Shure SE846: Sound Quality
At this sort of price we have big expectations on sound quality, and for the most part they’re met. The Shire SE846 offer tremendous bass and mid-range, getting you an awful lot of power and authority in the delivery of music without even a hint of unbalancing bullishness in the lower registers.
The transition between bass and mid-range is perfect, and the texturing and separation of the mids is terrific. Shure is also pretty keen to talk about exactly how it manages the SE846’s excellent bass performance. It likes to call the driver arrangement a combo of a three-way ‘speaker’ system plus a subwoofer, even though all four are microdrivers.
It uses a low-pass filter, seemingly to limit the frequencies the ‘sub’ driver needs to deliver, making it all the more effective at the ones it does produce.
Should I buy the Shure SE846?
If you value mid-range or bass quality in an earphone above all else, the Shure SE846 are an excellent choice. They match power with an incredibly natural tonality that can be quite wonderful.
However, among high-end earphones in general the treble is not particularly pronounced with the balanced filters attached, which are the only ones we particularly recommend using. Both the Sennheiser IE800 and AKG3003i offer a slightly more obvious, overt treble detail.
Which of the three would we pick? While we don’t have all three to hand, having reviewed the other two quite some time ago, sonically the AKG K3003i are perhaps the most close to a ‘reference standard’ of the three. However, they come with a fairly serious practical issue. The AKG K3003i cables are non-removable, making their long-term survival a real worry if you’re planning on using them on a daily basis.
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 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 issues 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 a slight adjustment.
- The overall sound is clear and accurate. Cymbals sizzle, bells ring, and the sound decay with delicacy and immediacy. No sibilance. 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!
The SE846s are a 9 ohm, multi-balanced armature design meaning that you’ve got wide-ranging impedances that may easily dip below 9 ohms in spots and soar higher in other spots. That means you need to be really careful about matching the SE846 with the right devices – namely those with output impedance <1 ohm and ideally closer to 0 ohms (like 0.1 ohm). Failing to correctly pair the SE846s can result in extremely rolled off treble and the sense that you’re listening to a highly flawed product so be aware of this before you demo the SE846 as it would be a crime to not hear them in their full glory.
Another compatibility issue with the SE846 is the combination of their low impedance and high sensitivity leading to the possibility of hiss from less-than-stellar devices. The SE846s even display the slightest of noise when connected to the outstanding FiiO X5. Thankfully, the sound from the X5 is so slight that it’s only audible in a quiet room and quickly becomes inaudible once even the faintest of music begins so the pairing with the X5 is actually excellent and not at all far behind something like the AK240 (we’re talking 95-96% versus 100%).
Just a note: I’ve conducted all the listening for this test using the X5 paired with the E12DIY running a MUSES01 op amp and HA9P5002 buffers.
White Filter Bass
Once again now I’m referring specifically to the white filters because the treble and the bass are the most influenced parts of the frequency response. I’m not sure that the filters actually adjust the bass levels so much as the other frequencies, but the end result is a changed perception of the bass.
With the white filters in the SE846s they might just have the best bass I have ever heard from an earphone or headphone. I have heard some people describe the SE846 as having the equivalent to a subwoofer, but it’s important to clarify that comment because there are subwoofers and then there are subwoofers. What I mean is that there is a big difference between a boomy, bassy, messy setup and a well tuned sub. A well tuned sub should only be noticeable when it’s removed – during normal listening it should support and reinforce the experience, never dominate it. That’s exactly what the SE846 achieves and it does it in the most remarkable way.
The engineers at Shure have managed to create a 4″ long tube inside a 1″ long IEM. How? By welding together tiny sheets of stainless steel of course. Why didn’t we all think of that!? Yes, the SE846 wields one of the most innovative advances we’ve seen in IEMs and may end up on par with the introduction of balanced armatures to consumer audio or the introduction of time / phase alignment in custom IEMs – all that depends on how tightly Shure holds onto the technology and how many more IEMs receive the same stroke of innovation in the future.
As far as I can understand it, the bass tunnel created by Shure acts as a low pass filter by physically attenuating higher frequencies. I wonder if it also acts a little like the technologies employed by Bose to help create bass with small speakers by using tunnels to “mechanically” amplify the bass. Regardless of how it works, what I can say definitively is that it works like a charm!
What makes the SE846’s bass so astonishing is that it moves so much air (especially for a balanced armature) while staying incredibly fast, tight and clean. If a track is mixed with a lean sound it will sound lean on the 846s. If it is mixed with rumbling, thunderous bass then you’re in for a treat.
The SE846 creates bass that is on par with a live performance. It produces a visceral, vibrational and auditory experience second only to being in the room with the musicians. It is magical to hear a bass guitar played or a kick drum struck while listening with the SE846s. You can hear (and feel) the impact of the notes as well as the deep, lingering reverberation (if it’s meant to be there). Each note is defined, separate from the rest of the music and decays quickly and naturally to make space for the next glorious sound wave. As you would imagine, sub-bass is powerful and present while mid-bass is solid, but equally well controlled and that’s why the SE846 can create such an excellent sense of clarity, detail and space while still being musical and engaging.
После того, как вы отсортировали исходный код, вам не на что будет жаловаться в плане звука. Мы не можем представить себе другую пару наушников (кроме тесно связанных KSE1500), которые звучали бы так ясно и детально, как эти.
Мы играем Radiohead на своем месте и удивлены предлагаемой ясностью. Вокал Тома Йорка отличается впечатляющими нюансами и страстью. Каждый инструментальный трек обработан с высокой точностью и остается легким для понимания, независимо от того, насколько плотным становится производство. Все организовано с впечатляющим хладнокровием; Shures звучат уверенно и все под контролем. Учитывая многослойный и сложный характер записи, это непросто.
Если вы из тех, кто хочет слышать каждую мелочь, эти наушники для вас. Когда дело доходит до чистого анализа, лучшего соперника не найти. KSE1200 также потрясающе отзывчивы, умея отслеживать переходные процессы и динамическую огибающую ноты с необычайной маневренностью. По сравнению с этим, даже превосходные накладные наушники высокого класса, такие как Stellia от Focal (2795 фунтов стерлингов), звучат немного медленно, мягко и размыто. Это удивительно, учитывая, с каким уважением мы относимся к этим наушникам.
Мы переходим к Стравинскому «Обряду». Spring и Shures продолжают очаровывать своим представлением, наполненным проницательностью и динамическими контрастами. Сильно чувствуется, что наушники передают слушателю все, что есть на записи, а не скрывают информацию искажениями.
В тональном плане они даже красивы. Приятно встретить наушники, в которых нет модного акцента на низкие частоты. Эта черта может звучать впечатляюще с некоторыми музыкальными жанрами, но в большинстве случаев она также влияет на гибкость низких частот и мелодичность.
Слабые стороны KSE1200, такие как они есть, могут быть связаны с присущими им недостатками. в их дизайне. Из-за размера динамика и положения относительно уха наушники-вкладыши не дают такого объемного звука, который могут дать хорошие наушники-вкладыши. Эти Shures не могут обойти это и не могут обеспечить звук с динамической мощью и абсолютным авторитетом, как в более традиционных, крупных высококачественных проектах.
Отчасти это связано с их электростатической природой.. Хотя такая конструкция имеет много преимуществ, кажется, что она никогда не передает более мощные аспекты воспроизведения музыки с помощью более традиционных технологий приводных устройств. Мы подозреваем, что Shure укажет вам на талантливый четырехдрайверный SE846 (869 фунтов стерлингов), если этот аспект вас беспокоит. Но при этом вам придется пожертвовать яркостью и прозрачностью KSE1200.
Shure SE846 Review – This technology is incredible
The technology inside the Shure SE846 stems from Shure having a one of the biggest research and development budgets on the market. Unlike companies like Beats who throw their money at marketing budget, Shure actually develops their headphones and tends to let their products speak for themselves.
