Whether you’re a professional or audiophile headset user, you’ve probably heard of the Shure company before. It’s one of the world’s largest, most revered microphone manufacturers. Nearly a decade of expertise and experience in personal monitor systems, wireless systems, mixers, conferencing equipment, and phono, have propelled the company at a vantage point. It’s here that the company launched its earphone and headphone lines, and that is the reason the Shure SE215-K earphones had better live up to the expectation.
Shure are targeting professionals for their SE215-K, specifically musicians who need to monitor their on-stage performance, but they’re also passing these earphones off as excellent audio solutions for recreational purposes. So, let’s see if the SE215-K is all it’s cut out to be, in terms of both professional monitoring and personal use.
Build Quality & Design
These aren’t your typical over-ear buds. They’re lightweight, with a nozzle angle that’s gentle on the ear canal, enabling you to wear them on long stage sessions.
The cords are detachable, leaving behind an earbud that is kidney shaped, moulded to the ridges of the ear lobe for an airtight, stable fit. The over-ear configuration keeps cords out of the way, saving you the embarrassment of tangling your fingers together as you try to play your instrument on stage.
The Shure SE215-K comes in two versions: clear and translucent smoke/black. The clear version reveals braided wiring along the cord and they look slightly too eccentric for everyone’s taste. In fact, it wouldn’t be unusual for people to mistake these transparent earbuds with hearing aids. To make it easier to tell which is which, Shure marled the ear buds with coloured dots. The right ear bud had a clear, bright, red dot, and the left one features a blue dot.
It takes quite a bit to fasten them onto the ear and to fix them into place, but once that’s done, they should repay your efforts by staying precisely where you put them. Shure collaborate with Sensaphonics to make tailored ear tips that like to do as they are told.
These are entry-level headphones with a tight bass and a clear, not overwhelmingly robust sound. The tips/sleeves can isolate sound to a maximum of 37dB, which allows you to enjoy the enhanced bass at leisure. The bass response will only be as good as the noise isolation, which, in turn, will only be as good as the ear tips. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with foam and silicone tips in all sizes to achieve a perfect seal.
With a frequency response of 22 to 17,000 KHz, the Shure SE215-K can render a wide treble spectrum effortlessly, but keep in mind that it only features one driver, the dynamic MicroDriver, so the output is far from what one would expect to have with a similarly priced closed-back headset.
Of course, the mainstay of the SE215-K is its sound isolating, which prevents interference from background noises, be it in the open air, or on a stage. The flexible sleeves (tips) vary in size and they contour to the year for an airtight fit. This seal helps isolate the sound, as well.
The Shure SE215-K comes in a neoprene zippered case for tangle-free commuting and carrying. Six pairs of tips are included with the bundle, three made of foam and three of rubber, in three sizes (S, M, L), and they’re quite snug, so we recommend cautiously using something sharp to unfasten them whenever you need them replaced. You can try moulding the tips into a specific shape to make them more comfortable to wear, but they will revert to their stock shape as soon as you take them out. A pocket size guidebook, a descriptive leaflet, and a warranty book are also neatly tucked into the cardboard box that the zippered case came in.
Shure likes to call what its cords can do ‘Wireform Fit’. By that it means that the durable Kevlar cable are malleable, and that they have intrinsic memory, if you will. In other words, they stay in whichever way you position them. The fact that this headset comes with detachable, coiled cords means that the life expectancy for your Shure SE215-K is automatically extended indefinitely.
The very thick 64-inch cord terminates with an angled, gold-plated plug. The MMCX connector is gold-plated for optimum conductivity, and it also features a lock-snap mechanism for 360-degree rotations that prevent tugging and pulling at your earpieces. Off course, it is worth mentioning that while this is a great way to make sure that the cables won’t tug at the earbuds through strenuous activity, like jumping on a trampoline, for instance, and it’s an equally fantastic way to make sure that you replace your cord or ear bud easily when they are damaged, this system also makes it easier not to notice when an earbud that’s not in use is lost. The earbuds can be replaced individually though, which means you shouldn’t be waiting for long before you can use them again.
It’s official. The SE 215 is a midrange sound isolating headset not nearly as affordable as the SE 112 before it, but also half the price of the SE 315 after it. Granted, it’s not an HD headset, and perhaps it’s for the best. It’s bass enhanced, so bass heads should instantly fall for this earphone. But most importantly, it is what it says on the tin. It features two translucent versions with a body that’s moulded to the ear’s anatomy, and a formable cord to keep it in place. The cords can be unplugged at leisure and rotated to 360 degrees to prevent breakage. As light as they are, they can still pack a punch, and that’s perhaps the best incentive to buy them.
|Sensitivity||107 dB SPL/mW|
|Frequency Range||22Hz – 17.5kHz|
|Cable Style||64” Detachable (at ear) with wireform fit|
|Colors Available in||Clear or Translucent Black|
|Speaker Type||Dynamic MicroDriver|