Shure SE215

  1. Dinerenblanc
    Shure can do.
    Written by Dinerenblanc
    Published Oct 24, 2014
    Pros - Clarity, Great Mids, Detachable Cables, Comfort, Flush Design
    Cons - Rolled-off Treble
    Ah, yes. The SE215, quite possibly the most popular entry-level IEM on the market at the moment, and for good reason. These headphones are perfect for any budding audio enthusiast thanks to its exceptional performance in the mids and its welcoming warm profile. While not as bass heavy as its counterparts, its still plenty serviceable. The treble is a tad rolled off, but this is common with IEMs in this tier. Additionally, the building quality is superb. There's an adequate amount of stress relief on the cables, and the cables themselves are detachable; a feature rarely seen in earphones at this price. As an added bonus, the earpiece sits flush against your ear, allowing you sleep with them on if you'd like. Come on, I can't be only person who listens to music as they sleep . . . Anyway, if you're someone who's looking to enter the world of audiophilia, these are the IEMs for you. :)
    1. asarin
      Thanks for the review.  Count me in as another budding audio enthusiast who began his journey with the SE215.  Comfort - check.  Isolation - check.  Relaxed, mid-bass centric sound - ditto.  That said, other IEMs have been added to the collection and in this price range, the AT IM70 is worth a listen if you like mid-centric sound with the advantage of deeper, cleaner bass and better treble reach  but retaining the overall relaxed presentation.
      asarin, Oct 24, 2014
    2. Dinerenblanc
      @asarin Thanks for the recommendation! I did a quick search for them and man are they in limited quantities. They also seem to be a Japanese import, am I correct? Anyway, I'll definitely try to pick them up and give them a whirl.
      Dinerenblanc, Oct 24, 2014
    3. asarin
      You are correct. I got mine from  Amazon Warehouse Deals (for the convenience of an easy return if needed).  Needless to say, it turned out to be a worthy IEM and definitely a keeper!  
      asarin, Oct 24, 2014
  2. SawItComing
    Good Pricing, Good Performance
    Written by SawItComing
    Published Oct 18, 2014
    Pros - Reasonable price for a detachable cable IEM, good sound quality, comfy, can sleep with it due to its negative profile fit
    Cons - Highs are a little lacking, IEM nozzle looks fragile,cable’s although good but not as good as the clear cables from Shure
    Before I begin with my review of the Shure SE215, all of the belows are solely what I’ve managed to get out of the SE215, I suggest to give it a try or read some other people’s review to get a clearer picture of the IEM, as my opinions are not absolute and other ears might have listened differently 

    Sound: Mids are good on the SE215 but not the best, vocals sounds great, clear and crisp, highs are thin ( I notice a slight muddiness on the highs * maybe it’s just me ) the lows although it’s considered to be bass oriented, but I can’t really feel that this earphone is anywhere bassy, although I have to say that the bass that the SE215 are clear and sounds like a live session than those night club type of bass ‘ XP 1 kinda bass ‘ many people actually misunderstand that. It’s safe to say that the bass the SE215 produces is a clear bass and not “bassy” bass. 
    Soundstage: More of “V” shape staging, not extremely wide not too narrow.
    What’s in the box: IEM and cable, Soft carrying pouch, foam and silicone tips.
    Verdict: The SE215 is no doubt a good IEM, reasonable pricing for an IEM that uses detectable cable, tho the highs can use a little extension but at the end of the day it's a 4/5
    Happy listening :)
    1. lsamod
      Can you do some comparisons?
      lsamod, Oct 19, 2014
  3. Dte102
    Great IEMs!
    Written by Dte102
    Published Sep 8, 2014
    Pros - Isolates Great, Glorious Mids, Dem Vocals, Good Bass, Good Fit(Once you find the right tip).
    Cons - Highs were okay, Memory Wire was a "Meh"
    Hiya! These shures were my first into the world of IEMs and the beginnings of my journey to being an Audiophile. Back then, I was skeptical of Beats(and I was right on track back then) and thought Bose was where it was at.  I owned the Bose IE2 before getting my shure pairs, and after that, entered the realm of the audiophile.  Recently these guys broke after around a year of constantly listening to these, and I'm sad to let them go.  Now I have a Sennheiser IE8 which has about a week of burning in. Which I will be using for comparison. 
    Sound quality, The Shure's bass doesn't compete with IE8s, but the bass was still there, just never felt as prominent or warm as the IE8s.  The best thing about the SE215 is that IE8 doesn't compete with the vocals on the SE215.  The Mids were great, and The Vocals were crisp and clear, and whenever it gets to a prominent vocal part on my SE215s, I've always had goosebumps.  The highs on the SE215 isn't that bad, but it isn't crisp and clear as in the IE8s, I would say it's a step lower the IE8s sound for highs.
    The Isolation on these IEMs are great, Shure has done a great job with their olive foam tips, as they are comfortable and give great isolation, I had to mod my olive tips just to put on my IE8s so that I could get somewhat the same isolation as I had before on my shures. Comfort wise, it depends on the cables.  I've used the original stock cables for some time and found the memory wire to cause discomfort at times, other times it worked out.  I then picked up the Fiio aftermarket cables which improve the sound slightly, and gave me a lot more comfort when wearing my shures.
    All-in-all, these are a great little pair of IEMs and a great step for becoming an audiophile, and i would recommend these to anyone
  4. Allucid
    Shure SE215 LTD
    Written by Allucid
    Published Aug 30, 2014
    Pros - Amazing sound (for the price) flat profile, value for quality, good cable connector, removable cable
    Cons - Expensive acessories, hard to fit (takes a few moments of stupidness to fit them to ear after storage), thick cable splitter
    I bought the SE215ltd from Headphonic.
    Cost me $139.00.
    This almost completely knocks out my V-MODA M100 and V-MODA XS out the water.
    If you fit them improperly, they're amazingly uncomfortable. This is probably where the bad reviews come in, because they don't read the manual.

