Shure SE215 review
Shure’s consumer products use many of the same technologies as the company’s famous stage equipment, but this lifts many of Shure’s headphones above the budget of most non-enthusiasts. To reduce costs, the SE215 earphones use dynamic drivers rather than the balanced armature found in Shure’s more expensive kit, but at around £70 they’re still not exactly cheap.
They're well specified, though, coming with three sizes of Shure’s sound-isolating foam earphone tips, standard silicone dome tips and a soft – but surprisingly bulky – carrying case. The thick 1.6m cables are replaceable and can be detached from the earphones themselves with a hard pull. This is designed to eliminate the problem of cables wearing through at the earpieces. With an integrated ear hook to help secure them firmly around the back of your ears, these feel a little bulkier than most earphones but fit snugly when correctly positioned.
We’re fans of the sound produced by Shure’s balanced armature earphones and were initially sceptical as to how well the SE215’s dynamic drivers might compare with the rest of the range. We were pleased to find that the earphones sounded excellent with a big, loud sound and a great sense of space. They produced a more solid bass than we’ve heard from some of Shure’s other products, and more clearly defined treble than most dynamic driver-based earphones. This last is a good illustration of why specifications should be taken with a pinch of salt; with an upper extent of 17.5KHz, on paper their frequency range has a lower ceiling than most of their rivals.
With outstanding physical construction, a two-year warranty, excellent sound isolation and brilliant audio quality, this is easily one of the best sets of earphones you can buy for the price. It’s an ideal compromise between the painful pricing of 'audiophile' headphones and the often-muddy sound of most dynamic-driver based consumer products.