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Shure SE425 Earphone

86% Positive Reviews
Rated #24 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Great fit, wonderful isolation, superb mids, good clarity

Cons: Could use a little more treble extension, hard to remove the olive tips

Shure SE425 - Highly Impressed - Great Build, Great Sound

 

I received these as a replacement for my SE420 - which unfortunately had to be replaced due to the cable splitting at the relief (luckily inside warranty).  Kudos to the fantastic team at Now Sound in NZ for their prompt work replacing them.

 

se425-2.jpg

 

Build

The biggest change from the older model has been the addition of a detachable cable - and the design for this is wonderful.  It now includes a memory wire (some love it, some hate it - I find it handy).  The housing is now hard plastic (the old one had a rubber cover which would keep splitting).  The hard cover makes it a lot easier to insert and remove.  The housing also seems smaller than the 420 - and once inserted fits flush to your ear.

 

se425-1.jpg

 

Fit / Comfort

The new housing makes it very easy to fit - and get a great seal every time (for me).  I did have to change from medium to large olives.  The insertion is a lot shallower than the 420s - but the change in olive size ensures I get a perfect fit.  The housing fits flush to my ear, and I have no issues with discomfort.  These are comfortable enough to sleep in.  I've also been running with them - and have had no issues with them falling out.  The new memory wire makes looping over the ears very easy.  The memory wire on the 425 is not as stiff as on my 315s - and is very comfortable.

 

To remove the iem's, all I do is swivel the cable out of the way, then grip the body and gently twist.  It is very easy.

 

se425-0.jpg

 

Isolation/Microphonics

The microphonics on the 425 are very much reduced compared to the old 420's.  I'm finding virtually no microphonics from the new cable.  The fit I have is amazing for isolation as well.  These isolate for me a lot more than the 420's did (and as I said above, the insertion is shallower).

 

se425-3.jpg

 

SQ

Well I guess this is the main sub topic.  Couple of disclaimers - I really like the Shure sound - I started on SE102's, went to SE420's - then got a set of 315's while my 420's were being replaced.  I haven't heard much in the way of high end iem's - so can't really give a comparison / benchmark.  So the following is solely based on my thoughts of the SE425 in isolation.

Bass - while the 425 is not an overly bassy iem, the bass is present, it extends well (better than the 315 or 420), and is tight and controlled.  The best thing about the bass is that it doesn't bleed into the mids.

Mids - the Shure strength.  Silky sooth and absolutely fantastic for vocals.  Also great with acoustic guitar.  Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live album is simply blissfully enjoyable.  The mids are very present  - probably even accentuated, but they don't seem overly forward IMO.  They are just really well balanced.

Highs - probably the only thing that I wish there was slightly more emphasis on (it can be achieved with a touch of EQ though bigsmile_face.gif ).  The highs do roll off quicker than I'd like - and IMO this is the 425's only real weakness.  They just need a little sparkle to make them great.

Clarity - another strength.  Instruments are well separated, and the music is very well detailed and clean.  I love listening to acoustics and picking up every nuance - fingers moving on a fret board etc

 

se425-5.jpg

 

Summary

The 425's are a really good iem - well designed and built (these will last for years), superbly comfortable and really smooth and detailed.  The mids are the strongest point - but the entire sound to me is balanced and relaxed.  The one weakness (for me) is a slight lack of upper treble - but easily fixable with EQ.

Posted

Pros: Clarity, Balanced, Noise Isolation, Comfort, Flush Design, Detachable Cables

Cons: Subdued Bass

Shure has definitely outdone themselves with this wonderful product. Never have I experienced more clarity in a pair of IEMs. For someone who listens to alternative rock, pop, and an assorted array of indie music, I say that few IEMs can do better. The amount of detail displayed is extraordinary. Vocals are crystal clear and forward, especially female vocals. However, the bass is lacking a bit in quantity, but they're by no means flat. It's still punchy enough to satisfy most listeners. No, these IEMs are not for bass-heads, but for those who want precision. If you're someone who prefer to have lows that accentuate exceptional mids and highs, these are the headphones for you. They're the quintessential headphone for the intimate listener.

Posted

Pros: Good soundstage; little listening fatigue; great fit and good isolation; detachable cable; rugged feel.

Cons: Unrealistic instrument timbres; veiled sound; rolled-off treble; average detail; value for money

Design/durability: The SE425 feel very nice indeed. The silver finish looks very appealing. The earpieces seem very durable as well, and the cable is very thick and sturdy with a lot of strain relief. The latter is detachable, which is even better.

