Shure SE425 Earphone

Average User Rating:
3.97917/5,
  1. ag8908
    4.5/5,
    "Amazing noise isolation beyond anything I expected, good enough sound for its purpose"
    Pros - Noise isolation. It's like wearing hearos earplugs.
    Cons - The wires are really stiff, sound isn't anywhere close to a similar priced over the ear headphone
    I use these when exercising next to cars. I used to use sealed closed back headphones which didn't block out noise well, but these definitely do. When outside in a loud environment and wearing these, I set the MP3 player's volume to the same level I use when listening to these IEMs in a quiet room. The isolation is that good (I use comply sleeves, but the sleeves included were also pretty decent).
     
    However, I was definitely disappointed by the sound quality, relative to a $300 over the ear headphone. I will never choose this over a headphone if listening to music in a quiet environment. The selling point on these isn't sound quality, but rather noise isolation. I won't take more than 1/2 point off for sound, though, because I imagine all IEMs are like this and that this is good IEM sound for $300.
     
    One other problem is that the wires are really stiff, a design feature I don't understand. Lastly, putting these on isn't as simple as putting on a pair of regular headphones, you'll have to spend 15 seconds or so seating them correctly to get a proper seal.
  2. Skysryan
    5.0/5,
    "Solid Sound stage and Crisp Clean Quality for Acoustic"
    Pros - Sound Stage is very wide, Dual Driver separates tones, Comfortable Fit
    Cons - Lack of bass, Tips are hard to remove
    I've been holding off the write this review because I wanted to give myself a good long time with these headphones before I broke them down. Starting off with look and comfort these are above par, the clear models give you the sense of technology added to the already quality given by them. At first I was skeptical about using IEM on a daily basis because my ears tend to be sensitive, but after just seconds of trying to figure out how to wear them properly they fit like a glow and with the right bit rated song these seemed to melt into my head, in other words I began to forget they were there. Although these are the least bass heavy of the SE models they create a very warming feeling sound stage even though there are pretty much flat response. I use them for about 2-3 hours a day and have so since the day I bought them, the burn in time was almost none existent and the build quality on these were quite remarkable. I'm very rough on my headphones and tend the throw them around and they've endured my torment for over a year. So overall I say for the right person who it's all about there heavy bass genres (ex. Techno, Hip-Hop, and Rap) then these headphones will serve there purpose and then some, they have yet to let me down and there level of quality blew me away with in seconds of wearing them. 
  3. jsp00k
    4.0/5,
    "Not easy to get along with at first, but ultimately emerges a winner."
    Pros - Detailed sound. Lovely mids. Wide assortment of tips that isolate well.
    Cons - Bass perception is an issue.
    Excellent IEMs for detail, clarity, and flat response across the whole sound spectrum. Love them, especially with the stock yellow foams. For a factual reprsentation of your music, really,really good. Not recommended for low bit files. For "fun" listening, it lacks a bit of bass.

    I use an AK100. AK100 comes with a very slight v-shaped EQ. When making the V-shape more pronounced I could get more bass from these things, at the expense of some detail. Still, very satisfactory.

    I tried third party cables and these changed the signature somewhat. Some added a bit of bass. Others added some soundstage. Satisfactory, but never quiet sold on the changes, so for now I settled back on the stock cable, because it still has a great sound signature and is Kevlar reinforced.

    As mentioned best results were obtained with the stock yellow foams, but later switched over to ultra-soft, ultra-isolating Comply foams (I tried many, many third party tips along the way, never quiet sold on them). I alternate between these and the yellow foams nowadays. I'm finally content, it seems. I couldn't get along with any of the other stock tips. The shape of your ear canals and how much isolation you can get will be different from person to person, and Shure has to be commended for including as many tips as they do.

    Compared to the SE535 LTD - J, I found the sound on the more expensive IEMs to be a little less detailed. For some reason, voices sounded as if coming from a tube, although bass and treble extension seemed pretty good. I eventually sold these off and kept my SE425s.

    Latest mod is having added Knowles 1000 OHM (brown) filters. This, coupled with a completely flat EQ on the AK100 gives a warm sound with full bass extension and detail. Incredible! Other filters exist and reportedly give the sound signature other characteristics, but I haven't tried them.

