Shure SE425 Earphone


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great sound, Great brand and customer service
Cons: The fit will give you fits. Lacks comfort.
I got my pairs (plural) because my last pair of tried and trusty EC-4s bit the dust.. losing the left channel as they tend to do over 3 or 4 years.  In the past, I'd send $100 dollars and the EC-4s to Shure, who'd fix them and send them back.  Good to go.
Unfortunately, Shure has end-of-lifed the EC-4s.  Boo!  So rather than fixing them, they replaced them with two brand new pairs of SE425's-- right off the store shelves.  Impressive that Shure backs their gear as well as they do, it says a lot about the company's integrity.  
So now I'm left with two brand-new pair of SE425's.  They are VERY different from the EC-4s, and not in a good way.
But let's not go all negative-- the new cable design is terrific.  I like that the cables now break away at the earbud.  Hopefully this will eliminate the left channel issue of the EC-4s (losing contact after a few years due to stress on the cable).  The shape is cleaner and more attractive, but this leads to a huge problem in fit, which is where these headphones fall apart.
I started by trying the foam earpieces that come attached to the earbuds.  They didn't get in far enough and the bass was missing-- so I switched to the rubber-- same issue-- the sound was tinny.  Went for the yellow foam-- this was what I used on the EC-4s.  Nope-- no luck.  So I read the head-fi reviews here and someone suggested the white triple tips as the only tip that worked for them-- and that is true-- the second I put the white-triple tips in-- the sound was there.  
Full, rich, detailed sound, just like the old EC-4s.  The problem is that the white triple tips are about an inch long and give the feeling like you're being ear-raped.  Yes-- ear rape!  Like-- is this thing going to hit my ear drum?  It's not- but it's a totally uncomfortable situation.   Shure will put Q-Tips out of business!  I can't imagine wearing these for any long-term listening.
Sound isolation?  Hell yes-- with this much rubber in your ear-- how can you not get great isolation?  Jeech.  
Like the EC-4's there's very good mid-range (maybe a bit too much)-- natural articulate bass-- and slightly rolled off upper frequencies-- no sibilance.  The sound isn't bright, but complete.  Great soundstage.  Wide-- nice for an in-ear.  
But if you're buying a $300 dollar pair of buds-- get a pair that won't rape your ears.  Seriously.
Don't give up yet .....
Grab the triple flanges, and cut off the top flange - no more issue with comfort. Also try using the larger size olives. I always wore mediums when I had the SE420. For the SE425 and now SE535 I simply use the large olives. The insertion is shallower, but the isolation is still complete, and the comfort is wonderful. Hope this helps.
You could try making the white-triple tips soft by putting it on hot water and making it a little bit wet when inserting it in your ear. Thats what I always do. Cool review by the way.
I will give the larger olives a go, but as for putting water on the tips-- KorkiPoo, I gotta say, it sounds like I'd be getting a wet willy, in addition to my ear rape! Oy! I'm trying out Sennheiser's i.e. 6 for now... Will review later.


