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For Travel: Shure se115, se215, Ety's OR noise canceling?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am looking to purchase some new IEMs for flying. I'm not crazy about the idea of active noise cancellation, and I've heard that they don't work as well as sound isolating IEMs anyway. I currently own a pair of old Shure SE-115s with the "olive" foam tips. They work pretty well for sound isolation, but the tips are really worn out, and they don't sound good. I know I can buy replacement tips, but I am thinking about replacing the shures completely.

I don't care too much about sound quality, since these will mostly be used for traveling. I would like a pair of IEMs that sound good, but I am mainly concerned about isolation and comfort. I also want to stay below $100 ish. Also, I want to buy in-store. I'm not big on having to ship a product back for a return if I hate it.

Are the SE-215s a huge upgrade over my old 115s as far as sound quality is concerned? I know they created a new shape and cord design, which may increase comfort. I've heard great things about Ety's, but I really dislike rubber flange tips. One reason I like the 115s is that the cord goes over the ear, which helps them stay on.

I have a pair of sensaphonocs custom ear moulds for my flight headset, and I love them, so I may eventually invest in some for the next pair of IEMs I get.

Opinions would be greatly appreciated! Which IEM would you recommend (that can be bought in a big box store) that is comfortable and isolates well. Again, the "best" sound quality isn't what I'm concerned about, as I have other phones I use for that. Thanks!
Edited by CirrusPilot - 12/23/12 at 11:03am
post #2 of 15

You can obtain an Etymotic Mc5 for $60, and with the gray mushroom tips, I daresay it will be one of the most comfortable IEM's you've worn, and Etymotics are incredible for isolation and accuracy. I own the Mc5 and use it for travelling on planes and such, and can listen at very reasonable volumes because of the excellent noise isolation.

If you go through the gray foam tips too fast, try the Monster Supertips, either the foam or gel ones. Again, very comfortable, and much easier to clean. The cable on the Mc5 is very nice as well, as it's made of mylar and has a nice memory free hang to it. Also, most any IEM that is inserted well enough can be worn looped over the ear. I wear all of my IEMs this way.

That being said, If I had the choice to be given one for free I would take the Bose QC 15. I would bear the poor sound for the excellent noise cancellation and comfort. (I feel the noise isolation with the Ety's is only slightly worse than the cancellation on the Bose... and with impulse sounds it's a touch better I think.)

post #3 of 15

etys if you can bear the deep insertion.

cant say what the differences are between the 115 and 215, but 215s are a great option for their price.

i find that westones are pretty decent on isolation also

post #4 of 15

^The only tips with which one would have to 'bear deep insertion' are the triple flanges... I can't remember the last time I've used those. Simply use the gray foam cylinders, mushrooms, or Monster Supertips.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Do the Ety's come with foam mushroom tips like the Shures? If they do, and I used those tips, could I expect better isolation than the Shures?

I hate the foam cylinder tips as much as the triple flange. I can't wear something that uncomfortable for multiple hours, even if the isolation is amazing. I don't mind shoving things in my ear, which is what I do with my custom aviation headset. Maybe my ears are weird, but the only tips I find bearable are foam mushroom tips or my custom tips. Like I mentioned earlier, I would seriously consider getting custom tips made down the road.
Edited by CirrusPilot - 12/24/12 at 12:52pm
post #6 of 15

These are the gray foam mushroom tips. I'd also recommend the foam and gel Monster Supertips, as they last longer and are easier to clean.

 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can you use the supertips on the SE215s? That may be my best bet for comfort until I get customs moulds made.

