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Shure SE846

Andrew Williams



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Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
  • Shure SE846
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Key Features

  • Quad-driver design
  • Removable cable
  • Clear outer shells
  • Manufacturer: Shure
  • Review Price: £799.00

What are the Shure SE846?

The Shure SE846 are noise isolating earphones. They're the highest-end earphones we've seen from Shure, costing more than double the amount of the Shure SE535 – themselves highly acclaimed earphones.

They're interesting technically and sound fantastic if you like your music with real bass clout.

Shure SE846 3

Shure SE846 – Design and Features

The Shure SE846 are quad-driver earphones, adding an extra driver from the previous flagship SE535 model. They don't look hugely different from the other top-end Shures, though.

There a bit bulbous, and are designed to be worn over the ear, with a stiffened length of cable up by the join with the earbud. Build quality takes a step up with the SE846, and the earphone aperture is made of metal rather than the usual plastic.

This is really necessary as you're able to take the end of the earpiece off. Like the AKG K3003 and Phonak PFE 112, the Shure SE846 use removable filters that tailor the sound to your taste. You need a little tool to do so, and we wouldn't recommend doing it daily, but it's a neat idea. Shure explained that there are three different filters, and they alter the mid-range response, giving you a balanced, mid-heavy or slightly scooped sound that emphasises the treble and bass a little more.

Shure SE846 2

Like the other high-end Shures, the SE846 cable is removable – a good job given how much these earphones cost.

There's a lot of clever engineering that has gone in these headphones, and Shure shows it off with a clear finish that lets you see the micro driver housings. Shure SE846

Shure SE846 – Sound Quality

Although it's easy to think of the SE846 as merely a four-driver version of the SE535, there's actually some different things going on inside. The output from the bass driver is sent through a maze of tiny little metal holes designed to filter out all the frequencies a bass driver isn't designed to handle – so the bass driver functions much like a hi-fi subwoofer, leaving out the top-end and upper-mid frequencies.

The result is immensely impressive bass. The comparison with a subwoofer is a good one too, as we've rarely heard bass this punchy, this low, this powerful, in a pair of headphones, let alone a pair of IEMs. It's seriously impressive, and is the characteristic that really separates the SE846 from the SE535. We only got to try the earphones with the 'balanced' sound filter, but we imagine that regardless these aren't for people who love truly trebly earphones.

The treble is excellent, though, with great detail and a smooth finish. These are world class headphones, and we'll endeavour to get a full review up soon.

Shure SE846 1

Early Impressions

Bass rarely gets better than this. If you have the cash to spend and want audiophile earphones that can pump out the low end, you need to hear the Shure SE846.

Next, check out our best headphones round-up

Tim Monger-Godfrey

January 9, 2014, 4:24 pm

They do look very nice. However, I do wonder why you would spend this amount of money on IEMs when you can get a very decent custom set (UE, JH Audio, ACS, 1964 etc) which are likely to have a much better fit?


January 10, 2014, 3:36 am

@Tim Monger-Godfrey
I have just received my pair of SE846 (my friend brought it to me from the US), thus, I am not able to provide any feedback about the performance.
However, to answer your question, this is what I have to say, even though I have yet to purchase any custom IEMs :
1. Unfortunately, not all places in this world have representative offices of the above mentioned CIEM brands.
2. If you decide to sell any UIEM, it will be more convenient for both the buyer and the seller.

p.s. I was actually deciding between, the SE846 and JH Roxanne (custom); but, in my case, the process of getting the JH Roxanne (custom) was too troublesome.

Tim Monger-Godfrey

January 10, 2014, 10:17 am


Thanks for the great response. I agree, they are both problems. I bought a pair of 1964 customs, and they have been fantastic. However, when I've had a couple of issues, being US based does mean both a significant cost and time delay when they need any work doing. I think I would go for a UK based company again like ACS (a friend has just ordered them so I will be interested to see how they perform).

My non-custom experience has been with UE 5s and 10s, which were both excellent, but I always found the fitting not quite right - the move to custom has been an eye opener and I would have no problem spending the money again.



January 10, 2014, 2:45 pm

Hi Tim,

I found something that might interest you. I was going through the instruction manual/registration card/warranty card and etc. of the SE846 awesome packaging.

A company called Sensaphonics in the US, is offering custom-fit sleeves for SHURE IEMs, please refer link for further details: http://www.sensaphonics.com...

I have checked the website, the SE846 is yet to be part of their offerings. But, from my understanding, you do not need to fully re-shell the UIEM, yet you get benefits of both the UIEMs and CIEMs worlds.

Hope it is helpful


p.s. the first time I listened a couple of my reference tracks, with the SE846, I was smiling with joy (no joking).


January 14, 2014, 4:33 pm

Wow...that's...a lot to spend on some headphones. I guess when money isn't an object

Martin Maxime Vaillancourt

March 13, 2017, 3:59 pm

The cheap comes out expensive.... by that I mean that I always wanted these but was not willing to spend the money. Instead I bought

Klipsh S4 100$, not happy!
Sennheiser MM550x 550$, not happy!,
Audio-Technica M50x 300$, not happy!,
Phiaton MS 530 250$, not happy!,
Bose QC20i 280$, good noise cancelling, not a fan of the Bose sound
Ultimate ears Triple-Fi 10 250$, a little happy but don't like to look like a TV antenna
Sennheiser IE08 450$, kind of happy but not the most comfortable

and finally the SE846, VERY happy.

So I spent 2180$ plus taxes instead of 1000.

Don't get me wrong, the other headphones above are all very good but my message is, if you want the 846's don't be cheap, comes out more expensive.

2 more things:

1. Yes they are worth the money
2. If you use them for lets say 5 years and pay 1000$, that's 200/ year or 55 cents a day to enjoy the very best earphones on the market and stop shopping for better (for a while at least)

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