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Shure SE215

Posted

Pros: AMAZING sound, flat profile (can sleep with earphones, finally), value for quality, not much cons, good cable connector, removable cable

Cons: Expensive acessories, hard to fit (takes a few moments of stupidness to fit them to ear after storage), thick cable splitter

It's annoying because I didn't read the manual so I naturally fitted the SE215's wrong, and then looked at videos and found the right fit.
The SE215 lack bass with the foam tips, so I put on the silicone. Isolation is effected as can be expected.

I bought the SE215ltd from Headphonic.
Cost me $139.00, best purchase in audio I've ever made.
This almost completely knocks out my V-MODA M100 and V-MODA XS out the water. I wish I got these sooner.
If you fit them improperly, they're amazingly uncomfortable. This is probably where the bad reviews come in, because they don't read the manual.

I don't think you could get better quality than this, realistically speaking. Yes, through a DAC, but the SE215's seem like a waste of money because you can get a great package with the 215's for half the price. I feel as if the 215's should have the price raised. I've listed to Fitear oneplustwo's courtesy of @Anakchan , and even though it compares nothing to Fitear, it's still a very nice canalphone.

Songs used - (First we'll do without my DAC)

Flume & Chet Faker - Left Alone [FLAC]
Vocal progression to center is very nice. The bass and beat hits hard, comes crashing and I can almost imagine it hitting a floor and breaking, that's what I hear. The vocals when Chet starts the chorus have a tiny bit too much treble, but with burn in they should be perfect. No complaints so far.


Chet Faker - Cigarettes and Loneliness [FLAC]
First up, I love this track. Love it, love it. The.. Triangle? instrument at the start is how it should be, at the back, then the guitar hook blends so nicely with the vocals but is a bit harsh on the vocs, I'd rather a bit less treble but keep the vocals the same.
The vocals are amazing, almost. It's that little bit of treble sparkle that gets me. I could EQ and amp but realistically the point of IEMs is not to.

Ta-ku - I Miss You [FLAC]
Passive sound, as to be expected by the Shures as its meant as a monitor, to monitor sound. I like it. It's passive, as the song is meant to be. Violins aren't really present because of the SE's sparkly treble.

Ta-ku - We Were In Love [FLAC]
Vocals at the start are prominent. Violins are a lot more into this track? Seems strange. Drums are amazing, everything sounds lifelike... Almost. I thoroughly enjoy the SE's, and believe in burn in, I haven't burned them in yet.

PALMCO - SALT [FLAC]
Vocals are clear and almost lifelike, it's on a barrier of being lifelike and reproduced. Tones from this chill track just roll of and it's very very satisfying. Since the SE215's have a flat profile, means I could fall asleep to this track.

Melech - Hate God [FLAC]
If I close my eyes, I could easily trick myself to believe that Melec is in the same room as me. I'm kind of scared for the DAC trials. It's perfect, everything about the song is in the IEMs. The comfort is surreal, I haven't stopped wearing them for 4:30hrs since I bought them.


Okay, we move onto the DAC stage. I lost my E17 in the mail, so I bought another. Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet. Here it goes.


Flume & Chet Faker - Left Alone [FLAC]
Everything I just said. But 10 times better. The vocs shine, I can't really find fault in the treble at all. There's a bit of clipping, I turned it down and it seems to have stopped. The frequency has increased and I can't hear as much, either that or I'm going deaf. Carpe Diem. I just wish the E17 was as slim as an iPod touch so I could carry it everywhere.

Chet Faker - Cigarettes and Loneliness [FLAC]
Chet's vocals came out clean, but I'm not sure if I like it. Without a DAC, it's a bit dirtier of a vocal, and I like that. The intro is my favorite bit, with the intro vocs, and the Shure / E17 combo nailed it.

PALMCO - SALT [FLAC]
The DAC doesn't really do much but make the sound cleaner and smoother for this track. It makes it less fatiguing and easier to sleep to.

Melech - Hate God [FLAC]
Melec's vocals shine. Amazingly. It sounds almost like he's in the studio booth and I'm hearing the live recording of his voice. I love it.