I think I've settled on the SE215s if I buy some new IEMs. Do you think it would be a noticeable improvement over my old 115s (at least 5 years old)?
post #8 of 15

^Personally, I've never been able to recommend Shure IEM's. After listening to their $300 flagship, the SE535, I was not impressed. It looks like the frequency response on the 215 doesn't have the huge cleft of the SE535 though, so it should sound much different. (When I listened to it, I was taken back by how bland and weak it sounded, even compared directly to an Etymotic, which is often considered sterile and clinical sounding.) It is odd though that the FR graphs are so close for the two though. It's odd that I like one quite a bit and don't care for the other at all.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3251&graphID[]=2731&graphID[]=2711&graphID[]=2271

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
That is odd! I think I've just settled on the SE-215s. I'm much more concerned with comfort and isolation since these are mainly going to be used for travel. I also want to eventually get customs tips. The analytical sound of the Ety's sounds great, but I'm not sure I would enjoy that for casual listening on an airplane!

My only real question left, will the SE-215s be a big difference in sound quality over the SE-110(115)? I'm not sure which model I have, since I bought them a long time ago. They are black with the gold Shure logo (if that helps!)
post #10 of 15

Hi! just wondering what you guys would think of the MC5 for long flights..i'm a jazz pianist...so, mainly listening to jazz :)

...don't want crazy fake booming bass anyways...looking for the $50 price-range...is the MC5 about the best for that range?

 

Thanks!

post #11 of 15

The Mc5 is the most accurate based on frequency response in that range. If you like things uncolored, that is the way to go. For long flights, I like to leave them in the entire time, and I use the gray mushroom tips, or Monster Supertips. (ie. the only Monster product I like.)

post #12 of 15

Of the ones listed, I've only tried the Shure SE215, which I happen to love.  They're very comfortable for me, and they can even be used for noise-blocking when trying to sleep, since they don't stick out of your ears.  The QC15 are also very comfortable but good luck wearing those while sleeping against a pillow.

 

Another possible option is the Klispch X10, which are comfortable, sound great (I prefer them to the SE215), and are quite good at noise attenuation.  My problem with them is microphonics, and having them fall out of my ears.  Also, not as great for sleeping.  I don't own the MC5 but do have a set of HF2 which just weren't for me.  So for travel -- my vote would be SE215 all the way.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by onree View Post

Of the ones listed, I've only tried the Shure SE215, which I happen to love.  They're very comfortable for me, and they can even be used for noise-blocking when trying to sleep, since they don't stick out of your ears.  The QC15 are also very comfortable but good luck wearing those while sleeping against a pillow.

Another possible option is the Klispch X10, which are comfortable, sound great (I prefer them to the SE215), and are quite good at noise attenuation.  My problem with them is microphonics, and having them fall out of my ears.  Also, not as great for sleeping.  I don't own the MC5 but do have a set of HF2 which just weren't for me.  So for travel -- my vote would be SE215 all the way.

Sounds wise how much better is the x10 compared to se225
post #14 of 15

the se215 seem to be around $100...i can get MC5 for $55...is the price difference worth it?  MC3 which is useful for use with my iphone 5 and ipad is around $70

...how is se215 noise isolation compared to MC5?

post #15 of 15

Here is a comparison of the Klipsch, Etymotic, QC 15, and Shure: (for isolation, lower is better, and frequency response compares the relative loudness at specific frequencies

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=6&graphID[]=2711&graphID[]=2271&graphID[]=3251&graphID[]=3411graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2711&graphID[]=2271&graphID[]=3251&graphID[]=2731

 

Personally, I like the sound of the Klipsch Image X10 and Etymotic Mc5 over Shure SE 535, and would overall probably give the Mc5 the best value rating based on the sound plus superior cable (thicker mylar, without memory, and metal housing.)

For comfort I would go with the Klipsch Image X10, as it's the smallest and most comfortable earphone I've used. (It has oval shaped eartips, which make quite a lot of difference compared to circular ones.) I'm not sure why they were falling out for the other person. With the right eartips they should be able to fit into the ear canal all the way up to the black stems, and all earphones should be worn looped over the top of the ear and going down around the back.

I haven't heard the SE215, but if you want some extra bass kick, it looks like it should do the trick. (The shape of Shure earphones is also more erganomic than the Etymotic, but you lose the sound accuracy.)

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