Shure SE846 Review
By Flavio Teixeira - CEO
Shure Leaves The Earphone Business - Earphone Solutions To Follow
During Apple’s last Keynote presentation at the WWDC Phil Shiller, while showing the new black rounded Mac Pro he paused and said: “can’t innovate my ass”. As he let those words out you could feel they came from a deep place inside his guts.
Scott Grinker, Sean Sullivan, Matt Engstrom and the team from Niles, Illinois get together and decide to miniaturize a low pass filter to fit inside an earpiece. Innovation? YES! Bold and courageous. After auditioning them today I can understand why the price tag. These US engineers built something truly amazing and everyone will want one.
With the new SE846, Shure left the earphone business. They entered the music business. They kidnapped your childhood music. The live concerts that cannot be replicated anymore. They have it! Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and whoever else you want to put in that list. Shure has them all in a secret room. If you want that visceral bass that travels through your body, as of yesterday I only knew one way. Buy a concert ticket and pray the acoustics of the venue are excellent and the sound engineers know what they are doing. Combining these two is becoming harder and rarer to experience.
My name is Flavio. My great-grandfather Joaquim Pires founded Pianos Lux in 1922. Long time has gone since the piano factory days but that's how long my family has been in the music business. In 1995 I founded my company and since the first Garwood earphones, and Shure E1, which I auditioned in 1995 at the NAMM show, I have been listening to all kinds of earphones worth listening to. In life you go through phases where you get tired of what you are doing and think of changing, moving to the caribbean, Europe, spend a year meditating in Kyoto,... and so forth.
The SE846 pulled me back into my business. The excitement of a new product that enhances life and in this case, delivers a unique experience. I am happy.
So yesterday a friend of mine at Shure stole a sample for me. I will have them for 1 week. After this week I will have to go cold turkey. May need to call the paramedics.
Random thoughts as I listen to these addictive "wonderphones" this morning (June 13th 2013 - Happy Birthday Sis!)...
The BITE of the snare drum on Brick House stings as it should! The hi-hat forces your lips to widen up into a smile. Flo Rida's Low makes the torso vibrate as does Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz Get Low. I'm sweating. First time a set of earphones make me sweat. Strange. My Pink Floyd Pandora station has made very difficult to attend to other things around the house this morning (oops, it's 2:00 PM -- up since 7:00 AM). Can't. Take. These. Out. Comfortably Numb. Not quite. Excitingly Happy! Perhaps with some wine or margarita later tonight. Tempting. Beatle's Let It Be had vocals like I never experienced with my other earphones.
If you have a question about these, ask it here: Shure SE846 Q&A. I will answer them personally either publicly or privately time permitting.
As I got home late yesterday evening from the trade show in Orlando (Infocomm 2013) and took something for a neck pain I decided to wait until today’s morning to try the SE846. To the left is the actual exchange I had this morning with this friend that works at Shure.
The treble and mid range are very clear and not fatiguing. This is a first. Extended trebles always fatigue me after a couple of hours. These earphones have a problem which is very similar to driving a super-car, enjoying fine food, a fine wine, flying first class, etc. When you experience it, it's very difficult to go back to your previous earphones (see our comparison between UM3X and SE846). It's a game changer in every way. Far superior sound than the custom earphones both my wife and I own that cost over $1,200. So yes, the argument about: "for that price I can get a custom" does not stick. Good luck getting the same experience and sound quality from a custom. It won't happen. The SE846 and its low pass filter have nothing to do with a "custom" earphones where you are basically paying a premium because they were made after your ear canal mold but nothing really exciting going on inside that sanded vinyl piece. Aside from the fact that you cannot resell your custom earphones. Furthermore, the SE846 is NOT about adding more drivers and putting a higher price tag on it. It's about delivering an experience and sound quality that you do not have from anything else being manufactured out there. Nothing comes close to the sound of the SE846. I'm very careful with what I write. I know thousands of our customers are hardcore audiophiles and I don't sign my name on something I don't honestly, fully believe in. I'm 100% convinced you have not listened to anything like the SE846, unless you have listened to one.
We are doubling our initial order with Shure and yes, we are taking pre-orders now here: Order Shure SE846. Estimated shipping is late summer. As the week progress I will take more photos and try to write some more plus offer some comparison (if at all possible) against SE535, W4R and PFE232.
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