Shure SE315 review
We're fans of Shure's sound-isolating earphones, which come with a variety of tips that are capable of almost entirely blocking out all external sound. The sensation can be an odd one, particularly with the expanding foam tips that completely block your ear canal. However, it's more effective than active noise cancelling, doesn't need batteries and doesn't produce the irritating whine common to almost all active noise suppression headphones. It's also worth noting that the foam tips completely prevent you from hearing outside noise, so you should switch to a rubber pair if you're out jogging.
Shure has made some improvements to the SE series’ design to avoid the cable’s insulation splitting where it meets the earbuds – a problem that sometimes afflicted previous models. Where prior versions had the headphone units attached permanently to the cable, the SE315s’ buds are attached with snap-on clips that sit at the top of a reinforced section of the wire. The top section is designed to loop around your ear, so the ear can take some of the strain of accidental tugs.
The SE315 headphones sound fantastic - they produce a perfectly flat and balanced sound with incredible detail. However, even though they have a tuned bassport - not to be confused with a dedicated bass driver of the kind found in Shure’s SE425s - the headphones' bass performance is rather weak. This makes them less than ideal for music that calls for emphatic low end tones; the problem was most obvious on our drum & bass test tracks.
Despite this, we were won over by the SE315s’ clarity and precision. You'll need to make sure that your music is encoded in high bitrate or lossless formats to make the most of them. The relatively poor bass performance prevents them from winning an award, but the headphones are good enough to hold their own in the £150 price range.