Its little wonder that the company is one of the most used for microphones and monitors from actual performing and studio artists who demand the best from their audio gear. That said what Shure have done with the SE846 is taken everything the know and thrown the kitchen sink at making the best in ear monitor they possibly can. Here is a very brief break down on how they attempted to achieve such lofty feats.
Well in a word, Bass. The focus on the development of the Shure SE846 seems to have revolved about the low end and how it effects the presentation of other frequencies. This is a common problem and on that is present on most in ear headphones due to limitations in physical size and traditional driver designs. Most companies will tend to go for a choice of Dynamic Driver or Balanced Armature when it comes to providing the engine for the sound reproduction but each has their own fallacies.
Usually a Dynamic can be tune either to the top or low end or even in the middle but rarely is it able to fully cover the full spectrum accurately, its almost a case of trying to do too much at the one time. Balanced Armature earphones are incredibly sensitive, they produce wonderfully detailed and accurate mids and highs but are often found to be lacking in the impact of the bass. Shure do something different, they use 4 of their own in house developed balanced armature drivers in the SE846.
Using independent drivers allowed the team, led by product manager Sean Sullivan, to deliver each frequency via its own driver in order to create a clear and clean sound. Its something that other companies also do (especially in the multi driver custom market) but I haven’t heard anything yet from a universal earphone that implements it so well.
This it has be mentioned can be attributed to the above crossover design working in tandem with the variable low pass filters with the earphones that allow one to fine tune the sound to their preference. Adjustable filters are a big deal, it is one of the things that made Phonaks earphones such a versatile piece of kit. Shure uses it though to present the bass in a way that I haven’t quite heard before in an in ear and there are times that I could swear I was listening on my full size Final Audio Pandora Hope VI.
Its all very impressive from a technical point but even more so when you look at it from a physical standpoint. Just take a look inside and you can see that there is barely any unused space inside the housings… not to mention that it makes them look cool as all get out.
Shure SE846 Review – The Final Word
Sadly my time with the SE846 earphones is up and whilst I sit writing the final part of this review they sit beside me in their pelican case waiting to be collected by their owner who has no doubt been missing them.
The question now is whether or not I invest in them myself? The answer? I’m not quite sure. I certainly want them, the issue is when would I get to use them enough to warrant the purchase, at home I use my Kingsound or Stax Electrostatic Headphones, In office the FAD Pandora and everything in between is commuting or gym where a custom excels at isolation (though I take the Shure over my UM miracles for sound).
If I had none of the above I would be on them in seconds. Then that brings me to another point on why I do want them and that is to use them as my reference set to compare all other Universals to in future reviews as well as a set that I can take along to meet ups and industry events (Such as High End in Munich next week) and let other enthusiasts demo my setup. Either way, if you are looking for a set of universal earphones that are, in my opinion, the best on the market today, then look no further, the Shure SE846 are the current end game set.
Update 1 – 07/04/2016: Well what do you know its been 5 or so months since I wrote the review of the SE846 and surprise surprise I now own a pair. I managed to pick a set up a few months ago and now feel able to put pen to paper on what makes them one of the best in-ear headphones on the market right now.
The sound is such that they make most of my other earphones sound rather inadequate I am enjoying them particularly for rock and other high paced and detailed music but have noticed that with a bit of brain burn the are near perfect for modern electronic music.
Build wise they still look brand new, seriously you could put them back in the box and I wouldn’t know they have been used on a near daily basis. Are they still the best in ear headphones? Yes and no. They are one of the best earphones for sure but I would also put the Campfire Audio Lyra on a par with them (although they are very different – Campfire Audio Lyra Review) and of course I am still a big fan on customs. One thing is for certain and that is that the SE846 remain a current TOTL endgame IEM.
Update 2 – 22/02/2017
It has been a couple of years now since I originally published this article and thought it was time for another update on how my Shure SE846 have been performing. I still own and use them regularly and they remain a foundation of my rotation of in ear headphones. A lot of competitors have hit the market since and yet the SE846 remain one of the best perfoming IEM’s on the market.
I have replaced 1 cable and the second continues to go strong. They housing as mentioned from the previous update remains in tip-top shape and my long term view is that the SE846 will require very little babying.
