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Has anything emerged better than Shure SE215 in its price range?

  1. devilmonk
    Is Shure SE215 still the leader of ~$100 earbuds? I've been browsing the forums for a while and it seems like they were the best for several years, but they came out in 2011 and its 2015 now. Has any new In-ear surpassed it yet?
  2. cuiter23
    The SE215's are definitely "one" of the contenders in the under 100 bracket. I would say for durability they are number 1. For sound quality, they lie somewhere in between not the best not the worst. 
    With the emergence of many Chinese brands, the SE215's fight hard to be competitive. The GR07 which can be had for around the same price is a more accurate sounding IEM. Even the VSD3 for $30 cheaper possess slightly better sound quality (about the same imo). However, the GR07, V3S, Re-400, Havi B3 etc etc all have build issues which is definitely a no in my book. For me, a sturdy build coupled with a good warranty and sound quality hold the same value. That is not to say that the SE215's sound is lacking, it is just a tad less detailed than some of the others out there but if you like lush mids with a powerful bass you can't go wrong with 215s. 
    That is why I still prefer the SE215's over almost all it's competitors under the $100 range. 
  3. feverfive
    Yeah the 215's are hard to beat in that range.  I lost my pair a few months ago (used them quite often straight out of my laptop hp out for things like watching Youtube; listening to streaming audio).  I keep looking around for something in the same price range, and haven't been moved to buy anything yet.
  4. mark2410 Contributor

    yes.  with some ease if your just talking about sound quality.  even when tey came out they wernt the "best" but unusually for a big bassy dynamic they isolate really well and they have premium Shure build quality. 
    if you could be more specific in what it is your after then it would make it easier to suggest things.  i mean my go to would be the RE-400 but its fairly delicately built and hasnt the big bass as some would want but its audio quality is better than everything at its price.  so it may not be the right option for you.
  5. lin0003
    In terms of isolation, build, overall it is still one of the best. A few IEMs under $100 I feel are better are the AX35 and RE-400. Just my opinion though, others will disagree. 
  6. Inks
    In the combination of comfort, build and isolation, it's still the best in it's price bracket. 
    in terms of sound, it's not even close to being the best, you can pay less than half of the price for better sound [MH1/Tenore]. That's not to say it sounds terrible, it's just solid and thats it. 
    IM70/50 have comparable build, but their sound is also just 'solid' and comfort and isolation isn't as good. 
    There is also the Fostex TE-05 and Meelec M6Pro which just came out, haven't heard them but they look like good comfort/isolation/build/sound packages. 
    Sweden likes this.
  7. lin0003
    Lots better for the price, but it is an excellent all rounder if you like a warm sound. 
  8. devilmonk
    Build quality is defiantly a priority in my opinion with IEM's. I often forget mine in my pockets and step on my pants, or they'll come loose and smash onto cement. Little things like that are generally why I haven't spent much more than $50 on earbuds thusfar.
    My most recent pair, Panasonic RP-HJE120-K, have actually lasted me for a little over a year now, to the point where the paint is coming off. But recently its begun to break off. Been fixing it with superglue (drive is unaffected, talking about the casing), but its nearing its end soon. I think the limit for cheap IEM's is only about a year.
    As for sound quality, I am in search of an IEM that specializes in clear vocals, strong bass, and slightly forward mids. Most importantly, not muffled or muddy sounding.
    If I can't get good sound quality off the shure's, maybe its better to stick with my panasonic, and replace it ever year or so. I don't want to invest in a breakable, good soundquality IEM either.
  9. B9Scrambler

    You might want to check out some of the KZ iems. They're generally under 10 USD, most are very well built, and they generally sound quite good. The EDse (Special Edition) seem to be the most popular, and I can certainly attest to them being sturdy as heck. They also more or less match your requirements with clear mids and vocals and strong bass. Treble in my opinion can be a bit splashy, but they are still miles ahead (in every way) of the HJE120s which I also have.
    This is a reliable place to buy them:
    Hopefully this post helps!
  10. Inks
    Well I have heard the HJE120 and the SE215, but only the special edition of SE215...
    SE215 has tighter bass and clearer midrange. Bass hits just as hard on S215 but it has less midbass and more midrange clarity as a result. Treble is less sharp on SE215 and sounds more in line with the midrange. I will say that the HJE120 does have better treble extension and sounds a bit airier, but that's the only thing the HJE120 is better at, SE215 also isolates tons more...
  11. Mooses9
    With the same sound signature of the se215? or are you looking for something different
  12. devilmonk
    First off, thank you for recommending that, didn't know about KZ.
    What is the difference between all the KZ editions? I see like 8 different versions, all bordering the same pricerange. Also, do you happen to have a Shure SE215 to compare this to? Probably not a fair comparison, so lets keep it at a pure sound-quality comparison.
  13. Malevolent
    I prefer the sound of the IM70 to the SE215, and I believe they are similarly priced. The Zero Audio Carbo Basso also offers a bass-skewed sound, whilst maintaining a relatively clear and detailed midrange. The SE215s are still one of the better contenders in its price bracket, though I don't think they are the bang for the buck champion as they once were.
  14. burgunder
    RHA MA750 might be worth a look.
  15. B9Scrambler

    You are welcome :)

    I haven't tried the SE215, but I do have the VSD3 which pretty comparable.

    There are lots of KZ iems, as you saw, all of which are pretty different with a few exceptions. I have the EDse, Micro Ring, and ANV. The Micro Ring and ANV are more balanced, with the ANV being a bit bright and artificial up top. Not the best KZ iem, but one of my favs with my filter add-on.

    I find the Micro Ring to be most comparable to the VSD3, but with more forward mids and treble, and a touch less bass. Soundstage for such a cheapo iem is fantastic....they're great for EDM. I'm not a huge fan of the EDse, but it seems to be everyone's favorite which is why I recommended that as a starting point.

    You can find good impressions of each KZ offering in the KZ thread. Since I've only tried three of them, you might want to peruse there.

    Edit: KZ stands for Knowledge Zenith

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