Shure SE425 Earphone

CK Moustache

100+ Head-Fier
Link to my review and measurement index thread where one can also find a full review overview, more information about myself as well as my general-ish audio and review manifesto: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/956208/




I only give full stars. My ranking/scoring system does not necessarily follow the norm and is about as follows:

5 stars: The product is very good and received the "highly recommended" award from me.

4 stars: The product is very good and received the "recommended" award from me.

3 stars: The product is good/very good, but not outstanding/special enough to get any of my two awards. ["Thumbs Up"]

2 stars: The product is only about average or even somewhat below that and somewhat flawed/flawed in some areas. [neither "Thumbs Up" nor "Thumbs Down"]

1 star: The product is bad/severely flawed to outright bad. ["Thumbs Down"]





Shure SE425


Source:

Personal unit.


Miscellaneous:

Decent unboxing experience and accessories.

I like the shiny silver mirror-like design.
Build quality is good.

Excellent fit, ergonomics and noise isolation.

Removable cable with MMCX connectors.
Long, good strain relief integration, does not lack a chin-slider. Feels sturdy and one can feel that below the outer shielding, the inner conductors are twisted. Supple.

Two BA drivers per side. Two ways.




Sound:

Largest included single-flange silicone ear tips.

Tonality:

Fairly neutral leaning towards rolled-off/dark-ish in the upper treble. Largely flat and uncoloured.

The lows show a gentle boost of warmth in the fundamental range/lower midrange, comparable to my Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors, with a boost of around 3 dB compared to my Etymotic ER-4S.
While the sub-bass is reproduced with sufficient level, it is generally a bit behind the upper bass in quantity as the lows level starts to gradually decline a little from the lower fundamental range towards the sub-bass.

Except for the gentle lift in the fundamental range that adds just a touch of lower midrange body, the midrange is tuned neutral towards ever so slightly dark, but quite prominent/intimate in the mix. Due to the mild roll-off towards the sub-bass as well as the relatively early treble roll-off, the Shure could also be categorised into the mid-centered side of neutral in-ears.

The treble remains unobtrusive in a positive way in the lower and middle highs, with a moderate dip in the middle treble, just to be around neutral quantity above again.
Above that, however, is the SE425s’ biggest pity, their treble extension, that is simply lacking, with a roll-off that starts already before the upper treble that is relevant for cymbal reproduction, with a muted super treble above that, wherefore the Shure clearly lack the reproduction of many instruments’ overtones and thus perceived “air”, with cymbals for example just sounding as if they were cut off. This also leads to a sound that appears somewhat “veiled”.

Frequency Response:


ER-4S-Compensation

Except for the 7 kHz peak that I do not hear when performing sine sweeps or listening to music, this is also how I perceive my SE425.


ProPhile 8-Compensation

Resolution:

Solid for multi-BA in-ears in this price range. Surpasses many similarly priced dynamic driver in-ears. Nevertheless definitely not class-leading for multi-BA IEMs in this price range, and surpassed by in-ears such as the Rose Technology Mini2, Brainwavz B200 (the good first generation, not the inferior v2), Etymotic’s in-ears, the Pai Audio MR3 and the Eternal Melody EM2.

The bass is very tight, fast and clean, while details in the lows could be ultimately a bit higher, but are still decently reproduced. Due to their bass speed, the SE425 remain clean and well-separated in the lows even in fast music passages. As for this, the Shure even outperform some other multi-BA in-ears with rear-vented BA woofers when it comes to tightness.

Midrange details and speech intelligibility are convincing as well.

While treble details are per se not really lacking, the early and steep roll-off in the treble that just cuts off the upper highs altogether makes the SE425 lack some upper end information.

Soundstage:

Very small and especially narrow soundstage, even to the point that I would say that there is more depth than width. Still more pronounced three-dimensionality than my Sennheiser Amperior, but that’s not a difficult thing to achieve.

Instrument separation is executed well with clean borders, but due to the stage’s small size, it seems a bit cramped.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Comparisons:

Noble Audio SAVANNA:

The Shure have got the very slightly lighter bass (by ca. 0.5 dB) that also start to lose quantity slightly earlier.
In the mids, the SE425 are somewhat more forward and mid-centric sounding.
The SE425 have got the more forward presence range. In the treble, the Shure start to roll off noticeably earlier, wherefore cymbals sound quite muffled on them.

The Shure have got the slightly quicker upper bass punch, however their lows don’t appear as layered or detailed as the Savannas’. Likewise, in the mids and highs, the Savanna are ahead whereas the SE425 sound more veiled in comparisons, with fine details not being reproduced as effortlessly.

Regarding soundstage, the Nobles’ isn’t only larger in all dimensions but also considerably more realistic, in addition to being more precise as well.

Jays q-JAYS (2nd generation):

The SE425 win in terms of absolute neutrality, though they is more mid-centric and have got the obviously inferior treble extension; the q-JAYS' upper treble is noticeably brighter due to their peak whereas the Shures’ is a little on the darker side.

The q-JAYS outperform the SE425 in terms of resolution. In the mids, treble as well as bass, the Swedish in-ears outputs more details while the Shure sound “restricted”/a bit cloudy in comparison.
The Shure have got a closed BA woofer and as a result of this the quicker and tighter bass in comparison, but the Jays in return have got the more detailed lows and are still far away from being slow or soft sounding.

The Shure have got a very small soundstage whereas the Jays’ is more open, with the more precise instrument separation and, as a consequence of the larger size, better instrument placement.




Conclusion:

Neutral tuning with decent technical performance, especially in terms of bass speed and tightness, but unfortunately clearly too early and steep roll-off in the treble that just cuts off instruments’ overtones and leads to a severe lack of perceived “air” and extension. Narrow soundstage.
A price closer to 200$ is more realistic than the ~ 300$ price tag.


Photos:

DCofficehack

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Clarity and midrange
Cons: Bass. Lack thereof.
Bluf: save your money and buy Tin T2s.

I know this has been around for a while, and I've owned my pair for a while, but I pulled them out of the drawer recently to re-evaluate and thought it useful to share my impressions and explain why it is that I've ended up reverting to using the IEMs I bought the Shure's to replace.

I listen to classical music 90% of the time. There is bass in classical music. Not a lot, but it's there, and it matters. Besides obvious examples such as when there's a big pipe organ at work, orchestral or chamber music frequently has at the very least cellos that are beating out a rhythm, using their lowest notes. Sometimes they're doing much more. And of course there might be actual upright bass instruments, or basoons, etc. What they are doing should seldom be center stage, but it needs to be present.

