Shure SE425 Earphone

Average User Rating:
3.97917/5,
  1. ericpeters
    4.5/5,
    "Very good quality but perfect fit is mandatory"
    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 
     
    Fitting
    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.
     
    Sound
    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.
     
    Design
    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.
     
    Comfort
    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.
  2. jz9chen
    5.0/5,
    "Why is it still ranked 86?"
    Pros - Flat sound, over ear design, eartips hard to get off
    Cons - Eartips hard to get off, hard for audio newbies to put on
    Value
    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
    Initial/Pre-burn-in
    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.
     
    "Burn-in"
    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.
     
    Post-Burn-in
    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.
     
    Bass
    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.
     
    Mids
    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.
     
    Treble
    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.
     
    Pros
    Hard to remove tips mean you won't lose them
    Flat sound is preferred for most audiophiles, can produce bass if device is good
     
    Cons
    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
  3. HollandKampioen
    4.0/5,
    "Appreciable honest IEMs"
    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. 
     
    Design
    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. 
     
    Sound
    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. 
     
    Conclusion
    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.
  4. Brooko
    4.5/5,
    "SE425 - silky smooth - just plain enjoyable"
    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.
     
    se425-2.jpg
     
    Build
    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.
     
    se425-1.jpg
     
    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.
     
    se425-0.jpg
     
    Isolation/Microphonics
    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).
     
    se425-3.jpg
     
    SQ
    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 [​IMG] ).  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
     
    se425-5.jpg
     
    Summary
    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.