    This is the story so far with the SE425. Hope you enjoy them!
  4. rustablad
    3.0/5,
    "Awaiting new pair "
    Pros - n/a
    Cons - n/a
    **--DECIDED MY PAIR IS DEFECTIVE--**  I was frustrated when i wrote the review
     
    -D
  5. soong
    5.0/5,
    "Shure SE425"
    Pros - Excellent sound quality, fit, and soundstage
    Cons - None, from my perspective
    I'm not as experienced as other members here in headfi, but I can assure you that you won't be disappointed a single bit if you are coming from sub 200 dollars price range. I've been using earphones all the way from Apple's stock earphones, Audiotechnica sub 100 dollars, to Sennheiser sub 150. This SE425 just rocks. Of course, I got a deal for used pair for 152 USD, but that doesn't mean the sound quality degraded (actually, the previous owner burned-in, so it was a good sounding IEM from the beginning for me.)
     
    One thing that I like about this design is that you can sleep while wearing these without a problem. It doesnt protrude from your ear, so no worries about them breaking.
     
    Have a great listening experience! :D
  6. Marleybob217
    3.5/5,
    "Shure SE425 review"
    Pros - Linear, analytic, fit, isolation
    Cons - Sound signature, SQ
    Coming from headphones such as the sennheiser HD25-1 ii and HD650 I was expecting much better SQ from these in ears.
     
    They sound cold, really cold. It sounds as if you're listening to music through a tin can.
    They are detailed however, but it makes everything sound cheap.
    I haven't listened to these for long, just a day. But I'm pretty sure I will never get used to the sound signature, nor do I want to.
    For the price they offer little SQ, I will be going back to the headphone world...
     
    They do fit beautifully in the ear, they look rather like customs, and the isolation is terrific.
    So just get the SE215 for on stage use etc.
     
     
  7. absk
    1.5/5,
    "disappointed"
    Pros - great solid flat sound, comfortable, isolating
    Cons - the cables are the worst things in world
    play music professionally.
    these sound great.
    been through 3 of them in 90 days.
    buy the insurance from guitar center - if you're on tour with these and the left side goes out (it will) you'll be screwed for a week.
    seriously - buy these - but DO NOT hit the road with out replacement cables.
    and don't use them for anything other than rehearsals or shows - if they crap out on you mid-set, that's on them...  if you lose a side to WTF you're gonna be even more pissed.
     
     
  8. reeltime
    2.0/5,
    "Difficult to Wear"
    Pros - Great sound, Great brand and customer service
    Cons - The fit will give you fits. Lacks comfort.
    I got my pairs (plural) because my last pair of tried and trusty EC-4s bit the dust.. losing the left channel as they tend to do over 3 or 4 years.  In the past, I'd send $100 dollars and the EC-4s to Shure, who'd fix them and send them back.  Good to go.
     
    Unfortunately, Shure has end-of-lifed the EC-4s.  Boo!  So rather than fixing them, they replaced them with two brand new pairs of SE425's-- right off the store shelves.  Impressive that Shure backs their gear as well as they do, it says a lot about the company's integrity.  
     
    So now I'm left with two brand-new pair of SE425's.  They are VERY different from the EC-4s, and not in a good way.
     
    But let's not go all negative-- the new cable design is terrific.  I like that the cables now break away at the earbud.  Hopefully this will eliminate the left channel issue of the EC-4s (losing contact after a few years due to stress on the cable).  The shape is cleaner and more attractive, but this leads to a huge problem in fit, which is where these headphones fall apart.
     
    I started by trying the foam earpieces that come attached to the earbuds.  They didn't get in far enough and the bass was missing-- so I switched to the rubber-- same issue-- the sound was tinny.  Went for the yellow foam-- this was what I used on the EC-4s.  Nope-- no luck.  So I read the head-fi reviews here and someone suggested the white triple tips as the only tip that worked for them-- and that is true-- the second I put the white-triple tips in-- the sound was there.  
     
    Full, rich, detailed sound, just like the old EC-4s.  The problem is that the white triple tips are about an inch long and give the feeling like you're being ear-raped.  Yes-- ear rape!  Like-- is this thing going to hit my ear drum?  It's not- but it's a totally uncomfortable situation.   Shure will put Q-Tips out of business!  I can't imagine wearing these for any long-term listening.
     
