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A decent set of headphones for the price

A Review On: Shure SE215

Shure SE215

Rated # 3 in Universal Fit
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Pros: Excellent build quality, Comfortable (once you get used to them), thick cable, bass, good isolation especially with foam tips

Cons: Lack-luster mids and highs, 90 degree headphone jack (personal preference)

I cannot recall when I purchased the Shure SE215's, but I know that I immediately enjoyed them. This was of course before I moved on to more expensive models, and then shifted to on ear and over ear headphones, which offer better sound overall. The only reason I went with IEM's is because they were often easier to drive and ended up being louder. As a bagpiper, it is clear I like music loud, and before I knew about amps, headphones weren't good enough. The SE215's aren't the easiest in-ears to drive, and near full volume is needed to listen to them for me.

The SE215's have excellent bass, especially for the price of $100. The bass doesn't sound false, although clearly enhanced. The bass does fairly well in not hurting the mids, although the headphones have little soundstage, so seperation is not perfect, and the bass does bleed into the mids at times, along with the mids bleeding in the highs. What hurts this bleed more is that the mids and highs are very recessed and are merely there, never standing out or sparkling. I prefer a v curve in headphones, although over time the v curve has become closer to a level line for me. At the time, I enjoyed a strong v curve. The SE215's have a V curve, but only slightly at the highs, and with the bass being so strong, nothing else is ever focused on. The odd thing is, while recessed, the mids and highs became shrill at times, almost like the sound from mids and highs are blocked off somewhere, and when volume is high enough, only the shrillness comes through. I really enjoyed the headphones, and eventually shifted into foam tips, to deal with the shrillness. This helped, but seemed to dull the music even more. It was a worthy sacrifice at the time. Listening to the SE215's recent, a while after I last really used them, I can say I really don't like the sound, due to a lack of clarity, and too heavy of a bass, which I actually find to be unclear as well. With an amp, a FIIO E11 a the time the clarity improved, but the E11 boosted bass further. I have yet to try them on the E07k, but I suspect they will still not suit me well. My tastes have changed clearly, focusing more on musicality and clarity, rather than enhanced bass and highs, although I still do like small v-curve in the sound. As was stated before, the SE215's also lack any form of soundstage, and especially with foam tips, sound very closed in. With the amount of bass and lack of soundstage, these headphones will suit music such as rap and hip hop. These headphones will work with any current (mainstream) music really, which, for the most part, has abandoned musicality and any art form which music once had, for heavy, synthetic bass, and autotune. Sorry for the attack on anyone who likes current music, but I feel music of today, at least the stuff by artists like Bieber and Rihana, does not require audiophile level headphones, as there is no soundstage and naturalness that is needed to be displayed. Essentially, I believe a $40 pair of bass heavy phones will sound better that a less bass-emphasized high end headphone, for bass is the only thing that matters in the music. The SE2015's are bass heavy, and will suit current stuff just fine.

While the sound no longer impresses me, the quality of the SE215's continues to impress. The driver housings of the SE215's look somewhat week, but are made from a decently strong plastic. Better yet is the cable, it being 3-4 times thicker than the cables of many other in-ears, such as the Klipsch S4's. The drives can also be removed from the cable, which is nice if the cable were to fall apart, but I don't see the point if they provide such a great cable (not saying it is a bad thing though).

Price-wise, the SE215's were a good price I felt. $100 isn't cheap, but these headphones provide better sound and are of better quality than many other headphones in a similar price range.


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