 

Fit/Comfort: One of the most comfortable IEMs out there, especially with Shure's olive tips. Easily forgettable when in your ears. Plus they don't stick out of the ears, meaning that you can almost sleep wearing them.

 

Isolation: Excellent, blocks out most ambient noise. Microphonics are low as well.

 

Sound: A let down. The sound signature is highly colored in a way I particularly dislike: mids are well defined but way too forward, the worst part being the rolled-off highs and their terrible lack of extension. Decay is disappointing. On a good note, the bass is punchy and well articulated, with just the right amount. Speed isn't bad. Soundstage and instrument separation are good, but the very warm sound sig makes the whole presentation suffocating and claustrophobic, almost as if you were listening to music while covering your speakers with a curtain. The resolution is also far from being impressive for the price, as a lot of details are reported missing. Some instruments are very badly replicated: drums sound like someone's hitting on cardboard, strings sound terrible, overall timbre of many instruments are just *not* realistic enough, and it's not a source/file problem. Overall the sound feels veiled, unnatural and unrevealing at best. Good for some genres, like jazz or acoustic guitar, and laid back listening though. Having paid FRP I tried to like them, w/o success. The just average resolution and the seriously anemic treble ultimately killed it for me. I was expecting much more from a double driver, $250 headphone, I even have some single armature IEMs that sound better than the SE425 at barely half the price.

 

Bottom line: The SE425 got me disappointed. Far from being accurate enough for critical listening, yet not fun sounding either, these headphones are heavily colored, and not in a way I'd like them to be. The excellent design, nice soundstage, and the suitability of the SE425 for casual listening are here to compensate though. Sent them back after a few weeks of testing, since they seem vastly overpriced and overrated to me given the just average sound quality they provide.

Posted

Pros: Detailed with most things

Cons: Not for bass heads

Ok, I've had these for a while now and decided to leave some feedback on these. First thing, the sound from these IEM's (earphones) are nothing short of excellent with a few minor dislikes.

 

At times, some music demands a bit more low end although to be fair that is what an equaliser can be used for. Like any good quality headphones, they will reveal any bad traits in your music source; so often, what sounds exceptionable on more tuned earphones will sound flat out trash on these. The fit can be a bit fiddly and it takes a bit of time to locate the best buds for your own ears although the supplied kit is plentiful. 

 

After using these for a little while, you may start to notice small nuances in familiar music you never with cheaper or alternative earphones. It's a dual-driver design with one mid/treble and bass driver each ear. One thing that occurs to me, the lacking bass power can lead vibrant mids although with a declining treble starting under 17Khz could explain the highs not being as present. Once the drivers have been run for a while, you notice your ears will warm into the detail produced by these.

 

By comparison with my older Sennheiser CX880 which also did a commendable job, they also had problems with "too much treble" in some modern music or badly mastered digital. So often this was corrected by using an equalizer on the Creative Zen player. 

 

Listening to soundtrack music on the SE425 shows how detailed and the soundstage of the IEM by the way instruments are panned & placed virtually "in your ears".  In direct comparison to AKG K702 they put up a good fight. Which is ironic because the retail more now and have a lesser output.

 

For the moment, they will do the job although I do hope to get an extra higher grade pair at some stage.

Posted

Pros: Smooth mids, Detailed and analytical but not dry, Scales well

Cons: A bit slow, Mid-Focused, Lack of extension on both ends

Please check out my video review of these:

 

 

 

(Sorry for the lack of images as I have since sold these IEMs)

 

Background Information:

 

Before I begin, I picked these up from a friend of mine for $280 CAD. They currently retail for $379 CAD and $299 USD. Street and used prices vary widely with the SE425s.

 

First of all, the reason I rated these 3.5/5 is because of the value it presents in terms of build quality and also accessories out of the box. It also has a great vibrant midrange. However, what is holding it back is the fact that these are not the best all-rounders at this price point.

 

Being a dual-BA configuration, these produce detail quite admirably however they are by no means a detail monster. Some microdetails are lost due to the lack of extension on both ends.

 

Accessories

 

Packaging is great with a bigger box than the SE215s. Inside the box you will get the usual Shure Fit Kit that comes with the SE315 and up. Compared to the SE215s, you get more tips including yellow foams as well as triple-flanged tips. You also get a hardshell carrying case as well as 1/4inch adapter which is also missing on the SE215s. A cleaning tool is provided as well.

