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Looking to upgrade from Shure SE-215.

  1. TheAnalogueKid
    Greetings! As the title suggests, I'm looking to finally replace my 215s, which I've used for a number of years now. Lately, however, I've had serious quality issues with my last two pairs with the plastic/adhesive flaking away over time and poor connection issues with the ridiculously overpriced cables. Since Shure's customer service dept has stonewalled me thus far, I turn to you. My criteria is as follows:

    - My budget currently allows for something less than $500.
    - I need a similar level of isolation that the Shure IEMs provide.
    - I enjoy a fairly-wide soundstage with a nice "punch" at the low end, and accentuated mids.

    It should be noted that I purchased the Simgot EN700 pro IEMs and was quite impressed with their signature, though the isolation I need just isn't there. I'm waiting on a set of Comply tips to arrive this week to hopefully remedy this issue, but I'm worried they won't for some reason. If additional clarity is needed, I'll be happy to answer any of your questions. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you!
  2. Staljo
    Why not go custom?
  3. serman005
    You might read about an IT04 and see what you think. Very impressed with iBasso's sound and construction quality.
    TheAnalogueKid likes this.
  4. NovaFlyer
    You may want to consider the FiiO FA7 ($300), an all BA IEM, with a great fit due to it's acrylic shell. FiiO also has the FH5 ($300) a hybrid IEM, but the fit isn't that great for me, and others, due to the short nozzle length which impacts insertion into the ear, and ultimately sound isolation. Additionally, Campfire Audio just released a new IEM, the IO ($300), as well updated their Polaris to version 2 ($500). I haven't listened to them yet, but they are getting good feedback in their respective threads here on Head-Fi. Although the IO seems to be a little light on the bass since it's a dual BA. The Polaris v2 is a hybrid with a DD.
    TheAnalogueKid likes this.
  5. PaganDL

    Hi @TheAnalogueKid,

    Sadly, can agree with you there, Shure QC & CS isn't really all that great, saying that my 215 SE & SRH 940 have held up well though only the 215 SE has more mileage of the two.

    Anyway, given your preferences, especially if isolation is the next important thing after sound, the following in no particular order come to mind :

    iBasso IT 04
    iBasso IT 01
    iBasso IT 01s
    iBasso IT 03
    AAW A3H
    Audio Technica E 70 (Pro Audio shops usually have good deals)

    It is important to note especially where Complys are concerned, matching the IEM bore size is important & for all iBasso, Audio Technica & the Simgot, 500 Series works very well though your mileage will certainly vary but they are the recommended Series for all those IEMs.
    So as long as you chose 500 Series, you should be okay.
    Also, as a general rule, I suggest trying different tip sizes too as the way human ear canals are shaped, sometimes one side might need a bigger or larger size than the other.
    Crystalline Audio is another good alternative for foams, as is Periodic Audio's H tips.
    If you haven't already, while not a preference personally, I have found sometimes silicones work well too.

    As a final note, I agree, EN700 Pro has good sound, their isolation needs more work but all depends on personal ear physiology as that is their own limitation.

    Hope you have a great day !
  6. assassin10000
    Any fit issues? Any treble or sibilance issues? Perhaps a better description of the sound you are looking for would help. Genre's you listen to? For bass, do you prefer sub-bass or more even bass? Do you use eq?

    The se215 is a darker somewhat warm signature with a lack of sub-bass and high end treble IIRC.

    You could try the westone w-series. If you prefer smaller nozzle iem's.

    There's also the magaosi k3 (similar shape) or even k5 (universal iem shape).

    Then there are the bgvp dm6 (and now possibly dm7) if you're not treble sensitive. Fiio fa7 (or fiio fa1 if you want to try a uiem shape for less). Moondrop kanas pro or the moondrop A8.

    Several ibasso, but unsure how isolation compares to the se215.

    These are all leaps and bounds better than the se215. Even my westone um pro 10 is better than my old se215... and tiny in comparison (I've literally slept with them in, on my side, with zero discomfort).
  7. TheAnalogueKid
    I knew I came to the right place. Thanks so much for the input! I'll be sure to read up on all of them. iBasso seems to be the top contender thus far. By the way, not even kidding, I ordered the Comply 500s and worried they'd be too large, so I panicked, canceled the order and chose the 400s instead. We'll see how that pans out in the next few hours (I'll post an update when I can). Guess I can always exchange them. I'll look into those other tip brands as well.