Perceived value is an issue, but if you’re judging these Shures on sound quality, then they’re excellent. You’d have to spend thousands of pounds on speakers before you find as much detail.
These ‘phones give the impression of delivering every last nuance, and do so in an appealingly natural and understated way. They don’t highlight treble detail artificially (as many do) to give the impression of resolution.
Instead, the leading edges of notes are naturally drawn and harmonics beautifully differentiated. There’s not a hint of hardness or overstatement.
These qualities are apparent listening to Beethoven’s : the Shures render its harmonic complexity correctly and deliver the piano’s dynamic envelope with confidence.
There’s a convincing sense of solidity and scale to the presentation too, and plenty of power when required.
At no point is there the feeling the SE846s are overstating things to sound impressive. They concentrate on an honest approach to music replay.
We try Gil Scott-Heron’s and the Shures’ enthusiasm in delivering the hard-charging rhythm and their punch at low frequencies impress.
The bass-tuning design works very well here and gives these in-ears a solid kick at low frequencies. Scott-Heron’s gruff vocals are delivered with passion and precision too.
Shure SE846 Review – Sound Quality
Shure SE856 internal driver construction
Of course the most important part of any audio gear is of course the sound and from the very first moment I put the SE846 in my ears I have barley been able to keep this stupid grin of my face. These are without a doubt the rolls royce of in ear universal earphones so much so that they even manage to compete with full size orthodynamic headphones I have heard.
Its one of the first earphones that I have listened to that didn’t feel like I was just listening to…. well earphones. Most prominent is the monumental soundstage and grand spacing between different instruments that results in a fully out of head aural experience. On some binaural recordings it was simply jaw dropping, cymbals, snares and kick drums would crash in the back, the vocals rise up in the front. There were strings to the left, trumpets to the right, its just such a fun experience to behold.
Every frequency remains damm near perfect in its own right and there is nary a hint of overlap bleed between them. Mids were presented with intimate detail and with ideal warmth that draws you in and engages you with your music. Male and female vocals were simply put the best I have heard from an earphone in the universal category.
Diana Krall, a favourite of mine, was both intimate and powerful depending on the song and there was never a hint of upper mid sibilance. Male vocals especially from acoustic and country came across even better with the sense that the artist was performing right in front of you. The most outstanding track that I listened to was Ludovico Einaudi – High Heels. I got lost when it came on and i ended up playing in on repeat for roughly half an hour. The intimacy of the performance blows you away and the Shure SE846’s black background presentation allows notes to float through the sound space uninterrupted whilst the detail retrieval allows you to pick up the action of dampening pedals.
More was to come the second on my second day of testing out the Shure’s and that was with upping the tempo a bit to test out the bass. A combination of Rap, Psytrance, EBM (ElectroBodyMusic) and Chillstep was on tap to make me fall further for these pricey earphones.
Infected Mushroom’s – Vicious Delicious album was on deck to provide the first full album experience with the SE846, an album I favour for testing due to its wide variety of genres within single tracks, there’s elements of vocals, rock, rap, trance. It took about 30 seconds into the track Artillery to know that there was now nothing the SE846 couldn’t handle. The complex range of the song with high pitched vocals leading into crunching electric guitars layered over the top of deep bass drops which would vibrate your eardrum as if you managed to shove a 12 inch sub in you ear never ever tripped itself up by becoming muffled or congested.
Detail in the low end was incredible at displaying different textures for double bass to clean electronic induced slams but ultimately its the impact and depth of extension that is going to leave you with a smile as wide as The Joker.
In case you want to see graphs and measurements of the Shure SE846 check out Goldenears.
Shure SE846: Design and Comfort
The Shure SE846 slot-in neatly among the other SE-series earphones. Below this model sit the superb Shure SE535, one of the most popular sets of high-end IEMs.
Like the other models in this range, the Shure SE846 are fairly large. This pair in particular has to be, because each earpiece fits in four drivers. That’s right: four separate drivers per ear.
