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Review: Shure SE215 vs SE215 SPE Blue

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Review: Shure SE215 SPE vs SE215


I would like to thank Hifiheadphones for lending me the SE215, and Shure Asia for lending me the SE215 SPE.

I will try and write as honest a review possible, they both received more than 50hrs of burn-in before review, and the sound did change, so burn-in is advised.



Photos by Felix Speller:







Gear used:

IPod Classic 160gb (rockboxed) > Shure IEM's

(Amping did not bring much of an improvement so I didn't include it)



Driver: Dynamic

Frequency response: 21hz - 17.5kHz

Sensitivity: 107 dB SPL/mW

Impedance: 20

Cable length: SE215 - (162cm) SE215 SPE - (116cm) with wireform memory wire





Packaging, build quality and accessories:

Packaging is a nice card box, slim in profile with a widow showing off the IEM's, some details are listed on the front and side, with specifications and accessories on the back.

Build quality is as expected from Shure, excellent with high quality plastic housings which feel solid, detachable cables which are easy to replace if broken, strain relief is excellent on the jack and y-split, the SPE has a shorter cable than the normal version, which is better for portability.

Accessories are also good, they come with a fabric carry pouch, nozzle cleaning tool and an array of tips, silicone single flange in S, M and L, and foam tips in S, M (pre installed) and L, they don't have triple flanges like the SE425, or a hard carry case, but good accessories included for the price.





Comfort, isolation, driver flex and microphonics

Comfort is great, I love Shure foam tips and find them comfy for prolonged periods of time, the housings are of good shape and fit well in your outer ear, you can achieve fairly deep insertion with them, and the angle of the nozzle is perfect. The memory wire is also comfy and helps support the IEM, even if it is very light.

Isolation is above average with foam tips and find them excellent for all uses and especially public transport.

Driver flex is not present, which is great and microphonics are next to nothing as the cable goes over your ear.








SE215: These pack some punch, great lows which hit hard when needed, but still stay controlled without bleeding into the mids. The lows do extend low but start to roll off around 30-40hz. I would say the bass is quite tight and well rounded being articulare and not too dominant.


SPE: Shure said that these have extended low frequency, and I can say that the rumble is definately more present, they don't roll off quite as early, but I think there is a slight boost around 40-60hz compared to the standard, which makes the bass sound more present when in terms of extension they are similar, but the bass still doesn't overpower and is controlled.


The lows on both are not the fastest in attack, but they still fair well with fast music and metal. Also separaton in the lows on both is very good, bass guitars and kick drums are easily separated, and timbre is slightly on the thicker side.



SE215: I would say quantity wise they are around the same as the bass, not quite as forward as some of their other models, this is always Shure's strong point, these are no exception, lush effortless with no sibilance to be detected in the upper mids, the bass doesn't bleed in to the mids either. Detail is very good, as is separation, both male and female vocals sound excellent, and guitars have good definition, presence and attack. I have yet to hear an IEM that does great bass with lush effortless mids like Shure.


SPE: I think these are a little more forward in presentation and have a slight upper hand in clarity over the standard version, the mids sound a little cleaner, not as congested. But overall great sounding mids, similar to the standard version with slight better separation and clarity, still no sibilance.



SE215: This is usually where Shure don't fair so well, they have the right timbre and highs do sound well defined, but they are always a little behind, making them slightly dull sounding. They just lack presence, extension and sparkle, but at least like this they are not fatiguing.


SPE: I think these are also slightly ahead in terms of presence than the standard, the highs do sound a little better, better definition and clarity, taps and brushes of cymbals sound clearer but still lack a little presence, sparkle and extension up top. But overall an upgrade over the standard version.





Instrument separation, soundstage and imaging:


Instrument separation is good on the standard version and slightly better on the SPE, as it has a little more air, the standard sounds a little darker.


Soundstage is slightly larger than normal on both, but nothing spectacular.


Imaging is something Shure also tends to do well, and these have very good imaging.


Overall I think the SE215 is a great IEM for the price, it comes with good accessories, great build quality and sound to match.

What they did with the SPE is great, they definately are a little step ahead, better clarity and separation whilst still retaining deep controlled bass.

Both models are slightly warm sounding, and very fun to listen to, I higly reccomend them for just throw around everyday IEM's


Thank you for reading



Tracks Used:

Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)

Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)

Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)

Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)

Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)

Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)

Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)

The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)

Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)

Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)

The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)

A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)

Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)

Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)

Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)

Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)

We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)

Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)

Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)

Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)

post #2 of 19

SE215LTD (SPE) user here.

about the same feelings

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good to hear smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 19
waiting for my pair. excited :)
post #5 of 19

has anyone tried the Etymotic HF5? How would these compare to HF5? 

post #6 of 19

Great review as usual mate, well written...

post #7 of 19
Nice review
post #8 of 19

Great review! Easy to read and to the point! :)

post #9 of 19

Maybe "difference" in sound between ordinary SE215 and SPE is because of different cables?

I have SE215 with two cables: the stock one and DIY silver-plated cable, and difference in sound signature was exactly the same as a reviewer said.

Edited by towerfalls - 3/16/13 at 12:48pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
These are warmer than HF5, I dont think it's the cable, I think they are tuned differently.

HF5 is more detailed and flat, but too dry for my taste. SE215ltd are more fun
post #11 of 19

Hi great reviews, they've been really great for someone like me who is in the market for a new IEM.


I understand you wrote a review for the Beyer XP3, how does the Shure SE215SPE compare to those?


Please let me know.



post #12 of 19

this or GR07 Bass edt?

post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by GodBless View Post

this or GR07 Bass edt?


This is a great view, thank you. I was looking for SE215 and SE215SPE comparison and found this thread. 


It seems that nobody has commented this above question - SE215SPE vs. GR07 BE.


I have both SE215 standard and GR07 BE and I can chime in my opinions if that helps. I keep both of them at work all the time and it seems that I am using SE215 more than GR07 BE. My setup is laptop -> Fiio E17 -> Bravo tube hybrid amp. My music sources are 320K mp3, flac, and Pandora. The reasons I am using SE215 more often are,


  • SE215 with the stock foam tips are more comfortable. They can block out all the background noises at my office. (There is a pretty noisy HVAC vent near my desk.) I am using Monster Turbine silicon tips for the GR07 BE. They are comfortable but they don't isolate as good as SE215 with foam tips.
  • SE215 has warmer sound while GR07 BE could sound a little dry. Male and female vocals sounded better with SE215. SE215 also has slightly more bass punch, although the bass on GR07 BE is still very good. They are tight and punchy.
  • The treble on GR07 BE is crisp, and maybe a little too sharp than I would it to be. SE215 is easier to listen to.
  • In turns of details, I think GR07 BE is slightly better than SE215. However my purpose of using IEM at work is for isolation and casual listening. I normally won't pay much attention to a lot of details.


If SE215SPE is an upgrade over standard SE215 then I think I will try to get a pair because I really like the sound of SE215.


Both SE215 and GR07 BE are very good IEMs. It all depends on your preferences.

Edited by jim723 - 11/14/14 at 8:53am
post #14 of 19
I compared the blue SE215 with the black ones and couldn't tell a difference in sound, in a shop environment. In a noisier environment, any differences would be a lot less apparent... but I got the blue ones anyway (they were an extra $20) because I liked the colour.

My 215s got stolen and I'm now using the vsd3s by vsonic (have not heard the gr07). I honestly don't think the special edition is an upgrade sonically. They are still worth the price I paid though, great build quality, decent comfort.
post #15 of 19
Is replacing the stock cable to oyaide-hpc cable worth?
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