First High-End In Ear headphones with replaceable cables under $100! The SE215 earphones are the...

Shure SE215

Average User Rating:
4.00862/5,
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  • First High-End In Ear headphones with replaceable cables under $100!

    The SE215 earphones are the newest earphones of the new generation of the prestigious Shure in ear headphones family. We got a sample and they sound absolutely fantastic. The dynamic drivers move a ton of air and deliver an unmatched fun and musical sound. The flush fit and comfort are amazing. Aside from the 2 Year Warranty provided by Shure when you have an invoice from Earphone Solutions, the new SE215 has a removable cable, once found only in the $200+ models. You can now have the same technology and high quality snapping detachable cables on a sub-$100 earphones. The SE215 is now the best earphones under $120. With its comfort and flush fit is also the best earphones for sleeping, wearing under a helmet, running and for an active lifestyle. The new SE215 headphones feature dynamic microdrivers and formable cables that fit snugly behind the back of the ear. We love them! They sound, feel and fit like $200!

Recent User Reviews

  1. sonyfan501
    4.0/5,
    "Wonderful introduction to Shure's SE line"
    Pros - Deep bass with long decay, decent mids, cheap, good fit, durable, accessories, noise isolation.
    Cons - Treble roll off, fatiguing during long listening sessions, bass can bloat at times, narrow soundstage.
    The Shure SE215 is a nice introduction to Shure's SE line of in ears. They have a fairly low impedance (box says 17 ohms, but online websites state 20 ohms). Amps aren't necessary as a result for these in ears.

    I bought these at around $89, and I will say that these are wonderful for the price I paid for them. They are a great bang for the buck so to say.
    The Shure SE215 comes packed with an abundance of accessories. It includes around 6 pairs of ear-tips, a cleaning tool, and a carrying case. The Shure Olive tips and silicone tips are decent, but I prefer to use the Westone Star-tips as I find them more comfortable and less fatiguing. Build quality is very nice, and they have lasted me for almost a year now.


    What I liked about the Shure SE215:
    The things that stand out from these in ears are: the deep bass, lushes mids, and noise isolation. The noise isolation of these in ears are among the best when compared to the other in ears that I have tried. Once you get a good fit with these, you'll be isolated from the world around you. The bass on these in ears are also really good once you get a good seal. I also loved the mids on these in ears.

    What I didn't like about the Shure SE215:
    The one thing that I feel the Shure SE215 lacks is treble. This in ear monitor does not extend too high in the frequency range which results with a dark and rich sound. Soundstage is also lacking, but I didn't expect too much from a closed in ear.

    Conclusion:
    Overall the Shure SE215 is a decent in ear monitor and a nice introduction to more expensive in ear products. It is definitely a great value for $99.

    IMG_1287.JPG
    Note: The tips on these are the thin and long Westone Silicone Star tips.
  2. ame85
    3.5/5,
    "First step into serious IEMs' territory ... with some downsides for me"
    Pros - Good value. Built like a tank. Decent overall sound quality.
    Cons - Not so comfortable. Very narrow soundstage. Fatiguing in long listening sessions.
    This is my first review here on Headfi, so I'd like to apologize in advance if I make any mistakes or unwillingly break any rules with this post.
     
    I am not going to do a very thorough review of my SE215, just wanted to give anybody who's interested my impressions on these IEMs after roughly three years of use, now that I am letting them go for something (hopefully) which better suits my taste (Sennheiser IE80).
    I came to buy these IEMs essentially because of Headfi, and because of the very good reputation they have among audo-specialized websites and youtube channels. It has not been my first pair of good IEMs, as I came from a pair of Beyerdynamic DTX 101 ie, which I loved and broke too soon for my taste. I've also owned a number of good quality headphones (Shure SRH440, Philips Phidelio, Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro, Sony MDR 7506). I listen to many kinds of music, ranging from hard rock to classical, from acid jazz to blues, from instrumental (mostly acoustic guitar) to pop. My main sources are my smartphone (currently a One Plus 3) and my PC (no special audio device here, just a Fiio Olympus 2 to help driving my DT 770 pro).
     
    My overall experience with the Shure SE215 can be called positive, with some flaws. Here are my impressions, divided in sections.
     
    Comfort (and Design)
    This is one of the main reasons (together with the fatigue, read below) for which I've finally decided to move on and replace the SE215. Right from the start I've had issues with the fit of these IEM into my ears. The fit problems were not so much related to the eartips, as after an initial period of experiments I've found the M-size silicon tips to be the best choice for me. What has put me off right from the beginning with these IEMs is the actual shape of the earpiece. They are in fact just a tad too big for my ears, which means that they constantly press against the outer cartilage when I'm using them. This has limited my listening sessions to no more than 45-60 minutes each, as I had to remove the earpieces to let my ears rest from the (slight) pain every time. I'm well aware that this issue can be virtually non-existent for someone else, but I wanted to give you my eperience nevertheless.
    Another slightly annoying feature of these IEMs are the memory-foam parts of the cable, the ones which go over your ears, just to be clear. Not one time in these three years I could put the SE215 on without having to adjust the cable, being it just a bit or completely. No deal breaker here, but to me there's room for improvement.
     
    Build Quality
    Nothing much to say here, other than the fact that these SE215 are built like a tank. Simply put, you cannot break them with normal (and even a bit careless) use, and it looks like they won't fail on their own, at least for a very very long time.
     
