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Universal Fit item created by nightmancometh, Oct 8, 2010
Pros - Isolation, fit, fast well weighted bass.
Cons - Honky midrange, splashy treble. Not an easy listening experience.
To start this off, i did not pay for my pair of 315. If i had payed for them the disappointment would be vast.
I have a pair of SE215 and while they are not my favourite iem, they have their place. Isolation is great, and the sound is warm and quite mid-forward and matches easy with many genres of music.
The 315 is well, not as good. Simply put.
I had high hopes on the 315, i really had. However upon first listen i though they sounded a bit strange. On some tracks like some 90s death/black metal or Bob Dylans earlier work they shine. Clear midrange and nice air and separation. Overall clarity and balance is a joy.
But on some tracks there is a honky shrill in the midrange. Almost like a shout. It´s hard to explain but i think most listeners with some experience will notice this. To name some examples: Dream Theater, Soundgarden, Incubus, Ghost are not really enjoyable with the 315 just because of that honky midrange.
If you want to monitor vocals and bass during a live performance, they will do a good job. But for a purely enjoyable listen, not so much.
I am by no means a bass-head and i do like a forward prominent midrange and i absolutely like my treble.
Oh i better say something of the overall design as well.
They have a very nice fit and good isolation. The connectors had held up well for me but i don´t remove the cables very often. The eartip selecton included should fit all users and are of very high quality.
However the Cable on the 215,315,425 and 535 is crap. It´s to long and it gets very stiff over time, even more so if you live in a colder part of the world. I have bought a third party cable for my two pairs and i would suggest you do the same. There are many to choose from and the price is about 10-15 USD.
Save your money and get the 215 if you want a pleasing slightly warm and forward sound signature. The 315 definatly have some tuning issues which is a shame. The single BA have some great potential here, but the tuning is off to my ears.
Pros - Isolation, accessories, comfort, okay sound quality
Cons - Bass, too bright sound, fatiguing at loud volumes
Disclaimer: I use the earphone without an AMP, and the point of reference is a HiFiMAN HE-400i, i know they are not nearly similar, but they produce sound (only similarity) and I don't have another earphone (or headphone) in this category to compare it to. One more thing: I am a headphone guy, the only reason for me having an earphone is the need of on the go and away from home music listening sessions due to increasing addiction.
So, in June, as the summer begun, I knew I was going to be away from home a lot, and won't be able to take with me or use in all cases my HiFiMAN HE-400i, I had to buy an earphone. In my opinion, earphones are the most convenient for portable use because of their versatility. You can use them in a lot of ways and situations when headphones would be too big or uncomfortable (for example: when running). I chose this because of it's form factor and style, the amount of included earpieces, and the way it's worn, which makes it sit very safely in your ear (earphones slipping out was a big problem for me). After that, I started to look for used ones, to get the most out of my money. After a few days, I found a guy selling this barely used SE 315 for half price (purchase price was 107$), it was a no-brainer for me, I bought it. Now, that you heard the backstory, let's get to the review.
First of all, the sound signature: bright. For me, very bright, which has it's certain pros and cons (probably more cons than pros) that I'll talk about later on.
The Bass: It's very odd, for me. The fact that the earphone is bright, should make you assume that it doesn't have outstanding bass. Well, this is correct, but the bass is rather just odd, than bad. This is because it delivers pretty nice, it's tight and has a satisfying humph. Until a certain point, because the extension and depth isn't very outstanding, although, it's quite difficult to find truly good, neutral/warm/balanced sounding earphones in this price range that have good bass and mids/treble at the same time. Also, the upper bass loses it's power and gets a bit quieter as well as becoming rather hear-able instead of feel-able, that is, unnatural, because of this, I feel like the mids and bass are a bit separated, not merging properly, and this can be disturbing. Moreover: the bass doesn't give a nice, enjoyable body, or warmth to the music. It's just there, lying around on the side, alone, with his own little "territory" separated from all other sound. This might be the biggest complaint I have according to sound quality.
