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Shure Sound Isolating Earphone SE315 Hi-Definition Micro Speaker with Tuned Bass Port (Clear)

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #109 in Universal Fit


Pros: Good clean delivery of mids

Cons: Highs are not as well extended as they could be

Shure is definitely up there if you’re shopping around for high performance in-ear-monitors (IEM’s). Aside from the consumer oriented SE115’s, pretty much all of the new SE range caters for clear, true-to-studio and balanced audio fit for even the pickiest of audiophiles, but with the slightest bit of sparkle and low end goodness of the modern audio preference that consumers crave. The SE315’s are no exception. In the grand scheme of Shure’s SE range, the SE315’s sit toward the lower end with a price of £189.99 and is the lowest priced of Shure’s Balanced Armature IEM lineup. On paper, the SE315’s look a little anaemic compared to its more expensive siblings, the SE425 and SE535’s with only one driver to speak of. A “Tuned BassPort” is incorporated however which should redeem it from the traditionally tinny sound that balanced armature drivers tend to produce (though balanced armatures don’t move a lot of air, so I’m not entirely how this “BassPort” works).
Ok, so this isn’t important in the grande scheme of things, but this is an “in-depth” review, so why not? The Shure SE315’s packaging definitely makes what at first seems like a very insignificant product look like a masterpiece. On the practical side of things though, taking the actual IEM’s out requires nothing more than a sturdy pair of hands. There is no dodgy vacuum wrapped plastic or seals to deal with like we find on so many other items of packaging. In fact, I managed to get these out of the box and in my ears in less than 5 minutes. Result!
Those familiar to Shure’s IEM’s would feel right at home with these, however, those coming from IEM’s which hang straight down from the ear may find these a little alien. Shure IEM’s are designed to be worn with the cable running up and over the ear. While it was possible to wear the previous models with the cable running straight down, the new SE315’s simply cannot be worn like this. Not that you would want to anyway; cable microphonics (a fancy way of saying “cable thump”) is greatly reduced when the cable is worn up and over the ear. Cable noise is still present though, and really, the only way to avoid this issue is to wear it under an item of clothing or with a clip etc (a clip is not included in the box).
Cabling isn’t usually a very exciting factor with IEM’s, though with the SE315 (and the rest of the SE line apart from the SE115’s), the cable can be detached from the driver units. Using a special connection which clicks into place and rotates, you can simply replace the cable instead of the entire set should something go wrong. Not that you would want to do such a thing very often; replacement cables cost anywhere from £45, a price which many would probably spend on a new pair of IEM’s. To Shure’s credit however, the cable is extremely well made with a meshy kevlar material covering it and satisfyingly chunky cable protectors at the joints. The cable is also angled at the 3.5mm jack which should prevent it from splitting.
That’s what you would be paying £45 to replace.
Comparing these directly to the SE535’s, the SE315’s seem to fit in the outer ear more easily. The fit isn’t as snug though like it is on the SE535’s, as the driver tapers in slightly towards the tip. Compared to other IEM’s on the market such as the Etymotic HF3’s or Apple In-Ears, the 315’s are much larger and weightier, although their outer-ear design makes them comfortable to wear. Apart from the cable over your ear, it is easy to forget you’re even wearing them.
Shure includes a “Fit-Kit” which includes tips of different materials to give the best fit. For sheer convenience, silicone or rubber tips are great, however they provide a very weak seal. Foam tips (of either the black variety or the yellow ones) provide a much better seal, however they also make putting the IEM’s on a lengthy process. Triple Flange tips are also included, and while they provide a good seal once inserted, they are hit and miss at times.
Quite a decent selection of tips. Cleaning tool is also included to remove that gooey stuff that builds up on your IEM’s after they’ve been in your ears.
The one gripe I have always had with Shure IEM’s was the fact that it takes a while to put them on. If you’re using foam tips, you have to pre-squish them after which you have a 10 second window to stick the things in your ear. The cable would then run over your ear and even after this, it takes about 20 seconds for the foam to expand and a proper seal to be created. It’s an ordeal which can become very annoying in the morning or after you take them out to talk to someone.
That fit took 3 minutes at the very least.
“Wire-form” is included in the first few inches of the cable to aid shaping around the ear.
Sound Quality
Right, so we have established that they take ages to put on; was it worth it? Short answer is definitely! Burning in isn’t generally required for balanced armature drivers so you could start enjoying your music right out of the box.
Shure’s signature sound has always been balanced and accurate, and the SE315’s deliver. Bass was tight and controlled without any of that distorted thumpy mess you find on lower end sets, and mids were delivered in a clean manner. Tracks with a lot going on in the mid-range still sounded especially clear for a pair of single drivers. Acoustic material are where these IEM’s perform at their best, with the single balanced armature driver texturing individual notes in such a precise way, making you feel as if you were in the studio where it was recorded. It is not to say that these IEM’s don’t perform with other music genres, as they provide just enough low end oomph to drive a drum and bass track smoothly along. Colouring is not an issue here, as you will hear everything in the way it was mastered to sound by the studio, as well as compression imperfections in the encoding process.
Just for fun, I played a 128Kbps track on these earphones and the difference between this and Lossless tracks I normally test IEM’s with was astounding. I would go as far as to say that the SE315’s manage to reproduce clearly the compression artefacts that comes with dodgy encodes and the effect was very pronounced. While these aren’t the IEM’s which would benefit much from a dedicated portable amp, they should still be fed Lossless, or 320Kbps from a decent source at the very least. They may be £189.99, but they don’t work miracles.
If I had to gripe about these IEM’s, then treble would be where I find a problem. While tracks were still bright, they seemed to lack some of the high end goodness you would find in the Etymotic HF3’s. This was mainly a problem in acoustic material where the sharp higher frequencies from the album “Take Off Your Colours” by YouMeAtSix were somewhat hard to come by. While this isn’t a “problem” for a pair of consumer earphones, it is definitely something to take into consideration when shopping around for a high end pair of IEM’s. If you’re a fan of bright treble, then the SE425’s or HF3’s would be a better choice.
On a serious health note, Shure IEM’s require very little current to drive them. With a good seal and volume at about half on an iPhone, these IEM’s kicked out a lot of sound and on a MacBook Pro, the volume only needed to be on four bars before things got a bit deafening. This isn’t where the problem lies though; while Shure claims that it’s IEM’s perform better at low volumes, many say that bass response seems better at higher volumes, and it is very easy to turn these up dangerously high to get the low end goodness going, damaging your hearing in the process. A volume limit is definitely something to actually use here, and as with any pair of balanced armature IEM’s, a good seal is essential. As a rule of thumb, try a different tip before turning up the volume if you find bass lacking.