Anyway, the Shure 425s, though excellent in many ways, are adequate in the bass department when it comes to rock or pop. There, there's a lot of bass, and the 425s capture it, though the sound might not satisfy bass heads. For example, I just threw on Bjork's Homegenic. Got Bass? Yes. Enough? Maybe? But when the quantity of bass in the music is small--like in classical music--the 425s come up short. So the music feels flat and anemic. Just slightly, but enough.

I recently was listening to Handel's Concerti Grossi. It's chamber music. There are cellos and at least one double bass. The 425s just don't do them justice, leaving the music without a measure of texture. The cellos and double bass need to bite.

Then I switched to my old Fischer DBA-2 MK2, which I bought years ago to replace the MK1s, which I bought because they were heralded as "neutral kings," and a great value for money proposition. At the time I thought neutral was what I wanted. Anyway, the Fischer's sound better, to my ears. What's the difference? The bass. No one's ever thought the bass on the DBA-02 was noteworthy, but relatively speaking, it's better than the 425, and it makes classical music more enjoyable; it also reveals what's lacking with the 425s.

I'd still like to up my game and improve on the Fischers, which have served me well. But the 425s aren't it.

Update: I recently bought a set of Shure bt adapters to attach to the 425s to use running. So now I'm listening outside, where there's more noise. On the positive side, the comfort and fit are great, a result of having well made behind the ear adapters that are tailor-made to fit Shure IEMs. But where TF is the bass? There's the body? And I'm not listening to Bach, I'm listening to stuff with a beat, like Aurora and Bjork. But it's just not there. So, I switched out the Shure 425s and attached the adapters to Tin T2s. Ahhh....That's better. There's the truth: 425s are good but outclassed by $70 Tins. Take note, Shure.
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DCofficehack
DCofficehack
Classical requires gear that can do the full range without unduly emphasizing any particular part of the spectrum. I think neutral is the way to go, which my DBA-02s validate. Mid-centric can also work given that so much of classical is relatively mid-focused, esp. if one's into voice. Anything described as particularly good for EDM or Hip Hop is not going to work. I think one bottom line is that classical--more than pop--requires good quality.
kdparnell
kdparnell
Thank you!
NickleCo
NickleCo
you guys forgot the most glaring fact about this iem. This is almost 10 years old.

CavemanSponge

New Head-Fier
Pros: Overall Fit, Midrange Quality, Signature (for some)
Cons: Cables, Lack of treble extension, Lack of bass (for some)
--Introduction--

I know this review is quite late, as this IEM has been around the market for at least 7 years now, dating back to late 2010-2011 when it made its debut. However, I also understand that audio is a hobby, and one way or another people might want to get their hands on this piece of kit even if it has reached its saturation point, so I thought I'll make a review about it, for good or for ill :)

Now there are some points I would like to address before going more in-depth. First, my preference in sound signature lies more towards neutral/bright rather than warm/full. Second, I use silicone tips that were provided by Shure and I swapped out the original cable in lieu of a thinner, more comfortable FiiO Cable. Okay now with those out of the way lets get into the review!

--Design & Build--

Shure is undoubtedly one of the best if not the best designed IEM when comfort and fit is put into consideration. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I remember correctly Shure and Westone collaborated in their IEM design, so Westone comes at a close second when it comes to the overall body design. Even when compared to higher-end IEMs like the likes of Campfire Audio, Noble, 64Ears, and Dita, the Shures still stood out as the most comfortable IEM in my lineup due to its size and form factor. The shells are made out of plastic which keeps the body lightweight, and although I am quite disappointed since I got the silver version, I felt that plastic is better as it does not get cold in the winters and does not have rough edges that might irritate my ears. I give the Shures a thumbs up in this regard.

--Cables--

This section is where Shure gets its first yellow card. Cables.

Now I understand that Shure has always gone for this 'studio quality' thing as they claim that their IEMs are the industry standard used by musicians, sound engineers, and in studios all around the world. While I appreciate the addition of removable cables via the MMCX connection, I absolutely hate how the cable looks and feels. On paper, the cables provided are strong and durable, made with reinforced kevlar and a super sturdy, chunky wire splitter in the middle. However, on practice, I felt this to be quite uncomfortable, as the cable is quite stiff and they never 'relax' when worn, holding their shape over time, which makes it hard when you need to stuff your cable into your jacket or pants pocket if it gets too long. In addition, since the cable did not conform well, a change in posture (i.e standing to sitting) can also be a little awkward, as the cable stays stiff and you basically have to re-form the wires again.

Now I sound like I absolutely despise the cables, which is not true since I appreciate that Shure is one of the few mass-market companies that pays attention to cable quality, and the idea of imbuing kevlar into the cables is super smart. However, I value comfort and flexibility when it comes to cables, except if they sound amazing to the point that I can sacrifice my values. Shure sadly does not tick those boxes (for me), which made me swap my cables.

--Sound Quality--

Before we go here I want to quickly touch on the genres of music that I normally listen, and what I used to test this IEM. For my everyday, I am a J-Pop and Anisong fan (it makes up ~70% of my library). However, I also listen to others like Rock, Pop, Classical, and Smooth Jazz (~30%). I tested this IEM with all genres mentioned, with a couple of EDM tracks to test out bass.

Bass: Starting out with bass, people might have different views about it. Some will say the bass is just right in quantity and quality, but some will also say that the bass is lacking. Imho, I feel like the bass is really good when it comes to quality, but meh when it comes to quantity. Bass notes in tracks like Hidamari Days by SisterS and Break Free by Ariana Grande feel really tight and punchy, but is lacking in weight. Tracks like Miss You - Nick Talos Remix lack the rumble down low, which makes the track less pump-y. Overall, bass is just right for me, and it will for you, too, if you choose the right genre and tracks. I would also say that DAPs play a role in enhancing this region, as bass notes sound weightier and fuller out of my X5iii compared to my AK100ii.