    Sound Quality
    Some good and bad here for me. I am no proper expert, so bear with me if I don't use the correct terms. The sound from the SE215 is overall pleasing enough, with very flattering mids, enough bass (a bit muddy and slow, though), and present trebles. The treble itself is where I've found weakness on these, as to me they tend to sound a little bit too harsh sometimes, making me turn the volume one notch down, and sometimes making me take a pause from listening, as my ears felt a bit fatigued after a while. Equalizing them is out of the question for me. I like to listen to my headphones and IEM as-they-are-made.
    Other than that, soundstage appears to be quite narrow. You can of course distinguish the various instruments pretty well, but it's very difficult to locate them in space, and the SE215 sound comes from inside your head, if you know what I mean. I'm aware that the construction of these earbuds makes them prone to low soundtsage, but that's my impression from them anyway.
     
    Hope this is of some help to someone. 
  3. sK0pe
    2.0/5,
    "All hype no sound"
    Pros - cheap, emphatic mids
    Cons - poor isolation, narrow soundstage, recessed treble, not clear, sluggish bass
    I bought these for a friend for Christmas based on positive reviews, price point and that my friend wanted IEMs that didn't stick out (with a negative or neutral profile.
     
    Mostly my friend's fault to start off with but also design and packaging has to have had some impact, she was wearing them incorrectly, didn't realise they rotated and didn't realise that the stock tips were memory foam.  The way she was wearing them there was no chance of giving them a fair shot.
     
    So I don't use around the ear IEMs myself on a daily basis, I use a pair of ER4Ps with silicone tri-flange tips (I hear a difference in sound between the silicone tips and foam plus I must be one of the rare people who can stand the tips and feel they provide a comfortable fit).
     
    Insertion and Design
    I tried putting them on and realised how obnoxious they would be to a beginner, I worked it out in a minute or two and showed her how to put them in.  Once they're in they don't feel snug like Etymotics do but they don't fall out either.  The bendable memory wire seems to need adjusting every time i put them on but I guess with time people would get good at it.  These were the medium tips which work for me in other IEMs and 3rd party sellers.  The large was too large.

    Whether the ear phone fits the way your ear cartilage is more than a coin flip, it can be too large and apply pressure where the driver casing sits, it can be too lose and move about or apply pressure inappropriately.
     
    Isolation
    Terrrible, like there is barely any isolation it's a hair better than ear pods.  It cuts out very high frequency noise like on old electronics that make a buzzing noise but that's about it, I literally hear everything else going on which interferes with the music.  Etymotics (I've used ER6's when they were around and then moved up to ER4P and 4S usually means I almost can't hear anything outside of very high frequency very loud sounds, it dampens these lound sounds too or blocks them completely.
     
    Audio Quality
    While I was expecting it to be a bit less refined than I expected, I didn't think it would be too bad considering all the reviews, but these IEMs are definitely overpriced for what they put out,  I guess in Shure's mind they sell as many 215's to people who don't expect audio quality and rake in the cash when you start spending over $300 - 500 or more.
     
    Ok so mids are really good, great for spoken words, rap anything our ears are specifically attuned for as humans and they are jammed right in there.
    Bass is there, some would say too much, it is indeed far warmer than my Etymotics or Beyerdynamics almost as much as Sennheiser 650s however the bass is not clear, punchy or fast, it is slow laid back and to my ears sloppy.
    Trebles seems to have an insane drop off there is no sparkle let alone any extension.  There is literally a bunch of high end detail in songs that are missing.
    Sound stage is narrow, like super narrow, are these supposed to be good?  Maybe I'm spoiled by Etymotics and full sized open back headphones but these were inside my head and anything that would otherwise be imaged outside of the head in a head phone was imaged correctly but just incredibly recessed.
    When combined, EDM tracks were not enjoyable the lack of treble and sound stage just gave an incredibly narrow bassy sound signature with the spatial presence of tracks that I love just muted to the point where it was so distant that I could barely here it.

    Rap and hip-hop was initially enjoyable with the bass and the emphasised mids but as soon as you put in the treble from the underlying track or a female vocals were introduced I was reminded how poor the quality was compared to what these tracks should sound like.

    The above could be the trash stock ear tips so I applied as much pressure to the IEMS to both block exterior sound and pressure the drivers closer to a better position and I could hear what the expected sound should be but the trash isolation and fit could have been the issue.
     
    Oh yeah to actually drive these things the source was dialled to 5/10, this is 5 times higher than any other IEMs I've used.  Even on ear headphones are driven at half the volume required for me to hear.
     
    Comfort
    So it's comfortable once you finally have it in position but at the massive cost of audio quality and isolation, might as well be using earpods.  On top of this pumping the volume too high to hear any detail can cause some insane wear with loud mids.
     
    3rd Party Eartips
    Tried out Spinfits, these improved isolation and fit, they don't feel like they're about to drop out and music can be driven at 3/10.  The sound signature was moderately better, the music sounded closer to how it should, a bit more treble but I don't think there is too much more to get out of this IEM.
    Tried out Comply Isolation tips, better isolation, better security, about the same as the Spinfits but a tad warmer than the Spinfits.
     
    Conclusions
    I can't recommend anyone buy these for audio quality or isolation.  They may also be uncomfortable to begin with and may just not be great for your ear shape.
    This IEM is for the person that wants to blow an unnecessary amount of money as an upgrade to earpods.  Just buy better earpods for $20 or buy Westones or Etymotics.
    Very warm sounding, narrow sound stage, lacking detail, treble cut off with bloaty bass and boosted mids.  These IEMs have been engineered to produce sound that is comfortable for the general populace rather than reproduce the music as it should be and results in some thing dull.  If they were excitable to do something different that would be great but they're not designed to be exciting different or neutral they are designed to be bleh.
     
    Bleh.
     
    Don't buy these for yourself, your friends or enemies.

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