Pros: Neutral correct sound, extremely deep bass when fitted properly
Cons: More difficult to fit correctly than previous Shure IEM, neutral sound might not be liked by the average loudness and boom bass lover
I bought these at an online music store for a price much lower than elsewhere. This is my 3rd pair of Shure In ear monitors. The first pair where E2's which broke the tip when replacing the foam cushion, I tried to repair them but they lacked bass after this. The second pair where E310 in black, I loved these but unfortunately left them on a plane. I wanted to buy the SE325 but I found these 425's for the same price online
These monitors are (for me) far more difficult to fit then the E310 mainly because the angle of entering the ear canal is more or less predetermined and there is a limit to how far you can push them in your ear. Next to that they are quite thick outside the ear canal and that sets a limit for manipulating the ear canal fitting with your fingers.
The 2 previous models worked best with the yellow foam cushions but I cannot fit the 425s properly with the yellow foams, basically in my case only the white triple layer tips would work.
As long as you don't fit them properly or you have not found the right earcanal-tips these earphones will sound terrible, almost no bass at all and hardly any treble. If this is what you hear, you have not found the right fit.
I guess some might never find the right fit.
After they're fitter properly it will take about a minute more for them to settle but then the sound is completely different: they are extremely neutral, very detailed and they take out almost all ambient noise. The bass range is exceptional. I've read other reviews that say that the bass does not go deep but I totally disagree, the bass goes extremely deep. A lot of "modern" speakers and headphones emphasize frequencies around 100hz to make people think there is a a lot of bass but when frequencies go lower they lack bass pressure quickly. These earphones are in a different league; they seem to go all the down to 20hz and the curve appears to be flat. But again, if they are not fitted properly you will not hear any of this.
I have used several other earbuds and in-ear headphones for comparison and at home I use AKG-K240 Studio's or Sennheiser HD580 but sometimes I also use these Shures.
The overal built quality is very good, the cable quality and the fact that this is detachable and rotates is also positive. The cable remembers its shape near the ear which is much better than the previous models I owned.
The comfort level when wearing them is not as good as would like, after a couple of hours (I use them a lot on intercontinental flights) they sometimes start hurting or itching. That said I sometimes keep them in-ear during an entire cross-atlantic flight which might take 9 hours depending on the destination.
The only other thing I don't like is that there is not L-R indication on them, they have a a color dot which is different for left and right but I'm always trying to figure out which monitor go where when I'm on a flight.