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Shure SE215


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Pros: FUN, Isolation, Price, Removable cables, Build quality

Cons: Cord a bit long, Other IEMs in the same price range may outperform it by now



I started getting into audio about a year ago; I got my first headphone, the Shure SRH440, shortly after, and have since picked up a FiiO X1, FiiO E1 (used with my iPod Touch 4), an Optimus CD-3450, and, obviously, the Shure SE215. I mainly stick to the cheaper side of things, being a student and not having a job. I listen mainly out of my X1, though I used to mainly listen straight from the iPod Touch. A large majority of my listening on the SE215 was done on the X1; almost none has been none on any other sources, so for this review, all impressions of the SE215 will be from having it paired with the X1. The SE215 has had no modifications (original cable), and is using the small Shure Olive tips. I listen mainly to rock (almost all forms of it), metal, and rap, though I do sometimes listen to a little pop and electronic. Some artists I have on my X1 and may use for my review include Slipknot, Led Zeppelin, Porcupine Tree, blink-182, Jason Mraz, AWOLNATION, and Train. I will list some songs throughout, but I have no particular group of test tracks; all files are CD rips in WMA Lossless, ALAC, AIFF, or WAV. I listen to the SE215 for at least an hour or two a day; I would say there has been at least 20 hours put on them, possibly more. Unfortunately, I cannot provide pictures for this review; I have no camera of my own, so any pictures will not be mine. Also, this is my first review.





Packaging was simple; just a small box holding the headphones, which were on display through clear plastic. Nothing special, but everything was well-packaged, nothing just floating around and everything securely in place. For accessories, you get a pack full of tips, a cleaner, and a small carrying pouch. I found the tip assortment appropriate for the price. The SE215 has the medium Olives on it, with small and large Olives, as well as small, medium, and large flex tips in the bag. For $100, this is pretty good; two sets of tips, of all sizes, and a strong, but soft case is included. Again, nothing special but appropriate for the price, like the packaging. There's not much to say here because there's nothing special about the packaging and accessories; it's simply appropriate for its price. Design is where things start to get special.




The SE215 is made out of very solid plastic. I'll admit, I actually slept on them and had them shoved in the side of a recliner, with me shifting around on top of them for a whole night. There was absolutely no damage to anything. It's shape fits well, even in my small/mediumish ears; it's actually pretty comfortable. I've heard others say that the memory cable is a bit short, but I think it's fine; I find nothing wrong with it, and I believe it works very well. The cord is my only complaint, and it's a very small one: it's just a bit too long. I don't find it being a large problem, as I'm used to longer cords, having a long coiled cable on my SRH440, but a shorter cable would be nice. One of the great things about this IEM is it's removable cables. I believe it was the first in it's price range to have them, and if one found the cable much too long, another cable could be purchased. Some say the design where the cables connect to the IEMs was bad due to connection issues, but I've never had any. I have twisted them all the way around, while listening, to see if any problems would arise. None did; I believe Shure has made some small changes over the years, this being one, as well as one to the headphone jack. It's no longer very bulky where the gold-plated jack goes into the plastic, it has a thin section, allowing the jack to fit better though some device cases. This helps a lot for my X1, allowing me to leave the case on. I also enjoy my SE215's clear design. It's pretty cool to look inside and see the wires and components that it contains. Some have claimed that the plastic wasn't incredibly clear, possibly somewhat foggy, but mine are very clear, and look good. Overall, the design is very good.




I'm making isolation it's own category, separate from design, because it deserves it's own category. Simply put, with the Shure Olives, insert the IEMs, turn on your music, and you hear nothing. I ride possibly the loudest bus I've ever had the displeasure to be on every day, and the SE215 will totally separates me from it. Without music, you'll obviously hear a little sound; I doubt any headphone would block out absolutely everything with no music playing. But turn on the music (between 20-35 on my FiiO X1) and you're encapsulated in your own world, full of music of your choosing. Put in the IEMs, and suddenly your friend, a couple feet away, becomes Freddie Mercury, putting on a personal concert for you, but for some reason mouthing the words wrong. I doubt you could get any closer to total isolation, and for only $100, isolation is incredible; in fact, I think the isolation would be incredible for any price.




