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Shure SE215 Special Edition

Posted

Pros: fun sound, great bass response, detachable cable, looks awesome, comfortable, good sound isolation

Cons: sound is not for everyone, do not expect this to sound “as recorded”, not that easy to put on and take off.

Overall Impressions

 

The struggle

 

Firs and foremost do not expect this earphones to sound as accurate and truth to the recording. They add ALOT OF CHARACTER to the sound, if you don't try to fight against its natural response and accept that those blue devils have a mind of their own, you will love them. (at least i did)

 

Just a little background on my experiences. I came from a Shure SRH840 as my music listening headphones, i owned some philips reference headphones before as well. Also I have some M-audio Studio monitors in my bedroom setup. I also studied sound engineering and i was always surrounded by reference monitors and everything sounding as “correct” as it could be. Therefore I am used to all of my media to sound as true to its recording as I can afford. In the sense that there is very title coloration to my audio experience. 

 

I was not expecting this headphones to be as colorful as they are, for about a week a hated them. Than I started to give up on trying to “fix” them with EQs and such. Pretty much just cave in to their true selves. 

 

Just give in 

 

They make music sound so much fun. They add a lot of bass and a “dark” sound to the audio without giving up on precision. Their are a special type of IEMs in the sense that they will add their version of the audio and you will either love it or hate it. 

 

Don’t take me wrong, I love the fact that i can get my SRH840, and listen to a true representation of the music. But as a on the go, listen to music while walking in campus and doing your shopping. You cant go wrong, they make for a enjoyable experience. And because the highs are not poking you in your ear hole you can listen to them for ours without getting tired. 

 

I even started appreciating the overwhelming bass that they provide. Sometimes its so surprisingly out of proportion on songs that you haven't heard on those IEMS before, that I just LOL like a little kid that just found the first boner by mistake!

 

Build quality 

 

Solid build quality. I don't mind falling a sleep on them at all. Did it a couple of times and not a single thing went wrong. Some say that the tips can be a point of weakness, true that, but the plastic is solid even at it’s most vulnerable part. Same design and material as their $500 se535, so we are probably ok. Also they are design to take the punch of live musicians, those MF can get rough!

 

Cable is also good, same as the se535. They are shorter than the clear or black se215, not a issue if you use with your iphone/ipod. But if you are a musician it may be a problem. But Shure on their infinite wisdom made cables detachable, so you may do as you please.

 

Sound Quality

 

This is what you are really here for anyway. 

 

Bass

    In your face! Imagine that you where a rapper and had a 4x4 with a massive sub, and you just happen to be on a beach road. YAH, this intense.

 

Mids

    Accurate and surprisingly crisp. But Shure is well know for its mids, They lack abit of speed.

 

Highs

    Rolled off highs. Don't think this is a bad thing by a second. Its only its sound characteristics.

 

Sound Stage

    The rolled off highs do degrade the sense of space on these IEMs. But the accurate mids make up for the absence of the “tss”. So its not bad at all, not great either. ummm… Up to interpretation, grey area here. (sorry guys)

 

Sound Characteristic

    Aimed to be your chill pill headphones. Not in your face, does not lack anything import. It however puts a big fat slime on your face! 

 

Verdict 

 

Love it! Buy it, they are not that expensive in any case. 

 

I can describe this IEM as a sports car. You wont use it all the time because they are for special occasions. But when you do use them, you will be smiling away. 

 

They sound really freaking cool if you just accept the color it adds to the sound and that they have a mind of their own. But if you are looking for a flat response you better stay away from these.

 

Any questions on the review, please let me know and I'll reply to the best of my ability. Thanks

Posted

Pros: Great bass reponse and isolation, fatiguing sound, robust build quality, detachable cable.

Cons: Bass is a bit overwhelming at times, difficult to get used to fit, rolled off treble not for everyone.

As I'm looking to move up in the world of IEMs, I'm taking a look back at one of my first big steps in audio. 

 

Having burned through multiple pairs of Skullcandys and Sennheiser CX300-500s and having got a taste for high end audio from my first full sized cans, I set out to get a pair of IEMs with durability as priority number one while also sounding great.

 

The SE215LTDs absolutely deliver on both fronts. Built like tanks, these things have survived serious beatings and have been used for running and have been slept on. 