This is because like so many other top-end earphones, the Shure SE846 use balanced armature drivers, which tend to struggle to recreate bass frequencies at the same level of a bog-standard dynamic driver. That’s why they need four of the things, with multiple units dedicated to the lower-end frequencies.
You can actually see the casings of the micro drivers from the outside of the Shure SE846’s shells. They’re transparent, letting you see how the engineering of these not-so-little earphones actually works. It’s impressive stuff.
Not everyone is going to love the Shure SE846 design, just as not everyone loves the Shure SE535’s style. As well as being fairly large, they’re far more particular about how they are worn than most earphones, including the set’s two big competitor pairs at the price, the AKG K3003i and Sennheiser IE800. Both of those sets have a relatively conventional earpieces you can bung-in fairly carelessly.
The Shure SE846 are different. They are designed to be worn over the ears, with a piece of shape-maintaining wire sitting within the last few centimetres of cable as it meets the earpiece. You don’t absolutely have to wear them over your ears, but they don’t feel right otherwise.
You may need to fiddle around for a bit to find a truly comfortable fit. Like the other SE-series headphones, the Shure SE846 use Shure’s classic olive-shape tips. A load are included, as well as some foam tips and a triple-flanged pair.
To top the list high-end features, the Shure SE846 cable is also removable. It uses MMCX connectors that can just be yanked out with a firm tug so that they’re easy to replace and don’t threaten to damage the earpiece under pressure. Unfortunately our pair has actually been fitted with a lower-end Shure SE215 cable (a mix-up at Shure HQ, we imagine), and while there may be a slight difference with the silver-plated standard SE846 cable, we’re not big believers that a simple cable can radically alter the sound signature of an earphone.
Even this low-end cable feels tough and very well-made. Shure’s cables are somewhat infamous for going a bit stiff after a few years of daily wear and tear (something that has improved in recent years), but both official and custom third-party cables are available from £30.
You can spent a whole lot more if you want. We tend to advise spending more on the initial earphone package rather than factoring-in the extra expense of an aftermarket cable. But that’s not so easy at £800. The only way to spend more is to go fully custom and get a set moulded to your ear’s shape.
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging of the 846’s is suitably high-end as it should be for an IEM in this price-range. The box is high quality and everything inside is beautifully laid out. What’s more important to me though is what’s inside. I love that Share provide 2 cables – short and long – and a wide range of tips including silicone, open cell foam and Shure’s own sealed foam tips (often referred to as “olives”). As it happens, I’m not using any of Shure’s supplied tips, but the range they provide is excellent and should be suitable for most users.
You’ll also find an excellent hard-case to transport your IEMs in and this might be the best manufacturer-supplied case I’ve seen in terms of being just the right size, being hard enough to protect your investment, and offering a small section for storage of tips, etc.
Of course, the unique thing in the SE846 packaging other than the earphones is the little metal phial and attached key. The key is circular with three prongs and is designed to remove the metal cuff holding the earphone nozzle and filters in place. Attached to the key is the phial containing 2 pairs of alternate filters. The 846s come with the “neutral”, blue filters installed which means the darker-sounding black filters and brighter sounding white filters are in the phial. I’ll discuss the filters in much more detail later.
1.Могут быть использованы в беспроводном режиме.
Беспроводные устройства предоставляют пользователям большую свободу движений при прослушивании.
Неизвестно. Помогите нам, предложите стоимость.
Bluetooth — это стандарт беспроводной технологии, который позволяет передавать данные между устройствами, расположенными в непосредственной близости, с использованием коротковолновых сверх высокочастотных радиоволн. Более новые версии обеспечивают более быструю передачу данных.
3.имеет 3,5 мм мини-джек
Стандартный 3,5-мм разъем подходит для использования со всеми MP3-плеерами и компьютерными звуковыми картами.
4.Имеет Блютуз aptX
Блютуз aptX — это аудиокодек, используемый для беспроводной передачи звука высокого разрешения с устройств с поддержкой Блютуз Разработанная Qualcomm, аудиотехнология aptX включает такие варианты, как aptX HD, aptX Low Latency и aptX Adaptive.
