Westone 4 vs Shure SE535

"The W4 (now replaced by the W40) is stellar. Seriously. And the SE535 could learn from it. The W4's bass is super clean and treble well extended, though in comparison its mids are still a little dull for my taste.While the W4 is technically very impressive, the SE535 moves my heart more. Subjectively, I can say the SE535 is about the music; it's not just that it's "fun" but that it's emotional, while still faithful to the source material. It's clean and yet powerful. The W4 is too restrained, almost emotionally stunted. It's not that the W4 is analytical...it's just missing passion. The SE535 oozes passion. The W4 strikes me as more about doing everything perfectly. I'm not dissing it. The W4 is awesome, but it draws in more of my mind and,  in comparison to the SE535, leaves my heart alone. It's a museum not a show.   Comparing them, I feel like I'm comparing to recordings of the same classical piece. One performer manages technical precision but is still a little...boring and uninvolving. Another performer can play with restraint and still make you weep. The second is the SE535. It is a beautiful thing.   To me, the SE535's biggest hindrance is still the cord. I'm slowly getting used to the ear guide, which I find just uncomfortable... One thing I do like about [SE535's] ergonomics in contrast to the W4 is that the earpiece is longer and not as shallow as the W4's, making it easier to get a seal. I have no idea why the W4's stalk is so short..."

Isaiah Mackler
Contributor - End user and owner of both products.

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