Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Shure SE215 or Etymotic HF3? Opinions Please
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Shure SE215 or Etymotic HF3? Opinions Please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My Shure SE210s have died twice and been replaced under warranty.  Now the right side has gone out and it's out of warranty and Shure wants $68 + $10 shipping to replace them with the SE215's.


A nearby store is selling the Etymotic HF3 for the exact same price = $78.  Now the decision ...


I realize the Shures will have more bass and be punchier, but I understand the Etymotics are quite good (I've never heard the HF3's, but did try the MC3s and was unimpressed with their lack of efficiency).  I do like nice detail in vocals and guitars, but have also liked the presence of the 210s (when they worked)


A second worry is the reliability of the Shures since I've gone through a couple.  I am not overly hard on my IEMs but am leaning towards the Etys for this reason.


I listen to mostly rock and power pop on my iPhone.


Any opinions are appreciated.  Thanks!

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 9

Ok, well, I have the 215s and love them.  No experience with the Etys.  So I say the 215s based on nothing other than that ;)  ymmv

post #4 of 9

I have both and prefer the Etys for their clarity and accuracy. I mainly listen top female vocals tho. For rock and anything bass heavy the Shures are probably a better choice.


Good luck!



post #5 of 9

for your genres I would go with the SE215's however the HF3's have controls for your Iphone and a mic.  And for that price cannot be beat, a better value by a mile then the se215's.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice all!


post #7 of 9
The HF5 are available under $100 and they are very detailed and offers good bass response to serve these genres music well. The HF3 are also detailed and has sturdy built quality but compared to HF5, overall they are not as detailed(in highs).
post #8 of 9

Honestly, for your genres, I believe the Shures will be a better match.  The Etymotics will sound a little thin for rock and pop and really don't have the bass response you'd get from the SE215s.  Although the Etymotics will be ample (barely) for those genres, my recommendation would have to go by the Shures.  However, the Etymotics will have one of the best build qualities out there.  I don't think you'd be replacing them for years, they are really built that well.  Another idea is to get the Phonak PFEs and buy some black filters (~120 USD).  Other ideas include the ThinkSound TS02, or even the Brainwavz M4s.  Although people will disagree with me, if you feel like stretching a bit, the Brainwavz B2s will also offer what you need for rock (requires a good seal though). 


I know this is a lot to look at, and I'm only adding a little more below to give you a general idea of how each IEM sounds:

  • Shure SE215: I have not read too much on this, nor have I heard it.  I do know that it's better suited for the genres you listen to over the Etymotic. 
  • Etymotic: Thin, dry bass that does have good impact and texture, but completely misses when it comes to presence and body.  The midrange is detailed to the point where it's thrown directly into your face, which says a lot about it's great clarity and timbre.  The high end can get a little much at times, but otherwise, retains detailed, clear, and lively. 
  • Phonak PFE 022s (with black filter): Quite balanced with good bass texture and impact. There's decent treble extension with good midrange; great detailing and clarity.  You'll get some loss of detail in the high end every now and then.
  •  ThinkSound TS02: V shaped signature that has excellent texture and rumble whilst still being controlled well (it actually sounds like it's in the background).  The mids are nice and clear although not the most detailed.  The high end extends and has great clarity and transparency to them with an ample amount of detail.
  • Brainwavz M4: V shaped signature, but not as bass driven as the ThinkSounds leaving out the rumble (which the rumble can really make some rock songs com alive).  Impact is strong and powerful still while retaining a sense of control.  Quantity-wise it's less than the ThinkSounds.  The midrange is similar to the thinkSound as well with great transparency and slightly better detailing.  The high end is a wash with the ThinkSounds.
  • Brainwavz B2: Light, neutral bass that has wonderful texture, but again, doesn't rumble at all.  Impact can seem lacking, but in reality really isn't.  There is a nice body as well to this bass.  The midrange will blow most of the above out of the water with great detailing and clarity to it as well.  The high end can seem overdone at times though, otherwise, detailed, clear, and lively.  I literally think this IEM is a breed between an analytic phone and a sweet one.


For build quality, I'd rate like this: Etymotic > Brainwavz B2 >= Brainwavz M4 >= Phonak PFE = ThinkSound TS02 > Brainwavz M4...  I wouldn't know where the Shures fit into this though :(  Note that the M4 also has two different cables associated with the mic and unmic'd models.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.  Went with the HF3s and am very happy!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Shure SE215 or Etymotic HF3? Opinions Please