I don't have much energy to write a full review on the DAC side, but basically almost everything said was subsidized and all the problems disappeared with the DAC. Next up I'm going to buy a good DAC, as the E17 is okay but clips due to the quality.


Throw me a PM if you want to know more.


The guy who served me was great and it was a nice drive down to pick them up. I'm so happy with my SE's as I went from mid/low end in ears to an actual canalphone. Couldn't be better, can't get over the comfort and the sound!!!!

I prefer IEMs now over headphones. I hate the effort it takes to wrap cables, carry cases when you can have the IEM and be done with it. There's so many cables you can get for the SE215, you wouldn't really need over or on ear phones again with this quality of IEM, talking about mid-range headphones but everyone's preference is different.

I was partially drunk while writing this review. My wallet isn't happy, but I am.

Posted

Pros: Sound, comfort, great value, long life

Cons: Replacement cable price (complaint is specific to UK). Case not as good as older Shures.

I bought these in February 2012 for £75 at amazon.co.uk and have used them every day except for about one week when I was awaiting delivery of a replacement cable. Typical use is with a variety of personal players (iRiver H140 and H340, Sansa Clip+, Archos A43IT) as well as with PC audio and occasionally with home audio. I listen to many kinds of (usually lossless) music but most often orchestral, choral, vocal, instrumental, rock, pop.

Price and value:

These are very decent value and the price in the UK is close to the US price. This is quite unusual as UK consumers are typically ripped off to the tune of 1.5 to >2 times the US price for the same Asia manufactured products. Shure UK get some goodwill for not playing that game with the price of the SE215. They lose a sliver of that goodwill because in the UK they maintain super high prices for aftermarket products such as tips, cables, and replacement left/right phones. After 14 months I needed a new cable. UK price is £45! That is US $69. I bought the same genuine cable from a Canadian retailer for about half that price including international delivery. And when I need new tips I can save about 35% by buying from North America, or by buying a 3rd party replacement.

Durability:

These things are built to last. I haven't been particularly careful with them. They have been sat on, snagged, dropped, trodden on and once even immersed in salt water (I fell in the sea with them in...whoops) and I often sleep with them in. I needed to replace the cable after 14 months as the thicker "memory" section cracked, leading to sound dropping out and wires actually being exposed. In the last few years I've had two pairs of Sennheiser IEMs fail (cable), some Klipsch IEMs fail (?), and a pair of Sony headphones fail (cable). Being able to replace the cable on the Shures is a massive plus point.

My SE215s have kept working and been maintainable while several other IEMs and headphones have died on me. That makes them better value than every other 'phone I've ever bought except a pair of Sennheiser HD 500 which worked for over 10 years before blowing a driver.

Comfort:

Very comfortable. They sit flush in the shell of the ear and cause no irritation or pressure and can be worn all day or night without discomfort. Having the cable route behind the head is ideal for me. In daily use these are as comfortable as smaller, lighter IEMs such as Sennheiser CX series, and if you need something suitable for sleeping in or wearing under a hat/helmet then the Shures are surely as good as it gets without paying for a custom fit.

Isolation:

Very good but depends on good fit and on choice of tips to a small degree. With the supplied tips the isolation should be good enough for most people most of the time. You don't get quite the isolation as with long, thin IEM that sit relatively deep in the ear canal but it is far superior to Senn CX type tips which sit at the entrance. Triple flange tips aren't part of the retail package but are available. They do offer more isolation but many will find them irritating to the ear canal. Tips that fully seal the ear probably aren't ideal because these Shures aren't designed with any tiny breather hole to relieve the pressure, which can be obvious if using triple flange tips. The regular silicone and foam tips are very nearly as good.