The Mids: I am in trouble when talking about mids, because in my opinion, this range is the most difficult to describe without having a respectable amount of experience with different headphones, for example: I've never listened to a Grado, or other mid kings yet But, as far as I can tell: little bit messy (especially on lower end, not merging with the bass). It's not nearly bad, it's just might not be as good as the other ones, it's neither recessed, nor raised, seems to be on point. Different layers of sound cannot be differentiated as easily though, mostly due to the nature of earphones, and lack of multiple drivers, the slightest details in that 5th layer won't catch your attention that easily or take control of you, this earphone has only one driver each side and that's just incapable of recreating a sound this complex and diverse. It isn't as good as a headphone with the same cost, but then again, it's "only" my earphone, and I am satisfied with it.
The Treble: It's nice, pretty, sparkly, though sounds aren't pronounced enough, for me. Treble should be the fastest, most responsive, and very strong, distinct, while being as accurate as possible. A lot of treble sounds, for example a cymbal should be a very edgy, very fast and aggressive starting and insanely quickly ending sound, to a degree that when it's over, you start to think about if the sound was really there in the first place. Just come and go like a lightning, by the time you'd realize it's there, it isn't anymore. It lacks a bit of that, though this is in fact a quality of pricier sound equipment (like the HiFiMAN HE 400i).
Other sound attributes: the soundstage is better than what i expected, which makes me happy, because of how important it is to me, you don't feel like the source of the sound is literally in you ear, you can feel it moving in space, coming from different directions, changing constantly with different layers of sound, sometimes you even move your eyes involuntarily to look where the sound is coming from. This is something that not every earphone is capable of delivering, and gets a lot better with more expensive ones. Now, one more thing that might make you reconsider buying an earphone over a headphone is that the sound is not very fluid, you don't feel very immersed with the sound (more on this in previous parts), there isn't enough body and detail to the sound to be able to fully merge the layers together (bass and mids for example) which would achieve a constant flow of sound, without it, it doesn't you suck in to take hold of you to only let go after the track ended and you start to wake up from delirium, it's just not good enough, although, again, better headphones in this price range might be capable of it.
The miscellaneous: The eartips are wonderful and you get a lot of them, so that you will surely find the one that fits your ears best and achieves the best possible isolation. The cable is very very good, it's a normal plastic cable but there is just no problem with it whatsoever, it's replaceable as well. Big thumbs up! You'll also get a nice soft-cover case/pouch, to keep it tidy and together in a compact space, when you take it away and don't want a cluster of cable in your pocket. Comfort-wise the earphone is very good, even outstanding... as soon as you get used to it, because you'll have troubles with correct insertion, and placement in the first few weeks, which can cause pain in your ear, to a degree that it could even discourage you from using it in the future (almost happened to me), even though it's just a beginners lack of experience in correct insertion. This isn't the earphone you crank up the volume with and enjoy music even more, because you will hurt yourself that way, better sound equipment just don't get fatiguing with increasing volume, because of their sound which you rather feel instead of hear, and feelings don't really hurt us physically. And one more thing: take your time and try ALL the included eartips, because finding the right one is crucial for having optimal isolation, comfort, and a non-slippy experience.
Overall, I'm satisfied with the Shure SE 315, it does what I wanted it to do, serves me well in all the situations my beloved headphones can't, and in spite of the worse audio-quality, I enjoy listening to it, some tracks can even sound better with the emphasis on the main melody. You probably won't be using this as your daily driver, either because you are a headphone guy (or speaker or earspeaker, or whatever else) or you really are an earphone-guy and you're using a better one. And while there might even be a better choice for this price, I think this is still a pretty strong competitor for someone who wants a really versatile earphone for activities.
Enjoy your music!
Pros - Built Like A Tank, Overall Sound Is Great
Cons - Memory plastic over ear can be uncomfortable, Cable is a little stiff
This is a review for the Shure SE315's, first a little about myself I don't consider myself a hard core audiophile like most people on this site. I am 38 years old and I am just your everyday listener who appreciates quality sound. I have been into Hi-Fi audio since I was a teenager mostly full size speakers. What do I consider an audiophile, someone who pulls those ear buds out that came with your phone or ipod or mp3 player, someone who takes the time to download there music in a lossless format, someone who reads a ton of reviews of the sound quality before they buy it. I work in a machine shop so I wear iem's for 8 hours straight, and I have tried many and have quite of a collection. But the Shure SE315's are one of my everyday go to iem's keep reading and you will find out why. I will not bore you with a long detailed review since there are many other detailed reviews and I try to aim this at your every day listener that seeks something better.
