The Shure SE846 In-Ears promise to cut a fine figure with an adjustable frequency response that’s designed for professional and easy listening at home or on the move. Read on to discover how well this actually works…
With the Shure SE846, you’ve a pair of luxury earphones for superior listening in almost any playback situation, at least according to the manufacturer. Our review will breakdown the specs and see whether these bold claims hold any water.
Design & Accessories
The transparent housing of the SE846 gives us a glimpse of what’s inside. You’ll see four drivers are used for each earpiece, which take care of the reproduction of the treble, midrange and bass. You can also glimpse a small metallic box within the housing. This box accommodates the sophisticated subwoofer system that supports a frequency range below 75 Hz.
Delivered in a stylish black matt storage box with magnetic closure, the Shure SE846 also comes with a transparent storage case with carrying strap. There’s also a slew of top accessories included. You’ll find a sturdy carry case, an external volume control and a gold-plated 6.3mm jack adapter. There’s also a waterproof aluminium capsule included which houses three pair sound tubes. These can be utilised to adjust the frequency range for playback. A special key for opening the in-ears can also be found inside this capsule. Nine different sizes are represented with the included earbud replacements, with an assortment of designs on offer. A cleaning stick and dust cloth are also included for good measure. Small details like the storage tubes and earpiece designs demonstrate that Shure wants the user to feel spoiled for choice with the SE846. The enclosed flight adapter also makes it known that the manufacturer sees plenty of everyday applications for these earphones, extending beyond professional use.
Processing & Handling
These in-ears are well-equipped for stage use, thanks to their Kevlar-reinforced cables. These cables are also replaceable. The MMCX connectors allow the cables to be attached in a secure manner. All contacts are gold-plates, keeping rust at bay. Kink protectors also prevent cable breakage, while reinforcement near the ear itself make sit easy to adjust the cable to any ear shape. A length of 1.45 metres allows for sufficient room to roam, making them ideal for monitoring use with a mixer or pocket receiver.
Sound & Application Areas
The three interchangeable tube pairs are easy to use, allowing you to adjust the frequency response of these in-ears in minutes. Differences between “brilliant”, “balanced” and “warm” modes are striking, to the say the least. Even in balanced mode, the sound is excellent upon first hearing. These in-ears also deliver a brilliant sense of spatial depth to playback, with transients reproduced rather softly. There’s solid treble and full, but defined bass that provides a premier listening experience. When listened to carefully, the treble is silky and rarely prone to hissing, but the super-high range is rather discreet. Guitar-heavy tracks will benefit from this frequency response, with the midrange reproduced remarkably refined and differentiated by the SE846.
In practice, it becomes clear how broad the audio transmission range of these earphones is. It reaches down to 15 Hz, in fact. With a sound opening attachment for a “brighter” sound image, the SE846 delivers a signal with mega-fine levels of resolution in the highs that leaves nothing to be desired. With this configuration, the in-ears are particularly suited for classical music. When the tube is used for a “warm” sound, the Shure headphones offer far more in the way of treble. However, it’s the overall sound bass range in balanced mode that convince me the most.
Although the maximum sound pressure available here is slightly lower than its little brother, the SE535, the SE846 is one of the louder options on the market, thanks to the combination of higher sensitivity and a low impedance. The latter factor makes these in-ears ideal for use with mobile devices, with ambient noise for the most part blocked out. A typical ‘earplug’ feeling occurs as soon as these in-ears are inserted. On stage, the SE846 delivers with its volume capabilities and significant noise cancellation properties. It’s another reason why these earphones are so suited for MP3 players, as well as with smartphones.
The Shure SE846 makes a big promise of well-appointed in-ears with professional applications, while also ensuring those after everyday audio enjoyment are catered for. First-rate workmanship, not to mention an immense range of accessories, make these earphones a fun and flexible choice, especially for the purchase price. Noise cancellation and wearing comfort are also top of the class, while the adjustment possibilities of the frequency range means these in-ears can cope with almost any playback situation and musical genre. If you want to treat your ears to real sound luxury and have the funds to make the purchase, the Shure SE846 is a worthwhile consideration.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Frequency response (headphones)15 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance15,2 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)122,55 dB
- Cable length145 cm
What's in the box
- Travel case
- 6.3 mm stereo jack
- External volume control
- Exchange cable
- Airplane adapter
- Cable clip
- 9 pairs of ear tips & 2 storage tubes
- Frequency adjustment sound tube & waterproof aluminium capsule
- also available in black