Shure SE535 Limited Edition

I have owned the HiFiMan Re0 earphones for about 2-3 years, but they recently succumbed to a broken connection inside one of the earphones so I decided it was time for an upgrade. It’s been quite a journey…

After much research, I had decided on a few potential options, but my decision came down to a question of availability. The fact that I could buy the 535s from my favourite audio shop made it a simple decision. Thanks as always to George and the team at Addicted to Audio for their assistance with advice, comparisons and of course selling me all these wonderful goodies!!

The contents of the SE535-SE box

The 535 LEs come with all the same accessories as the standard 535s, but they DO sound different. The key difference is a slightly stronger top end and that improves the staging produced by the earphones, but back to the accessories…

The 535 LEs come with a grey, detachable cable (more on that later), an airline plug adapter, an inline volume control for loud sources that need attenuation (e.g. airoplanes), 3 different sizes of foam tips, 3 different sizes of silicon tips, a tri-flange silicon tip and a yellow foam tip. There’s also a small, hard carry case just big enough for the phones themselves, and a 3.5mm to 6mm adapter for plugging the phones into amplifiers.

Read the rest of this review over at the new Passion for Sound site. It’s sexier and has lots of great new content coming soon.


28 comments on “Shure SE535 Limited Edition

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  2. reliability of the connectors are very low! I had intermittant reponse from the left withinone week and zero after that. I took it a part and found the connection broken. It was a very small solder joint that is not sturdy!!!!!!

    • Hi Charles, that must have been frustrating. I had some troubles with a custom-made cable where the solder on the cable side connectors broke, but the actual earphones haven’t missed a beat, only the after-market cable and I think it was my fault. Hopefully yours were reparied or replaced because they’re a wonderful earphone!

    • Hi Powerbird,

      A friend of mine in Hong Kong organised mine for me, but you can buy them on eBay (search for “Baldur Shure SE535”). It’s a blue coloured cable and there are often a few for sale on eBay with different plugs attached. It doesn’t matter which plug you choose, but the Oyaide is a personal favourite because it’s compact.

      Thanks for reading and let me know if you have trouble finding the cable on eBay.



      • Thanks for the quick response I ordered one off of ebay but I also wanted to know who is selling Baldur MKII with the Oyaide because i too am looking for a compact plug.

  3. Many of the eBay suppliers will be making the cables to order as far as I can tell. Send them a quick email and see if they can put the Oyaide plug on instead. If not, you might be able to buy the plug separately and do it yourself (if you’re comfortable with simple soldering).

    Otherwise it’s a matter of searching for “Baldur cable Oyaide plug Shure SE535” on google or eBay.

    Final option, jump onto Head-Fi and search for the “Shure 535 vs Westone with Baldur cable” thread (the name’s not exactly that, but similar). There’s plenty of info there and you can always ask on there for more ideas.

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    • They sound good even without an amp, but the iPhone output won’t get the most out of them.

      In other words, they’ll sound as good as the iPhone can sound (which is good), but you’ll get maximum enjoyment using them from a better source or by adding an external amp.

      The Baldur cable is a really good option, but I probably wouldn’t bother for use with just the iPhone as it will be the limiting factor more-so than the cable.

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  6. Nice review! Any other recommended after market cables that might work well with this? What’s the price range like for the one you got?

    • I haven’t tried any others, but I know there are a bunch around.

      Generally, the feeling is that silver-plated copper gives a nice cost-performance balance while pure silver is possibly the best for overall resolution and clarity, but may lose a little warmth and fullness.

      From what I read it’s best to steer clear of cheap aftermarket cables in most cases. BTG Audio may be the one exception as their cables have a good rep, but I can’t comment personally.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. If you check there are no doubt further discussions on the topic.

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  8. Hi Lachlan

    I’m a 535 (bronze) owner looking to upgrade my ‘orrible stick cable; so your review was great!

    Do you have any listening experience with Beat Audio’s “Thor” cable; i’d be interested to hear your view on 535’s matched with this or other similar high quality copper. I listen mostly to electronic music through my Ray Samuels Tomahawk amp, seeking some better bass

    By the way, your Baldur cable? Was it the £175 Beat Audio version or the eBay available Baldur Mk2 £92? Thanks!

    • Hi Crispin,

      My Baldur cable was an eBay one, but sourced by a friend in Honk Kong. There have been many variants and some using the Baldur name without necessarily being the same cable quality.

      In hindsight, I think a pure copper or pure silver cable (i.e. not plated) is preferable for coherence in the sound. It was hard to hear on the 535s, but other IEMs I’ve had show a definite lack of coherence with plated cables.

      I haven’t tried any other cables with the Shures, but will be trying a pure copper litz cable from Double Helix Cables very soon with my Miracles (not yet reviewed). In my experience, stick with copper for better bass and body. The Thor cable looks nice, but it’s a shame there’s not a lot of info available about it. For the money, you might be better thinking about finding a copper litz cable from somewhere. “Litz” means that each individual strand is individually insulated making the cable less prone to introduce any interference in the transfer of the audio signal. The Thor cable might be, but it’s hard to tell and I’m pretty sure you can get a litz cable for the same dollars (if you’re buying new – if 2nd hand, disregard this comment and go with it – you can always re-sell it later).

      Good luck!

  9. Hi Lachlan,

    Thanks for a great review. I was sold on the Red Shure SE535 Special Edition after reading your review. After two weeks listening to the SE535 with the stock cable, although they are breaking in nicely but I was not satisfied with the sound at all.

    Today I received my Baldur MKIII cables and when I out it on for the first time this morning. WOW what a different, that’s more like it! I listen to Fortet’s You Have Love In You LP through my valve amp, that was a really satisfying listening experience. It was just like how you describe them.

    I bought the SE535 to be used with my iPhone 5, I wonder if a Portable USB DAC would make a big improvement to the sound? Do you have any experience in this? I am thinking of a HRT Microstreamer or the likes.

    Thank you again for such a good review.

    • Hi Discus,

      I’m not sure the exact specs of the iPhone 5. I know it’s actually a good source, but I think, like most sources, it will struggle a little bit with the varying impedance of multi-BA IEMs like the 535s. The crossovers and different drivers used create some interesting and subtle variations to the sound when paired with most devices. With that in mind I would say that an external DAC / amp (just an amp would be fine) would be an improvement because it will better control the drivers in your 535s.

      There are plenty of options out there. An integrated DAC & amp is a great option, but the onboard DAC in the iPhones is quite good so you could just go for a line out device/dock cable (LOD) and connect to an external amp like the Tralucent T1 that I have which is great for multi-BA IEMs. I am assuming people are already making LODs with the lightning connector, but haven’t checked.

      Good luck and I hope you keep enjoying your 535s!

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  11. Hi !
    I see there is a mk3 version available .
    Was wondering if you know the difference between the mk2

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