Sound:

Slightly emphasised bass, good midrange, slightly rolled off highs. To me this is a fine combination. I don't want bass heavy IEMs but I do want slight emphasis to make up for the lack of bone conduction or air being moved or whatever it is that goes missing with neutral IEMs/headphones compared with speakers. The highs might be slightly rolled off, probably to avoid harshness. With really powerful high tones (soprano voices or similar) you might occasionally be reminded that these cost £75 and not £175 as some harshness can become evident, but overall it's very hard indeed to fault these IEMs. I've used them for many hours almost every day for 14 months and they aren't tiring or irritating. That in itself is probably better compliment than any description of their sound quality or technical analysis (which I can't offer anyway).

If worn as recommended by Shure, with the cable held snug to the back of the neck/head by the keeper, then there is no annoying noise from the cable. Because the IEMs sit flush in the ear there is no wind noise or whistling effect when used outdoors.

Other:

The supplied soft case was a little disappointing. I used to have a pair of Shure E2C IEMs and they came with a really tough little case. The new soft case is made of heavy cordura but isn't of the hard clamshell type and I think it doesn't offer enough protection.

Overall it's hard to find fault with these IEMs at £75. Criticisms are few, small and qualified while positive attributes are plain and abundant. You get the same mature design, easy comfort and good build as with the most expensive Shures, and sound quality that doesn't feel in any way modest. I would unreservedly recommend these to anyone who wants to spend a moderate amount to get a huge sound upgrade over the buds supplied with their player/tablet.

Posted

Pros: Cheapest IEM I've seen with a removable cable, great bass and vocals; full, dynamic sound. Ultra durable, excellent isolation. Option for mic cable.

Cons: Treble lacks extension, fit not for everyone due to bulky connectors and so-so memory wire (not a problem with mic cable)

I will report back for a more in-depth review of the sound, but for now suffice to say that I love the SE215 and it is my go-to beater IEM when I'm not willing to risk my UM3X. It does bass and vocals exceptionally well, which are my two biggest desires from any headphone. Durability is unparalleled, especially for the price. I take these everywhere: workouts, running, beach, etc. and never feel like I have to worry for even a moment about anything going wrong. They are isolation monsters, too; they made great commuting companions when I took the train and bus to work. They are usually my first recommendation to non-audiophiles who are sick of crappy Skullcandies giving out after a month or two of regular use, unless the person in question has small ears and/or is after a cleaner sound.

 

Overall these have my full support; if you don't have small ears, and want an IEM with great bass and awesome isolation that is built like a tank, you can't go wrong here.

Posted

Pros: Great isolation, high overal build quality

Cons: Disconnectable jack required a tweak to work 100%

Recently, I went shopping for a $100 pair of earphones to replace my aging set of UE MetroFi 220 earphones.

 

After much deliberation, I settled on the Sure SE215 series in the clear variant.  They were purchased from Amazon.com directly from Shure.  I am a Prime member, as such I paid the $3.99 and had them sent next-day air.

 

They arrived without incident and well packed in all manner of UPS-proof air based packaging.

 

The actual carton which contained the earphones was relatively standard fare and more or less unmentionable.  Inside the carton was the usual wadge of manuals and warnings printed in every language I've heard of and a few that I haven't.  Also, there was a small bag containing six silicone tips as well as four foam tips (the other two were already on the device) and a cleaning tool.  Finally, there was a zippered pouch with an internal pocket that is just perfect for the bag containing the tips and the tool or in lieu of that a small player such as an iPod nano or shuffle.

 

The first impression on removing the earphones from the package was that they are a quality device.  The cables, which in my case are clear, show off the braided metal sheathing over the signal cables which is interspersed with a copper conductor woven into it.  The plug itself as well as stress reliefs on the cable appear to be much more stout than other offerings, the cable has a very durable look and feel.

 

The cable disconnects appear to be a relatively high grade coaxial-type affair with a signal pin on the cable end sliding into a tube on the headphone end.  Some folks have had some problems with these, but we'll get to that in just a few minutes.  The entire connector assembly was covered in what appears to be a very thin oil, which was removed with a q-tip so as not to present any potential problems.

 

Moving along to the earpieces themselves, the quality craftsmanship shines in their appearance.  The shells are very solid, and inspection of the internal construction reveals meticulously soldered connections as well as a very substantial support for the single dynamic driver.