    Thanks again, Pagan!
  8. TheAnalogueKid
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be honest, I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to advanced audio terms (and IEMs) so forgive me if I'm a little on the vague side.

    - For my 215s, as far as fit is concerned, the S and M foam tips work best for me once they're worn in a bit. Not really sure I completely understood the context of the question.
    - Sound-wise, I suppose I lean towards more sub bass, although a bit of balance across the low end doesn't hurt. Helps push the drums forward a bit (I'm a drummer myself). On my phone, I use a flat EQ with a basic bass boost to help achieve the "punch" I'm looking for.
    - Genres currently in heavy rotation are Classic Rock, Jazz, Funk, some 90's Pop and a bit of Classical. All over the place, really.

    You know what? I'm not sure this helps at all, but I'm going to attach a photo of the EQ settings currently in use on my home PC. Thank God for the gentleman that created Equalizer APO.
  9. assassin10000
    No worries. For fit I meant were there any 'hotspots' where the iem caused discomfort. My se215 were just long enough after a few hours they hurt, as the backside rubbed against my ears (that are on the smaller side). Or if you know you have small or odd angled ear canals. Doesn't sound like it though.

    If you want to experiment a bit with different sound signatures there are plenty of cheap but decent chi-fi iems out there.

    As far as sibilance goes, do cymbal crashes, high pitch voices or other piercing noises bother you at louder levels? Some of these iems could uncover that they do as the se215 is not bright or piercing in anyway.

    In any case, I'd remove the moondrop kanas pro from the list. It does have good subbasss but the midbass and lower mids have been reported as making male vocals a bit thin, which doesn't sound like it will work for many of your genres. The regular kanas on the other hand may be more to your liking.

    Also, what is your music source? Many of the better iem's will show bad recordings and/or low bitrate. If you mostly stream pandora/spotify or use old mp3's I'd avoid the bgvp dm6/dm7 as they are known to show bad recordings and poorly mastered tracks. And some iem's will require more power than most phones will output (lg v20/30/40 being the exception)
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  10. PaganDL

    Hi @TheAnalogueKid,

    No problem, happy to help.

    Just send the 400s straight back, 500 is the correct size for Simgot EN 700 Pro as mentioned in my previous post as the number series in Complys refer to bore size in mm.
    Comply 500 Series fits all the IEMs I suggested as well so it does save on getting tips in future.
    What you should be more concerned about is what size fits your ear canal, as the bore size is pretty easy, especially with the Comply Foam Brand Selector Tool they have.
    Medium size is pretty standard but as said, don't be afraid to try different sizes & even mix & match.
    Also, as a sidenote, before you even play any sound whatsoever, just wear the IEM.
    Like @assassin10000 states, you should be wary of any potential hotspots as well as poor seal.

    Feel free to ask more if you need.

    Hope you have a great day !
  11. TheAnalogueKid
    @PaganDL & @assassin10000

    So I just received a pair of Westone UM Pro 10's today. I think these are a great replacement to the 215s, but not necessarily what I'd call an "upgrade". Superior sound quality and great isolation, but they don't seem built quite as tough. However, with my small ears, the compact build is perfect for me. They're super comfortable. I love the variety of tips you get, too. I think I'll be experimenting with this brand in the very near future. Thanks again for all the help, guys. Hope to keep in touch!
  12. assassin10000
    Glad you think so as well. I did exactly the same thing, replaced my SE215's with the UM Pro 10.

    I like the westone silicone tips but prefer the feel of foam. I actually use the shure foam (olives) on mine.

    I've been considering a w30/new b30 or um pro 30 as I like the um pro 10 a lot.
  13. TheAnalogueKid
    Yeah, silicone just feels too clumsy and needs constant re-adjusting with me. I considered the 30 series, but good God, that price jump... my wife would've murdered me. By the way, what's the deal with Westone not including a proper user manual with their products? I went online to download the current PDF for them and all their links were broken... Weird.

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