    Songs used (with a FiiO E17 DAC.

    Flume & Chet Faker - Left Alone [FLAC]
    Everything I just said. But 10 times better. The vocs shine, I can't really find fault in the treble at all. There's a bit of clipping, I turned it down and it seems to have stopped. I just wish the E17 was as slim as an iPod touch so I could carry it everywhere.

    Chet Faker - Cigarettes and Loneliness [FLAC]
    Chet's vocals came out clean. The intro is my favorite bit, with the intro vocs, and the Shure / E17 combo nailed it.

    The DAC doesn't really do much but make the sound cleaner and smoother for this track. It makes it less fatiguing and easier to sleep to.

    Melech - Hate God [FLAC]
    Melec's vocals shine. Amazingly. It sounds almost like I'm hearing the live recording of his voice. I love it.

    I don't have much energy to write a full review on the DAC side, but basically almost everything said was subsidized and all the problems disappeared with the DAC. Next up I'm going to buy a good DAC, as the E17 is okay but clips due to the quality.

    The guy who served me was great and it was a nice drive down to pick them up. I'm so happy with my SE's as I went from mid/low end in ears to an actual canalphone. Couldn't be better, can't get over the comfort and the sound!!!!

    I prefer IEMs now over headphones. I hate the effort it takes to wrap cables, carry cases when you can have the IEM and be done with it. There's so many cables you can get for the SE215, you wouldn't really need over or on ear phones again with this quality of IEM, talking about mid-range headphones but everyone's preference is different.
      awry likes this.
    1. awry
      Nice review. Agreed on how these punch above their price point. Still a very relevant pair of IEMs despite new competition like the IM70 from ATH which sound better to my ears but definitely loses out on build and fit. No regrets getting a used pair of the old 215s for jogging and gym. Still going strong after 3 years. 
      Disagree on foam tips killing the bass though. Quite the opposite for me.  
      awry, Aug 31, 2014
    2. Allucid
      Foam tips for me just don't cut it.
      Brought out my E17 with a LOD for my iPhone 5, it's like half a DAC haha. The low end is increased this way, but what annoys me the most is the GOD DAMN cable at the back of your ear, with the flimsy 'memory wire' which makes it annoying to take off. Easy fix, buy the FiiO cable. Doing so, will post impressions. Stock cable costs way too much to replace, build quality is eh, rather get a silver / gold plated Teflon cable that's braided.
      Allucid, Sep 1, 2014
    3. awry
      The stock cable is quite meh but is pretty hardy. I never believed in spending more or even an equal amount for a cable than the actual IEM/Headphone itself. Doesn't make sense to me. Fiio or Oyaide cables, both less than 60usd I think, would be the only change I would do for a 215. 
      awry, Sep 1, 2014
  5. squallkiercosa
    I hope this will be the future of IEMs
    Written by squallkiercosa
    Published Apr 16, 2014
    Pros - Decent sound quality, detachable cable, sealed (not vented), strong bass response, reinforced cable, did I mention detachable cables?
    Cons - Expensive mic cable, despairing treble response, swiveling mechanism can be annoying, the ear pieces are quite big for the small dynamic driver
    I don't consider them nice or even fun thinking about sound, but every time I'm working out I feel like I made a great investment. Going out with my Westone 4R or my customs make me feel paranoid to some extend. 
    The Shure isolates incredibly well, just like an Etymotic without the (tips reaching my brain) sensation. I was amazed to see such an extraordinary achievement in a non-vented dynamic driver. I haven’t heard anything like it (leaving aside BA)
    The Shure sound natural despite the treble attenuation, guitars sound more or less right but the bass bump is discouraging (not a bass heavy person) A proper description will be like a musician from a pop band: He might play like a pro but never will be at the center of the stage. 
    I just hope to see more IEMs in a few years like this one. 
  6. zach8278
    Really great price to performance ratio
    Written by zach8278
    Published Apr 11, 2014
    Pros - Cheapest IEM i've seen with a removable cable, great bass and vocals; Great durability, excellent noise isolation. Optional mic cable
    Cons - Treble could be better. Earphone jack could be slimmer
    My big sister purchased the SE215s from the Shure website a long time ago, so forgive me if I do not know when they were purchased exactly. She ended up giving them to me because she was having some complaints about the earphones giving her headaches... Anyway, I have been listening to them for quite some time now and i thought i could write a review. Let's give it a shot.
    Bass: Deep, well extended, and punchy. They nailed it with the bass. I don't have much to say about the bass other than it is great.
    Vocals: Rich and detailed. For $99 dollars, they knocked it out of the park by setting a $99 standard for how earphones at this price should sound.
    Treble: Acceptable given the price. While the treble is not the star of the show, it has enough detail to make the earphones sound solid, although it could be better.
    Now, this world is filled with plenty of good sounding earphones and headphones, but as i said before, these have set the bar in my opinion for how every $99 pair of earphones should sound. The removable cable is a really nice feature, so you can replace it when the time comes. It comes with foam and silicon eartips, so finding a suitable eartip should be no problem. With all these things combined, i find it very hard to skip consideration with these.
  7. 10shot9miss
    Great 99 dollar in ears
    Written by 10shot9miss
    Published Feb 10, 2014
    Pros - Sound isolation, removable cable, confortable for long listening period, well built
    Cons - not really, cables are bit too hard

    The sound isolation is really good with the sponge ear pieces, IMO better than a few of Sony’s active noise cancelling in ears (maybe active noise cancelling work better for low frequency e.g. during fight) I can hardly hear people talking right beside me. It’s also quite confortable. I won’t comment on the sound since it has dynamic drivers, out of the box it sounds average, give it some time and the sounds should improve quite a bit. Real good earphones!
    i thought these are going to sound better after burn in, but it dosen't, still sounds bit dark.

