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Shure SE215 vs. Klipsch S4i II vs. x7i - Advice wanted

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a pair of IEMs mostly for travel.  I prefer on ear or over the ear for general listening but I got tired of lugging my too-big Bose QC-15s on flights so I e-Bay'd them.  Now I own nothing capable of blocking out plane noise so I'm looking for a pair of noise blocking IEMs.  I've narrowed it down to the Shure SE215 and the Klipsch S4i II  and x7i based on reviews and price.  Also I'll note that I have some brand loyalty to Klipsch.  I really like the heritage of the company and the way it continues to be run.


What I'm looking for is:

1) Comfort - I generally don't find IEMs to be very comfortable so this is a prime factor.  According to reviews these both get high marks for comfort so hopefully that will not be a factor.

2) Sound on the warmer side of neutral - I don't like bright speakers or cans.

3) Sound with clean but strong bass

4) iPhone controls - I know some people don't value this but I would prefer to have it.


So with that said, I have listed IEMs at the $60, $150*, and $200 price point which may seem odd, but I haven't quite decided how much I want to spend and they're all easily within my budget.  If someone told me the Shures are going to sound better overall than even the x7is or that they're more comfortable, I'd probably get those.  If the X7is are leaps and bounds above the other two, I'd spend the extra money.  If you all think they're all pretty equal, I might just buy the cheapest S4i since these won't be my daily cans.


*The Shures are only $99 but with the iPhone cable they're like $145ish.


Taking any and all advice and commentary.

Edited by imahawki - 2/6/14 at 6:41am
post #2 of 6
I haven't heard the X7, but I found the S2 & S4 way too dark for my tastes. I like a warm headphone, but the S2 & S4 just went too far that way for me. I'm going to throw a wrench in your gears - have you considered the Westone UM10? I had the UM1 and now use the UM2. I think they are warm without being dark, and they are very comfortable.

Of the ones you have listed, I would pick the SE215. I might pick the X7 - only because I would like to try them, but that would only be if I was prepared to try something else if I didn't like them.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 2/6/14 at 7:47am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I'll keep the Westone it in mind.  Is the Westone known for having slightly elevated bass?  That's something I'm looking for.  Again, I want clean bass, but punch.  I wouldn't say the iPhone control on the cable is a deal breaker feature but its close.


On both the Shure and Westone the other thing I'll add is that I previously (like 10 years ago) owned a pair of Shures that had to go cable over the ear, and I didn't love the design.  I'm open to trying it again but...

Edited by imahawki - 2/6/14 at 7:55am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Another thing I'd add is that the S series are dynamic while the X series are all BA.  May make a difference in the "darkness" of the sound.  I know you haven't heard the x7i so probably doesn't mean much.


Anyone else have any other input?  I'd like to get something ordered soon so I have them for the next time I travel.

post #5 of 6
The Westone IEMs do wrap around the ear, just like the Shure. And no, I would not say the Westone are bass elevated - the Shure SE215 have much more bass punch than the Westone (at least the UM1 & UM2) - I have not heard the newer UM10.

You probably know this already, but I will add that bass with IEMs is 80% a function of the seal you are getting. If you are willing to insert the tips deeply and get a good seal, you will get more bass.

I'm thinking you should try the SE215 - it sounds like you might like the bass punch they give.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I ended up ordering the Klipsch x11i.  After going over my own check list and prioritizing what I wanted I really didn't want a cord over the ear style and I really did want iPhone controls.  That narrowed it down the extent that I was 90% leaning towards the x7i.  When I noticed the x11i was only about $25 more, I just ordered those.  I'll post my thoughts after trying them.

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