Shure SE535 vs UE-4

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Hi all

I know, there are several threads around talking in-ear systems. I haven't found anything that answers my specific question though: Does anybody have experience with BOTH the SE535 model and the UE-4? It's the two of them I narrowed down my wish list, and I'm not s(h)ure how to decide...

On on hand, custom fitted in-ears are most probably the better choice, so UE-4. On the other hand, the UE-4 model is the entry level model with Ultimate Ears, so I might actually choose "worse" audio quality compared to the Shure?

Not that it's any important, but I'd take the SE535-LTD because I like the red :).

Glad for any tips and experiences (hopefully any)! Thanks, and since this is my first post in 2018: Happy new year and all the best to you all!!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't have any experience with those Shure's, but I just received my set of UE4-Pros today.

My quibble with all of these "multiple driver" in-ear monitors is the fact that people shop by specs and not really what the device was designed for. Are you supposed to be an audiophile listener or are you "monitoring" what the band is doing on stage? For me, I got them for the simple reason that I need to hear my own voice, and everyone else, so I know if I'm in pitch or not.

This does not require a minimum of seven tiny drivers capable of producing frequencies only animals can hear (or something like that).

The fact that the UE4's sound great is an added bonus. The isolation the custom molds afford mean I can turn everything down in my head to save my hearing, and I can easily hear my pitch when singing with everyone else. I'm hearing everything that comes through my auxiliary mix at the console.

So there's another consideration too - if you're actually monitoring your band, what is that signal coming from? If your band is running through a $30K Midas live console coupled with the Aviom in-ear monitoring system, then of course "maybe" seven drivers will sound better than two. But if you're simply taking an AUX out mix through a Mackie utility mixer, then having the seven drivers won't even matter.

Buy the monitors for the job you need them for. You can spend up to $2000 on Ultimate Ear monitors (which I think is completely unnecessary if you're actually "monitoring").
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I'm with Bo. Shure 215's are the highest you should go for monitoring. You gain nothing from the extra drivers.
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
Interesting topic for me too, like OP I'd like to know what folks think who've been able to compare.

Referring to Bo's comment, is a budget set up very inferior? I've just started using some MEE Pro M6 after reading that they compare well with Shure 215s for a lot less cost. With a Behringer P1 IEM amp. So at around £70 total spend you can see I'm definitely at the budget end!
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I saw and read you thread Bo, funny thing you actually ordered UE-4, I didn't
get that :).
Though I'm a musician (drummer of course) and I like good sounding music,
I guess I would't call myself audiophile.
I forgot to mention that I've had the Shure 420s for a few years, and I like
their sound. They also worked ok with my ears, but since I've never been able
to try high-class custom-molded in-ears, I actually don't know what difference
it would make, and what I'm missing so far :).

I use my in-ears for some gigs, also for practicing drums (where I either listen to
a backing track or just a metronome), and sometimes to monitor recordings
of mine. But I also compose and produce my own tracks (for my videos and
stuff), and I don't have any monitors or a good mixing room, so I use head
phones or my in-ears for this as well.

So I do like my in-ears to be rather neutral and to have decent sound.

But if you're simply taking an AUX out mix through a Mackie utility mixer, then having the seven drivers won't even matter.
Good point!
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Interesting topic for me too, like OP I'd like to know what folks think who've been able to compare.

Referring to Bo's comment, is a budget set up very inferior? I've just started using some MEE Pro M6 after reading that they compare well with Shure 215s for a lot less cost. With a Behringer P1 IEM amp. So at around £70 total spend you can see I'm definitely at the budget end!
I guess I don't want to go "a step down" from my SE420s (which I forgot to
mention in my first post).
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I own the UE5's..

I know people who have the 4's... and honestly, get the customs. the UE18's are a bit more clarity, which for vocals I could maybe understand, or if you are endorsed, an audiophile, or rich.

I have heard nothing but amazing things about the 4's.... The 5's are just a tad louder and have a bit more low end, but it isn't hyped. It just CAN produce it which is nice for toms, kick, and why they upsold it to me being good for drummers. But you won't have issues with the 4's.

The main thing is the isolation is unmatched. I put my volume so quiet and it still sounds crystal clear. You don't need 20 drivers.

Unless you are recording and mixing and album, which i wouldn't recommend IEM's anyways those 4's are going to treat you amazing.

Just make sure to use a bite block at the audiologist, and don't put it in wrong like I did haha. The more open your mouth, the better the moulds... Tighter the seal the better.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I own the UE5's..

I know people who have the 4's... and honestly, get the customs. the UE18's are a bit more clarity, which for vocals I could maybe understand, or if you are endorsed, an audiophile, or rich.

I have heard nothing but amazing things about the 4's.... The 5's are just a tad louder and have a bit more low end, but it isn't hyped. It just CAN produce it which is nice for toms, kick, and why they upsold it to me being good for drummers. But you won't have issues with the 4's.

The main thing is the isolation is unmatched. I put my volume so quiet and it still sounds crystal clear. You don't need 20 drivers.

Unless you are recording and mixing and album, which i wouldn't recommend IEM's anyways those 4's are going to treat you amazing.

Just make sure to use a bite block at the audiologist, and don't put it in wrong like I did haha. The more open your mouth, the better the moulds... Tighter the seal the better.
Ultimate Ears now does this thing with a gun-like device feeding into to a computer. They didn’t have me put a block in my mouth - the girl just moved this gun around inside my ears and you can see your inner ear being drawn up on the screen. She may have asked me to open my mouth a few times but that was it. I was surprised how perfect the fit came out and how mostly all outside sound was blocked!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Interesting topic for me too, like OP I'd like to know what folks think who've been able to compare.

Referring to Bo's comment, is a budget set up very inferior? I've just started using some MEE Pro M6 after reading that they compare well with Shure 215s for a lot less cost. With a Behringer P1 IEM amp. So at around £70 total spend you can see I'm definitely at the budget end!
I have those 215’s with that same Behringer and that’s a great set-up!
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I've use a number of universal fit in-ears over the years. Some with multiple drivers and high quality audio. Shure, Westone, Even higher range UE's.

Go UE4!

I've been touring AND recording with my UE4's for the last 6/7 years. Custom In-ears, even ones with only a single driver, blow away any universal fit model. It's all about the isolation. Cutting out the majority of the outside noise and hearing only whats coming through my monitor feed it paramount.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
hey guys

thanks for your replies, it's been some time... In the meantime I've decided to go
for a pair of UEs! So I went to the Swiss representative, had my ears scanned and
got to discuss all things possible in detail. Cool stuff.

I understand the differences are the following:

UE4s are the cheapest ones.

UE5s are the next level, they also have two drivers, one low and one high frequency.
They clearly recommended the 5s to me, as the 4s are less loud, and are only
recommended for rather quiet (in my words) studio situations.

UE7s have one extra driver for the mids and are recommended for guitarists
and pianists/keyboarders. I didn't like the sound too much. The cool thing
is, they have a simulation of all the models, and you can listen and compare
all of them as you want through a pair of universally fitting UE18s, choosing
any music you want (respectively bring your own with you).

UE11s have two bass drivers and are therefore particularly suited for drummers
and bassists. I decided against them though for some reasons:

a) I can't (and don't want to) spend twice as much money for some more bass
frequencies.
b) Although it is fun to listen to some music with that sound, I suppose
the extra lows can be tiring as well, and listening to music isn't my main priority
for the inears anyway.
c) I absolutely liked the sound of the 5s, and I loved the thought of having quite
linear frequency response rather than boosted bass.

I received my inears perfectly in time (2 weeks delivery time) and they fit perfectly
as well. They're really awesome, and I already got to test them in various situations,
including sitting in the train with my laptop working something in Ableton Live,
and in a studio session, which actually has been the greatest experience so far:
I never had such great sound and, especially, isolation compared to both my
old Shure 420s and all the usual phones like the Sennheiser HD-25 and so on)!!

So I can absolutely recommend going custom too, now!! Here are some pics:
 

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