This from Shure's SE215 page:


Sensitivity 107 dB SPL/mW
lmpedance 20 Ω
Frequency Range 22Hz – 17.5kHz
Cable Style 64” Detachable (at ear) with wireform fit
Colors Available in Clear or Translucent Black
Speaker Type Dynamic MicroDriver


These are very easy to drive. I'm sure just about anything could drive them, including a Sansa Clip (not tested by me though). 




Obviously the most important part. I'll put a couple songs that show my feelings for each section after I review them. Let's work backwards:



Yes, the highs are somewhat recessed compared to the bass and midrange. No, it's not the most resolving treble you'll ever hear. But it's not bad. For the price, I'm sure you could find something with better treble, but the treble is and never will be a main feature of this IEM. Some cymbals can sound recessed and missing some detail. When there's a lot going on, like in AC/DC's "High Voltage," cymbals are certainly in the background. For this reason, I normally bump up the treble a little on my FiiO X1, though I have not when writing this review. Overall, highs aren't bad; just okay.


  • The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines
  • Porcupine Tree - Blackest Eyes
  • AC/DC - High Voltage



If you're interested in the SE215, I'm sure you've heard of the famous Shure mids. The mids on these are wonderful. Guitars sound great. Good texture, and pretty forwards. You MUST listen to Porcupine Tree's "Trains" with the SE215. The acoustic guitar seams to be speaking to you. It's addicting. Great detail, incredibly clear. With something like "High Voltage" by AC/DC, guitars are in your face, and the riff being right there in front of you while the rest of the instruments play is very fun and enjoyable. They'll full and powerful, much like the bass, and are addicting to listen to with a good guitar riff. 


  • The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines
  • Porcupine Tree - Trains
  • Led Zeppelin - Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)
  • AC/DC - High Voltage



Please listen to Slipknot's "Snuff." It's a song everyone should hear at least once. It's one of my favorite songs and I believe it's a masterpiece. Corey Taylor's vocals are incredible. Now, imagine the vocals being right there in front of you. Imagine the emotion of his voice being displayed privately, only for you, strong and speaking to you. That's what the Shure SE215 does. Vocals have good body, a fullness that surrounds you. Vocals on the SE215 are a joy to listen to because of this. They're very clear, and I would call them detailed. Nothing sums up vocals more than the words absolutely excellent.


  • Slipknot - Snuff
  • Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
  • RHCP - Snow (Hey Oh)



This is a fun IEM. It's not meant to be totally neutral. Hence, when you put on "Dani California" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, you're given a strong drum line; that's right, with these headphones, you can actually hear the drums! (Okay, maybe it's just because I'm a drummer, but headphones that are precisely neutral don't bring the drums up enough for me. These do.) The thump of Chad's drums is there with the rest of the music; it's not overpowering in any way. Let me repeat that; bass IS NOT overpowering. I stress this because I was afraid that it would be, and that everything would be smothered by bass, like they were in an older Monster Beats Solo I tried. The SE215's bass isn't like that. It's very much there and it has power, but it isn't shoved to the back. It's certainly not left behind. I find bass to be present enough, while still being tame enough to let everything else be heard clearly and allowing other pieces to still stand out. It's not the most detailed, but it does have pretty good control. It's not muddy or all over the place. Overall, bass is very good on the SE215.


  • Paul McCartney - Alligator
  • RHCP - Dani California
  • The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling
  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.



This being a single dynamic driver IEM, separation isn't going to be the best. Things can get congested on the SE215, but it isn't terrible. I find Porcupine Tree's "Blackest Eyes" to do very well on the SE215 during the heavier parts, but the instruments don't sound like they're in totally different rooms; just in their own space, while only occasionally spilling over into another's.


  • The Black Keys - Money Maker
  • Porcupine Tree - Blackest Eyes




Overall, I think the Shure SE215 is a great IEM for the price, if it fits your needs. If you want an exciting sound, something that can use bass to pump some fun into you or use vocals to speak to you, and doesn't cost much, this is it. Could you find something with better sound quality for the price? I'm absolutely sure you could. But could you find something with tank-like build quality, near-total isolation, an overall great design, and a fun sound signature for the price? I think that would be a challenge. The Shure SE215 meets my needs perfectly; I needed isolation, I needed good build quality, and I needed a more fun sound, and this IEM delivered that. If you want something perfectly neutral, with tons of detail, this isn't your IEM. If you want a good, fun, isolating IEM for not much money, I highly recommend the Shure SE215.


Pros: Amazing sound (for the price) flat profile, value for quality, 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

I bought the SE215ltd from Headphonic.
Cost me $139.00.
This almost completely knocks out my V-MODA M100 and V-MODA XS out the water.
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.

Songs used (with a FiiO E17 DAC.

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. 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. The intro is my favorite bit, with the intro vocs, and the Shure / E17 combo nailed it.

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 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.

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.


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.


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.



Pros: long-term comfort, noise cancellation, great sound quality, durable

Cons: n/a

Before purchasing the Shure SE215's, I'd spend $15-30 on a pair of buds that would always break after a few months, at most.  Fed up with spending God knows how much after several years, I decided it was time to invest on some good quality earbuds.  The popular "luxury" headphones to buy are obviously Beats, but after some time researching, I decided I'd go with these. The return policy (free repair / new pair within two years of purchasing if broken) from the Shure website was what motivated me to go through with buying them.  Three years later I'm glad to say these puppies are still as amazing as they were day one.  The sound quality is pristine, and the isolation is almost too good - many a time I've had people tapping me after several failed attempts of shouting my name.  By far my best use of $99.  The only headphones I can wear for over an hour without my ears screaming in pain.  Oh, and I should mention these took a full trip through the washer and made it out good as new.  It makes me wonder how much better the more expensive models can be...I wouldn't be surprised if they blow me away as well! 

I did see some negative reviews about either of the earbuds being staticky or malfunctioning, and so far that hasn't happened to mine.  I know there is the option to detach the whole earbud from the wire, but my suggestion is just to leave it on, there's no need to do that and potentially mess the connection up.  The foam in-ear pieces can be a little flustering or strange at first, but you'll get used to them after a day or so, and they're much better than the rubber ones.  Along with that, the wire going behind your ear felt abnormal to me, probably because I wasn't used to that type of earbuds, but you'll get used to that as well.  

Overall, these headphones basically no cons and a ton of pros so if you're on the fence for headphones, BUY THESE! You'll thank me later. 


Pros: Outstanding audio quality for acoustic music, base just right, secure fitting to ear, sturdy detachable cable

Cons: No remote control device

I am a big Shure fan given my sweet  experience  with SRH940 and SRH1840 for indoor use. Being an avid mountain biker conscientious of safety (hence a helmet is obligatory), I need a pair of good IEH to pipe in pleasing music that stay secure while I navigate those bumpy trails in the forest. I am ecstatic to say that Shure fails me not yet again with their affordable and simply put, outstanding SE215. 


Rather than using technical audiophile jargon (which I am poor at and probably mislead with malapropism) to describe the pleasing sound of SE215, I will tell you that folk, indie rock, gospel, pop ranging from Pat McGee Band, Howie Day, Griffin House, Matt Hires, Cary Brothers, Trent Darbs,Jack Savoretti, Unkle Bob, Josh Ritter, Cold Play, Ari Hest, Jon Peter Lewis, Stephen kellogg, Greg Laswell, Matt Nathanson, Jonathon Jones and Brandan Heath (just to name a few) that I listen to, SE215 does an excellent job taking me to Nirvana while I gaze at the reflection of the forest on Lake Songsvann (outskirts of Oslo, Norway). 


Indeed the design of the earpieces and the hooking cables around the ears are tricky to put on and requires higher than average IQ to do it. But when you get it right, the ear piece stays on. Tugging on the V-shape junction of the cable will actually make it even more secure if you put it on right. 


Hence it is just perfect for mountain biking. 


I love you Shure. I am saving money for SE 425. Got to have it for Christmas. 


Pros: build quality, warranty, quite detailed, beautiful mids, smooth signature, long cable.

Cons: bloated bass response, lack of trebles in some recording. their price went up.

Once you spent the necessary 2 minutes to put them on, they are very confortable, they don't move around. The foam tips (not much "memory"),are solid and washabled (especially compared the Comply's).

First of the protocole : Wav, Flac, APE, 24's and DSD (can't hear the high-res difference even though I tried hard). Almost exclusively classical music, CD rip and downloads. FIIO X5II and ASUS Xonar STX

First, as a general remark: The sound heavily dependson the quality of the recordings ! Some will fit them nicely, some won't. It sounds obvious but it's not that often mentioned.

For what's left they are very pleasing, not very accurate but rather musical even though they are not tonaly perfect in an overly luxurious manner. As a result they lack some excitement but they are never tiring. In some complex messages (let's say Bruckner's 5th) they can be a bit messy (not crippling). Generally, they sound good with piano solo, voices . The trebles decay can be felt at times but the good side of it is you won't turn deaf. The real downside is the bloated bass response. It can be agreable at times but this mellowish heat bothers me most of the time. The STX card can help but the signature is engraved.

 I bought them brand new for 60€ which is a bargain, now they sell in Europe for more than 100€. And for this price there is serious competition.

Remember that there is a 2 year warranty (good build quality), 1.8m long quality cable (1.2 is too short for me). 

And as usual, burnin time my ass, just get the right tip and you are ready to go.


Pros: Price, design, comfort, overall sound

Cons: Somewhat muddy bass/mids boundary, slightly recessed upper-mids, a little bit "congested" sounding, hard to grow accustomed to achieving good fit

So I bought these IEM's today when I saw they were on sale at Sam Ash Music here in my town for only 84.99.  Since I've heard pretty good things about these before, and know that they normally go for 99.99, I snatched them right up for the steal of a price.  I've been listening to them with a wide variety of genres for the last four hours or so, and I have to say that I am not regretting my purchase in the least bit!  Here are my impressions of these in various categories:


Comfort/Fit:  It is somewhat difficult to find a nice placement of these in the ears and with the wire over the ears that will stay firmly in place.  However, it is certainly possible to do so, and from what I can tell it should be possible for the very vast majority of folks to achieve a proper fit and seal with these.  Once properly fitted and sealed, these are very comfortable IEM's. . .I've been listening to them for hours on end and have not experienced any discomfort or annoyance whatsoever with how they feel in or around my ears.  Moreover, they come with a good assortment of variable tips. . .three each of silicone and foam tips, each in small, medium, and large sizes, so like most such IEM's, there are plenty of options for folks with very different ears to achieve a proper fit and seal.  Personally, I am deciding to stick to the medium-sized foam tips that came on them at the start, after some experimentation, as those seem to give me the best seal and comfort.  Moreover, I can headbang pretty darn hard to my music when the mood strikes me and they seem to remain snug in and over my ears no matter how hard I bob my head ;)


Design and Build:  These thingies are neat!  I have the clear ones, and it's pretty cool how you can see the driver and wiring inside of them.  And I have to say, the fact that these have detachable cables is a huge plus for me, as that gives me great confidence in the longterm reliability and overall lasting-power of these IEM's! Add that to the fact that Shure offers a 2-Year warranty on these, and well, I'm pretty happy with all that.  Anyway, while I tend to prefer IEM's that can be worn cable-down, these can only be properly worn cable-up and around the top of the ear, however, I do not mind that with these particular IEM's.  Finally, the build seems quite sturdy for IEM's in this price-range. . .the cable seems pretty darn resilient (and as I said, it's replaceable anyways) and the plastic enclosures seem nice and sturdy, as do the connectors at both ends of the cables.  Pretty nice for IEM's that I got for 85 bucks!


Value/Price:  Well, what can I say?  These are a steal!  I can't imagine getting better sound and build-quality from a pair of IEM's under 100 dollars, or really for anywhere under 150 dollars.  For anyone looking for great IEM's in this price-range, I'd definitely recommend these, although I have heard of other good choices in the price range that I also plan to try-out in the future.


And now, for the big, important part of the review:  The sound, of course!  Well, here are my impressions in that regard, first overall and then in each of the three main frequency ranges:


Overall, I would classify these as having a fun sound.  Definitely a warm, v-shaped signature, which does bass quite a bit heavier than all the rest of the frequency-range.  However, the bass does not overwhelm the mids and highs by any means, and these still do vocals and treble very well for the price!  The detail resolution is good enough to have seriously surprised me up to this point given how bass-heavy these do tend to be.  And the soundstage and imaging are honestly very good for single-driver in-ears with a fully closed operating principle.  Although, given that they ARE just single-dynamic-driver in-ears, the sound is still somewhat "congested" and narrow in character.  Of course they don't come even close, in terms of soundstage, to a good pair of open-backed full-sized cans, or even to the better-sounding models of over-ear closed-back cans, but what can you expect from these given what they are, yaknow?  Definitely quite nice.


Bass:  The bass on these is striking, to say the least.  I find it nice and punchy.  Sure, it could be a BIT more controlled, sounds a tad liquidy at times, but there is no noticable distortion no matter what volume levels I put these to, which is very nice, and overall I very much enjoy the bass on these.  On stuff like hard rock, rap, and R&B, it sounds amazing.  It's definitely a tad heavy for genres like classical or anything else symphonic or acoustic, but not so much as to render them unenjoyable. . .I still very much enjoy listening to Beethoven's symphonies on these, for example, despite the bass-quantity.


Mids:  This is the one area in which I feel ever so slightly conflicted about these IEM's, although certainly not nearly enough to even begin regretting my purchase.  As the bass is, as I said, pretty heavy on these, it does bleed a bit here and there into the lower-mids, sacrificing a bit of detail in that part of the frequency range.  The detail is still surprisingly good even in the low-mids, however. . .I find it enjoyable!  And it's nice and smooth (not necessarily super-detailed, but smooth) throughout the mids, not at all grainy to my ears.  Now, the upper-mids are where I have the only real issue at all with these. . .they are recessed enough compared to the bass and treble, to my ears, that these don't handle female vocals quite as well as I would love to hear, although well enough that I still like to hear it.  Amy Lee's vocals from Evanescence tunes, and Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac, sound just a bit (just a bit) recessed relative to the rest of the midrange, but I still can hear all the necessary detail in them and so it's not really a problem.  Moreover, these never seem to have any problem with sounding strident on notes in the upper-mids or low treble, and I haven't noticed any significant sibilance, which is nice.

Treble:  Good detail, fairly smooth sounding, and never overly strident or sibilant, so it is not very fatiguing to my ears (which tend to be very treble-sensitive) except for the longest of listening sessions.  Moroever, these do surprisingly well with the detail in the higher ranges of the treble, although they could probably stand to be a couple decibels louder in the highest octave.  So the sparkle and air are pretty good.  Honestly, while it's more subdued than the bass, I like the way the SE215's do the treble almost as much as how they do the bass.  Very nice, with good sparkle and clarity.

Overall, these are fun IEM's, with a sound signature that makes you want to sing along or bob your head to the music (or even, dare I say, play some badass air-guitar :evil:), and I really enjoy listening to pretty much all my music on them.  That includes rap, R&B Soul and Funk, Jazz, hard rock and classic rock, metal, and even symphonic.  I very much like the way these resolve details in the music through most of the frequency range, and I enjoy their soundstage well enough considering what they are.  The imaging is great.  However, these IEM's are certainly not for purists seeking a flat response. . .if that's what you want, look elsewhere, because these have a very v-shaped sound!  Moreover, if the vast majority of what you listen to involves Female Vocals, you also may want to look elsewhere, although YMMV as tastes do vary when it comes to levels of vocals relative to instrumentals in music.



A few final notes:  These do come with two nice accessories aside from the extra silicone and foam tips.  They come with a cleaning tool which seems like it should work quite well for keeping them maintained in the longterm, and a quite nice fabric carrying-case (with a caribiner to clip onto your belt or keys) with the Shure logo on it.  Nice package altogether for a normal price of 99.99 dollars, and very nice (a steal, really) for the $84.99 that I got it for!



MAJOR UPDATE (August 18, 2015):  So, I have experienced some serious changes due to burn-in with these!  I know what you're all going to say. . .burn-in is a myth, right?  I believed that too!  I honestly thought burn-in had to be nothing more than a bunch of hokum.  But just hear me out, guys.