Midrange: Mids is generally Shure's forte, and it is no stranger in the 425s. Midrange is very forward, grabbing all the heat and attention from the audience. It is also very smooth and silky, with full-sounding notes to give listeners a more intimate time, and make them feel like the singers are singing right there in front of them. This is the part which amazed me the most, as Shure is able to compete against the higher-tier JH Audio and the likes of Layla and Dorado when it comes to pure midrange smoothness. I never said they came out on top, though so keep that in mind :wink:. Detail is very good too in this region, with good micro-detail retrieval (this is where people say "I heard things I never heard before"). However, what Shure is offering in the plate here is intimacy and smoothness, not detail. Search too extensively, and you will be disappointed. Tracks like Beauty and the Beast by Ariana and John Legend sounded amazing, and it feels as if I am in a concert, standing front row center listening to their duo. Vocals shine beautifully and overflows with realism, while the other instruments dance around in the background. I believe by Il Divo sounds amazing as well, with the 425s reproducing the group's mesmerizing vocals with beautiful fullness and clarity. Finally, Deatta Koro no You Ni by Takahashi Rie's beautiful guitar rythms are presented with beautiful realism, and again vocals are reproduced effortlessly until the end. Overall, Mids are AMAZING here.

Treble: This is where I feel like again people have different opinions on, including me. In my opinion, treble is the weakest part on the 425's sonic signature, and honestly this is also the part that turned many people down when they first give this IEMs a listen. In terms of quality, treble is detailed, with a good sense of air and separation between the high notes. However, the quantity here is EXTREMELY lacking, and for me it brings down all that goodness the quality brings.*I need to apologize beforehand that I only have Anisongs and J-Pop music to showcase here* Okay so, as a general intro, Anisongs showcases midrange, treble, and air in an equipment. Gear that lack even one of those qualities will make Anisongs and J-Pop sound a little 'off'. Beautiful World by XX:me sounds okay with the 425, but it lacks the air and sparkle it once had when I listened even with my Orions. Asayake no Starmine by Asami Imai sounds a little off to me, with sparkles and synthesizers gasping for air, and sometimes even missing entirely in several sections of the track. When I listened to this track with the 425s, I feel like things are missing, as opposed to finding new details in the track. Overall, this is the dealbreaker for me, as I cannot listen to ~70% of my album at its fullest potential with the 425s. However, I am not surprised as well, as all IEMs in Shure's entire lineup never possess amazing treble. Not even the famed 846s.

--Soundstage & Overall Signature--

Soundstage in this IEM is good, not great, with better width than depth. Imaging is quite precise which is surprising, given the circumstances. However, due to the lack of air and treble, complex tracks tend to sound a little congested, and imaging alongside spacial accuracy degrades the more complex a track gets. I would say this IEM is more on the dark, thicker side, with smooth vocals, non-invasive bass and polite treble.

--Conclusion--

In conclusion, this is a niche IEM that will serve a specific group of people. You enjoy vocals and don't care too much about the instruments taking the backstage? go for it. You enjoy a more organic, full sound like the old times? buy it now. You a metalhead? plz stop. You listen to J-Pop and other genres that require great air and treble? don't come any closer. In all seriousness, this IEM will please a crowd but will turn others away. Similar to its bigger brother, the 535s, this is not a jack-of-all-trades IEM, and it favors a certain genre over the other. I would say get this for a specific purpose, but don't expect your entire library to sound amazing in these, except if its vocal-strict.

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*Bonus Section: Cables*

I put this as a bonus because people who believe in this, read; for those who don't, the conclusion is up there :). So I tried a couple different cables with the 425s in hopes of getting a better treble response. Note here I am going to focus on adding treble, not warmth or bass so that is what I will focus on.

1. Lavricables Pure Silver: This cable has to be a quick, not too expensive fix for people who want higher quality cables than stock. In terms of sound, there is definitely an improvement in the treble region, with added presence and shimmer. The low end seems to tighten a tad bit too, but is barely noticeable as the 425's bass are tight enough. However, even if this is a good cable, I will not justify the purchase as the improvements are not night-and-day.

2. Effect Audio Ares II: This cable is copper, and oh boy does it add more warmth to the 425s. Treble is extended just a tiny bit, and the overall sound gets more intimate. A good pair if you want a very smooth and warm sound.

3. FiiO Replacement MMCX Cable: This is the oddball but I definitely recommend you to grab it if you hate the cable ergonomics. The FiiO cable is way softer and more flexible, and it also has a mic (yeah yeah interference, etc). To me it hooks to my ears better, and is very comfortable and does not feel stiff nor bulky. Does not change sound, but yea for 16 bucks what can you expect?

Thanks for reading!

kochiyadragons

New Head-Fier
Pros: Isolation, spacial expression,
Cons: subdued bass, too referential for some music genre like rock or metal
     Now, I own Sony MDR-EX800ST, Etymotic Research ER-4S, and Ultimate Ears Triple fi. 10PRO as daily use IEM. But still SE425 is my all time favorite for its accurate relaxing sound. I am a guy who always like to have music. I need music for walking, working, reading and forget about daily life. This is open like canal earphone. Sound is not too closed, bass is weak but deep, treble is transparent and relaxing. 
 
     I believe this SE425 has the best cost performance as your life partner through my 6 years of experience with this IEM. Of course, if you can afford over 300$, that is different story, but I know not many people can really dare to pay that much from their very first time to start expensive IEM. SE425 will be the good start for the wonderful audiophile world for who has first try high end model, and it will be the great reference IEM for all audiophile too.
 
     Ultimate Ears Reference or Reference Remastered have slimier sound tendency. They are all flat, accurate, and boring (with not negative meaning) . SE425 is just like them. It has typical referential sound with easy, and highly qualified beautiful mid sound. Probably I should paraphrase boring as relaxing or referential sound. I have learned a lot through this IEM about the sound of music itself. This honest IEM told me how quality of the audio source affect to my listening experience and overall satisfactions. This is the great IEM overall.
 