I purchased these about 7 months ago for about $199.99 before these I was using V-Moda ear buds that I was quite happy with for work but they got caught on a machine and ripped the wire right out. I try not to use any thing over $70 for work incase the cable gets caught or snagged on a machine, that's why I was using V-Moda ear buds for the price they sounded pretty good and they lasted a long time.
Frequency Range 22Hz-18.5kHz
Sensitivity 115db SPL/mW
Noise Attenuation Up to 37db
Input Connector Gold Plated 3.5mm plug
Cable 64" with wireform fit
Single balanced armature with tuned base port
The Shure SE315 come in a package that pretty much serves its purpose for shipping and taking home. Its nothing to right home about, it protects them pretty well with the plastic housing they sit in. Its not the typical box I would keep or display but I keep all my boxes for resale if I decide to part with them(not going to happen).
S,M,L Foam Sleeves
S,M,L Flex Sleeves
1 pair of Yellow Foam Sleeve
1 pair of Triple Flange Sleeve
1 Black Carrying Case
1 Ear wax cleaner
1 Shirt clip
All the accessories fit nicely in the carrying pouch even all the sleeves.
Build and Fit
Like I said I wear iem's for 8 hours or more a day, comfort is one of my most important things I look for. I started off with using the foam medium sleeves the ones you have to roll between your fingers. I find these the most comfortable for me after about an hour I forget that there even there and the isolation is pretty good. Even though these were my favorite sleeves I couldn't use them. Since I work in a machine shop I found that they isolated to good and having to remove them to talk to people. And I couldn't roll them between my fingers to stick back in and out all day especially with my hands full of oil and coolant. So I switched over to the medium grey olives, these I found were not as comfortable, but I could easily take them out all day and just jam them right back in. The only problem with these is in the summer with sweat they tend to slide out a little bit but nothing major. Now the cable is a different story I prefer a shorter cable I have to take the excess wire and coil it up and stick it in my pocket I guess I could always buy a shorter one. The cable is very stiff when I first got these after a couple weeks the loosened up a little. Here is the biggest problem I have with these the memory plastic that wraps around your ear is to thick and very uncomfortable after a couple hours. Also the slide on the cable to secure them on the back of your head doesn't work to well, I find myself messing around with it all day. It might sound like I have a lot of problems with the cable, there actually very minor complaints for the type of work I do. The Y splitter is pretty durable and every part were strain relief is needed is pretty sturdy.
One of the reasons I choose to wear these most of the time is there built like a tank. I store them in there little black pouch and toss them in a book bag with a lot of other crap, so they see some abuse and hold up very well. These things can take a beating. The cable is indestructible I constantly get it caught on something all the time and it is still in great shape. I also wear these all summer long with no air conditioning in the shop, I can work up a good sweat and they have never failed or have I ever had any issues with the signal cutting out.
Connection Shure uses is a MMCX connector, I like these over 2 pin connectors because they swivel and just feel better for my liking. When I first got them they were very hard to take off I was afraid I was going to brake the shell. But the female port is mounted in the shell pretty good and after time they loosen up for removal. I don't take them off that often except to clean the terminal.
The most important part of any iem or any kind of speaker. For every day use at work I pair the 315's with a Sony Walkman NWZ-S764 mostly mp3's. One of the reasons I use this source is because of the radio function I listen too a lot of talk radio at work. You can pretty much drive these with anything and they sound good, they don't sound bad at all with compressed music. I don't know why but when I listen to mp3's the lower end sounds better with the volume turned up. When I have the volume down it sounds a little distorted and muddy. It is very easy to crank these up they don't break up or distort at high volumes so be carful not to over do the volume. When I am at home I use WAV files and either use one of 2 dac's my Audioengine D1 or FIIO Andes E07K hooked up to a Lenovo Ultrabook. It pairs the best when I use the FIIO, for being a single armature everything sounds like it should there is plenty of low end when the music calls for it. The low end isn't as deep as the 215's but its sounds more natural and smoother. The highs are crystal clear but they are not bright at all they sound balanced with everything. The mids sounded a little forward when playing rock or alternative music it seemed to jump out on you. In my opinion the mids sound the best with hip-hip and electronica. With hip-hop the lows are very clean and sound as if it were coming from a full size speaker. Also with pop music the mids sound more natural then with rock. With live music the lows sound so life like as if you were there, you can hear the singer breathing into the microphone, you can tell the difference of all the instruments playing. Its amazing what you can hear compared to cheap ear buds. My daughter listens to Ariana Grande, in one of here songs you can hear her take a big gulp of air in before she hit an extended note and it wasn't even a live recording.