The inclusion of a detachable cable in their design means that to truly break them you'd have to break the earpieces themselves. Short of jumping directly on the nozzle, that isn't going to happen. 

 

Slightly better than the original 215s with smoother mids and highs with a more controlled but slightly more powerful bass end, the sound of these things is fantastic.

 

While out and about, I tend to look for a fun signature to my sound that I can listen to for a long time without getting fatigue. This is something that the signature of these IEMs match perfectly. Mildly accentuated bass, decent mids and rolled off highs work perfectly for that purpose. 

 

However, for analytical listening and audio purists, the bass response will be over-present in many genres, which is not for everybody. In addition, the rolled off high end costs them some of the sparkle you'd expect from high end phones. The body of the earpiece is also large, sitting flush with the edges of the pinna of my average sized ears, they may not fit everyone. 

 

If you know what you want, and it's a fun sounding, robust, non-fatiguing in-ear for a good price, these are absolutely perfect. 

Posted

Pros: Basshead sound that's actually articulate!, Well built, Secure fit, Awesome colour, Removable cable, Great isolation, Accessories

Cons: Tips are annoying to fit and remove, Fit is finicky until you get used to it

As an upgrade to my portable setup, I decided that I would buy my first pair of proper IEMs. My only prior experience with IEMs were with freebies that came with phones and the like, which were needless to say, awful. I honestly wasn't quite shure (Sorry about that, had to get the obligatory Shure pun out the way) what to expect in terms of performance level, but I was very pleased indeed!

 

The SE215 Special Editions come well accessorised. Included is a small zip-up carry pouch with room for the IEMS and spare ear tips to fit nice and snug. 6 pairs of tips are included, 3 foam (the famous shure 'olive' tips) and 3 silicone in S, M and L sizes, as well as a wax removal tool. I found myself liking the M size foam tips the best, they were the most comfortable for me and provided a great seal. I also think they look much better than the grey silicone. 

 

The build is quite solid. The IEMs are made of plastic but it's very sturdy and doesn't seem to have any give to them. The cable is the perfect length and girth (the more juvenile readers should be sniggering at this point) for portable use (at least for me), and is terminated in a right angle jack. From my understanding, the cable on the normal version is 50cm longer. The cables are removable, which is great for replacement or aftermarket upgrades. The special edition is in blue, as opposed to the transparent or black options of the regular. This colour looks really amazing in the sunlight, a great aesthetic choice for sure.

 

As for sound, I'm damn impressed, for two major reasons. Firstly, I didn't realise IEMs sounded this good. I now totally understand why they're taken very seriously in the audio community. They sound so much better than you would think given their size. The other major reason I'm impressed is that these IEMs have BASS. Tight, punchy, BIG bass that kicks ass and takes names, but at the same time, sounds surprisingly articulate and even handed. I have absolutely no reservations about using these for genres outside of Hip Hop and EDM, despite their well endowed bottom end. Now, to keep things subjective, it's worth mentioning that I'm probably what I'd describe as a lite-Basshead, but a "Warm-head" is probably the best term for it. What I mean by that is my ideal sound signature is non-rolled off bass in moderately generous proportions (2-3+ db over the midrange is pretty nice) with a strong, un-recessed midrange and an unfatiguing, maybe slightly dark treble. Now, these do have more bass than what I'd consider perfect, but it's within my tolerance levels, which is not something I expected given the way they look in graphs.

 

As I said, the bass goes low, stays tight, hits hard (when it's supposed to) and has good authority. I wouldn't say these are particularly fast or slow, they sound fairly natural actually, surprisingly so given the level of bass they have. These really suit basshead needs, and do so with flying colours. The midrange is very present, with a little bit of grain maybe, but nothing disastrous. It doesn't sound thin to me either, though I wouldn't say it qualified to be called lush or thick. It's seldomly meddled with by the bass response, which given how strong that is and the price of these IEMs, is not a common feat. The treble response is definitely dark, but again, no where near as much as the graphs appear to indicate. Remains totally fatigue free, which earns a big thumbs up from me. My tastes certainly have refined quite a bit from my Grado owning days when I was convinced that I was a treble-head. Despite being dark, things like cymbals are clearly audible and are separated very nicely. On top of all this, the SE215 SE image surprisingly well, possessing way more depth and width than I expected. Now, don't let your imagination go crazy. They're not going to image like an open circumaural, but it's like having a mini version of that in your head, it's really quite pleasant. 

