IN-EAR
Premium

SE846

SHURE

Rating

Price

9

899 €

Review published:

06/2020

Company.png

Driver

4

per Side

0

Dynamic

4

Balanced

Impedance

9 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

0

Sound

9

Bass

9

Mids

8.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

114 cB

8.8

Handling

9.5

Haptic

C

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

15 – 20000 Hz

Intro

SHURE - There are few, I think, who do not know this name. Known to the normal consumer for its headphones, the company enjoys a kind of monopoly position in the event industry and is especially popular with its wireless systems (microphony) in live use.

>> "1925 - The Shure Radio Company is founded on April 25th by S. N. Shure as a one-man business selling radio kits and components. Mr. Shure's office is located at 19 South Wells Street in downtown Chicago." <<

SHURE's SE-Series has not only received very good feedback internationally, but is also highly appreciated by many artists for in-ear monitoring. Admittedly, the models are a bit outdated, except for the two electrostats KSE1500 and KSE1200. But good sound has no expiry date and so it will be exciting to see where the individual models will position themselves in my ranking and whether they are still competitive.

The first one is the SE846, which is one of my favorites not only within the SHURE series. It took 88 years until this 4 BA-IEM, after the foundation of the company, saw the light of day.SHURE was able to draw on their experience with the SE425, or SE535 during the development, which also led to the SE846 becoming a permanent fixture not only with musicians but also in the audiophile world. Over the years it has been highly regarded and is one of the most balanced and relaxed BA configurations I have ever heard. Here and there the SE846 seems a bit rusty, but it can basically convince me almost through the whole range, especially unexpectedly in the low frequencies, where the SE846 in the SE series is a positive exception, though, which doesn't mean that the other models don't see any ground here at all.

Handling

The SE846 is the flagship within the SE series and this is also reflected in the scope of delivery. There is no feeling of luxury when unpacking, but the scope of delivery is very generous.A waterproof case, which contains another carrying case, the IEM and a very good selection of tips - triple long & standard silicone tips, firm foam tips and yellow foam tips, which remind me of ear plugs and are some of the best tips I know, even if it takes a while until they completely "open" and isolate in the ear. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the usual foam tips. They look a bit cheap and the feeling in the ear is not really optimal, because they are also harder than usual.

In addition, there are two cables with memory wire amplification (I don't really like that), an adapter with volume control, a 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter, T-shirt clip, airplane adapter and a "key" with which the filters can be exchanged for sound adjustment.The SE846 comes with a total of three different filters, whereby the pre-assembled blue filter is the balanced version and the other two can be used to adjust bass and/or treble.

It's really interesting that WESTONE produced in-ears for SHURE earlier and that ULTIMATE EARS also emerged from WESTONE. The former explains the similarities of the design of SHURE and WESTONE. The SE846 wears superb. Due to its compactness it should fit in every ear and offer unlimited wearing comfort even over a long period of time. The isolation is quite good, but the music has to run as well.

The SE846 makes the most robust and high quality impression compared to the SE215, SE425 and SE535. On the one hand the plastic looks more stable and on the other hand the metal filters contribute to the SE846's value.

Sound

Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to test the bass and treble filter for this review. Therefore I can only make a judgement with the "Balanced" filter (blue).
Nevertheless I would like to claim that I would not really want to change the sound in one or the other direction, because I am already quite satisfied with the basic signature. Although, I would like to try the white filter (treble), since the SE846 with the blue filter is almost a bit too dark for me, and I would like to add some presence to the treble.

The bass of the SE846 is great, and that's something I rarely say with a BA bass. It has an astonishing depth and is very well balanced and linear, with a slight elevation in the midrange. It switches easily between a soft, relaxed and hard, punchy playing style, depending on what is required of it. Primarily I don't have the feeling that I am missing anything, but I simply prefer a dynamic driver, because it suggests more naturalness to me personally, which inevitably goes along with the function or construction. Nevertheless, the SE846 comes very close and I find that quite impressive. Basshheads will probably be less happy, but those who prefer the SE425's subtle bass will surely roll their eyes here. For me it's just right, but it might be a bit "dirtier" and build up more pressure. Nevertheless one of the best BA bass representatives I know.

From the bass it goes seamlessly into the mids. These are admittedly a bit boring at the beginning, but that fades away quickly and you notice fast what the mids have to offer. They let themselves pushed slightly into the background, but still stand their ground. Similar to the AUDIOSENSE AQ3, the mids convince me with their relaxed and natural style, but don't make me run around the apartment cheering. If I may grumble on a high level here, the mids as well as the bass were allowed to be a bit dirtier and crisper. Basically, I get exactly the opposite of the BGVP ArtMagic VG4 (also a 4-BA-IEM). The two should meet in the middle and I have found what I am looking for.
But since I'm not really stuck on a certain sound or signature, I can do quite a lot with the SE846's midrange. They are clean, warm, natural and never demanding. Vocals are a bit more integrated in the mix than I prefer, but still the mids are one of the SE846's strengths. However, you shouldn't expect a roller coaster ride. Factual and serene fits here quite well, with a very good resolution.

In the end, the highs probably separate the spirits a bit. They don't sound very open and are a bit darker than I like. They don't seem very lively or exciting, but they don't hide any musical content and reproduce fine details. However, they roll off a bit early, so that there is a lack of level in the absolute high frequency range and I honestly wouldn't have expected this. With their presentation, the trebles are more intended for more sensitive ears than for treble heads, and are focused on safety.
Compared to the SE425, or partly also the SE535, I like the trebles more in this form, as the SE846 has no problems with sharpness or sibilants and sounds more natural than its predecessors, especially in the high frequencies. Despite the more relaxed presentation, the highs always remain interesting and manage to attract attention. Only they don't jump in your face, which I find pleasant here, only that certain something and also the brilliance is missing a bit. Nevertheless the trebles still play along technically quite high, even with their years on the hump. Certainly personal preferences also play a role here.

The SE846 doesn't exactly present the most open stage, but appears a bit more intimate, warmer and more physical compared to the other BA representatives in the SE family. Nevertheless a very round 3D image is generated which is the most convincing of the SE series.
At the beginning I thought that the SE846 is a bit rusty. Well, apart from the stage, I have also heard a better separation. Nevertheless, the SE846 still plays in the upper class, but it lacks the final kick that you would expect from a flagship.

Outro

Of the total package, the SE846 convinces me most of all within the SE family and in this context also meets the flagship claim.
However, I miss a little bit corners and edges. The SE846 would rather be the Everybody's Darling than to really show character.
Meanwhile I would say that it is no longer absolutely competitive in its price range (RRP 999 €), but I would place it more in the 500 € range. Of course, one should not completely ignore the abundant accessories, which is of course also reflected in the price.
If you get your hands on the SE846 at a good discount, you can count yourself lucky to own a very balanced and still first-class in-ear, which is also very agile, has a high resolution and offers tuning possibilities.

Nowadays, the SE846 is probably also delivered with a 5.0 Bluetooth module (consumer model), but I can't say anything about that. My review also refers to the "professional" version (In-Ear-Monitoring - Stage), which should not differ in sound, but has slight differences (cables) in the scope of delivery.

Purchase possibility:
https://www.thomann.de/de/shure_se846.htm

The DEMO-In-Ears were kindly provided directly by Shure Distribution Switzerland GmbH.

https://www.shure.ch/de-CH/produkte/ohrhoerer/se846cl#

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

Frequenzgang
SE215

SE215

SE425

SE425

KSE1500

KSE1500

SE535

SE535

SE846

SE846

...

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn