Pros: Powerful bass, good resolution, good value for money, nice fit, excellent sealing
Cons: Lack of mid-tones, sound stage too small (in your head sound), some users have issues with cable weldings
First, we must remember the price point. In Denmark, they compete with the likes of Beyer Dynamic MMX-101ie, Sony XBA-2, Creative Aurvana 3, AKG K-350 etc...
Accessories supplied in the box:
The earbuds are all of a pretty good quality, and they make a really good sealing, which can be hard to come by. The transporting case is nice too.
Clearly V-shaped, but it's not like the mids are without detail. Indeed, resolution is very good even for the mids, but the signature is very minded to the broader population, which means that unplugged, choir-works, jazz and classical, will sound too fullfilling. Fx. Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass sounds like there's some instruments playing, instead of just voices.
I'm listing the SE215's sound stage as a negative, but truth to be told, you'll have a hard time finding anything significant better in this price range - especially if they have to be mainstream and generally easily available. One of the benefits of the Shure SE215, is that you may find a local shop from where you can buy them. Many of the top performers in this price range, can only be ordered from Asian countries, and troubles with customs may arise. Back to the sound stage; it's kind of "in your head", but it could be worse. It's not in any way can-like, but it's hard to place instruments and singers in unplugged music.
Bass is very solid with a solid thumb. It's not fast and it could be tighter, but the resolution is pretty ok, especially given the price. They're bass-happy though, so for those of you that wants pump, but are unsatisfied with Beats/Dr. Dre, these SE215 will be a perfect alternative - as they're delivering the powerful bass you want, but with more clarity and way better overall tonal response.
This is where I find SE215 lacking. Midtones are too far gone; they're there of course, but I prefer a more midtone-forward approach. The resolution is pretty good though; the midtones are just not loud enough. Transition from bass to midtones is pretty fluent, which is good. To put it another way; most songs with prominent singers, will sound like the lead singer is standing in between the band, rather than a step in front of them.
The trebles have a peak in the lower treble end, and they sound detailed with a little sparkle. Not much, just a little. More sparkle could've been nice - I'd have preferred that, and more airy feel created by the trebles would definitely also have been preferred.
So, the SE215's are of course not perfect. That'd be too much to demand, given it's price tag. Are they best in class? No, that'd be to stretch it a bit, but they're certainly among the top tiers in this class, and way above average. If you're unlucky to get a pair with faulty cables, the cables can be changed quite easily - but I didn't have any issues.
The sound quality is sure to delight people who're used to Beats Audio, Sennheiser at USD 100 or lower, and the like. If you come from midend over-the-ear headphones, you'll be happy to know that bass and lower midtones can pump well without sacrificing too much resolution, but if you're used to highend products, you'll probably feel that the SE215s are too much "in your head", with a general lack of mids and a lack of airy feel.
If you're willing to pay a bit more, I heavily recommend Sony MDR-EX600 as a mainstream and easy-to-get in-ear alternative; it has all the benefits from these SE215's, but they give you that nice LARGE sound stage, and more mids - for only few dollars more.
But if these matches the upper limits of your budget, I can easily recommend them. Even more so if you usually use your mobile phone or another kind of portable player, and you primarily listen to techno, dance, rock/heavy and less dynamic and song-centered styles.