 

Really, the only flaws of this IEM are minor. The tips are pretty annoying to remove and fit onto the actual stem (please excuse my terminology), and the over ear design of the memory cable feels strange at first until you learn how to fit it properly. After that, it's a very secure fit (comfort will really depend entirely on the tip and your ears).

 

With everything taken into consideration, I highly recommend these IEMs. They're simply fantastic. Now that I know that IEMs don't suck, I'm going to be trading these off towards some Denon AH-D2000s (which I'm giddy with excitement to get). I'm going to save up for something more high end in the IEM world for my portable use, something more neutral to suit my tastes better. Given my excellent experience with these, the SE535 (and if I'm lucky enough to get the special edition) is probably what I'll end up with.

 

But, probably the most interesting thing I've learnt from these IEMs is that graphs really don't always give a good indication of how things sound. I considered these IEMs a few times but kept writing them off because the graphs made them look like they'd have bloated bass, beats by dre style, but I was wrong. If you've stopped yourself from getting the SE215s for the same reason, you should give them a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Posted

Pros: Fun signature, value, design, style

Cons: Availability

Many moons ago, early in my head-fi journey, I had the SE215 and thought pretty highly of it. Very good all-around sound, nice form factor, under $100, and removable cables. What wasn't to like?! Those guys served me very well for yardwork and gym-time for a few months before I moved onto something else. Now I'm back with the 215 LTDs and I think they're to be a staple in my lineup.

 

These guys look great. The aquamarine color is gorgeous. The color reminds me of some nice CIEMs I've seen before so that's cool. The size/shape of the housing fits well inside my ear and the proprietary cable pin is also pretty low-profile. Cable is nice and sturdy without excessive microphonics. 

 

Sound is great for my purposes. These are my work-in-the-yard, take-to-the-gym, ride-the-bus, walk-the-dog IEMs which are usually paired with my cell phone or Sansa Clip. They have a very fun signature that still performs well with regards to separation, soundstage, and detail retrieval. Are they an end-all for treble extension and texture? No. But their price tag doesn't suggest it either. Hard rock, hip hop, and jazz all fair very well with the LTDs. Surprisingly they also handle classical well - ya know, on the rare occasion I need to hear some Holst while using the weedwhacker... The only genres I've tried that don't work so well are any that require a great deal of speed or excessive separation i.e. speed metal and the like. The extra depth in the low end is great and makes these very fun with most popular genres but it can be slow and congested when you need more separation in the mid to lower end. Luckily for me, there isn't much in my gym playlist like that. 

 

Speaking of the bass, I'll drop a note or two about it. Some have said that the bass on the LTDs is excessive, boomy, or muddled. I respectfully disagree. It's still very clear and textured. There is more than the normal 215s, especially sub-bass extension, but to me, it rarely intrudes on the mids or loses quality.

 

If you're looking for an IEM that has a shallow V-shaped signature with good lows and non-offensive treble, this is a serious option to consider.

Posted

Pros: Good bass, perfect mids, great built quality, nice fitting

Cons: Could use a bit more high, took time to get used to the fitting

This is the first item that dragged me into the world of audiophile, having started as noob with this great cans I must say that Shure SE215 Special Edition is cans for everybody, all things considered. I used this cans for travelling, on the go commuting, and basically anytime i wanted to hear music.

It comes with nice packed up box with all the bits and pieces needed, 3 pairs of silicon tips and 3 pairs of Shure Oil Foam, carrying zipper pouch.

Soundwise it has a great sound with nice bass and a magnificent mids, but it lacks the high needed to compliment the other, the fitting is nice once you get used to it, and the best of all is it's isolation whice really like.

All in all, great cans.

Posted

Pros: flashy look, good bass

Cons: can be a bit pricy (160+/-)

Good solid bass, not very impactful, definitely not for bassheads. Has a warmer feel, and is not very laid back. Also less colored than I would expect. Overall good, as I paid around 120 for them, but in the price range theryre at now, I would hesitate.

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Shure SE215 Special Edition
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Featuring Dynamic MicroDrivers, the SE215 has a newly tuned acoustic network to deliver detailed sound with extended low frequency performance. A distinctive translucent blue earphone color offers an exclusive look, and a detachable cable and multiple sleeve sizes ensure a comfortable fit and lifetime of use.

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