New Head-Fier
Pros: New modular cable design feels very solid and well executed, relatively flat sound signature, Bass is present but not obtrusive.
Cons: Getting a proper fit is difficult at first.
These are my second pair of Shure IEMs. I had enjoyed the SE210s for a long time before taking the plunge on these. Since these are meant to be worn up only and the cable rotates freely where it attaches to the monitor, it took some getting used to the new cable design. Sound quality is definitely leaps and bounds above the SE210s. The bass is IMO much more substantial on the 425s but very fitting to the music I listen to (all shades of rock). I tried sampling some electronic music with these IEMs and was quite impressed but I will warn that these IEMs do not produce "Pounding" bass.
Design and Fit
The new modular cable design seems almost perfectly executed - The cables break free from the monitors easily but will never remove themselves. The added memory wire adds some comfort and assistance when putting them on and helps them stay in place. The cable has a bit more weight than that on the SE210 but it is more flexible and microphonics are almost nonexistent.
As expected from Shure IEMs supplied are a pair of triple flanges, three pairs of silicone tips sized S M L and four pairs of Shure's signature foam "olives" again in size S, M, and L but with an extra medium set preinstalled on the earphones. I prefer the large Olives on this set while the medium Olives provided me with the best fit on the 210s. With some trimming I'm sure I could get some more enjoyment out of the triple flange set, but the large olives have a slightly more warm sound quality to my ears and are more comfortable for extended listening.
My biggest worry when buying the 425s without hearing them before hand was that the bass was going to be under emphasized but that is surely not the case. I was pleasantly surprised that the bass response was everything I could have wanted out of a pair of IEMs; Present, detailed, but not all-consuming.
Like everyone says, the mid range is clearly the most emphasized. Very smooth midtones that lend to amazing vocal clarity. There is roll off on the high frequency but its not distracting, nor do I feel like it takes much from the listening experience. I personally like a little added brightness to most headphones so with a touch of the EQ these IEMs are very moldable to my tastes.
Final Thoughts
The SE425s quickly made themselves my new favorite pair of earphones. The sound quality fits my musical preferences very well and with a little acclimation they are quite comfortable for extended listening. I managed to pick up a set for $230 before tax which in my opinion is a steal. I was however more than prepared to pay $300 for and at that price I still feel like these are money well spent.


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: inexpensive and great mids and deep bass without the usual bass hump. work ok with higher impedance amps
Cons: strange build quality, comfort and sound sig is not as refined as higher end iems.
These are great with comply tips. They look a bit flimsy build quality wise, and a couple of people on amazon have broken off the stems, while replacing the tips - which is a bit of a worry if you buy them used as I did.

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

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

If you can get them for about $200 and don't mind the build/the bass/mids emphasis - go for it.
fyi, checked se425 on the objective2 (o2) amp, and it didn't make it better compared to cowon d2. oh well....


