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Shure SE215 Review (with pictures)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

Okay, firstly I would like to inform everyone that this is my second review on Head-Fi, so please correct any errors I make. To give you a general idea of my past experiences with IEMs, my previous review was on the Monster Turbine, and I also own a pair of Sennheiser CX400-iis. BTW I have had these earphones in my possession for around 3 months already but never got the time to write up a proper review to post on Head-Fi.
 
Note: The music used to review these earphones are mainly metal music, from Melodic Metalcore to Melodic Death Metal. I do not listen to any other genres apart from metal, so I cannot give any information on how these will sound with other genres.
 
Source used for review: iPod touch 4G (unamped)
 
Songs used:
Nothing Left - As I Lay Dying
Wait For You - Atreyu
Pacing Deaths Trail - In Flames
The Jester's Dance - In Flames
Next In Line - Children Of Bodom
Throes of Perdition - Trivium
Like Light To The Flies - Trivium
Blinded In Chains - Avenged Sevenfold
 

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

 
The box in which these beauties came in were pretty simple, and the accessories provided are decent. Shure provides you with 3 sizes of silicone tips and 3 sizes of the Shure olives. There is also a cleaning tool for the earphones themeselves and a handy fabric case to protect your IEMs. 
I took some time getting used to the Shure olives, but after finding the right combination (medium for both), I managed to get a nice seal. Right out of the box, the forward mids were the first thing I noticed. After a few months experience with the Turbines, I could not believe how much the SE215s' mids were so much better. The music also reverberated more than with the Turbines. Treble extension was also apparently far more superior. Nevertheless, I also realised that these beauties can actually produce a lot of BASS!
 
IMAG0234.jpg     IMAG0236.jpg
 
 
 
IMAG0237.jpg     IMAG0238.jpg
 
IMAG0235.jpg

 

BUILD QUALITY

 
These IEMs are well constructed and give the impression that they we able to withstand the test of time. The cables are reinforced kevlar so there is no reason to worry about cable build issues. I also seem to never have problems with the cable tangling, but this may be because i wrap the cable after use. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack, which is relatively big compared to other IEMs. Consequently, the jack is a bit small for the Speck Candyshell case which protects my iPod. I got the clear version since the shop I went to didn't have the translucent black one in stock. Nevertheless, they look beautiful in the clear version, you can literally see the dynamic driver inside the casing.
 

COMFORT

 
Like I said before, it takes some time to get used to the Shure olive foamies. The foamies create a lot of pressure in your ears and go pretty deep. Nevertheless, they provide excellent noise isolation and can be comfortable even after an hour. The IEMs themselves sit flush in your ear but can be a bit annoying as they push against the cartilage. However, this is clearly a case of YMMV. The memory wire that goes around your ears does it job pretty well but the clear cables on mine are a bit stiff. FWIR, the black version's memory cable is much better.  
 

SOUND QUALITY

 
Bass: The Shure SE215 produces an adequate amount of bass, enough to satisfy mainstream consumers, but the its more prominent in the mid-bass region. This gives the music a nice punch. The bass is tight and controlled but nevertheless the earphones have warm and smooth sound signature. The bass extension is moderate, you can definitely hear the low-end notes of your music but coming from the Monster Turbines, I find the SE215s to be a bit lacking in the sub-bass region.
 
Mids: This is where these beauties shine. The mids are nice and forward. The vocals are very clear and detailed. These make the electric guitars sound smooth and even slightly detached in terms of each note. More technically, the mids are well articulated and highly accurate. IMHO, the awesome mids that the Shure SE215s produce is one of the main reasons why one must buy them.
 
Treble: Treble is crisp and light with good extension. Cymbals sound slightly "sparkly" with these earphones and these detailed highs actually make the music sound clearer and more transparent. It did take some time for me to get used to the treble and I thought I did notice some sibilance at first. Also, whenever I increased the volume past 50% of max on my iPod I noticed quite some clipping in the music. As my audiophile experience is not profound enough, I am not sure whether this problem actually stems from the treble.
 
Soundstage: The soundstage is marvellous, and I feel like the acoustical space is much wider and even more spacious in front of me. The instrument separation is excellent, I can practically distinguish the different instruments being played in my music (not to mention that this is coming from a metalhead ksc75smile.gif). In addition to this, there is some noticeable reverberation.
 
Overall, the attack and speed is slightly above average IMHO. There is also an adequate amount of decay. The SE215 also produces a very natural sound.
 
 
Ultimately, I would like to say that these earphones give a lot of bang for your buck, being priced at around USD$100. I even have to admit that I prefer the Shure SE215 than my Monster Turbines, which were actually priced at around USD$180. For now, I believe that these IEMs are the best among those I currently own. 
 
post #2 of 29

Great write up, good to hear thoughts from a metal head! 

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thx! I know metal isn't much of an audiophile music genre but I will always be a metalhead, even as I go up the scale towards audiophile awesomeness! dt880smile.png

post #4 of 29

I actually find the treble lacking sparkle- I'm coming from the cx 300 II myself. Mids are way better though.  isolation is beautiful with the olives though!

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Yeah trebles aren't that sparkly, but to my ears they sound good enough. Shure olives are my favorite tips so far! etysmile.gif

post #6 of 29

i was lucky enough to get it at 97$+tax in Canada from Futureshop - price match it with the 99$ at bestbuy!

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

Nice dude! I don't live in the states so prices here are really high, got mine for around $130 including taxes. frown.gif

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3athangel View Post

 IMAG0238.jpg


I'm not sure if I like this picture... I tend to be a lot more careful with cables.

Thanks for reminding me why I don't like to buy 2nd hand.

 

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

I'm not sure if I like this picture... I tend to be a lot more careful with cables.

Thanks for reminding me why I don't like to buy 2nd hand.

 



?? I take good care of the cables, I don't understand why you don't like the picture. I wrapped up the cables, shouldn't I be doing that? confused_face_2.gif

post #10 of 29
Looks a little too tight for my taste. I try to keep them round or oval at least.
post #11 of 29

just wrap it around your hand. that way the circle fits in the case snugly too

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Oh okay, I do wrap it around my hand, I guess I tighten them a bit too much. Thanks for the advice guys. smile.gif

post #13 of 29

I had these and the left side randomly stopped working, and they worked even an hour before. Swapping cables between sides did nothing. BEsides the isolation and fit, I am plenty happy with my Klipsch Image S4s for SQ especially bass (used for mostly hip hop) that I got from Best Buy that night for a long car trip the next day since I didn't want to wait 4 weeks or so for them to come back fixed. My tips keep coming off though but oh well. Less isolation and fit with somewhat sensitive tips for $309 less, eh.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

Less isolation and fit with somewhat sensitive tips for $309 less, eh.


US$309?? Or AUD?? Either way that doesn't make sense, they are only around US$20 cheaper than the SE215.

 

post #15 of 29
I don't think the S4 can hold up to the Shure in any way. The SE215 is a far superior earphone. I'm surprised many people are having their pair die on them. They are like one of the the best sports IEMs out there, IMO.
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