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.