     I will still update in later when I get good word to describe this my favourite item.

flognarde

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: After some adaption, some sort of refinement, tight base, well sorted mids, and non fatiguing highs, well built
Cons: They don't like to be pushed, timbres not that realistic, I sometimes miss my $40 Zero Audio Temore's honesty and energy
It was a big investment for me. I was very pleased with the fit of my SE215 not so much with the bloated bass section and the warmish signature.
At first, I was disappointed, switching from Tenore's, the shy sound appeared muled and even more worried by tweaked timbres (Only classical music in my Fiio X5II).
After 2 weeks, my judgement had to be revised.
First of : don't push the volume ; they don't like it. They have enough details to cope with it.
Anyway now, I rather like them, especially when music has complex messages like, let's say, a Bruckner's symphonie. The bass are so clear they never interfere with the rest, they are precise and tight, just the way I like. The rest of the spectrum is well defined never fatiguing with no sibilance. It's very refined, the instruments are well placed and well balanced.
What remains from my first impressions are the timbres. Hard to describe but let's say I know how a cello sounds and I am not convinced the IEM's are fully accurate. On big ensembles, it's not a problem but on a Bach's partita for solo violin it's a bit more annoying. It's smoothed out and veiled at times.
It all depends on the recording, as usual...
Whatever, the more I use them, the more I like them. Four hours of Wagner Siegfrid ? No problem, the message is clear, articulated. I might not have found my perfect IEM's but I get Shure's intentions.
I wish I could compare them with dozens of others in the same price range to be more precise on my impression, the music lover rather new in the headphone world. 
I didn't find the Graal but will try hard.

Vividcard

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Fantastic mid centric dual driver, exceptional clarity, godlike isolation, Durable detachable cable.
Cons: Can be difficult to determine right tips for best seal, highs may leave something to be desired.
Hello fellow head-fi members. This will be my first official review of a product that I have published. As such, I would appreciate any input you can provide to allow me to make my review better. Likewise, if you have any questions regarding the SE-425’s. Let me know, as these are my daily IEM’s at the moment, I can usually answer the question or at least find out. With that said, let’s begin the review!

INTRODUCTION:

View attachment

The Shure SE-425 is one of Shure’s higher tier IEM products, having only the SE-535 and SE-846 above them. The 425 uses a dual balanced armature setup with passive crossover. They also sport one of my favorite features, the detachable cable. This means that the cable can be replaced if damaged, or simply upgraded if you want a better cable. Before we begin the real review, let’s take a look at the specs.

UNBOXING:

View attachment View attachment View attachment

The box for the SE-425 is your standard windowed retail box. Nothing hugely fancy, but more than enough information for someone to make an educated decision on the phones and have the real specs (You know, that information Bose doesn’t include). Inside, you will find the following:

  1. Warranty card
  2. Instruction manual
  3. Hardened fabric style carrying case
  4. Ear wax picker
  5. A plethora of different eartips (more on this later)
  6. 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter (gold plated)
  7. And of course, the headphones
BUILD QUALITY/COMFORT:

The Shure SE-425 is built in the same type of housing found on pretty much the entire SE line. The plastic seems hard and resilient, but is still plastic regardless. It doesn’t feel as durable as the RHA 750’s. nor is it as sexy as the JVC FX850. But it does the job. The cable feels very durable, which is ironic as one of the big selling points for me was the detachable cable in case the cable was damaged.

There are two main worry points for me on this device. The first being the nozzle or tube that the ear tips are attached to. In fact, I managed to break the nozzle on my first pair when trying to remove the originally installed ear-tips. There are a number recommendations on how to properly and safely remove the ear tips. However, I did not read these recommendations and proceeded to grip with all of my might to remove them. This resulted in a cracked nozzle and a 2 week exchange period without my new toy ☹.

Shure recommends a few methods, including putting the headphones in the freezer for a bit to break the seal from the factory tips. I found this helped remove the tips. Once the originals are removed, things are easier (but not too easy) to change. As a personal recommendation, if you know the factory tips are not going to work for you, simply cut them off with an x-acto knife. This is an easy way and allows you to avoid the headache.

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My other concern is easily avoidable. This concern is with the detachable cable, or rather the connection. I love that these cables can be replaced easily. But, the type of connection leaves the male connection on the monitor. This means you have a tiny pin that can easily be bent (and not so easily put back in place). To avoid this, simply avoid detaching the cable. If you need to detach the cable, make sure you are attaching the cable completely straight. Issue avoided!

Some people report that the design of the Shure’s just simply do not fit, either not making a complete seal or they have a short length of ear, making the IEM not fit completely. For me this is not the case. If you find that the seal isn’t getting it done, try a different tip. If they simply don’t fit… They just don’t fit. There isn’t much to be done.

SPECS: (from the box)

Speaker type: Dual Hi-Def Micro Drivers (Balanced Armature)

Frequency range: 20 Hz-19kHz

Sensitivity: 109 dB SPL/mW

Impedance: 22 Ω

Noise Attenuation: (sound blocking) Up to 37dB

Cable length: ~63.75 inches (162 cm)

HOW THEY SOUND:

I’m going to split this portion into a few categories to make this a simpler read. It is worth noting that before writing this review and testing, the headphones had roughly 100 hours of burn in. If you find something missing here that you wanted to know about, please let me know and I will try to add it into the review.

LOWS:

Being that these are dual driver IEM’s, they have a dedicated woofer for each ear. Provided the fit is right (more on this later) the Bass is well placed. It is tight and concise, and usually extends well enough. On my computer the Bass is fantastic, but for some reason when using my Fiio X1 the bass is almost non-existent and needs to be EQ’d to show. Even then, the quality of the bass is not as expected. This issue, does not seem to replicate with my Zenfone 2. Perhaps this is due to issues with the Fiio X1?

MIDS:

As far as I’m concerned, Shure is god in this arena. Details are clear and crisp, making for a weird experience when you didn’t realize a specific background instrument in songs you have listened to for years. You can hear the subtle breaths in between lines, Vocals are fantastic, Guitars are all on point, to a scary level almost. Overall, practically perfect, with a forward lean on the mids.

HIGHS:

Probably the weakpoint in the phones. Not enough to complain in my opinion. But some people will want more here. Highs are theye, they sound proper, but with a lack of proper extension. The highs don’t carry (last) as long as I feel they should. To me it still seems to capture the life of the highs, just not to a degree where a song full of mainly highs will be replicated properly. This isn’t so much an issue with me, as most of my songs live in the mid with some high details.

MISC:

While the following doesn’t have to do with the product abilities to reproduce music, I feel it needs to be in this section. The first is Microphonics (noises from the cord rustling), this is practically non-existant. This is likely due to the over the ear style, but is almost not worth mentioning.