Sorry I don't get to in depth they way I describe music, its just not me and I am a terrible writer. I think the price for these is just right, maybe a little cheaper as they continue to add to the SE lineup. For your ever day user that wants more then using ipod buds or the ones that come with your phone and can spend a little money these cant be beat. The average person doesn't want to spend more then double digits on headphones, ear buds, or as we call them in ear monitors. The build quality alone is worth it, you will get many years of service out of these, cheap ear buds last teens about a month before they tear them apart and have to get a new pair. So do your kids a favor or your self and buy them something they can appreciate for the sound. The sound of these is impressive especially how they don't over emphasis any frequency and reproduce sound naturally. At this price point the Shure SE315's are way overlooked, if you have the 215's and are looking to upgrade and don't want to shell out a lot of money these are for you. I want to say thank you to everyone that contributes to Head-Fi since I made an account there hasn't been a day I haven't been on it.
Pros - Good clean delivery of mids
Cons - Highs are not as well extended as they could be
Shure is definitely up there if you’re shopping around for high performance in-ear-monitors (IEM’s). Aside from the consumer oriented SE115’s, pretty much all of the new SE range caters for clear, true-to-studio and balanced audio fit for even the pickiest of audiophiles, but with the slightest bit of sparkle and low end goodness of the modern audio preference that consumers crave. The SE315’s are no exception. In the grand scheme of Shure’s SE range, the SE315’s sit toward the lower end with a price of £189.99 and is the lowest priced of Shure’s Balanced Armature IEM lineup. On paper, the SE315’s look a little anaemic compared to its more expensive siblings, the SE425 and SE535’s with only one driver to speak of. A “Tuned BassPort” is incorporated however which should redeem it from the traditionally tinny sound that balanced armature drivers tend to produce (though balanced armatures don’t move a lot of air, so I’m not entirely how this “BassPort” works).
Ok, so this isn’t important in the grande scheme of things, but this is an “in-depth” review, so why not? The Shure SE315’s packaging definitely makes what at first seems like a very insignificant product look like a masterpiece. On the practical side of things though, taking the actual IEM’s out requires nothing more than a sturdy pair of hands. There is no dodgy vacuum wrapped plastic or seals to deal with like we find on so many other items of packaging. In fact, I managed to get these out of the box and in my ears in less than 5 minutes. Result!
Those familiar to Shure’s IEM’s would feel right at home with these, however, those coming from IEM’s which hang straight down from the ear may find these a little alien. Shure IEM’s are designed to be worn with the cable running up and over the ear. While it was possible to wear the previous models with the cable running straight down, the new SE315’s simply cannot be worn like this. Not that you would want to anyway; cable microphonics (a fancy way of saying “cable thump”) is greatly reduced when the cable is worn up and over the ear. Cable noise is still present though, and really, the only way to avoid this issue is to wear it under an item of clothing or with a clip etc (a clip is not included in the box).
Cabling isn’t usually a very exciting factor with IEM’s, though with the SE315 (and the rest of the SE line apart from the SE115’s), the cable can be detached from the driver units. Using a special connection which clicks into place and rotates, you can simply replace the cable instead of the entire set should something go wrong. Not that you would want to do such a thing very often; replacement cables cost anywhere from £45, a price which many would probably spend on a new pair of IEM’s. To Shure’s credit however, the cable is extremely well made with a meshy kevlar material covering it and satisfyingly chunky cable protectors at the joints. The cable is also angled at the 3.5mm jack which should prevent it from splitting.
That’s what you would be paying £45 to replace.
