Best of Show CES: Shure SE535 SE425
January 8, 2010 by Bill Palmer
Editor’s note: iProng Magazine is at CES 2010 this week to report on newly introduced products for iPhone and iPod users. While the majority of the awards have yet to be determined, a few of them have already been finalized…
There are high-end earbuds and then there are “most people would have to skip a car payment or two in order to afford them” earbuds, and Shure’s new SE535 ($499) and SE425 ($299) certainly fall into the latter category. However, after spending time with both sets of earbuds in an isolated room, we’re left to conclude that both are worth their respective price tags. But what makes them winners is the fact that the cables can be removed entirely from the earbud apparatus. It’s not something you’d have reason to be doing regularly, but earbud cables often tend to wear out before the audio drivers do, and this nifty innovation allows users to replace the cables (which are cheap) while not having to re-purchase the earbuds themselves.
In our hands-on testing, the cables stayed sufficiently firmly attached to the buds that there appears to be no concern about them coming detached by accident. While the feature won’t have any impact on your usage of the product until something finally wears out down the road, it’s like a free insurance policy that at this price point could end up paying off handsomely. Our only real regret with these two products is that neither is available with iPhone or iPod specific controls like volume or a mic, as some of Shure’s less expensive earbuds have.
Read about all of iProng’s “Best of Show at CES 2010″ winners and finalists in the January 14th issue of iProng Magazine, which will feature a cover story interview with The Flaming Lips and more.