Isolation is FAN-TAS-TIC… BUT!-only if the fit is right. This is key! Not only to isolation, but for the proper sound. Perhaps this section should be at the start of the sound section, but it’s too late for that. This IEM can go from sounding superb to sounding terrible due to improper fit. Find the right size, and stick with it. I find that the Shure olive mediums are the winner for me (Ironically, the ones that come pre-installed). The grey tips didn’t seem to get as good of a seal for isolation. The yellow foam are actually great (possibly better than the pre-installed for me), but they tend to pull a lot of ear wax from me and are more difficult to clean… To me they are not worth the hassle. There is also the white triple flange that like to violate my cranium. Ultimate seal from these, giving even more bass, but I just cannot handle the cranial invasion these provide. Your mileage may vary…

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Regardless of which tips you choose, make sure they are right, and that you get a proper seal. During the burn in period I had to take a four hour flight. As luck would have it, I was placed on the wing, next to the engine, with a crying two year old behind me. So I prayed and squished down the foam of the Shure olives and placed the IEM. After getting both in it was incredibly quiet. Then, after hitting play the world went mute. No crying baby, no engine. Just the soothing sounds of music and a smile across my face.  I particularly enjoyed watching the increasingly frustrated face of my neighbor as he attempted to deal with the baby with an infinity lung. It will take time to really figure out how to get the phone in properly, if this is the first of the style you have owned. But once you figure it out, it’s a simple installation for plenty of comfort and sound!

SOUNDSTAGE:

Soundstage has always been something of a difficult thing for me to understand when using IEM’s. For me, almost every IEM has a very close soundstage. This is not to say that it is non-existant, more that I cannot comprehend the stage. Musical separation is fantastic, and each can be picked out separately. Vocals from multiple people is easily distinguished. But for me, when using IEM’s I have always had issues visualizing an actual stage to them. I don’t think this is an issue for the headphones, but more an issue that I have. In the end, the things important about a soundstage are all present and fantastic. Sorry I can’t help more with this portion.

CONCLUSION:

The Shure SE-425 is a great all-round IEM. The bass is tight and concise, musical separation is superb, and the mids are solid gold. The bass can be lacking if the seal is not correct, so make sure your using the right tips. The treble may leave some things to be desired. But overall, for the price these can be obtained at (can be found regularly at about $249.99 despite the $349.99 MSRP) they are a great deal for me.

 
SONGS USED:

MP3:

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer  (320kbps)
Believe – Mumford & Sons (320/192/128kbps)
Let the Road – Rixton (320kbps)
Space Age – Library Voices (320kbps)
The Impression That I Get – Mighty Mighty Bosstones (320kbps)

FLAC:

Believe – Mumford & Sons (96/24bit)
Crazy (Live – A Little South of Sanity Vinyl Rip) – Aerosmith (44.1/16bit)
Give Life Back to Music (Vinyl Rip) – Daft Punk (96/24bit)
New Beginnings – Noah Guthrie (44.1/16bit)
Give It Away (Blood Sugar Sex Magik Vinyl Rip) – Red Hot Chili Peppers (96/24bit)
Ashes – Embrace (44.1/16bit)
 
Hardware:
 
Fiio X1
HP Pavilion DV6T-QUAD with HD audio
ASUS Zenfone 2 (Z550AD) using Spotify premium/Tidal
whitemass
whitemass
My issue with these has always been their price. And as most of my reviews show, I always stick well within the $45-$200 Range. And this is where I see these being a bit of a waste for monitoring, & on stage use. They're not precise enough, I feel that the M6 Pros I personally reviewed do a better job at what these were built for. I've demoed them, and liked them, yet never understood the range. 
 
I don't like to be a basher on the things people love. 
And I certainly like these, though I think they're another home listener IEM, and fit well beside the Westone W4R as a competitor, another IEM I think one ups, or does things differently in the same range.
Overall, great review!
Vividcard
Vividcard
I have no problems admitting this either. This was my first intro into mid-fi. And as such I enjoy them in comparison to what I had before. I am a home listener, I don't use them for stage monitors like they are advertised. Sadly, I couldn't report how they perform for this. But being able to mute my co-workers while being able to enjoy crisp sound isn't bad.
 
Sadly, until I decide to drop some more money at this price level for IEM's I will likely be blissfully unaware. Or at least until the next meet I can attend :wink:

Voyageur

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Good soundstage; little listening fatigue; great fit and good isolation; detachable cable; rugged feel.
Cons: Unrealistic instrument timbres; veiled sound; rolled-off treble; average detail; value for money
[VIDEO][/VIDEO]Design/durability: The SE425 feel very nice indeed. The silver finish looks very appealing. The earpieces seem very durable as well, and the cable is very thick and sturdy with a lot of strain relief. The latter is detachable, which is even better.
 
Fit/Comfort: One of the most comfortable IEMs out there, especially with Shure's olive tips. Easily forgettable when in your ears. Plus they don't stick out of the ears, meaning that you can almost sleep wearing them.
 
Isolation: Excellent, blocks out most ambient noise. Microphonics are low as well.
 
Sound: A let down. The sound signature is highly colored in a way I particularly dislike: mids are well defined but way too forward, the worst part being the rolled-off highs and their terrible lack of extension. Decay is disappointing. On a good note, the bass is punchy and well articulated, with just the right amount. Speed isn't bad. Soundstage and instrument separation are good, but the very warm sound sig makes the whole presentation suffocating and claustrophobic. The resolution is also far from being impressive for the price, as a lot of details are reported missing. Some instruments are very badly replicated: drums sound like someone's hitting on cardboard, strings sound terrible, overall timbre of many instruments are just *not* realistic enough, and it's not a source/file problem. Overall the sound feels veiled, unnatural and unrevealing at best, almost as if you were listening to music while covering your speakers with a curtain. Good for some genres, like jazz or acoustic guitar, and laid back listening though. Having paid FRP I tried to like them, w/o success. The just average resolution and the seriously anemic treble ultimately killed it for me. I was expecting much more from a double driver, $250 headphone, I even have some single armature IEMs that sound better than the SE425 at barely half the price.
 
Bottom line: The SE425 got me disappointed. Far from being accurate enough for critical listening, yet not fun sounding either, these headphones are heavily colored, and not in a way I'd like them to be. The excellent design, nice soundstage, and the suitability of the SE425 for casual listening are here to compensate though. Sent them back after a few weeks of testing, since they seem vastly overpriced and overrated to me given the just average sound quality they provide.