Comparing these directly to the SE535’s, the SE315’s seem to fit in the outer ear more easily. The fit isn’t as snug though like it is on the SE535’s, as the driver tapers in slightly towards the tip. Compared to other IEM’s on the market such as the Etymotic HF3’s or Apple In-Ears, the 315’s are much larger and weightier, although their outer-ear design makes them comfortable to wear. Apart from the cable over your ear, it is easy to forget you’re even wearing them.
Shure includes a “Fit-Kit” which includes tips of different materials to give the best fit. For sheer convenience, silicone or rubber tips are great, however they provide a very weak seal. Foam tips (of either the black variety or the yellow ones) provide a much better seal, however they also make putting the IEM’s on a lengthy process. Triple Flange tips are also included, and while they provide a good seal once inserted, they are hit and miss at times.
Quite a decent selection of tips. Cleaning tool is also included to remove that gooey stuff that builds up on your IEM’s after they’ve been in your ears.
The one gripe I have always had with Shure IEM’s was the fact that it takes a while to put them on. If you’re using foam tips, you have to pre-squish them after which you have a 10 second window to stick the things in your ear. The cable would then run over your ear and even after this, it takes about 20 seconds for the foam to expand and a proper seal to be created. It’s an ordeal which can become very annoying in the morning or after you take them out to talk to someone.
That fit took 3 minutes at the very least.
“Wire-form” is included in the first few inches of the cable to aid shaping around the ear.
Right, so we have established that they take ages to put on; was it worth it? Short answer is definitely! Burning in isn’t generally required for balanced armature drivers so you could start enjoying your music right out of the box.
Shure’s signature sound has always been balanced and accurate, and the SE315’s deliver. Bass was tight and controlled without any of that distorted thumpy mess you find on lower end sets, and mids were delivered in a clean manner. Tracks with a lot going on in the mid-range still sounded especially clear for a pair of single drivers. Acoustic material are where these IEM’s perform at their best, with the single balanced armature driver texturing individual notes in such a precise way, making you feel as if you were in the studio where it was recorded. It is not to say that these IEM’s don’t perform with other music genres, as they provide just enough low end oomph to drive a drum and bass track smoothly along. Colouring is not an issue here, as you will hear everything in the way it was mastered to sound by the studio, as well as compression imperfections in the encoding process.
Just for fun, I played a 128Kbps track on these earphones and the difference between this and Lossless tracks I normally test IEM’s with was astounding. I would go as far as to say that the SE315’s manage to reproduce clearly the compression artefacts that comes with dodgy encodes and the effect was very pronounced. While these aren’t the IEM’s which would benefit much from a dedicated portable amp, they should still be fed Lossless, or 320Kbps from a decent source at the very least. They may be £189.99, but they don’t work miracles.
If I had to gripe about these IEM’s, then treble would be where I find a problem. While tracks were still bright, they seemed to lack some of the high end goodness you would find in the Etymotic HF3’s. This was mainly a problem in acoustic material where the sharp higher frequencies from the album “Take Off Your Colours” by YouMeAtSix were somewhat hard to come by. While this isn’t a “problem” for a pair of consumer earphones, it is definitely something to take into consideration when shopping around for a high end pair of IEM’s. If you’re a fan of bright treble, then the SE425’s or HF3’s would be a better choice.
On a serious health note, Shure IEM’s require very little current to drive them. With a good seal and volume at about half on an iPhone, these IEM’s kicked out a lot of sound and on a MacBook Pro, the volume only needed to be on four bars before things got a bit deafening. This isn’t where the problem lies though; while Shure claims that it’s IEM’s perform better at low volumes, many say that bass response seems better at higher volumes, and it is very easy to turn these up dangerously high to get the low end goodness going, damaging your hearing in the process. A volume limit is definitely something to actually use here, and as with any pair of balanced armature IEM’s, a good seal is essential. As a rule of thumb, try a different tip before turning up the volume if you find bass lacking.
Pros - Detailing, comfort, accessories, build quality, tight bass
Cons - Low overall sound quality, messy mids, metallic sounding highs
Just want to state up front my review rating is an absolute rating, not one based on comparative performance, pricing etc.
