Shure SE215 Review

By Flavio Teixeira - CEO

2 words. 3 letters each. W O W. F U N.

Shure sent us a sample of the newest earphone from the Illinois powerhouse of professional audio. We received our SE215 sample 6 days ago. The new Shure SE215 is a single dynamic driver earphone which has the same design as the top of the line Shure SE535 and the removable cables are the same as well. The fit is outstanding. The earpiece sits completely flush inside the ear. It's actually a negative profile and the earpiece is recessed in the ear making these new earphones great for sleeping with. I did put our head on a pillow and the eartip did not poke my ear canal. The cables are built like a tank and at first I was concerned about that fearing they would be too heavy and stiff. To my surprise they were extremely malleable. The cables can be easily replaced by pulling them firmly outwards. The connection is an exclusive Shure snapping system. It resembles a mini coaxial cable. The first inch and a half of the cables have a wire inside that lets you mold the cables behind the back of the ear. The earpieces spin freely on the cable axle. I found them very comfortable indeed and the cables did not bother at all. The plug is a sturdy 3.5mm standard stereo male plug on a "L" configuration. The cables can be replaced by the same cables or by the iPhone cable which includes Apple's 3-button control and microphone

The earpiece itself is not black but a very dark transparent plastic that you can see through when you put it against the light. The end of the cables are marked "L" for left and "R" for right. The build quality of the SE215 is identical to Shure's $499 triple driver SE535. A M A Z I N G!

I wasn't holding my breath for the sound as this features a single dynamic driver and our top performers are all multiple balanced armature drivers but I knew we were probably in for a nice thumping bass treat since most dynamic drivers excel at that particular. Well, these sounded really good and I kept thinking these would cost in the $200 range given the replaceable cables, overall design, build quality and sound quality performance so I had to keep reminding myself that these were only $99. Scary good and scary inexpensive compared to its competitors in this price range. The Shure SE215 is well, very dynamic. The sound was great and the bass was strong. It got me going through an excruciating workout hour with my trainer. Too bad I couldn't quite listen to the instructions but the thumping sound made me hit some record weights on squats and deadlifts.

I listened mostly to my workout collection I have and it included:

  • Down With The Sickness - Disturbed
  • Bodies - Drowning Pool
  • I'm in Miami Bitch - LMFAO
  • Don't Tread On Me - Metallica

All very "congested" songs so I was really pushing these dynamic drivers to the limit and of course at some points the sound got a bit congested but if you know these songs, it's very challenging to any type of speakers. To my surprise the SE215 resolved parts of these songs that I didn't expect. On the negative side you will at points miss clarity but the dynamic thumping is indisputable. These drivers can move a lot of air and bass heads will love them. I loved them for the simple fact that they are made by Shure, are built like the $499 SE535, the removable cables, comfort and fit plus the overall sound quality with an outstanding price tag of only $99.

These will sure become a best seller. Sound isolation for travellers and commuters was also very high. Users with a tighter budget that want to get their feet wet on high-end in ear earphones will find the Shure SE215 to sound superb and will wonder how can it get any better. If you are an already high end earphone user you will find the SE215 to be an excellent second pair for the gym, backup or if you just want something to sound loud, fun and lots of bass.

Shure SE215 in the ear. The removable cables have an invisible wire inside the first 1.5" of cable allowing them to be molded behind the back of the ear.

SE215 in the ear

The Shure SE215 can provide sound isolation up to 44db in some frequency ranges. Compare that to 26db on Bose noise canceling full-size headphones. The SE215 fits inside the ear canal providing a snugly fit.

Earphone SE215 Profile

The SE215 is extremely comfortable and the negative profile allows for them to be worn while sleeping with your head n a pillow without poking your ear canal. They also fit nicely under a full-face helmet for those motorcycle riders living in places that the law permits them.

Side view of SE215 earphones in the ear

Looking from "inside the head" outwards you can see how anatomic these new Shure earphones are. This same fit is found on SE425, SE315 and SE535, the top of the line triple driver earphones. The SE215 is the first high-end in ear earphones with removable cables under $100.

View from the back of earphones in the ear
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