 

The first listen out of the box revealed good sound quality with a "punchy" quality to the bass, strong definition in the mid frequencies, almost to the point of roughness, and some attenuation in the high registers.  They went for my standard 72 hour burn-in combining equal parts of white, pink and brown noise played at a high listening level.  The burn in period didn't make a huge difference, but there were some minor changes to the sound quality in the form of lesser recession of the high frequencies and a smoothing of definition in the mids without a notable loss in imaging.  Down low, the reproduction gained a bit of force but is still favors mid-bass over sub-bass.

 

In casual listening, they have a very "fun" sound to them.  They are dynamic in their representation and don't tend to get overly sibilent at high listening levels unless the sibilent tendencies are present in the recording.  The tradeoff here is that highs don't have much of any sparkle to them.  That said, I feel they have more than adequate sonic capabilities and qualities.  Listening to them for several hours casually has not been fatiguing or irritating in the least.

 

Moving over to critical listening, their sound tends to accentuate the full mid range with an excellent degree of accuracy across the board.  The high end is rolled off enough to both avoid sibilient harmonics within the listening device itself unless otherwise noted above.  The entire sound envelope of the Shures has a great deal of accuracy with regard to imaging.  The sound stage is both wide and well defined and has more positional accuracy than I would have originally anticipated given the price point.  Isolation while using the foam tips was second to none and provided a very clean sound floor in environs ranging from the office to my quiet living room.  As far as bass reproduction is concerned, the lower frequencies were definitely there in complimentary fashion.  Some feel that these earphones lend themselves to bass heads, however I do not agree with this viewpoint.  While the mid-bass is certainly amazing with a moderate of impact and fantastic texture, I can't describe the sub-bass as anything aside from accurate and complimentary.  To clarify, the entire bass spectrum is represented accurately but without an overpowering amount of presence with regards to the middle qualities.

 

The only issue that I've run into with the device is the oft-posted problem of having one of the earpieces drop connection periodically.  The left ear on my set would cut to silence when turning my head a certain direction or holding the cable at that angle.  I blame the connectors specifically.  To remedy this, I used the tip of a knife* to exert very slight pressure on the pin in the cable-side of the connectors in order to bend it a less-than-readily-visible amount in order to facilitate better connection.  After several tweaks of this type, I am having no more connectivity issues in either ear, and it is smooth sailing.

 

To summarize, I am completely impressed with the devices aural qualities and would definitely buy them again if I needed to.  While they will not please the crowd which demands cymbal sparkle with their rock and roll, and they will not please a true bass-head, I believe that they will please folks who want accuracy, control and an overall fantastic musical reproduction with great isolation.

 

*If you do this modification to your pair, please disconnect them if using a conductive item to tweak the pin to avoid shorting the amp, and be gentle.  To much of a bend and the headphones will not connect properly.  It is better to have to tweak twenty times and do this right than tweak once and have a broken device.

 

List of music auditioned with this device:

Jon Schmidt - All of me (Piano)

Jon Schmidt - Micheal means Mozart (Piano and Cello)

Handel - Assortment of pieces from "Messiah" (Orchestra and Choir)

Mord Fustang - Lick the rainbow (Electro House)

Mord Fustang - Milky Way (Melodic Electro House)

Skrillex - My Name Is Skrillex (Dubstep)

Skrillex - Cat Rats (Dubstep Disco)

Pendulum - The other side (DnB)

Pendulum - Encoder (Vocal Percussive DnB)

 

All tracks were reviewed in all contexts using loss-less files obtained from reputable download sources or created from stamped CD.

 

Posted

Pros: Isolates Great, Glorious Mids, Dem Vocals, Good Bass, Good Fit(Once you find the right tip).

Cons: Highs were okay, Memory Wire was a "Meh"

Hiya! These shures were my first into the world of IEMs and the beginnings of my journey to being an Audiophile. Back then, I was skeptical of Beats(and I was right on track back then) and thought Bose was where it was at.  I owned the Bose IE2 before getting my shure pairs, and after that, entered the realm of the audiophile.  Recently these guys broke after around a year of constantly listening to these, and I'm sad to let them go.  Now I have a Sennheiser IE8 which has about a week of burning in. Which I will be using for comparison. 