5.максимальный радиус (Bluetooth) блютуз
Неизвестно. Помогите нам, предложите стоимость.
Устройство может подключаться к другому устройству на большом расстоянии с помощью Bluetooth/ИК излучения.
6.поддерживает Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Wi-Fi 6, выпущенный в 2019 году, основан на стандарте беспроводной сети IEEE 802.11ax. Разработанный для работы во всех полосах частот от 1 до 6 ГГц, он предлагает более высокие скорости передачи данных и меньшую задержку по сравнению с предыдущими технологиями Wi-Fi.
7.Интерфейс 802.11ac WiFi
Беспроводной 802.11ac работает на частоте 5 ГГц, а также на 2,4 ГГц (двухдиапазонный WiFi). Предлагает более высокую скорость передачи данных, повышенную надёжность и более оптимальный принцип энергопотребления. Даёт преимущества для игр и видеопотоков HD.
8.Интерфейс 802.11n WiFi
802.11n — стандарт беспроводной связи, вышедший в 2009 г. Более высокая скорость передачи данных, повышенная безопасность по сравнению с его предшественниками a, b и g.
9.поддержка Bluetooth паринг используя NFC
Данное устройство поддерживает Bluetooth паринг, используя технологию NFC для того, чтобы связываться с другими устройствами через Bluetooth. Вы можете быстро соединить устройства без введения кода, просто расположив одно устройство рядом с другим.
Shure earphones have long been known for their glorious mid-range reproduction and I’m glad to say nothing has changed. The filters have less impact on the mids than they do on the treble so consider this a review of the midrange in general, not just with the white filters.
Before I bought the SE846s I was actually saving up for the king of mids, the Fit Ear TG!334. After seeing the 846s second-hand at a great price I decided to pounce and hope they were nearly as good as the 334s. Since then I have listened to the 334s multiple times for extended sessions with all different tracks with a view to still buying them because I thought they were better. After multiple sessions I am amazed to be claiming that I believe the SE846 produces a better mid-range than the TG!334!! I know that’s a big claim and may draw the ire of Fit Ear fans and groupies, but let me clarify. When the TG!334 hits its sweet spot there is nothing on the planet quite as special, but when thrown a range of genres I found the 334 drifted in and out of the sweet spot and sometimes just sounded a bit thick and slow. The SE846 however has not once disappointed me with its beautiful clarity, speed, and texture through all of the mids.
Vocals on the SE846 are front and centre, but not closed in – just accurate and present. Guitars have a wonderful sense of attack and energy where you can hear the textures of the strings and little details buried deep in the recordings. With the SE846s I find myself hearing the texture of drum skins, the subtle characteristics of a singer’s vocal chords, their positioning relative to the microphone, and all those other intangible details that make an upgraded system so exciting. With the SE846s I am learning more about my music collection than I have in a while.
What’s fascinating to me about the SE846 is that it manages to produce beautiful, creamy mid-range with speed and accuracy, but never falls into the trap of placing the mids ahead of other frequencies. Not once have I found myself feeling too close to the vocalist or trapped in a crowded soundstage with no air and no hope of rescue.
Whats Not To Like about the SE846?
You can probably tell by now that there is very little I don’t like. Out of the literally hundreds of universal earphones I have listened to the Shure SE846 are one of the best in ear headphones I have used to date. They are incredibly well researched, tested and constructed.
Shure’s after Care service for me has always been one of the best. The sound is second to none, and I really mean that, apart from maybe Final Audio’s FI-BA-SS there is nothing that even comes close in my mind. But…..and its a big ‘ol but. The price. RRP has come down in the past year but make no mistake these are still a very expensive set of earphones.
Obviously this will be a barrier of entry to some but when you look at the SE846 against the prices of some high end custom in ear monitors and other luxury goods its not actually that bad. I don’t think twice about dropping $1000 on a Camera, TV, Bike and to get the performance I want and I spend infinitely more time listening to music than playing with those toys so why not go all out on the audio. Simply put If you have the money grab a set and grab them asap, you know you will eventually work your way up to buying them eventually after much deliberation and procrastination.
