Looking to step up your earphone game on a budget? The Shure SE215 delivers stunning sound and personalized comfort at an entry-level price. It’s one of the best deals out there. For those constantly on the move, there isn’t a more accommodating type of headphone than those of the in-ear variety.
Their discrete form factor lends to unparalleled portability and better yet, they are increasingly being stocked with impressive sound performance. What’s not to love?
Shure SE215 Sound-Isolating In-Ear Overview
For those constantly on the move, there isn’t a more accommodating type of headphone than those of the in-ear variety. The Shure SE215 is alright for neutral sound listening. They have a surprisingly more balanced sound than the higher-end Shure SE315 and Shure SE425.
They have good bass and a decently balanced mid-range, although the slight overemphasis in the lower frequencies makes them sound a bit boomy and cluttered.
Their treble range is also slightly inconsistent and will sound sharp on certain frequencies, but a bit recessed overall, which makes instruments and vocals a bit less detailed. Like most in-ear designs, the small closed-back earbuds cannot create a soundstage as spacious.
Well, nothing except the glaring fact that a ton of people still use the shoddy, uncomfortable, and tinny-sounding earbuds that came with their smartphone. It’s a tough truth to swallow, but here’s an easy solution: ditch ’em for something better.
And what better in-ear headphones to start with than an option that excels in nailing the touchy blend of comfort, performance and value: the $99 (£85, about AU$129) Shure SE215.
Shure SE215 Design
If you are willing to jump ship and leave those smartphone throw-aways behind, you might notice that the Shure SE215 doesn’t really look like other earbuds. That’s because these aren’t earbuds, but earphones, to be precise.
What’s the difference? Aside from being the real step-up in performance that they are, in-ear headphones like the SE215 take on several meaningful design adjustments in order to fit extra hardware inside the earpiece.
An earbud is typically shaped to be wedged into the outer part of the ear canal, just far enough inside to achieve minimal noise isolation, but not deep enough to provide rich sound performance. On the other hand, most earphones, including the SE215, achieve excellent noise isolation because they slip inside the ear further.
Shure SE215 Performance
The SE215 may be more obtuse than your average earbuds, or even some IEMs for that matter, but Shure packed some fantastic drivers into that extra space. And while the radical shift in design might be tough to adjust to if you’re used to stock earbuds, the Shure SE215 will assuredly (ahem) help you feel welcome with the excellent audio performance that it can pump out.
The overall sound signature is neutral, but is versatile in providing coolness and warmth to songs that need it. The treble isn’t brash on rock and pop songs and the bass response, the earbud’s biggest weakness, is accurate and triggers with a good amount of “oomph” in these in-ear monitors.
First encounters with the Shure SE215 might feel a bit like corralling a wild horse. It did for me briefly, but I eventually caught my stride and now I can pop these into my ears just as swiftly as I would any old set of in-ear headphones.
Trust Shure to deliver a good sound signature, it is pretty balanced and has a nice punchy bass with Shure’s signature great mids. Nothing to wow the EDM lovers out there, but the enhanced bass is enough to provide that extra kick to your normal songs.
Shure SE215 Sound Quality
The soundstage of the SE215 SPE is more on the narrow side in comparison to the other affordable EDMs out there like the MEE Audio M6 Pro for instance. While it works well enough to paint a much bigger picture and make you feel that the sound is coming from more directions than the two single points in your ears, it is still unable to paint the whole stage placement for orchestral pieces for example.
However, while the SE215 SPE takes care of its bassline and smooth mids, it misses out on the clarity of the treble. The brights often end up sounding a little distant and blunted and which makes listening to both classical music and pop songs much less fun.
Build Quality and Comfort
The SE215 SPE comes in the limited edition colour: Lucent Blue. This translucent driver casing creates a sleek feeling despite its plastic build.
However, the same cannot be said for the detachable cables. The cables are thick and inelegant. Additionally, the cables also don’t come with any inline controls, meaning you will have to reach for your music player to make any volume adjustments.
The only saving grace of the cables is the durability. This is a pair of IEMs that will survive being thrown around carelessly in your bag without being placed in a case.
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Noise Isolation and Sound Leakage
You can’t talk about Shure without mentioning its noise isolation and sound leakage properties, and the SE215 SPE simply blows other competitors, like the VSonic GR07 and ATH IM70, out of the water.
The sound isolating foam ear tips can block up to 37 dB of ambient noise, which means it is perfect for the early morning commute when you just want to drown out the noise rush hour crowd but not so entirely that you won’t be able to hear the frantic beeping of a closing train door or incoming car horns.
To be honest, there is a reason why the SE215 was recommended for so long. Introduced way before any other high-end brands ventured into affordable quality headphones, the SE215 SPE is a great entry-level IEMs. It is a step up in terms of sound quality, offering the budding audiophile a taste of what it is like to titillate your senses. The impressive noise isolation gives you that sense of privacy and intimacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shure SE215 worth it?
The Shure SE215 is an attractive value when you consider what’s being offered up for under $100: clutch noise isolation, stellar performance and comfort at an entry-level price. If you can open your mind up to a different approach to the in-ear headphone, you’re in for a treat.
How do you wear Shure SE215?
Place the hook over your ear and gently push the sleeve. Into your ear as deeply as you would an ear plug. The earphone should rest securely and comfortably in your outer. Ear. When properly inserted.
How do you remove Shure se215 earbuds?
There are dots on the back of the black foam sleeves that indicate the size. To remove a sleeve, hold the earphone body and firmly twist and pull the sleeve off. If necessary, try using a tissue or cloth for a better grip. Push the new sleeve onto the nozzle as far as it can go.