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Shure SE535 Earphones


CES 2010: New High End Shure Earphones

If you’re a regular TrustedReviews reader you’ll know that I’m quite a fan of Shure earphones, as are many of my colleagues. I have been using a pair of Shure SE530s pretty much every day for the past few years, and I maintain that they are still the best sounding earphones you can buy.

But the SE530s have been around for a good while now, in fact they were originally called the Shure E500s when I reviewed them back in 2006. Today though, I found out that Shure is gearing up to replace the SE530s with the, wait for it, SE535s. Although Shure wasn’t showing off the SE535s on its stand at CES, I managed to spend some time with them and with Shure Personal Audio Product Specialist Sean Sullivan.

So, how could Shure improve on the SE530s? In some surprising ways it must be said. The most obvious change is the fact that the earphones themselves can now be removed from the cable. This is a great decision on Shure’s part, since I can testify first hand that when you use earphones every day for years, the cables have a habit of breaking. A few months ago Shure replaced my SE530s because the cables had split just a few millimetres from the earphones themselves. And as Sean Sullivan said himself, you don’t want to have to change a $500 pair of earphones just because of a cable.

It’s great to see that Shure is listening to feedback from its customers in an effort to improve its products, especially when you’re talking about high value products like these. But the new cable isn’t just removable from the earphones, it also has a mouldable section allowing you to route it over your ears more easily, while also putting less strain on the cable itself. Although this type of mouldable cable section is nothing new, on the SE535s the cable also swivels at it’s connection point with the earphone, which results in you being able to route the cable exactly where you want it with ease.

One thing that you’re losing with the new design is the modular nature of the cable, so there’s no longer a short stretch of cable from the earphones that then plugs into a longer cable. The main advantage of this was that it allowed you to use the Shure Mobile Phone Adapter, which was particularly handy if you had an iPhone. Sullivan told me that there could be a version of the SE535s with an inline MPA build into the cable, but there are no plans to create one right now.


January 8, 2010, 10:35 am

Hmm. Mouldable, detachable cables - haven't Ultimate Ears been doing that for years?

Not that that's a bad thing. These are features I missed from my Super Fi 5's when I invested in a pair of SE530s. I just hope Shure make the earpiece connectors more durable than UE's effort - my last pair of UEs broke after 6 months of daily use.


January 8, 2010, 7:55 pm

I've been waiting for Shure to update their earphone range, not that it was especially needed. I'm actually looking for a microphone/audio control enabled pair to use with my iPhone but it's a shame that only the lower end 115m+ have all this integrated while the higher end models are without these capabilities.


January 9, 2010, 5:15 am

@Chris &#8211 I&#8217ve got a pair of Super.fi 5s and Triple.fi 10s and I&#8217m fairly certain that the cables don&#8217t detach. However, like you say, the mouldable section of the cable was always useful. To be honest, if you&#8217ve got a pair of SE530s, I doubt you&#8217ll be able to justify upgrading on the basis of sound quality, since the SE535s sound very similar. However, the new cabling arrangement definitely makes them more comfortable to wear.

@Orinj &#8211 I agree completely. I&#8217m not a big fan of the SE115s, they&#8217re too bass heavy for my liking. And I do like using my SE530s with my iPhone, which the MPA allows me to do. That said, I&#8217m about to order an iBasso portable headphone amp, which will make the MPA, or any inline control redundant anyway.


January 9, 2010, 7:23 am

I have Sennheiser IE8 with detachable cables and preferred them to SE530 in testing, better clarity and cleaner bass IMHO. all god though


January 16, 2010, 7:17 pm

"I maintain that they are still the best sounding earphones you can buy". I'm guessing earphone is some horrible concoction of in-ear headphones?


January 16, 2010, 7:31 pm

@Stephen Alfred: Do you mean to say you've never heard the term 'earphone' before?!


January 17, 2010, 2:07 am

@Ed: I've probably read it loads, but subconsciously translated it to headphone. I briefly thought the sentence was saying "I maintain that they are still the best sounding headphone you can buy." which raised my eyebrow.

I've always found my SE420s to be a little sibilant. Do the SE530s suffer from this too?

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