    Sound isolation?  Hell yes-- with this much rubber in your ear-- how can you not get great isolation?  Jeech.  
     
    Like the EC-4's there's very good mid-range (maybe a bit too much)-- natural articulate bass-- and slightly rolled off upper frequencies-- no sibilance.  The sound isn't bright, but complete.  Great soundstage.  Wide-- nice for an in-ear.  
     
    But if you're buying a $300 dollar pair of buds-- get a pair that won't rape your ears.  Seriously.
     
     
  9. MrAvenger
    4.5/5,
    "Smooth and Natural"
    Pros - New modular cable design feels very solid and well executed, relatively flat sound signature, Bass is present but not obtrusive.
    Cons - Getting a proper fit is difficult at first.
    These are my second pair of Shure IEMs. I had enjoyed the SE210s for a long time before taking the plunge on these. Since these are meant to be worn up only and the cable rotates freely where it attaches to the monitor, it took some getting used to the new cable design. Sound quality is definitely leaps and bounds above the SE210s. The bass is IMO much more substantial on the 425s but very fitting to the music I listen to (all shades of rock). I tried sampling some electronic music with these IEMs and was quite impressed but I will warn that these IEMs do not produce "Pounding" bass.
     
    Design and Fit
    The new modular cable design seems almost perfectly executed - The cables break free from the monitors easily but will never remove themselves. The added memory wire adds some comfort and assistance when putting them on and helps them stay in place. The cable has a bit more weight than that on the SE210 but it is more flexible and microphonics are almost nonexistent.
     
    As expected from Shure IEMs supplied are a pair of triple flanges, three pairs of silicone tips sized S M L and four pairs of Shure's signature foam "olives" again in size S, M, and L but with an extra medium set preinstalled on the earphones. I prefer the large Olives on this set while the medium Olives provided me with the best fit on the 210s. With some trimming I'm sure I could get some more enjoyment out of the triple flange set, but the large olives have a slightly more warm sound quality to my ears and are more comfortable for extended listening.
     
    Sound
    My biggest worry when buying the 425s without hearing them before hand was that the bass was going to be under emphasized but that is surely not the case. I was pleasantly surprised that the bass response was everything I could have wanted out of a pair of IEMs; Present, detailed, but not all-consuming.
    Like everyone says, the mid range is clearly the most emphasized. Very smooth midtones that lend to amazing vocal clarity. There is roll off on the high frequency but its not distracting, nor do I feel like it takes much from the listening experience. I personally like a little added brightness to most headphones so with a touch of the EQ these IEMs are very moldable to my tastes.
     
    Final Thoughts
    The SE425s quickly made themselves my new favorite pair of earphones. The sound quality fits my musical preferences very well and with a little acclimation they are quite comfortable for extended listening. I managed to pick up a set for $230 before tax which in my opinion is a steal. I was however more than prepared to pay $300 for and at that price I still feel like these are money well spent.
  10. svyr
    3.5/5,
    "meh?"
    Pros - inexpensive and great mids and deep bass without the usual bass hump. work ok with higher impedance amps
    Cons - strange build quality, comfort and sound sig is not as refined as higher end iems.
    These are great with comply tips. They look a bit flimsy build quality wise, and a couple of people on amazon have broken off the stems, while replacing the tips - which is a bit of a worry if you buy them used as I did.

    The bass is nice and deep but not boomy, but the mids are relatively emphasized and the highs are somewhat recessed (again relatively). This makes them sound somewhat thick and congested compared to say SM3v1/2 or UM mage or aero. Bass texture is pretty good, but again, 3-4 BA IEMs can do it better. Same goes for mids resolution and texture. Unlike the 12-18 ohm higher end multidriver BAs, these are 22ohm and do ok with even my bad musiland amp 3ohm output. (a lot of lower impedance IEMs sound dreadful with it)

    Comfort wise, after a few hours (or 30-40m) they start pushing on the bottom part of the ear where they sit and it becomes a bit annoying. After a few months light use, the cable near the strain reliefs is starting to look a bit strange (worn and maybe leading to failing). (the place where the memory cable ends, the braided cable inside the sleeve flexes too much and by the looks of it twists and tears a bit)


    If you can get them for about $200 and don't mind the build/the bass/mids emphasis - go for it.