View attachment
jdpark
jdpark
Yeah, I also disagree with the issue relating to natural timbre, though I understand the treble problem. It seems like an oxymoron that IEMs could be light on treble and realistic, but actually, I have these hooked up to what I consider to be a very good set up (Lehmann BCL and audio-gd Dac-19) and the timbres are very good, in my opinion. The sound is 'in your head', but the instruments are well separated and spaced out, while rhythms are in fact very well represented by the speed and agility of these IEMs. It's true that drums don't have the high-end punch that maybe they should, but the overall groove makes a lot of music sound good to me, that's not fatiguing.
Voyageur
Voyageur
Thanks for the comments guys! 
 
My problem isn't the pace of the SE425 nor its very good imaging, but definitely its excellent ability to make most instruments sound dull, grainy and lifeless. The orchestral works and soundtracks that I so far enjoy listening to with any type of sound signature, from the warm Westone/Sennheiser to the bright Etys just sound plain bad with the Shure, no matter how I want to look at it. The 425 just don't move me. At all. It is the first time I'm having such a huge disappointment. "Natural sounding" never, ever came across my mind while listening to these, and I find myself having the same problem with basically all IEM of the SE line, from the 215 to the 846. I *might* spare you a review on the latter, as it could be considered pure blasphemy here on Head-Fi.
 
That said, I look forward to listen to the old gen Shure E4, as some people say that these had much better clarity and definition than today's SE series.
flognarde
flognarde
I do agree on most... I just need to curb it a bit. It actually depends on the recordings. On some complex messages (let's say Bruckner's symphonies), they do somehow very well (of course only listening to acoustic musics).
you may have noticed as well that they work much better on reasonnable volume.
Basically there main quality is that they are fatigue less.

interpolate

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Detailed with most things
Cons: Not for bass heads
Ok, I've had these for a while now and decided to leave some feedback on these. First thing, the sound from these IEM's (earphones) are nothing short of excellent with a few minor dislikes.
 
At times, some music demands a bit more low end although to be fair that is what an equaliser can be used for. Like any good quality headphones, they will reveal any bad traits in your music source; so often, what sounds exceptionable on more tuned earphones will sound flat out trash on these. The fit can be a bit fiddly and it takes a bit of time to locate the best buds for your own ears although the supplied kit is plentiful. 
 
After using these for a little while, you may start to notice small nuances in familiar music you never with cheaper or alternative earphones. It's a dual-driver design with one mid/treble and bass driver each ear. One thing that occurs to me, the lacking bass power can lead vibrant mids although with a declining treble starting under 17Khz could explain the highs not being as present. Once the drivers have been run for a while, you notice your ears will warm into the detail produced by these.
 
By comparison with my older Sennheiser CX880 which also did a commendable job, they also had problems with "too much treble" in some modern music or badly mastered digital. So often this was corrected by using an equalizer on the Creative Zen player. 
 
Listening to soundtrack music on the SE425 shows how detailed and the soundstage of the IEM by the way instruments are panned & placed virtually "in your ears".  In direct comparison to AKG K702 they put up a good fight. Which is ironic because the retail more now and have a lesser output.
 
For the moment, they will do the job although I do hope to get an extra higher grade pair at some stage.
interpolate
interpolate
"One thing that occurs to me, the lacking bass power can lead vibrant mids although with a declining treble starting at around 17Khz  onwards could explain the highs not being as present".
 
Slight edit/correction.

cuiter23

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Smooth mids, Detailed and analytical but not dry, Scales well
Cons: A bit slow, Mid-Focused, Lack of extension on both ends
Please check out my video review of these:
 
 
 
(Sorry for the lack of images as I have since sold these IEMs)
 
Background Information:
 
Before I begin, I picked these up from a friend of mine for $280 CAD. They currently retail for $379 CAD and $299 USD. Street and used prices vary widely with the SE425s.
 
First of all, the reason I rated these 3.5/5 is because of the value it presents in terms of build quality and also accessories out of the box. It also has a great vibrant midrange. However, what is holding it back is the fact that these are not the best all-rounders at this price point.
 
Being a dual-BA configuration, these produce detail quite admirably however they are by no means a detail monster. Some microdetails are lost due to the lack of extension on both ends.
 
Accessories
 
Packaging is great with a bigger box than the SE215s. Inside the box you will get the usual Shure Fit Kit that comes with the SE315 and up. Compared to the SE215s, you get more tips including yellow foams as well as triple-flanged tips. You also get a hardshell carrying case as well as 1/4inch adapter which is also missing on the SE215s. A cleaning tool is provided as well.
 
Build Quality
 
Very solid build quality from the SE425s. You get the same rugged build as every other Shure SE model (with the exception of the SE112). The cable exudes confidence and is very robust. All the strain reliefs are reinforced heavily and at no time I feel that they are going to give-in or break. If they do, the cables are replaceable for a small cost (in comparison to the IEMs)
 
Comfort 
 
They are very comfortable out of the box. The housing is slightly smaller than the SE215s which provides a more snug fit in my ears. I currently use the Sensaphonic Custom Sleeves with the SE425s which brings comfort into another level. Isolation is improved as well. These are great for sleeping as the ergonomics let you lie on the side while in bed. 
 
They might be a hassle to put on at first but once you get used to it it is like any other IEM.
 
Sound Quality
 
Ever since picking these IEMs up, they have been my go-to pair for slower vocal-oriented music. They provide a great balance of neutrality paired with extremely forward and lush mids which do not make the IEMs sound dry at all in comparison to some other neutral IEMs.
 
Bass
 
Although there is good sub-bass extension, the perceived bass will mostly be mid-bass as the frequencies of this IEM all seem to creep towards the midrange. However, the bass does not bleed into the midrange too much thanks to its dual-BA configuration with a dedicated bass driver. The quality is quite good but you are not going to get the tactility or low end rumble when compared to other IEMs. The quantity is definitely flat and never elevated. The bass you get is what your music provides you. Nothing more nothing less.
 
Midrange
 
Simply Beautiful! Very lush and well bodied midrange. The mids are presented forward in the mix and the texture and detail is presented great. This IEM is great for singer-songwriter guitars, slower vocals, and also ballads. (James Ingram - Forever More)
 
Treble 
 
The highs could use more shimmer. Cymbals and female soprano vocals struggle to punch through with authority but do sound quite good as they blend well with the extremely detailed and forward mid-highs around the 4-6k region. However, fast and convulated tracks that are demanding leave a lot to be desired with these IEMs as the SE425s fail to provide listeners with a engaging top end. The SE425s are not the fastest kids around the block and faster more demanding tracks may leave the SE425s breathing for more air. (Earth Wind & Fire - My Promise)
 
Soundstage/Imaging
 
A very closed soundstage with an extremely forward in-your-face midrange section. I prefer a closed soundstage when preforming as details are presented right at me. However, for critical listening, I would have preferred a wider soundspace which incorporates more air. Therefore, because of the closed off soundstage, instruments are slightly harder to pick out and microdetails are often lost. 
 