 

Build Quality

 

Very solid build quality from the SE425s. You get the same rugged build as every other Shure SE model (with the exception of the SE112). The cable exudes confidence and is very robust. All the strain reliefs are reinforced heavily and at no time I feel that they are going to give-in or break. If they do, the cables are replaceable for a small cost (in comparison to the IEMs)

 

Comfort 

 

They are very comfortable out of the box. The housing is slightly smaller than the SE215s which provides a more snug fit in my ears. I currently use the Sensaphonic Custom Sleeves with the SE425s which brings comfort into another level. Isolation is improved as well. These are great for sleeping as the ergonomics let you lie on the side while in bed. 

 

They might be a hassle to put on at first but once you get used to it it is like any other IEM.

 

Sound Quality

 

Ever since picking these IEMs up, they have been my go-to pair for slower vocal-oriented music. They provide a great balance of neutrality paired with extremely forward and lush mids which do not make the IEMs sound dry at all in comparison to some other neutral IEMs.

 

Bass

 

Although there is good sub-bass extension, the perceived bass will mostly be mid-bass as the frequencies of this IEM all seem to creep towards the midrange. However, the bass does not bleed into the midrange too much thanks to its dual-BA configuration with a dedicated bass driver. The quality is quite good but you are not going to get the tactility or low end rumble when compared to other IEMs. The quantity is definitely flat and never elevated. The bass you get is what your music provides you. Nothing more nothing less.

 

Midrange

 

Simply Beautiful! Very lush and well bodied midrange. The mids are presented forward in the mix and the texture and detail is presented great. This IEM is great for singer-songwriter guitars, slower vocals, and also ballads. (James Ingram - Forever More)

 

Treble 

 

The highs could use more shimmer. Cymbals and female soprano vocals struggle to punch through with authority but do sound quite good as they blend well with the extremely detailed and forward mid-highs around the 4-6k region. However, fast and convulated tracks that are demanding leave a lot to be desired with these IEMs as the SE425s fail to provide listeners with a engaging top end. The SE425s are not the fastest kids around the block and faster more demanding tracks may leave the SE425s breathing for more air. (Earth Wind & Fire - My Promise)

 

Soundstage/Imaging

 

A very closed soundstage with an extremely forward in-your-face midrange section. I prefer a closed soundstage when preforming as details are presented right at me. However, for critical listening, I would have preferred a wider soundspace which incorporates more air. Therefore, because of the closed off soundstage, instruments are slightly harder to pick out and microdetails are often lost. 

 

Imaging is average due to the lack of a wide soundstage. 

 

Overall I would recommend these IEMs to almost anyone who strictly listens to vocal-extensive music. The SE425s has probably the best mid-range out of any IEM I've heard. However as an all-rounder for the price unfortunately I cannot give the SE425s a whole-hearted recommendation.

 

Tracks Discussed:

 

James Ingram - Forever More

Earth Wind & Fire - My Promise

 

------

 

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

 

Kevin

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, clean sound stage, no bloat

Cons: tips are hard to get off, putting them on can be a struggle, price

Pros:

 

Comfortable: Coming from a few different buds and a few different IEMs these felt like a dream to wear for more than 4 hours at a time. That's my biggest complaint with headphones and IEMs is the fatigue that comes with wearing them for long periods of time. The around the ear shape shifts the weight from the canal to the back of the ear, making them infinitely more comfortable. Because I have two different sized canals, I had to use to different tips on each side. It does help in recognizing which way to put them in :). 

 

Clean Sound Stage: Nothing sounds bloated to me in one way. They're not as clean as my ER4PT, but I like these better due to the comfort. (I thought the ER4PT were the most uncomfortable headphones I had ever used). Because I am no longer in pain while listening, I can really grasp the strong lows and mids that were absent from previous headphones.They can be a little bassy, but I just compensate with the EQ.

 

Cons:

 

The Tips: I thought I actually broke the headphones trying to heman the tips off. I also thought ripped every pair of tips that I tried to get off. Neither of which are true, but man did they make it hard. I ended up using the glide style tips because I could never get the foam ones in before they had already reformed -_-.

 

Putting them On: This is my first time with IEMs that go over the ear, and I spent about 2 hours trying to get them on right. Lots of youtube videos and fiddling. I found the right way and got the isolation that I needed to make these headphones shine.

 

Overview: They don't sound nearly as good as the ER4PT for the price, but for the comfort, the tradeoff worth it for me. If I had the money I would have jumped to the 525, which I recommend, but se la vie. Hope this helps someone a little bit. 