Pros: Clarity, Highs, Mids, Deep bass tones

Cons: Bass quantity, presence, sometimes slight silibance

I bought my 315s when I decided I needed some "pro" headphones instead of the continuous cheap ones I kept finding around. I bought them at guitar-center for $200 with $20 2 year warranty. I have spent a long time using them (4 months) and never reviewed them because I was not quite s(h)ure what I was missing. Recently I acquired a pair of UM3x that I love too so they set the stage for me to judge the SE315s properly. 


First off I find the SE315s very underrated here at head-fi. Frankly when looking for suggestions and such no one was suggesting the 315s - people were even like "315s are meh". I dont understand why - compared to most single balanced armature drivers I find these much better. So if your looking for a well rounded IEM to get into the world of hifi then these are not a bad start.


Price: I found these to be a little expensive but I wouldn't really regret purchasing them. The extra insurance was not needed considering the build quality.


Build: They are like sexy little tanks when you hold them. I feel like you could pull the costa concordia out of the sea with the cable alone. The removable cable connection is all gold plated and very solid. The IEMs themselves are 2 cases. The armature has its own solid plastic case then a second case surrounding the whole thing. The solid-wire in the part that wraps arround your ear did break for me but this wire only holds the shape of the cord. it does not carry sound. It was in a high stress location and was mostly my fault. Still functions properly though. 


Science: Im no sound engineer but this armature looks much different than any of the others ive sen. Franky its much bigger and looks like it has some sort of dual plate system. I can also see the tuned bass port and frankly the transparent 315s are super cool because you can watch everything work (no excursion to see though. sad face)


Highs: They sparkle. They extend. They are clear. They are fabulous. 


Mids: Emphasized and present. But not in a scratchy way. Makes me want to boost the High EQ usually. But thats okay, it sounds nice either way. 


Lows: Lacking. I feel like it takes some persuasion to get them out, but when they come out they are there, controlled, and clear. They are fun to listen to and kinda dance around you - tempting you for a little more but I mean youll probably be content with some EQ. A huge boost to the low shelf of 32hz seemed to make it more fun. The mid-bass was okay to start with but the low lows are hard to find.


Stage: Sound stage is good. Nice separation and space. Compares well to my UM3x


Case tips / tool: The case is neat. Kinda soft but it fits my sansa, 315s, cleaning tool, small usb cord, and an extra set of tips very nicely. Kinda a cool portable setup. So after I got my 315s I let my borther try them the next night (he is 8 - has waxy ears)... TLDR he clogged them with wax. There was virtually no sound coming from the right. Scared me senseless. I took the cleaning hook and some peroxide and lucky for me they cleaned right up. 