Imaging is average due to the lack of a wide soundstage. 
 
Overall I would recommend these IEMs to almost anyone who strictly listens to vocal-extensive music. The SE425s has probably the best mid-range out of any IEM I've heard. However as an all-rounder for the price unfortunately I cannot give the SE425s a whole-hearted recommendation.
 
Tracks Discussed:
 
James Ingram - Forever More
Earth Wind & Fire - My Promise
 
------
 
Thanks for reading and happy listening!
 
Kevin

Dinerenblanc

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Clarity, Balanced, Noise Isolation, Comfort, Flush Design, Detachable Cables
Cons: Subdued Bass
Shure has definitely outdone themselves with this wonderful product. Never have I experienced more clarity in a pair of IEMs. For someone who listens to alternative rock, pop, and an assorted array of indie music, I say that few IEMs can do better. The amount of detail displayed is extraordinary. Vocals are crystal clear and forward, especially female vocals. However, the bass is lacking a bit in quantity, but they're by no means flat. It's still punchy enough to satisfy most listeners. No, these IEMs are not for bass-heads, but for those who want precision. If you're someone who prefer to have lows that accentuate exceptional mids and highs, these are the headphones for you. They're the quintessential headphone for the intimate listener.
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freeryder05

New Head-Fier
Pros: Comfortable, clean sound stage, no bloat
Cons: tips are hard to get off, putting them on can be a struggle, price
Pros:
 
Comfortable: Coming from a few different buds and a few different IEMs these felt like a dream to wear for more than 4 hours at a time. That's my biggest complaint with headphones and IEMs is the fatigue that comes with wearing them for long periods of time. The around the ear shape shifts the weight from the canal to the back of the ear, making them infinitely more comfortable. Because I have two different sized canals, I had to use to different tips on each side. It does help in recognizing which way to put them in :)
 
Clean Sound Stage: Nothing sounds bloated to me in one way. They're not as clean as my ER4PT, but I like these better due to the comfort. (I thought the ER4PT were the most uncomfortable headphones I had ever used). Because I am no longer in pain while listening, I can really grasp the strong lows and mids that were absent from previous headphones.They can be a little bassy, but I just compensate with the EQ.
 
Cons:
 
The Tips: I thought I actually broke the headphones trying to heman the tips off. I also thought ripped every pair of tips that I tried to get off. Neither of which are true, but man did they make it hard. I ended up using the glide style tips because I could never get the foam ones in before they had already reformed -_-.
 
Putting them On: This is my first time with IEMs that go over the ear, and I spent about 2 hours trying to get them on right. Lots of youtube videos and fiddling. I found the right way and got the isolation that I needed to make these headphones shine.
 
Overview: They don't sound nearly as good as the ER4PT for the price, but for the comfort, the tradeoff worth it for me. If I had the money I would have jumped to the 525, which I recommend, but se la vie. Hope this helps someone a little bit. 
francopro
francopro
I owned the ER4S and it doesn't sound better than my SE425, the sound signature is quite different , both have their own + / -
Jeff Y
Jeff Y
just try to change tips on Jays.

sdshannon

New Head-Fier
Pros: Bendable wire near ear, great fit, beautiful isolation, smooth bass, clean highs
Cons: cable gets twisted easily, the cable with the built in mic is poorly made
I used the e4's for about 6 years, loved them, never had one problem until one day I was lazy, forgot to throw them back into the case and the cat got ahold of them. I emailed shure and they said they no longer produced them however that they would upgrade me to the 425 for the same cost as repairing my e4's would have been. 
 
I was a bit skeptical since the fit and design was completely different. 
 
My mind changed quickly.
 
After finding the right sleeve, and doing the weird over,behind my ear deal (shure iem users know what I mean) I was in love. Out of the box.
The isolation was the first thing I noticed, the world was just shut out. Such a great and comfortable fit.SQ was on par with my worn in e4's and have since got better. Nice meaty bass, creamy mids, and sharp but clear highs.Not much I can complain about in regards the sound. They are my go to whenever I leave the house, gym, or on the iPad.
 
Only complaint is the cable, its can get a nasty twist in it. Not a like spaghetti tangled but it almost looks twisted down to the solder. Replacing it for the mic'd version is a bad idea. The mic version does not have the awesome bendable cable that connects to the monitor.Maybe look at buying an extra cable just in case, like the cool clear model :wink:
 
I am not an audiophile by any means, however I have been through several in ear headphones over years from crap ear pods to custom fitted 535's and for the money the 425's are the jam.

jdpark

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Balance, imaging, speed from top to bottom, mids
Cons: High roll-off, no air in the bass
First of all, I don't think we should be comparing these to anything else but in ear monitors (IEMs), and generally in the price range.  However, my only experience is with Sure SE 110s that I used for over 5 years.  Those were about $99, and I got the 425s for about $270.  I've now had them for about four months, and have gone through the slightly disappointed stage which seems to occur for a lot of people with a lot of headphones.  No matter how much you read before purchasing, it still takes time for your brain to get used to a new sound signature.  These really blow away the 110s in every way.  They have energy, speed, focus and simply amazing imaging.  I can't say the last part enough.  It's not soundstage, per se, (because there's not much air) but rather the ability of these phones not to get bogged down with complexity.  They just keep up, keep up, and keep up.
 
So, as others have noted, the bass tones are all there, and in fact I've noticed these IEMs are great for rhythmic music based mainly on acoustic instruments and vocals ranging from jazz to funk, reggae, to many kinds of "world" music.  Also baroque music and small to medium sized classical ensembles sound great.  This is because they really neatly lay out the different textures well.  Marvin Gaye's remastered "What's Going On" for instance, is fun to hear.  On the other hand, music that tends to be a bit dull and lacking in rhythmic or tonal variety to begin with might sound even more dull on these.  
 