Posted

Pros: Bendable wire near ear, great fit, beautiful isolation, smooth bass, clean highs

Cons: cable gets twisted easily, the cable with the built in mic is poorly made

I used the e4's for about 6 years, loved them, never had one problem until one day I was lazy, forgot to throw them back into the case and the cat got ahold of them. I emailed shure and they said they no longer produced them however that they would upgrade me to the 425 for the same cost as repairing my e4's would have been. 

 

I was a bit skeptical since the fit and design was completely different. 

 

My mind changed quickly.

 

After finding the right sleeve, and doing the weird over,behind my ear deal (shure iem users know what I mean) I was in love. Out of the box.

The isolation was the first thing I noticed, the world was just shut out. Such a great and comfortable fit.SQ was on par with my worn in e4's and have since got better. Nice meaty bass, creamy mids, and sharp but clear highs.Not much I can complain about in regards the sound. They are my go to whenever I leave the house, gym, or on the iPad.

 

Only complaint is the cable, its can get a nasty twist in it. Not a like spaghetti tangled but it almost looks twisted down to the solder. Replacing it for the mic'd version is a bad idea. The mic version does not have the awesome bendable cable that connects to the monitor.Maybe look at buying an extra cable just in case, like the cool clear model ;)

 

I am not an audiophile by any means, however I have been through several in ear headphones over years from crap ear pods to custom fitted 535's and for the money the 425's are the jam.

Posted

Pros: Balance, imaging, speed from top to bottom, mids

Cons: High roll-off, no air in the bass

First of all, I don't think we should be comparing these to anything else but in ear monitors (IEMs), and generally in the price range.  However, my only experience is with Sure SE 110s that I used for over 5 years.  Those were about $99, and I got the 425s for about $270.  I've now had them for about four months, and have gone through the slightly disappointed stage which seems to occur for a lot of people with a lot of headphones.  No matter how much you read before purchasing, it still takes time for your brain to get used to a new sound signature.  These really blow away the 110s in every way.  They have energy, speed, focus and simply amazing imaging.  I can't say the last part enough.  It's not soundstage, per se, (because there's not much air) but rather the ability of these phones not to get bogged down with complexity.  They just keep up, keep up, and keep up.

 

So, as others have noted, the bass tones are all there, and in fact I've noticed these IEMs are great for rhythmic music based mainly on acoustic instruments and vocals ranging from jazz to funk, reggae, to many kinds of "world" music.  Also baroque music and small to medium sized classical ensembles sound great.  This is because they really neatly lay out the different textures well.  Marvin Gaye's remastered "What's Going On" for instance, is fun to hear.  On the other hand, music that tends to be a bit dull and lacking in rhythmic or tonal variety to begin with might sound even more dull on these.  

 

Moreover, the mids are great: smooth, musical and accurate whether you're listening to vocals or basically any other acoustic instrument.  After all most acoustic music takes place in the mid-ranges.  The main thing lacking is the sparkle on the high end, but even there, I would hesitate to say they have no highs.  They can make some music sound pleasant though, where my Grado 80s (old version) become grating. 

 

I think technically they lack some treble, but the roll off is nothing like the 110s, and since the sound is going directly to your eardrum, the dampening of piercing highs is not such a bad thing.

 

If you're really into genres that use a lot of what I call 'artificial' highs and lows, you would probably want to avoid these phones.  They are also not amazing for large-scale orchestral work, and can at times be a bit boring for non-acoustic rock.  I don't listen to any of these genres much, except for some hip-hop** and orchestral music.  In both cases, you still have a great musical experience, but not to the level of good $300 over-ear phones, that's for sure. 

 

They sound significantly better, as can be expected, with lossless and high bit rate tracks, but are very sensitive, and so don't do well straight out of the computer jack, even making amping a bit difficult.  I use the Fiio e10, which is fine when listening at moderate or high volumes, not necessarily low volume though, as I get buzzing from the computer (Lenovo thinkpad) when it's charging.  I also have a Music streamer ii dac and schiit magni amp, which do open them up a bit, and especially on high bit rate tracks show off what these IEMs can do.  They are elegant and have excellent instrument imaging and separation, for example.  This combo also brightens them up, which is good.  You still can't listen on very low volume, however, as you'll probably get some channel imbalance.  

 

They are a bit annoying with phone calls, because as they don't have phone capabilities (without a cord upgrade), you have to take them out and reinsert them each time you get a call.  It can affect your relationships negatively if every time you answer the phone you are annoyed--both that you had to stop listening to the music, and because it takes a few seconds and some effort to put them in and remove them each time.  