Having had the Shure SE215s for a while and not enjoying them I thought I would go up the range and try the SE315s. At first I was impressed as the nasty spiky highs and wooly bass seemed to have gone but alas it was not to last. My overall thoughts are:
Highs: Good detailing, much better than the SE215s. Can get a bit sibilant but mostly are under control. Can sound a bit 'metallic' at times and if you get ear fatigue with bright earphones then you may want to audition these first. I did not find these as bad as the SE215s but they are not hugely improved.
Mids: Again some good detailing but there seems to be a complete lack of depth. I tried these with different tips and there was a slight improvement on this front going with the silicone tips but not much. I felt the mids were really muddled and some instruments came through nicely and others stayed mixed with others. Overall the soundstage felt narrow and flat.
Bass: This is where I feel Shure have made the biggest improvement over the SE215s. Detailing, particularly in the mid bass, was much more insightful. There was a good extension but never boomy. These are fairly bass light so bass heads steer well clear!
Overall: With certain more laid back types of music these perform well. However their tendency to make highs sound unnatural combined with a very narrow and shallow soundstage make these a non-keeper for me. In this price range there are some cracking earphones with a much better overall sound 'quality'. These sound too forced and metallic for my liking. Shame
Pros - Clarity, Highs, Mids, Deep bass tones
Cons - Bass quantity, presence, sometimes slight silibance
I bought my 315s when I decided I needed some "pro" headphones instead of the continuous cheap ones I kept finding around. I bought them at guitar-center for $200 with $20 2 year warranty. I have spent a long time using them (4 months) and never reviewed them because I was not quite s(h)ure what I was missing. Recently I acquired a pair of UM3x that I love too so they set the stage for me to judge the SE315s properly.
First off I find the SE315s very underrated here at head-fi. Frankly when looking for suggestions and such no one was suggesting the 315s - people were even like "315s are meh". I dont understand why - compared to most single balanced armature drivers I find these much better. So if your looking for a well rounded IEM to get into the world of hifi then these are not a bad start.
Price: I found these to be a little expensive but I wouldn't really regret purchasing them. The extra insurance was not needed considering the build quality.
Build: They are like sexy little tanks when you hold them. I feel like you could pull the costa concordia out of the sea with the cable alone. The removable cable connection is all gold plated and very solid. The IEMs themselves are 2 cases. The armature has its own solid plastic case then a second case surrounding the whole thing. The solid-wire in the part that wraps arround your ear did break for me but this wire only holds the shape of the cord. it does not carry sound. It was in a high stress location and was mostly my fault. Still functions properly though.
Science: Im no sound engineer but this armature looks much different than any of the others ive sen. Franky its much bigger and looks like it has some sort of dual plate system. I can also see the tuned bass port and frankly the transparent 315s are super cool because you can watch everything work (no excursion to see though. sad face)
Highs: They sparkle. They extend. They are clear. They are fabulous.
Mids: Emphasized and present. But not in a scratchy way. Makes me want to boost the High EQ usually. But thats okay, it sounds nice either way.
Lows: Lacking. I feel like it takes some persuasion to get them out, but when they come out they are there, controlled, and clear. They are fun to listen to and kinda dance around you - tempting you for a little more but I mean youll probably be content with some EQ. A huge boost to the low shelf of 32hz seemed to make it more fun. The mid-bass was okay to start with but the low lows are hard to find.
Stage: Sound stage is good. Nice separation and space. Compares well to my UM3x
Case tips / tool: The case is neat. Kinda soft but it fits my sansa, 315s, cleaning tool, small usb cord, and an extra set of tips very nicely. Kinda a cool portable setup. So after I got my 315s I let my borther try them the next night (he is 8 - has waxy ears)... TLDR he clogged them with wax. There was virtually no sound coming from the right. Scared me senseless. I took the cleaning hook and some peroxide and lucky for me they cleaned right up.
Isolation/Sibilance/CordPhonicsBlahBlah: Excellent isolation. I used these headphones to go shooting once. I took off the cable and stuffed the IEMs in my ears like you normally would and it made a very comfortable shooting experience. I was shooting 9mm (for sound reference for those who are familiar). Sibilance can be a problem on some soruces/tracks. Lowering the Tip top High EQ just a tap helped with this. Once again this was only a few times. As for what ever you call the thing where you can hear the cord rustling against you they suffer from this but its nothing that I would be put off by.