New Head-Fier
Pros: Neutral correct sound, extremely deep bass when fitted properly
Cons: More difficult to fit correctly than previous Shure IEM, neutral sound might not be liked by the average loudness and boom bass lover
I bought these at an online music store for a price much lower than elsewhere. This is my 3rd pair of Shure In ear monitors. The first pair where E2's which broke the tip when replacing the foam cushion, I tried to repair them but they lacked bass after this. The second pair where E310 in black, I loved these but unfortunately left them on a plane. I wanted to buy the SE325 but I found these 425's for the same price online 
These monitors are (for me) far more difficult to fit then the E310 mainly because the angle of entering the ear canal is more or less predetermined and there is a limit to how far you can push them in your ear. Next to that they are quite thick outside the ear canal and that sets a limit for manipulating the ear canal fitting with your fingers. 
The 2 previous models worked best with the yellow foam cushions but I cannot fit the 425s properly with the yellow foams, basically in my case only the white triple layer tips would work.
As long as you don't fit them properly or you have not found the right earcanal-tips these earphones will sound terrible, almost no bass at all and hardly any treble. If this is what you hear, you have not found the right fit. 
I guess some might never find the right fit.
After they're fitter properly it will take about a minute more for them to settle but then the sound is completely different: they are extremely neutral, very detailed and they take out almost all ambient noise. The bass range is exceptional. I've read other reviews that say that the bass does not go deep but I totally disagree, the bass goes extremely deep. A lot of "modern" speakers and headphones emphasize frequencies around 100hz to make people think there is a a lot of bass but when frequencies go lower they lack bass pressure quickly. These earphones are in a different league; they seem to go all the down to 20hz and the curve appears to be flat. But again, if they are not fitted properly you will not hear any of this.
I have used several other earbuds and in-ear headphones for comparison and at home I use AKG-K240 Studio's or Sennheiser HD580 but sometimes I also use these Shures.
The overal built quality is very good, the cable quality and the fact that this is detachable and rotates is also positive. The cable remembers its shape near the ear which is much better than the previous models I owned.
The comfort level when wearing them is not as good as would like, after a couple of hours (I use them a lot on intercontinental flights) they sometimes start hurting or itching. That said I sometimes keep them in-ear during an entire cross-atlantic flight which might take 9 hours depending on the destination.
The only other thing I don't like is that there is not L-R indication on them, they have a a color dot which is different for left and right but I'm always trying to figure out which monitor go where when I'm on a flight.
Try using the olives - but go one size bigger than you'd usually use. I was normally medium - went to large. They completely filled out the ear opening. Although it is a shallow insertion, the extra size ensured a complete seal. It also is good for comfort - and for me made them very easy to fit. I agree on the quality - miss my SE425s :frowning2:
I was having problems getting full bass in my SE425s. I had the E4cs and the yellow tips worked great for me but I started using the olives for the SE425 and while it seemed like there was a good seal, the bass just wasn't there. I found that if I cupped my hands over my ears and pressed a bit that I got nice bass response. So, it must be an issue with proper seal. I switched over to the yellow foams and the bass came back without cupping my hands. The problem with the yellow foams are that they get dirty and hard so fast. I noticed with the olives that they didn't want to go in all the way - they are too long or something. So, recently, I cut the tips (about 2mm) to flatten the inserted end and put them in and I have excellent fit and great sound. So, if you are having trouble with the seal in the SE425s try cutting the tips off the olives - it worked for me.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Flat sound, over ear design, eartips hard to get off
Cons: Eartips hard to get off, hard for audio newbies to put on
I got mine open-box off of ebay for 249.99 compared to other prices of 299.99. Couldn't tell the box was opened.
Audio Quality
My other and only "high end" headphone was the bass heavy Turbines. Initially, I was disappointed by the 425's as they were really flat and lacked that bass punch.
My friend suggested I burn them in, though I doubt it would do any difference. What I did was listen to my favorite song by Leehom Wang - Forever Love and noted what it sounded like. Because I was still used to the Turbines, I didn't really remember how the 425's sounded like to an extremely accurate level. But I do believe my impressions after burn-in was same as my impressions pre-burn-in. Flat, didn't have the boomy bass.
The cord of my Turbine was dying so I started using the 425's more and more. Like anything, time fixed my brain's inability to accept the new sound. Every instrument seemed to be played as if it had its own speaker, whereas the Turbines sounded like every spammed together.
On a flat EQ using Foobar, it sounds very ... natural. Simply put, the way it should be. It's there, but it isn't overpowering. Kind of cliche, but that's the best way to put it.
If you want bass, however, it can output bass like the Turbines can but more tonally accurate. Using my Samsung P2, the bass output was outrageous. Smooth, round, and free of distortion. BUT, if you want bass just go for Turbines and you will have bass no matter what device you use.
There were some tracks that sounded like the vocalist was singing right next to me. Guitar and other strings sounds decent, but because of my lack of experiment with other IEM, I cannot comment much.
Like many have noted, they could be a bit brighter. If you really want that treble, use the EQ or go for the UE's.
Hard to remove tips mean you won't lose them
Flat sound is preferred for most audiophiles, can produce bass if device is good
Hard to remove tips mean it's pain in the @$$ to remove
Most of my audio newb friends can't put these on without my assistance


