Shure Incorporated is about to reach its centennial founding anniversary in 2025, and since 1925, after Sidney N. Shure founded the company, Shure has been known to produce top-of-the-line products that often gain favorable reviews from the consumers of its products. One of their products is the Shure SE846. This product is highly sought-after by audiophiles, and as one of the best in-ear headphones, the Shure SE846 deserves an honest-to-goodness review. Hence, this review will highlight the salient features of this product, while at the same time, pinpoint a few the disadvantages concomitant with buying and using this product.
If you are just an ordinary user of earphones, you would surely not buy this kind of high-end earphones, for surely you would not be willing to shell out your hard-earned money for such earphones. Yes, you heard it right, it is almost a thousand dollars. Now, your primary question upon seeing its price would surely be: “Is this set of earphones worth buying?” This question is best answered by scrutinizing the design and build of these earphones.
Built and Design
If you are going to pry open the casing of Shure SE846, you would readily see that it is not just an ordinary earphone. In fact, even before you pry it open, you would notice that its housings are well-designed, characterized by a domed plastic shell that allows you to see the innards of the earphone. Upon seeing its inner mechanisms, you will readily notice that the design of this earphone is truly well-thought of. Its components are well-placed and beautifully assembled, and it seems that the minds behind the engineering of this earphone are gifted with keen attention to detail. Moreover, it is not superfluous to say that the craftsmanship of this earphone should be the envy of its competitors.
Yet, looks can be deceiving, and there are products which are seemingly well-engineered, but have faltered and have not lived up to the expectation of the consumers. The good thing about Shure is that it does not produce outwardly impressive products. On the contrary, Shure and its engineers have made it sure that the built, not just the design of the Shure SE846, is of topnotch built and material. If you look at the cable, for example, you would readily notice that it is secured by a firm plastic material that is strongly attached to the MMCX connector and the jack. Upon closer scrutiny, you can also readily see the copper wirings that are designed to overcome the rigors of constant usage.
The design of Shure SE846 is relatively large as an in-ear set of earphones compared to other earphones because each of its earpieces carries four drivers. These four separate drivers for each earpiece add a bit of size to Shure SE846. This extra size is undoubtedly necessary because Shure SE846 features a very balanced set of armature drivers for a better recreation of bass frequencies. With this extra size, the usual question of whether Shure SE846 fits excellently usually comes to the fore. Some users of Shure SE846 who had the chance to use other types of in-ear earphones would readily contend that the larger sizes of the earpieces of Shure SE846 creates an issue about how it fits to the ear. Some users, however, maintain that this extra size of Shure SE846 is a non-issue. Moreover, the MMCX connector permits the memory cable to rotate 360 degrees. This allows for a more comfortable fit, and hence, there is generally no need to adjust the earpieces frequently. One downside of Shure SE846, however, lies in its seemingly stiff memory cable.
The package usually comes with 9 pairs of ear tips of different sizes, shapes, and materials. If you remove the ear tips, you can readily access the interchangeable nozzles, and this allows you to adjust the frequency response easily. You can either make it a bit brighter or warmer.
Assessing its Performance
Mid-range and Bass Power
Another unique factor of Shure SE846 is its tremendous mid-range and bass power. You can enjoy your music without necessarily tipping the balance of frequencies. The bass of Shure SE846 is smoother and lower but not so loud and boomy. Moreover, it makes the high-end frequencies brighter to listen to. If you are very particular in listening to acoustic instruments, well you will surely enjoy using the Shure SE846. Overall, the Shure SE846 provides a sterling balance among the different sound frequencies.
Adjustable Sound Signature
One of the sterling features of Shure SE846 is that of its adjustable tone signature. It has a metal collar nozzle that you can remove to access the inner tone filters. Within the SE846 are pairs of tone filters. You can customize each of your earpieces to make them align with your preference. In this way, you can experiment with these filters to figure out the sound signature you prefer. Since the three filters offer warm, neutral, and bright tones, you can configure each earpiece to achieve different sound signatures. SE846’s way of replacing the filters, however, may be a cumbersome process as compared to the process offered by competitors even if Shure provides a classy kit for replacing filters.
Does Shure Offer a Realistic Sub-woofer Experience?
It is safe to say that Shure SE846 surely delivers a very faithful reproduction of bass as compared, for example, to IEM 8.0. The sub-bass likewise of SE846 manifests better texture as compared to some competitors. Its very low frequencies are presented in perfectly palatable and inoffensive sonic texture, and it seems that SE846 can fully claim that it offers a true subwoofer experience. In some way, it approximates the real subwoofer experience, giving its users excellent listening experience. The good thing, however, with SE846 is that it delivers the low in such a way that the bass texture is still highly articulated yet inoffensive.
What about the Mid-range frequencies?
Well, the midrange sound is well-defined and articulated likewise. Shure SE846 delivers an intimate and highly forward sound that appears to be more alive and clear. It provides a smooth yet not the overly smooth sound signature, like an “in-your-face” reproduction of the mid-range. This capacity to preserve the true texture of the sound makes Shure SE846 a better choice than other brands. It appears that the three filters have a remarkable impact on the midrange frequency in which the bright tuning makes the midrange appears to be thinner, while the warm and neutral allow for a clear yet solid midrange.
How about the Highs?
One of the noteworthy characteristics of the high-range of Shure SE846 is that it produces a less forward rendition of the highs. Yet, despite this, the Shure SE846 comes as more sparkling and energetic as compared to the SE835. Hence, if you have a peculiar sensitivity to high frequency, you would find the Shure SE846 more desirable than other brands. Moreover, this more subdued high-range frequencies still carry much details and clarity as compared to other in-ear earphones.
Overall, the transition between the different sound range provided by Shure SE846 appears to be perfect, and the separation and texturing of the mid-range are remarkable. Shure SE846 surely allows you to listen to sound as if you are bestowed with awesome and fantastic authority and power. Its delivery of music is undoubtedly commendable, and if you want rich-sounding earphones, Shure SE846 should be on top of your list.