 

Conclusion: These are fine for acoustic music, which in my opinion, is essentially what music should be.  The imaging might make them good for electronic music, too, but bass heads won't like them.  But the advantage of these is the external noise attenuation, portability, and sensitivity, making them great for portable devices.  With these on my daily bus ride in Tel Aviv, I can block out virtually everything except the vibration that comes up through the seat from the bus itself.  Plus, in a hot climate you don't want anything on your ears when you're on the go, not to mention that some phones are just plain heavy, and as a backpack carrier, I also don't need extra weight.  I briefly thought about selling these and getting Sennheiser 25ii headphones, but backed out due to my own portability concerns.  Probably a toss up, with the se425s coming out a bit on top with respect to mids, imaging and balance, but 25iis, to my experience, having more bass impact (but not more bass tonality) and better high extension.

 

**If you actually want to hear the words of the hip-hop, these can help you with that, as they're quite detailed and can show you where there are several voices going on at the same time.   They just won't give you anything like a club feeling because of the lack of air in the bass.  

Posted

Pros: Noise isolation. It's like wearing hearos earplugs.

Cons: The wires are really stiff, sound isn't anywhere close to a similar priced over the ear headphone

I use these when exercising next to cars. I used to use sealed closed back headphones which didn't block out noise well, but these definitely do. When outside in a loud environment and wearing these, I set the MP3 player's volume to the same level I use when listening to these IEMs in a quiet room. The isolation is that good (I use comply sleeves, but the sleeves included were also pretty decent).

 

However, I was definitely disappointed by the sound quality, relative to a $300 over the ear headphone. I will never choose this over a headphone if listening to music in a quiet environment. The selling point on these isn't sound quality, but rather noise isolation. I won't take more than 1/2 point off for sound, though, because I imagine all IEMs are like this and that this is good IEM sound for $300.

 

One other problem is that the wires are really stiff, a design feature I don't understand. Lastly, putting these on isn't as simple as putting on a pair of regular headphones, you'll have to spend 15 seconds or so seating them correctly to get a proper seal.

Posted

Pros: Sound Stage is very wide, Dual Driver separates tones, Comfortable Fit

Cons: Lack of bass, Tips are hard to remove

I've been holding off the write this review because I wanted to give myself a good long time with these headphones before I broke them down. Starting off with look and comfort these are above par, the clear models give you the sense of technology added to the already quality given by them. At first I was skeptical about using IEM on a daily basis because my ears tend to be sensitive, but after just seconds of trying to figure out how to wear them properly they fit like a glow and with the right bit rated song these seemed to melt into my head, in other words I began to forget they were there. Although these are the least bass heavy of the SE models they create a very warming feeling sound stage even though there are pretty much flat response. I use them for about 2-3 hours a day and have so since the day I bought them, the burn in time was almost none existent and the build quality on these were quite remarkable. I'm very rough on my headphones and tend the throw them around and they've endured my torment for over a year. So overall I say for the right person who it's all about there heavy bass genres (ex. Techno, Hip-Hop, and Rap) then these headphones will serve there purpose and then some, they have yet to let me down and there level of quality blew me away with in seconds of wearing them. 

Shure SE425 Earphone
Description:

Designed for the demanding audio specifications of live performance, the SE425 is engineered to provide reference quality audio. Hear all the details of your music with Dual High-Definition MicroDrivers that deliver an incredibly accurate and balanced listening experience. Featuring Dual High-Definition MicroDrivers, the SE425 uses a dedicated tweeter and woofer for an accurate and balanced sound. Detachable cable with formable wire enables easy replacement and secure, comfortable fit. Sound Isolating sleeves in multiple sizes provide up to 37 dB of isolation.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandShure
ColorSilver
EAN0042406178518
FeatureFormable wire ensures secure placement over the ear
Height6.2 inches
Length7 inches
Weight0.5 pounds
Width2.2 inches
LabelShure Incorporated
List Price$349.99
ManufacturerShure Incorporated
ModelSE425-V
MPNSE425-V
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherShure Incorporated
StudioShure Incorporated
TitleShure SE425-V Dual High-Definition MicroDriver Earphone with Detachable Cable (Metallic Silver)
UPC042406178518
Batteries Included1
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesExperience your music at its best, whether you're listening on-the-go or performing onstage.
Model NumberSE425-CL
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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