 

 

Sound quality, The Shure's bass doesn't compete with IE8s, but the bass was still there, just never felt as prominent or warm as the IE8s.  The best thing about the SE215 is that IE8 doesn't compete with the vocals on the SE215.  The Mids were great, and The Vocals were crisp and clear, and whenever it gets to a prominent vocal part on my SE215s, I've always had goosebumps.  The highs on the SE215 isn't that bad, but it isn't crisp and clear as in the IE8s, I would say it's a step lower the IE8s sound for highs.

 

The Isolation on these IEMs are great, Shure has done a great job with their olive foam tips, as they are comfortable and give great isolation, I had to mod my olive tips just to put on my IE8s so that I could get somewhat the same isolation as I had before on my shures. Comfort wise, it depends on the cables.  I've used the original stock cables for some time and found the memory wire to cause discomfort at times, other times it worked out.  I then picked up the Fiio aftermarket cables which improve the sound slightly, and gave me a lot more comfort when wearing my shures.

 

All-in-all, these are a great little pair of IEMs and a great step for becoming an audiophile, and i would recommend these to anyone

Posted

Pros: Decent sound quality, detachable cable, sealed (not vented), strong bass response, reinforced cable, did I mention detachable cables?

Cons: Expensive mic cable, despairing treble response, swiveling mechanism can be annoying, the ear pieces are quite big for the small dynamic driver

I don't consider them nice or even fun thinking about sound, but every time I'm working out I feel like I made a great investment. Going out with my Westone 4R or my customs make me feel paranoid to some extend. 

The Shure isolates incredibly well, just like an Etymotic without the (tips reaching my brain) sensation. I was amazed to see such an extraordinary achievement in a non-vented dynamic driver. I haven’t heard anything like it (leaving aside BA)

The Shure sound natural despite the treble attenuation, guitars sound more or less right but the bass bump is discouraging (not a bass heavy person) A proper description will be like a musician from a pop band: He might play like a pro but never will be at the center of the stage. 

I just hope to see more IEMs in a few years like this one. 

Posted

Pros: Cheapest IEM i've seen with a removable cable, great bass and vocals; Great durability, excellent noise isolation. Optional mic cable

Cons: Treble could be better. Earphone jack could be slimmer

Introduction:

My big sister purchased the SE215s from the Shure website a long time ago, so forgive me if I do not know when they were purchased exactly. She ended up giving them to me because she was having some complaints about the earphones giving her headaches... Anyway, I have been listening to them for quite some time now and i thought i could write a review. Let's give it a shot.

 

Bass: Deep, well extended, and punchy. They nailed it with the bass. I don't have much to say about the bass other than it is great.

 

Vocals: Rich and detailed. For $99 dollars, they knocked it out of the park by setting a $99 standard for how earphones at this price should sound.

 

Treble: Acceptable given the price. While the treble is not the star of the show, it has enough detail to make the earphones sound solid, although it could be better.

 

Conclusion:

Now, this world is filled with plenty of good sounding earphones and headphones, but as i said before, these have set the bar in my opinion for how every $99 pair of earphones should sound. The removable cable is a really nice feature, so you can replace it when the time comes. It comes with foam and silicon eartips, so finding a suitable eartip should be no problem. With all these things combined, i find it very hard to skip consideration with these.

Posted

Pros: Sound isolation, removable cable, confortable for long listening period, well built

Cons: not really, cables are bit too hard

The sound isolation is really good with the sponge ear pieces, IMO better than a few of Sony’s active noise cancelling in ears (maybe active noise cancelling work better for low frequency e.g. during fight) I can hardly hear people talking right beside me. It’s also quite confortable. I won’t comment on the sound since it has dynamic drivers, out of the box it sounds average, give it some time and the sounds should improve quite a bit. Real good earphones!

 

Update:

i thought these are going to sound better after burn in, but it dosen't, still sounds bit dark.

