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Shure SE425 Earphone

81% Positive Reviews
Rated #32 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: compact

Cons: poor sound, poor quality

Wow, what a disappointment. I have decided to buy the se 425 due to reputation of SHure. I  had to return two sets to finally get a set that worked, the first set the sales person pulled the cable off, the second set only one of the earphones worked. While the third set works, the sound is awful, poor base and tinny treble. If you are considering, save your money, or buy a set cheap set, the sound of my IPOD stock earphones is much better.

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. 

Posted

Pros: Detailed sound. Lovely mids. Wide assortment of tips that isolate well.

Cons: Bass perception is an issue.

Excellent IEMs for detail, clarity, and flat response across the whole sound spectrum. Love them, especially with the stock yellow foams. For a factual reprsentation of your music, really,really good. Not recommended for low bit files. For "fun" listening, it lacks a bit of bass.

I use an AK100. AK100 comes with a very slight v-shaped EQ. When making the V-shape more pronounced I could get more bass from these things, at the expense of some detail. Still, very satisfactory.

I tried third party cables and these changed the signature somewhat. Some added a bit of bass. Others added some soundstage. Satisfactory, but never quiet sold on the changes, so for now I settled back on the stock cable, because it still has a great sound signature and is Kevlar reinforced.

As mentioned best results were obtained with the stock yellow foams, but later switched over to ultra-soft, ultra-isolating Comply foams (I tried many, many third party tips along the way, never quiet sold on them). I alternate between these and the yellow foams nowadays. I'm finally content, it seems. I couldn't get along with any of the other stock tips. The shape of your ear canals and how much isolation you can get will be different from person to person, and Shure has to be commended for including as many tips as they do.

Compared to the SE535 LTD - J, I found the sound on the more expensive IEMs to be a little less detailed. For some reason, voices sounded as if coming from a tube, although bass and treble extension seemed pretty good. I eventually sold these off and kept my SE425s.

Latest mod is having added Knowles 1000 OHM (brown) filters. This, coupled with a completely flat EQ on the AK100 gives a warm sound with full bass extension and detail. Incredible! Other filters exist and reportedly give the sound signature other characteristics, but I haven't tried them.

This is the story so far with the SE425. Hope you enjoy them!

Posted

Pros: Excellent sound quality, fit, and soundstage

Cons: None, from my perspective

I'm not as experienced as other members here in headfi, but I can assure you that you won't be disappointed a single bit if you are coming from sub 200 dollars price range. I've been using earphones all the way from Apple's stock earphones, Audiotechnica sub 100 dollars, to Sennheiser sub 150. This SE425 just rocks. Of course, I got a deal for used pair for 152 USD, but that doesn't mean the sound quality degraded (actually, the previous owner burned-in, so it was a good sounding IEM from the beginning for me.)

 

One thing that I like about this design is that you can sleep while wearing these without a problem. It doesnt protrude from your ear, so no worries about them breaking.

 

Have a great listening experience! :D

Posted

Pros: Linear, analytic, fit, isolation

Cons: Sound signature, SQ

Coming from headphones such as the sennheiser HD25-1 ii and HD650 I was expecting much better SQ from these in ears.

 

They sound cold, really cold. It sounds as if you're listening to music through a tin can.

They are detailed however, but it makes everything sound cheap.

I haven't listened to these for long, just a day. But I'm pretty sure I will never get used to the sound signature, nor do I want to.

For the price they offer little SQ, I will be going back to the headphone world...

 

They do fit beautifully in the ear, they look rather like customs, and the isolation is terrific.

So just get the SE215 for on stage use etc.

 

 

Posted

Pros: great solid flat sound, comfortable, isolating

Cons: the cables are the worst things in world

play music professionally.

these sound great.

been through 3 of them in 90 days.

buy the insurance from guitar center - if you're on tour with these and the left side goes out (it will) you'll be screwed for a week.

seriously - buy these - but DO NOT hit the road with out replacement cables.

and don't use them for anything other than rehearsals or shows - if they crap out on you mid-set, that's on them...  if you lose a side to WTF you're gonna be even more pissed.

 

 

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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