Moreover, the mids are great: smooth, musical and accurate whether you're listening to vocals or basically any other acoustic instrument.  After all most acoustic music takes place in the mid-ranges.  The main thing lacking is the sparkle on the high end, but even there, I would hesitate to say they have no highs.  They can make some music sound pleasant though, where my Grado 80s (old version) become grating. 
 
I think technically they lack some treble, but the roll off is nothing like the 110s, and since the sound is going directly to your eardrum, the dampening of piercing highs is not such a bad thing.
 
If you're really into genres that use a lot of what I call 'artificial' highs and lows, you would probably want to avoid these phones.  They are also not amazing for large-scale orchestral work, and can at times be a bit boring for non-acoustic rock.  I don't listen to any of these genres much, except for some hip-hop** and orchestral music.  In both cases, you still have a great musical experience, but not to the level of good $300 over-ear phones, that's for sure. 
 
They sound significantly better, as can be expected, with lossless and high bit rate tracks, but are very sensitive, and so don't do well straight out of the computer jack, even making amping a bit difficult.  I use the Fiio e10, which is fine when listening at moderate or high volumes, not necessarily low volume though, as I get buzzing from the computer (Lenovo thinkpad) when it's charging.  I also have a Music streamer ii dac and schiit magni amp, which do open them up a bit, and especially on high bit rate tracks show off what these IEMs can do.  They are elegant and have excellent instrument imaging and separation, for example.  This combo also brightens them up, which is good.  You still can't listen on very low volume, however, as you'll probably get some channel imbalance.  
 
They are a bit annoying with phone calls, because as they don't have phone capabilities (without a cord upgrade), you have to take them out and reinsert them each time you get a call.  It can affect your relationships negatively if every time you answer the phone you are annoyed--both that you had to stop listening to the music, and because it takes a few seconds and some effort to put them in and remove them each time.  
 
Conclusion: These are fine for acoustic music, which in my opinion, is essentially what music should be.  The imaging might make them good for electronic music, too, but bass heads won't like them.  But the advantage of these is the external noise attenuation, portability, and sensitivity, making them great for portable devices.  With these on my daily bus ride in Tel Aviv, I can block out virtually everything except the vibration that comes up through the seat from the bus itself.  Plus, in a hot climate you don't want anything on your ears when you're on the go, not to mention that some phones are just plain heavy, and as a backpack carrier, I also don't need extra weight.  I briefly thought about selling these and getting Sennheiser 25ii headphones, but backed out due to my own portability concerns.  Probably a toss up, with the se425s coming out a bit on top with respect to mids, imaging and balance, but 25iis, to my experience, having more bass impact (but not more bass tonality) and better high extension.
 
**If you actually want to hear the words of the hip-hop, these can help you with that, as they're quite detailed and can show you where there are several voices going on at the same time.   They just won't give you anything like a club feeling because of the lack of air in the bass.  

ag8908

500+ Head-Fier
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.
brienobrody
brienobrody
not trying to be rude, but when you invest in shures IEM's you're not only paying 300$ for them, you are spending money on the specific custom sound that shure has perfected many times and over,  you are paying for the comfort and detailed sound that is presented, the detail is beyond anything! when people say what are the cons of these earbuds, the only thing i am able to say is the true balanced sound, detailed with the fine precision of treble and amazingly clean gentle bass enough to be heard, so unless you're looking to invest in these amazing IEM's i would under no condition compared with over-ear drivers, nothing is even compareable to the beautiful sound of ear buds :)

Skysryan

New Head-Fier
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. 

jsp00k

New Head-Fier
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!

rustablad

Head-Fier
Pros: n/a
Cons: n/a
**--DECIDED MY PAIR IS DEFECTIVE--**  I was frustrated when i wrote the review
 
-D
rustablad
rustablad
I know i must have a bad pair or i'm insane, i hate too much bass. I must give shure a call, then i'll update my review.
svyr
svyr
my 425 had slightly excessive bass. (compared to most iems seeming rolled off )
Brooko
Brooko
I hope that it does turn out something wasn't quite right - and that Shure replaces them with a good pair (I've found that their service is pretty good). The 425's are genuinely a nice and very underated IEM in my opinion. I really hope you get a chance to enjoy them!

soong

New Head-Fier
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
bcschmerker4
bcschmerker4
Congratulations on scoring a studio-ready earset. The SE425-V appears a perfect match for the Shure® Personal Studio Monitor line of in-ear monitors, wired and wireless; the detachable cable makes life easier for the assistant audio engineer, as failing cables can be replaced on the spot during a studio or live-recording session. I'll be waiting for Topics on tricking up the SE425-V with six-9's Cu, Ag, &c., harnesses - a technique used with many lines of professional over-the-ear headsets to eliminate remaining frequency-response and soundstage issues from specific set-ups.

Marleybob217

Headphoneus Supremus
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.
 
 
Marleybob217
Marleybob217
Yeah I have read really great things about the SE535, but they are really, really expensive, like almost 400 euros, unless you're rich they aren't worth it imo. In ear monitors really seem to offer much less SQ compared to headphones in the same price range, that is why i'm back on the headphone train!
GL1TCH3D
GL1TCH3D
@marley
I agree they're quite expensive and don't offer the greatest sound quality (or value).
They are however very portable and isolating while still keeping a relatively good sound.
I've also heard good things from my friend about the re272 which is cheaper and he says they're even better than the se535.
About headphones vs iems, I can't really use my HD800 for all my portable uses.
I've tried other high end portables such as the T5p and didn't really see it as a good portable option.
(Not to mention the design flaw with the T5p case that makes the case horrible for portable use)
The constant fear of getting my higher end headphones wet in the rain (especially open backs like the HD800) while my earbuds would rest fairly safely in my ear.
Marleybob217
Marleybob217
You are right again, taking a full sized open headphone outside is just bad for various reasons!
I recently bought the german maestro gmp 8.35D (for 165 euros), should come in today. It is a full sized headhpone, but it's unbreakable (you can literally walk over it) and the sound is better than the srh940 (presumably). It should also isolate better than the sennheiser HD25-1 and this is more than enough isolation for general commuting. And I'm sure those hifimans sound awesome, but they do look kinda flimsy next to the shures. I did absolutely love the look and feel of the shure IEM's!

absk

New Head-Fier
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 What you're gonna be even more pissed.
 
 
GL1TCH3D
GL1TCH3D
Ouch, 3 pairs in 90 days? Seems like some really bad luck >.<<br /> I know a guy who's had the se530 for over 2 years without needing any replacements.
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