New Head-Fier
Pros: Very honest sound signature, great design and isolation, very comfortable,
Cons: No artificial enhancements that make for 'exiting' sound
I was looking at some high-end in-ear monitors when I stumbled upon these, I directly pre-ordered them for 235 euro, only going by what I heard about the SE420s and having no idea what to expect. 
The design is great and very intuitive. When selecting the right tips, the IEMs fit very snugly in your ears. However, they start to get uncomfortable to me after an hour or so. I must note that, except for the bose in-ears, I have never owned an IEM that I could comfortably wear for more than an hour. 
The concept of the detachable cable is really great and so is it's execution. The first thing to break with a IEM is from my experience always the cable and this makes for a very handy, low-cost solution. These are definetily some earphones that will last you for years when treated right. 
Their isolation is also wonderful, You'll be able to still enjoy your music while in a very noisy enviroment. I personally wear the medium-sized olives. 
I would describe the sound of the Shure SE425s as very natural. There is no artificial bass added, nor is there to much treble or mids. However, and this is a very small complaiment, I would like for the bass to go a tad deeper. The mids are great, all sorts of instruments shine on these. The highs are great too, though I do miss some sparkle in them sometimes.
I personally enjoy all sorts of music on them, from jazz to rock to hip-hop and I find all of these genres very enjoyable on the SE425s. 
The Shure SE425s are very enjoyable for anyone looking for a pair of honest, true sounding IEMs. Plus, they stick with you very long thanks to their intuitive design, their detachable cables. I would recommend these to anyone.
Pros: Great fit, wonderful isolation, superb mids, good clarity
Cons: Could use a little more treble extension, hard to remove the olive tips
Shure SE425 - Highly Impressed - Great Build, Great Sound
I received these as a replacement for my SE420 - which unfortunately had to be replaced due to the cable splitting at the relief (luckily inside warranty).  Kudos to the fantastic team at Now Sound in NZ for their prompt work replacing them.
The biggest change from the older model has been the addition of a detachable cable - and the design for this is wonderful.  It now includes a memory wire (some love it, some hate it - I find it handy).  The housing is now hard plastic (the old one had a rubber cover which would keep splitting).  The hard cover makes it a lot easier to insert and remove.  The housing also seems smaller than the 420 - and once inserted fits flush to your ear.
Fit / Comfort
The new housing makes it very easy to fit - and get a great seal every time (for me).  I did have to change from medium to large olives.  The insertion is a lot shallower than the 420s - but the change in olive size ensures I get a perfect fit.  The housing fits flush to my ear, and I have no issues with discomfort.  These are comfortable enough to sleep in.  I've also been running with them - and have had no issues with them falling out.  The new memory wire makes looping over the ears very easy.  The memory wire on the 425 is not as stiff as on my 315s - and is very comfortable.
To remove the iem's, all I do is swivel the cable out of the way, then grip the body and gently twist.  It is very easy.
The microphonics on the 425 are very much reduced compared to the old 420's.  I'm finding virtually no microphonics from the new cable.  The fit I have is amazing for isolation as well.  These isolate for me a lot more than the 420's did (and as I said above, the insertion is shallower).
Well I guess this is the main sub topic.  Couple of disclaimers - I really like the Shure sound - I started on SE102's, went to SE420's - then got a set of 315's while my 420's were being replaced.  I haven't heard much in the way of high end iem's - so can't really give a comparison / benchmark.  So the following is solely based on my thoughts of the SE425 in isolation.
Bass - while the 425 is not an overly bassy iem, the bass is present, it extends well (better than the 315 or 420), and is tight and controlled.  The best thing about the bass is that it doesn't bleed into the mids.
Mids - the Shure strength.  Silky sooth and absolutely fantastic for vocals.  Also great with acoustic guitar.  Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live album is simply blissfully enjoyable.  The mids are very present  - probably even accentuated, but they don't seem overly forward IMO.  They are just really well balanced.
Highs - probably the only thing that I wish there was slightly more emphasis on (it can be achieved with a touch of EQ though 
 ).  The highs do roll off quicker than I'd like - and IMO this is the 425's only real weakness.  They just need a little sparkle to make them great.
Clarity - another strength.  Instruments are well separated, and the music is very well detailed and clean.  I love listening to acoustics and picking up every nuance - fingers moving on a fret board etc
The 425's are a really good iem - well designed and built (these will last for years), superbly comfortable and really smooth and detailed.  The mids are the strongest point - but the entire sound to me is balanced and relaxed.  The one weakness (for me) is a slight lack of upper treble - but easily fixable with EQ.
Totally agree.