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Review: Shure SE215 - Sound Isolating Earphones

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Today, we take a look at the first-ever Bluetooth earphone from Shure. With a lot of options on the market, we look at all the factors that make this a good product at its price point.

Who is Shure?

Shure has been around for a long time. Being established in 1925, you know this a company that's been in the game for a long time. They have a long-standing relationship with consumers and won't be going away anytime. This is good for consumers that use their above-average warranty program of one to two years, depending on the product.

What Is the SE215?

The SE215 is a sound-isolating earphone. They come in both a wired and wireless variety. It is advertised as being compatible with any device, having high-end clarity, rich bass, and being accurate with natural and spacious sound.

They are used by professional musicians for the amount of detail the earphones have. The product has a 22 HZ to 17.5 kHz range supported by a well-bodied bass, strong mid-range, extendable treble, and well-textured vocals.

Sound Performance, Is It All That?

Probably the most important thing you want to know when looking at a sound product review is; how is the sound quality?

After all, this is the highest selling point for a pair of earphone or headphones. While I listened to a range of different audio files, music, podcasts, and even the radio, the sound quality held up pretty well throughout all of it. High volume sounded great without the bass being too loud, medium volume was crystal clear, and even at a low volume, the audio still sounded clear and crisp.

The earphones held up great across all genres of music, I played around with the equalizer and was only capable of producing static when I manually and radically tried to adjust it.

Are These Comfortable To Sleep With?

More than ever, there is a larger emphasis on comfort in today's wearable audio gear. Do they fit in your ear, will they stay there, or can they fall out while jogging? The answer is "No."; The SE215 has dozens of in-ear pieces for every person. It's up to you to make sure you're wearing the right ear cover.

Shure offers you everything to make sure this is the right fit for you. They package the product with different options for ear covers. You choose the right one and rest your head on a pillow, and you won't feel it's there.

How Effective Is The Noise-Isolation?

As with sleeping with the earphones, it's essential to use the correct fitting cover. I found that having the wrong fit allowed noise to leak through. When I found a good fit, however, background noise was nearly non-existent. It was easy to miss train station announcements, people having a conversation beside you, and crying babies with these in. They have even given me some of the best nights of sleep living next to a busy city street and having a family that snores.

How About Bluetooth Connectivity?

It's no secret that an increasing number of smartphones these days no longer come with headphone jacks built-in. The SE215 wired option can make use of a dongle that works between micro-USB and Lightning ports. The wireless/Bluetooth option has no issues connecting to any phone.

It's also beneficial to know that if you already own a pair of Shure's wired earphones, you have the option of purchasing a replacement cable that adds a Bluetooth functionality. Few earphone products have ever been so versatile with the add-ons Shure provides.

Is The Design Built To Last?

As a consumer that has tried everything from Beats by Dre to Bose, I can recall times where I have been exceedingly disappointed in an earphone's durability. You want to be sure that the earphone you are purchasing isn't made from cheap materials or have design flaws that make it easy to break. Especially when you're putting money into a higher-end product.

With some research, it's been reported that the earphones most commonly break in two places.

First being at the base of the plug and the second located where the cable connects to the speakers. Shure seems to have addressed these problems by using a thick, reinforced cable for those spots in their models.

The durable plug can sometimes cause an issue due to its extra size. The housing can overlay the area made for the headphone jack in a number of phone cases.

In some cases, this prevents the plug from clicking into the socket. While using it, I'd find that slightly bumping the cable would loosen it out of the socket and I'd lose connection.

With all that said, a nice touch is that the earphones come with a well-made, rigid, carrying-case. The case makes these earphones easy to travel with, preventing the cables from getting tangled or damaged.

Are These Better From Other Products?

The Shure Se215 measures well against products like the CozyPhones Sleep Headphones and Acousticsheep Sleepphones.

Both these other products have a 20-20 hertz range. They're great as sleep headphones, but they can't hit the lower ranges of sound quality that the Shure model does. These other models focus on comfort just as much as the sound quality.

Shure Se215 is not designed to be a sleep headphone. They focus on the bottom line and go above that.

Does Shure Have Better Models?

If you directly visit Shure's website, they have a video that can link you to all their earphone models. The initial advertisement they show you is enough to get you excited about buying one of their products.

The models are as follows:

  • SE112
  • SE215
  • SE425
  • SE535
  • SE846

As we would probably guess, the higher the model number, the more bells and whistles you receive. The most top model, SE846, goes for over a fancy $1000. Most people can't dream of spending that much on an earphone product, so for the rest of us, we get to consider the SE215.

This ensures that Shure has a high-end method to how they design their products, but not a low-end method to making a product seem better. All the products, no matter their level share a lot of the same innovations.

How Good Is The Value For The Money?

The ShureSE215 isn't perfect, but they have surprisingly great value for its price-point. At $99, it is considerably cheaper than its competitors while still offering the latest innovations.

These earphones are incredibly enjoyable to have on the move. With their quality sound, the noise-isolation working great to block out unwanted noise, and with a warranty that the company stands by, this is a hard offer to pass up.

The models that focus on sleep are great for what they say they will do. If all you're looking for is a great night sleep, having a product to block out the noise simply, you're better off with one of the cheaper sound devices.

But if you want to use your earphones for much more than sleep, Shure can offer that and be much more versatile. Shure is the full package that has its bottom line in check.

It's difficult to have complaints, making the Shure SE215 a worthy contender on the market.

Some Pros, Some Cons

PROS
  • Quality sound performance
  • Very comfortable
  • Superb noise-cancellation
  • Warranty program
  • Replaceable cable
  • Upgrade options from existing product
CONS
  • Not the most durable
  • Poor mic quality
  • Wired version not nade for phone cases
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