SE535 or Westone 4R?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by avl, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. avl

    avl Casual Listener

    Jul 9, 2013
    Hi Guys - long time lurker, and customer

    My wife has nabbed my IE8's so I'm on the lookout for an upgrade. I can't decide between the 2 listed above - this seems to be the big question for some years now!

    At home I have the Beyerdynamic T1 which I love which I moved to from Grado 325 on Robin's recommendation (Hi Robin :) ) I love the sculpted layered sound and fast, articulate bass, although it took a while to find an amp and DAC combo that took the edge off the treble. Most of all it is detailed yet musical.

    This is the sound sig I want from my next IEM; the IE8 I have loved but started to find a little too bassy (bleeding into the lower mids I think). Great soundstage though.

    I had a horror story with Grado GR10 - couldn't get on with them at all. Couldn't get a good seal, microphonics on the cable and way too much treble.

    So to sum up I want a flagship-ish SQ with detail, musicality, articulate but not overdone bass, treble presence but not too digital/tizzy, over the ear cable and good fit. Not a lot to ask eh? ;)

    Robin I think you once told me to go for the 535s - do you still stand by that? Read a lot of love for the Westones. Or maybe there is a third way?

    Budget - I'd take a lot of convincing to go above £400...

    Over to you guys...
  2. john-hifi

    john-hifi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Hi avl,

    Personally I would go for the Westone 4R over the SE535. As the SE535 are built as ear monitors for musicians, the sound is quite flat with a foward midrange and for me it becomes fatiguing after a short time. The Westone 4Rs are a lot more balanced and have a much more enjoyable and musical sound to them.

    One earphone I would strongly suggest is the Audéo PFE 232. They are made by a company called Phonak who specialise in hearing aids and they have plenty of experience in balanced armature technology - this really comes through in the sound and design of these earphones. They are very musical with deep bass that doesn't bleed into the rest of the spectrum and they also have superb detail that doesn't get fatiguing. They also come with a range of filters that add different EQs to the sound so you can customise them for your taste.

    One thing to note is that unfortunately Phonak have now stopped manufacturing earphones, they have chosen to concentrate fully on the hearing aid side of the company. That being said, the 2 year warranty will still be honoured.

    I hope this helps, let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

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