Overall im happy with the 315s. While I feel like they lack the bass they can certainly handle it when given. Thats what was so frustrating. They have awesome bass control but without some changed to your source youll be lacking bass. Combined with my EQed Sansa clip plus they sounded excellent. Despite having acquired my UM3x that are now my main headphones I will not sell off my 315s because they are just fabulous. They are good spares and I like letting my friends use them to listen with me. If you crave something with much bass you might want to look else where unless your only using an EQed source most of the time.
Pros - Price - Build Quality - Sound - Customizable
Cons - Microphonics - Short Cable? - Soft carry pouch
Yeah so I went ahead and bought the thing, I guess all reviews with this IEMs really is true, soundstage is very good, mids and highs are good enough including the low end, though low ends aren't really that booming and less extension but overall sound for me (subjective nature of headphones) is neutral. Bass is good once in a while but nowadays when I listen to rap hip hop, I tend to get ear fatigue and headache being a former basshead. I tend to love the overall sound of these 315s and very much worth the purchase, if later on this will break down, will definitely upgrade to the 535s or the 846s if time and resources apply. A must for upper entry level IEMs choice of portable hi-fi setup. Very clean sounding when paired with a Fiio E17 which tends to sound DARK since there is no adjustment for the mids, only lows and highs, take note this IEM already has its mids and highs quite pronounced but not in terms of being sibilant, a liitle upping for the lows (bass frequencies) can be good to get that satisfactory bass response to multi genre music. Guitars and Vocals shine in these IEMs, IMO it is good for RAP Metal, Rock, alternative, Pop Rock Music. Try it now before it goes out of production!
Pros - Sound Quality, Comfort, Design, Isolation
Cons - Price, Minor design flaw with the wire plug
Backstory: (skip if not interested )
I never liked IEMs. Never found them comfortable. They gave decent sound quality at best when they had a good fit but the fit wouldn't stay. If it did, it wouldn't be comfortable. I never found the perfect IEM.
So I stuck with regular earbuds and for a long time, I was fine with it until I wasn't. I first came over on head-fi because I was considering the Bose IE earphones which were incredibly comfortable and from my 2 day experience of the one my friend had, it produced a good "warm" sound. It was going to be my first 100 USD pair so I thought I should check head-fi especially considering the bad rep Bose generally has.
I read about how Bose can be overpriced for it's quality and got a few suggestions as to what I should get. The Shure SE215 was available for $99 and the TF-10 and SE315 for $150 at the time. I decided to pay the extra money and get either the TF10 or the SE315. The only reason why I didn't go for the TF10 was it's reputation of being uncomfortable for some folks (which as you've probably read was important to me). So I got the SE315. Now, may be some day, I might get the TF10s but certainly I don't need to..
I waited 4 months to get this piece of equipment because the package was delivered a day after my friend left the US. Another friend of mine gave it to me earlier this month and I instantly loved it. I had read all about how this pair can be difficult to wear at first but once you get used to it, it's great. I had seen a video 3 months ago on how to wear it and on my first go, I had a great fit! I've never felt as comfortable as this ever! Put them on and they isolate sound well. Put the music on even at low music and I left the world behind as I did my work. Good thing I can do a decent job at lip reading
This is my first "good pair" of earphones (before this I used stock earphones from my mp3 player/phone) so the review might not be "professional. But to an enthusiast who loves to listen to rock, classic rock, alternative, a bit of heavy rock/metal and some pop/good old fashioned vocals filled music, this is a good pair of cans. Sound is clear and crisp.
After the first 5 minutes of me thinking to myself "did I just waste a ton of money on earphones that suck?" I got used to the sound and then started liking it. This also had to do a lot with me turning off the EQ (something I was used to doing on my stock earphones)
The vocals were crisp and the sound was clear. It played a good range of music but never made it feel over powering. The earphones were never felt loud but felt comfortably producing enough power to give me unbelievable sound.