Posted

Pros: Bass detailing

Cons: Mids completely lack details, flat soundstage, harsh treble with a nasty metallic upper treble range

My rating may at first appear harsh but I just want to clarify up front that it is an absolute subjective rating not comparative.

 

I really thought these would blow me away given all I have read about these but once again Shure have failed to live up to the hype. I cannot argue that the price is very attractive given the build quality and fantastic comfort but that does not influence my feelings on the sound character of these.

 

In summary I found the following:

Highs - Nasty metallic 'piercing' sibilance with a lot of tracks not matter what was driving them (iBasso DX50, Xperia Z, FiiO E17, Denon MC6000 etc.) There is a good amount of detail but these were so fatiguing I could not listen for more than 20 - 30 minutes at a time.

Mids - Subdued and with certain tracks can completely disappear behind the highs/bass. Very disappointing. When the mids are there they lack deepth and width. Instruments fudge into one another instead of being nicely seperated.

Bass - For me this is the strongest point of the SE215s. Well extended but not 'mega bass' levels. Controlled, detailed and fade in and out nicely. Not too boomy. Very good overall.

 

I just want to reiterate my score is based on an absolute rating NOT when taking price into consideration. I personally do not like to include price into the equation as is muddys the results as prices of new/used earphones can vary so wildy.

Posted

Pros: Build quality, accurate mids, deep but well-behaved bass, detachable cables, excellent isolation

Cons: Sparkle could be better, not the most comfortable, don't love the memory cable

Bought those as a portable go-to set (subway use, airplanes, travelling, etc.) and am so far very pleased. I previously used Etymotic IEM's (ER-4P and HF3) which are known for their clarity and brightness but also lacking in warmth and bass impact. However, after loving the sound of my new over-ear full-size Sennheiser Momentum's wanted something a little more fun and dynamic sounding. The SE215's fit the bill. They have a nice warm sound with emphasized (but typically not overpowering) bass, very good and forward mids and slightly rolled-off highs.

 

The dynamic drivers sound fun and are engaging. The isolation on these is superb, easily blocking out subway noise without having to turn it up high (I use the black foam tips, also know as the 'olives'). 

 

On the negatives the sound could benefit form a little more sparkle and treble extension but otherwise the music coming out of these is very pleasing to me. On occasion (depending on genre) the bass can also sound a little over-emphasized if you're paying close attention. But more often than not it basically makes me rock my head! Basically if you like the full-size over-ear V-Moda M100's these will provide a similar sound and impact in IEM form but with better and more forward mids but less emphasized treble (less V shaped sound profile). Surely, there are better IEM's in the market (including higher-end models by Shure) but as the title says these provide great bang for the buck.

 

Other complaints are that I don't find them the most comfortable for long durations but I think that may be par for the course for IEM's as many people don't love Etymotics either (though I always thought they were quite comfortable with foam tips).

 

All of this has to be put in context however and for $99 these are just great sounding headphones with very good isolation capability and build quality. In fact, I think the same comments would apply even if they cost twice as much which to me makes these achieve a great price to performance ratio.

Shure SE215
By:
Description:

First High-End In Ear headphones with replaceable cables under $100! The SE215 earphones are the newest earphones of the new generation of the prestigious Shure in ear headphones family. We got a sample and they sound absolutely fantastic. The dynamic drivers move a ton of air and deliver an unmatched fun and musical sound. The flush fit and comfort are amazing. Aside from the 2 Year Warranty provided by Shure when you have an invoice from Earphone Solutions, the new SE215 has a removable cable, once found only in the $200+ models. You can now have the same technology and high quality snapping detachable cables on a sub-$100 earphones. The SE215 is now the best earphones under $120. With its comfort and flush fit is also the best earphones for sleeping, wearing under a helmet, running and for an active lifestyle. The new SE215 headphones feature dynamic microdrivers and formable cables that fit snugly behind the back of the ear. We love them! They sound, feel and fit like $200!

Details:
DetailValue
Cord Length162cm
Driver TypeDynamic MicroDriver
Impedance20Ω
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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