 36 ohms – perfect for use with a smartphone or portable music player.
The low end on the Shure SE535 is deep and full, with some definition. Bass has good impact, but features spotty control – leading to some bleeding and muddying of the sound, especially where lots of low-frequency notes are competing for attention.
Where the midrange is concerned, the 535 offers a fairly accurate sound. During my listening sessions, it seemed there was a slight amount of distortion in the mids, evidenced mostly in the male vocals sounding a little too high-pitched. Instrumentation, too, may have suffered from that distortion, leading to a somewhat cardboard sound.
In the high end, we begin to see a real benefit to the Shure SE535, with good, strong fidelity, but a slight rolled-off sound in general. Detail is fantastic, but never gets piercing or uncomfortable. As such, the high end is remarkably clean and smooth, and handles both instrumentation and vocals with ease.
Decent to say the least, the soundstage on these earphones is more than what I expected it to be. With a clear sense of depth and placement, these earphones come close to the real deal. While listening to your favorite artist on the 535 won’t be the same thing as seeing that artist in concert, the soundstage is definitely a step up from the “in-your-head” sound that we see with many other earphones.
The Shure SE535 features and impressive sound that is more than worth its price tag. While the deficiencies in the lows and mids will rule out some prospective buyers, the luscious high end and fantastic soundstage will definitely convince others. Add to this the durable build quality and the fact that you can remove the cables, and you have yourself one impressive earphone.
If your’re looking for an articulate, clean low end, the Shure SE535 may be an option for you – depending on how articulate and clean you want it to be. For rock, hip-hop, or EDM, then, this earphone may be a mixed bag. Certainly, the overall quality of sound is good, but the lows and mids may detract too much from the listening experience. If this is the case, we recommend the similarly-priced Westone W40 in-ear headphone.
On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a detailed and clean-sounding in-ear monitor – with a laudable high end and an amazing soundstage, the Shure SE535 deserves a look-see.
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