Shure SE846 Review – Design and Build
Shure SE846 earphones internal diagram
Well, they are Shure earphones so I would bet my ass that these earphones will keep working long after other sets have spluttered coughed and ultimately crapped out on me. Think of modern Shure earphones as the gold standard when it comes to robust design to me they are the to stage monitors what the Technics 1210’s were to turntables the just keep going and going….. and when a cable goes (as this is usually the first thing that goes on any headphone) you just pop it off and stick in the spare.
As mentioned above I use the Shure SE215 for the gym and have done so for the past 2+ years without ever an issue and the SE846 seem like Shure have take that sort of design and stuck it on steroids. There is not a creak or flimsy feeling piece anywhere on the earphone.
The cable is simply amazing it feels robust with well made strain reliefs and custom jack points. The colour is on point and it matches the clear earpieces well. It should be noted that the reason the cable is so awesome is that the around half a decade or more ago the company took some flack for having cracking issues on its cables (my own se310 died from this issue), boy have they redeemed themselves with this one. The cable goes over the ear so there are no micro phonics when listening on the go and its people will also be glad to hear its next to impossible to tangle them up to a spaghetti junction of criss crossed cabling due to the slight spring.
Now as for the earpieces themselves, these are seriously cool looking earphones. Clearly the designers have chosen to stick with the similar designs from the se215, se315, se420 etc but the SE846 feel even more refined and somehow even more solid than their predecessors.
What makes these earphones so good looking is the same reason I take all my custom monitors in clear or transparent housings, that you can see the internal workings of the device. It gives you a lot to look at, and I love how Shure have numbered each balanced armature 1-4 as well as etching the frequency response that each driver covers.
Its a function first design second that works incredibly well because at the end of the day the focus on the SE846 is the sound and to get that sound they created that engine. Think of the casing like the engines on high end hyper cars, they are the heartbeat of the system and are visible from the outside thus becoming an integral part of the aesthetic. Perhaps engineering is sexy…. kind of.
Shure SE846 Review – Accessories – (10/10)
Shure SE846 Accessories
The accessories that come with the Shure SE846 box are plentiful and I think the sheer quantity can only be matched by what DUNU threw into their flagship DN2000. All of the included items are of incredible quality, these aren’t just thrown in as an after thought, they are practical and will extend the life of your headphones. So whats in the box? best to list them…
-1 Replacement cable
-2 Cases / 1 small semi soft & 1 Pelican style hardcase
-1 Shure branded cleaning cloth
-2 Jacks – 1 Airplane & 1 1/4 inch converter
-1 Shirt clip
-A load of eartips in ever shape and material you can imagine
-1 Inline volume control unit
-1 nozzle removal tool for cleaning
That is pretty much everything you will ever need with a new set of headphones and I love the fact that Shure have gone ahead and thrown it all in the package instead of making you pay for it through the nose for it at a latter date.
Since this review was originally written I have had a lot of earphones to compare too and really only Dunu even come remotely close to Shure in terms of offering such a complete package.
The supplied cables are identical except for length and offer a silver-coloured wire with right-angle jacks and simple white / grey Y-splits and sliders. The cables are made of silver plated copper which is their only weakness in my opinion. Without getting into cable debates, I feel that SPC cables do more harm than good to the audio signal and can’t wait to receive the pure silver cables I ordered for the 846s. Personally, I prefer manufacturers to go with pure copper or pure silver, but we’ll see what differences an “upgraded” cable bring to the sound of the 846s.
Reviewing the sound of the SE846s is really like reviewing three different earphones because each filter makes a noticeable difference to the overall sound of the earphones. Personally, after many, many filter swaps I found that the white filter was my clear favourite so I’m going to review the sound from an overall perspective using the white filter and will then discuss how the blue and black filters differ. For the record, all three filters sound great and will definitely suit different people so it’s not to say one filter is right – they’re all good, but to me the white is superb.
- 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 846s’ 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 its sound signature.
- The 846 is a bit harder to drive.
- The 535 is brighter than the 846, but the highs aren’t as good.