Isolation/Sibilance/CordPhonicsBlahBlah:  Excellent isolation. I used these headphones to go shooting once. I took off the cable and stuffed the IEMs in my ears like you normally would and it made a very comfortable shooting experience. I was shooting 9mm (for sound reference for those who are familiar).  Sibilance can be a problem on some soruces/tracks. Lowering the Tip top High EQ just a tap helped with this. Once again this was only a few times.   As for what ever you call the thing where you can hear the cord rustling against you they suffer from this but its nothing that I would be put off by. 


Overall im happy with the 315s. While I feel like they lack the bass they can certainly handle it when given. Thats what was so frustrating. They have awesome bass control but without some changed to your source youll be lacking bass. Combined with my EQed Sansa clip plus they sounded excellent. Despite having acquired my UM3x that are now my main headphones I will not sell off my 315s because they are just fabulous. They are good spares and I like letting my friends use them to listen with me. If you crave something with much bass you might want to look else where unless your only using an EQed source most of the time. 


Pros: Price - Build Quality - Sound - Customizable

Cons: Microphonics - Short Cable? - Soft carry pouch

Yeah so I went ahead and bought the thing, I guess all reviews with this IEMs really is true, soundstage is very good, mids and highs are good enough including the low end, though low ends aren't really that booming and less extension but overall sound for me (subjective nature of headphones) is neutral. Bass is good once in a while but nowadays when I listen to rap hip hop, I tend to get ear fatigue and headache being a former basshead. I tend to love the overall sound of these 315s and very much worth the purchase, if later on this will break down, will definitely upgrade to the 535s or the 846s if time and resources apply. A must for upper entry level IEMs choice of portable hi-fi setup. Very clean sounding when paired with a Fiio E17 which tends to sound DARK since there is no adjustment for the mids, only lows and highs, take note this IEM already has its mids and highs quite pronounced but not in terms of being sibilant, a liitle upping for the lows (bass frequencies) can be good to get that satisfactory bass response to multi genre music. Guitars and Vocals shine in these IEMs, IMO it is good for RAP Metal, Rock, alternative, Pop Rock Music. Try it now before it goes out of production!


Pros: Detachable Cables, Sound Quality, Isolation, Comfort, Build Quality, Looks

Cons: Cables that wraps around the ears are a bit stiff; Soft carrying case instead of crush proof ones

I got my Shure SE315 as a gift, and I absolutely love them, here's the review:


Build Quality:


I think the SE315 has excellent build quality, with its detachable and robust cables, L shaped jack, they have no issues in daily usage. I'm not sure about using them on stage since I don't, I only use them for personal listening on my computer and iPod.


Comfort and Isolation:


The sound isolation of SE315 is AMAZING, the best in all of the earphones I've ever tried. Black foam sleeves that come with these earphones provide the best isolation for me, people talking right next to me is almost inaudible even without music playing. At first, the shape of the SE315 looked really weird to me, but surprisingly, they fit tightly and snugly in my ears, and the over the ear design keeps it in place during physical activities.


Sound Quality:




The highs of SE315 is nice and controlled, not too fatiguing. The highs are much better than the SE215, in both quality and quantity, it extends higher and is more forward. But I would like it if it can go even higher, because in some songs, violins or pianos can be a little faint.




This is where these earphones are better than most of the ones I've tried. Shure earphones are known for their mids, and these sure don't disappoint. The mid is extraordinary clear and forward. Vocals sounds awesome, like you're sitting right next to the singer.




I'd say the low end (bass) is the weakest part in the sound quality. Bass goes pretty low, but lacks some punch. That's where the SE215, with dynamic drivers, are superior to the SE315.




The soundstage is larger than SE215, it feels like the music is surrounded horizontally around you, but not so much vertical depth.




I enjoy the SE315 very much, although I prefer them over the SE215, the dynamic drivers of the SE215 is more fun to listen to, therefore I use both of them. I recommend the SE315 for those who wants clarity and precision in their music, bass-heads might need to look somewhere else.

Shure Sound Isolating Earphone SE315 Hi-Definition Micro Speaker with Tuned Bass Port (Clear)

The SE315-CL utilizes a single vented High-Definition MicroDriver for extended range audio with optimized low-end. Designed for both professional monitoring and personal listening, this model integrates a detachable cable at the ear for increased durability and easy replacement, and formable wire for a comfortable and secure fit.

FeatureAvailable in Clear and Black
Height7 inches
Length2.2 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width6.2 inches
LabelShure Incorporated
List Price$249.99
ManufacturerShure Incorporated
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherShure Incorporated
StudioShure Incorporated
TitleShure Sound Isolating Earphone SE315 Hi-Definition Micro Speaker with Tuned Bass Port (Clear)
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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