  8. Krisman
    Overrated - too fussy about what music is being played
    Written by Krisman
    Published Jan 23, 2014
    Pros - Bass detailing
    Cons - Mids completely lack details, flat soundstage, harsh treble with a nasty metallic upper treble range
    My rating may at first appear harsh but I just want to clarify up front that it is an absolute subjective rating not comparative.
    I really thought these would blow me away given all I have read about these but once again Shure have failed to live up to the hype. I cannot argue that the price is very attractive given the build quality and fantastic comfort but that does not influence my feelings on the sound character of these.
    In summary I found the following:
    Highs - Nasty metallic 'piercing' sibilance with a lot of tracks not matter what was driving them (iBasso DX50, Xperia Z, FiiO E17, Denon MC6000 etc.) There is a good amount of detail but these were so fatiguing I could not listen for more than 20 - 30 minutes at a time.
    Mids - Subdued and with certain tracks can completely disappear behind the highs/bass. Very disappointing. When the mids are there they lack deepth and width. Instruments fudge into one another instead of being nicely seperated.
    Bass - For me this is the strongest point of the SE215s. Well extended but not 'mega bass' levels. Controlled, detailed and fade in and out nicely. Not too boomy. Very good overall.
    I just want to reiterate my score is based on an absolute rating NOT when taking price into consideration. I personally do not like to include price into the equation as is muddys the results as prices of new/used earphones can vary so wildy.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Master Of Coin
      Not many shops offer the try you buy when it comes to in ear, not shure i want to demo a pair that someone else has used before.
      so no, its most likley just to buy and be happy or not,
      But why hate and keep it instead of just get rid of it, simple as that.
      I know i rid myself of stuff i dont like, and keep the things i enjoy, like my shures!
      Just to be on the safe side, get your hearing checked, i know i have, its easy to get a hearing impared if you are woring in a noisy enviroment!
      Master Of Coin, Apr 18, 2014
    3. Krisman
      You can buy online and send back to retailer if you don't the UK we have long distance selling regulations and if a product doesn't match your needs you have 7 days (I think) to return for a full refund.
      What makes you think I still have them? If you look at my inventory you can see I do not have them anymore!
      I go to an audiologist twice a year to check my hearing thanks, so I know that is fine (for now) :)
      Krisman, Apr 18, 2014
    4. seanwee
      Love the heated comment argument , I support HIGHLY Krisman as I found the Shure SE215 to be SERIOUSLY UNDERPERFORMING in terms of SQ for the price. The money is better spent on other IEMS.
      Sure, this may be decent for the price at its time of release but now its just JUNK. If you want nice sound and build quaity you can get the Audio Technica E40 which has SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER sound compared to this overrated piece of ****.
      Sean Wee, over and out.
      seanwee, Apr 3, 2016
  9. starlan
    Amazing price to performance ratio
    Written by starlan
    Published Dec 4, 2013
    Pros - Build quality, accurate mids, deep but well-behaved bass, detachable cables, excellent isolation
    Cons - Sparkle could be better, not the most comfortable, don't love the memory cable
    Bought those as a portable go-to set (subway use, airplanes, travelling, etc.) and am so far very pleased. I previously used Etymotic IEM's (ER-4P and HF3) which are known for their clarity and brightness but also lacking in warmth and bass impact. However, after loving the sound of my new over-ear full-size Sennheiser Momentum's wanted something a little more fun and dynamic sounding. The SE215's fit the bill. They have a nice warm sound with emphasized (but typically not overpowering) bass, very good and forward mids and slightly rolled-off highs.