So, I read somewhere that these can benefit from burn-in.  I decided to run an experiment to prove to myself once and for all that burn-in is not a real phenomenon, and so I downloaded some pink-noise and brown-noise, sweeping sine, sawtooth, and square wave tone files, hooked up the SE215's to my computer (with my Fiio X3ii as a DAC) two nights ago with the volume about 20% higher than what I normally find a comfortable level (so, a level that's painful for anything more than 15 minutes or so) for listening to them, and let the burn-in files run through a loop for about 15 hours until the next afternoon.  I was positive that when I used them the next time, the sound would be exactly the same. . .but good lord, it wasn't!  Things have changed in some subtle, but very noticable ways. . .and for the better!  Here are the changes I've noticed:


The bass is still heavy, but not AS heavy as it was before, maybe a drop of about 2dB I'd venture to say.  There is noticably less bleed from the bass into the lower-mids, so that the detail resolution in the lower mids is far better now. . .still far from ideal, the change was only subtle, but definitely a very noticable improvement.  The upper mids and lower treble seem to have become less recessed, by abnout the same amount that the bass has fallen, maybe 2dB or so.  The change is subtle, but, things like female vocals, guitar solos, etc. sound much less recessed and "far away" now, and much more balanced relative to the bulk of the midrange and the bass. . .very nice!  I noted that female singers like Stevie Nicks and Amy Lee sounded "far away" compared to the instrumentals in their songs. . .while that is still sllghtly true, it is not nearly as noticable, and songs by Evanescence and Fleetwood Mac now sound much, much nicer and smoother.  The overall detail resolution throughout all the frequency-range has improved subtly, and the soundstage has widened a tad with a corresponding improvement in imaging.  Finally, their performance with dynamics and tansients has improved a bit.  Speaking of which, there's one final thing I want to take note of, an aspect of their sound-quality which took me a bit longer to notice but which I have now come to appreciate greatly:

These things do dynamics very, very well for single microdriver IEM's!  Anything with fast, hard-hitting dynamics has a very quick, snappy, impactful response on these.  Kick drums, snare drums, any drums really, slap bass, anything like that, such things have great punch and impact from these IEM's.  It gives music like rock and jazz a quality that makes one instinctively want to start bobbing one's head and tapping one's feet to the rhythm, or, with heavier music like metal, start headbanging ;)  All that being said, these are still notably colored in their response, so if the majority of what you listen to is acoustic or symphonic/orchestral, you probably want to pass these over for something else.  But they do a fantastic job with rock, electric blues and jazz, metal, and stuff like that.


So it's entirely possible that this seeming burn-in is all in my head, some sort of psychosomatic adaptation over time to the sound of these earphones.  Although it should be noted that in Tyll's studies on burn-in on Innerfidelity, he did notice decreases over time in Intermodulation Distortion, which could certainly explain a lessening of bass-bleed into the lower mids and increased detail.  However, whether these changes could ever be significant enough to be audible is open for debate.  I tend to think that perhaps there have been some very, very slight non-consciously audible changes in the sound of these earphones, which have caused my conscious perceptual system to adapt the way in which it hears them over time.  This suspiction of mine is mostly due to the fact that I have never before experienced a perceived change in the sonic character of any pair of earphones or headphones before these.  Either way, the fact is that while these still do have their problems with detail at the bass/mids boundary, somewhat recessed upper-mids/lower-highs, and a small soundstage (although very nice for what these are, as I said before), there seem to have been some subtle decreases in the level to which these flaws are audible, and overall these do provide a very nice listening experience.

Finally, after a longer time using these, I've gotten much more accustomed to inserting them quickly while achieving a proper fit and seal. . .it just took some getting used to, it seems.  And the seal that forms is very nice and comfortable, and provides very good isolation.  Last night, I was using these in the living room while my roommate was watching the Yankees game on the TV.  WIth the game turned up to moderate volume, and my Fiio X3ii driving these at 50% of its volume (60 out of 120) I found that these isolated me to the point that I only ever heard anything from the baseball game during the very quietest parts of music, so almost never.  I was very pleased, and so was my roommate since I never had to ask him to turn down the TV ;)


Pros: EXCELLENT isolation! Great low end extension and overall great for fun earphone when you're gymming or just out and about.

Cons: at $99 this piece has no cons

The Shure SE215 is the first IEM I owned and was the one that brought me in head-fi. I got mine for around $95 at the time after reading some reviews online here and there. Since then, I've learned to put some faith in reviewers and not assume that everyones a shill for promoting a product.


I still have not forget the first time I wore this. I was clueless on how over ear earphones worked and I fumbled around but once I got it in, the world outside just completely shut out.

I was there with my music turned on and it was heavenly


There is absolutely no reason for anyone not to hear this device once in their life -- audiophile or not, this provides the best value:performance ratio.

Shure SE215

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!

Cord Length162cm
Driver TypeDynamic MicroDriver
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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