Shure SE425 Earphone

  1. kochiyadragons
    One of the best option for whom always like to have music
    Written by kochiyadragons
    Published Apr 15, 2017
    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.
  2. flognarde
    Takes time but finally getting into it !
    Written by flognarde
    Published Jun 21, 2016
    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.
  3. Vividcard
    Shure SE-425: Mid-Centric gold with little to desire
    Written by Vividcard
    Published Sep 29, 2015
    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!



    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.


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    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

    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)


    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.


    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?


    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.


    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.


    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…


    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 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.


    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.



    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)


    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)
    Fiio X1
    HP Pavilion DV6T-QUAD with HD audio
    ASUS Zenfone 2 (Z550AD) using Spotify premium/Tidal
    1. 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!
      whitemass, Oct 7, 2015
    2. 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:
      Vividcard, Oct 7, 2015
  4. Voyageur
    Average for the price
    Written by Voyageur
    Published Jun 26, 2015
    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
    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.

    1. View previous replies...
    2. 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.
      jdpark, Sep 6, 2015
    3. 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.
      Voyageur, Sep 8, 2015
    4. 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.
      flognarde, Jun 11, 2016
  5. interpolate
    A good introduction
    Written by interpolate
    Published May 4, 2015
    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.
    1. 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.
      interpolate, May 7, 2015
  6. cuiter23
    Vocal Bliss
    Written by cuiter23
    Published Jan 28, 2015
    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.
    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)
    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.
    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.
    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)
    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)
    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!
  7. Dinerenblanc
    Shure done a good job. ;)
    Written by Dinerenblanc
    Published Oct 24, 2014
    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.
      Szadzik likes this.
  8. freeryder05
    Sounds great, but a few problems
    Written by freeryder05
    Published Aug 14, 2014
    Pros - Comfortable, clean sound stage, no bloat
    Cons - tips are hard to get off, putting them on can be a struggle, price
    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.
    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. 
    1. francopro
      I owned the ER4S and it doesn't sound better than my SE425, the sound signature is quite different , both have their own + / -
      francopro, Aug 14, 2014
    2. Jeff Y
      just try to change tips on Jays.
      Jeff Y, Aug 14, 2014
  9. sdshannon
    Great upgrade from e4s
    Written by sdshannon
    Published May 10, 2014
    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.
  10. jdpark
    Great IEMs, scale up well, and maintain balance
    Written by jdpark
    Published Feb 11, 2014
    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.