    The dynamic drivers sound fun and are engaging. The isolation on these is superb, easily blocking out subway noise without having to turn it up high (I use the black foam tips, also know as the 'olives'). 
    On the negatives the sound could benefit form a little more sparkle and treble extension but otherwise the music coming out of these is very pleasing to me. On occasion (depending on genre) the bass can also sound a little over-emphasized if you're paying close attention. But more often than not it basically makes me rock my head! Basically if you like the full-size over-ear V-Moda M100's these will provide a similar sound and impact in IEM form but with better and more forward mids but less emphasized treble (less V shaped sound profile). Surely, there are better IEM's in the market (including higher-end models by Shure) but as the title says these provide great bang for the buck.
    Other complaints are that I don't find them the most comfortable for long durations but I think that may be par for the course for IEM's as many people don't love Etymotics either (though I always thought they were quite comfortable with foam tips).
    All of this has to be put in context however and for $99 these are just great sounding headphones with very good isolation capability and build quality. In fact, I think the same comments would apply even if they cost twice as much which to me makes these achieve a great price to performance ratio.
    1. Gilly87
      Agreed on all fronts! I have trouble taking those who say these are "muddy" or "bloated" seriously; either they exaggerate snobbishly, or haven't heard consumer headphones in way too long :p
      Gilly87, Dec 6, 2013
    2. sannychez
      Hi there i had a question for you. Are the 215's any good for rock i've been looking for some rock/alternative iem's and i guess these might be it i just wanted some input on someone who has them.
      sannychez, Feb 11, 2014
  10. Calbert
    One of the best for the price
    Written by Calbert
    Published Sep 26, 2013
    Pros - Solid mid and bass, price, comfortable, good isolation.
    Cons - tremble rolls off/veiled, bass is not very deep, needs a bit more detail.
    I rate these IEM 5 stars considering their price.
    They are probably the best IEM out there for $100 and below.
    These fits well and are very comfortable.
    Compared to IEMs of similar price, these are rather balanced with a slightly forward mid and a bit more bass.

    The highs are rolled off but I'm ok with that as I don't really like bright ones. It could use some more sparkle though.
    Mids are good, quite detailed but still have some room for improvement, pretty good for the price.
    Bass is rather solid and punchy, although it's not deep, it does a good job making up for the "lack of details" and masking outside noise, thus "improving" the already good isolation.
    I did not have any disconnection issues, the cable snaps into the IEM and is rather secure, but because of the "coaxial" shaped connector, it still rotates after being snapped into place and it's the only thing I dislike about the design.
    Oh, and replacement cables. I wish you luck in finding a aftermarket replacement cable that is cheaper than the IEM themselves.
    Conclusions: You will probably be very satisfied if you are replacing your free earbuds that comes with your phone or ipod with these, and you won't be disappointed if you are looking for replacement of similarly priced IEM. 
    1. CJG888
      Fiio make a good quality, reasonably priced cable which is a noticeable step up from the stock item (on my SE425s, at least...).
      CJG888, Sep 26, 2013