I remember the first time I had my music ripped to 128kbps CBR then moved to 194-240kbps VBR. When I went back, I felt the difference in quality and couldn't stand it so I re-ripped my music. I've not had that feeling with FLAC just yet but I must say, I can't put another pair of earphones back on now.
Down to the numbers:
Value: 3.5 Stars
The earphones are expensive IMO. Do they produce the good sound? S(h)ure. Are they good value for money? Maybe.
Audio Quality: 4 Stars
The audio is good. Plays a good range of music well and shines on vocals. Doesn't have much of a bass thump but gives a good balanced sound. If you're looking for the thump, these are not the IEMs you want. If you want a good balanced sound that produces a good sound for vocals and a range of instruments, then you should consider these
The reason why I cut a star here is that it could do with a bit more bass thump. Not a lot. Just a bit. The other thing is that though the sound was good, it didn't well and truly blow my mind. Or may be that's just me If the TF10s don't outperform this by much (it does have DA instead of a single driver), I'll give it another half star.
Design: 4.5 Stars
The design of these earphones are great and they help with the comfort level provided (details below). The earphones sit well into your out ear cup thingy (lol? ) and the wires seem to be of good quality. Replaceable wires are a plus though I hope I don't ever have to replace them
Half a star cut for the wires being a bit weird at times and getting tangled though the bigger reason would be the thing that can be used to tighten the earphones isn't that easy to use.. takes a lot of effort to move it up/down
Comfort: 4.75 Stars (rounded to 5; read below)
As I mentioned earlier, I need comfort. These pairs definitely provide that. I can wear them for 4-5 hours and not get tired of them (after that I don't want to listen to music/have to go somewhere so I take off my earphones). I have worn these for an entire night while travelling on a bus and slept with them till morning. While my friends complained of a not so comfortable night's sleep largely in part due to the sound, I happened to sleep like a baby oblivious to what's going on around (I figured if it was something important, my friends would wake me up )
Note, sometimes, quite rarely, after 10-15 minutes of listening, I need to take off the earphones for 2-3 seconds and put them back in.. I feel like hot air is coming out of my ears and there was some pressure built in there. It's not painful but just a bit of discomfort. I'd take off 0.25 stars but I can't
Isolation: 5 Stars
As soon as I put this on, I can barely hear others. Put on music even at the lowest volume and I can't hear people That's the whole point, isn't it? I like how I can listen to music at 20-30% volume and hear it perfectly
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Pretty darn good. What else can I say?
Pros - Detachable Cables, Sound Quality, Isolation, Comfort, Build Quality, Looks
Cons - Cables that wraps around the ears are a bit stiff; Soft carrying case instead of crush proof ones
I got my Shure SE315 as a gift, and I absolutely love them, here's the review:
I think the SE315 has excellent build quality, with its detachable and robust cables, L shaped jack, they have no issues in daily usage. I'm not sure about using them on stage since I don't, I only use them for personal listening on my computer and iPod.
Comfort and Isolation:
The sound isolation of SE315 is AMAZING, the best in all of the earphones I've ever tried. Black foam sleeves that come with these earphones provide the best isolation for me, people talking right next to me is almost inaudible even without music playing. At first, the shape of the SE315 looked really weird to me, but surprisingly, they fit tightly and snugly in my ears, and the over the ear design keeps it in place during physical activities.
The highs of SE315 is nice and controlled, not too fatiguing. The highs are much better than the SE215, in both quality and quantity, it extends higher and is more forward. But I would like it if it can go even higher, because in some songs, violins or pianos can be a little faint.
This is where these earphones are better than most of the ones I've tried. Shure earphones are known for their mids, and these sure don't disappoint. The mid is extraordinary clear and forward. Vocals sounds awesome, like you're sitting right next to the singer.
I'd say the low end (bass) is the weakest part in the sound quality. Bass goes pretty low, but lacks some punch. That's where the SE215, with dynamic drivers, are superior to the SE315.
The soundstage is larger than SE215, it feels like the music is surrounded horizontally around you, but not so much vertical depth.
I enjoy the SE315 very much, although I prefer them over the SE215, the dynamic drivers of the SE215 is more fun to listen to, therefore I use both of them. I recommend the SE315 for those who wants clarity and precision in their music, bass-heads might need to look somewhere else.