Home IEM Reviews Shure SE215 Review – A Look Back To 2017

Shure SE215 Review – A Look Back To 2017

The SE215 was a great IEM in 2017. Does it still hold up today?

by Stuart Charles Black

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Cover image credit goes to B&H photo!

Originally published 6/9/17.

Updates:

  • 3/23/22. Article revisit.

Aloha friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Shure SE215 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Shure SE215

Ratings/Price

Specifications

  • Type: In-Ear
  • Drivers: 1. What is a Headphone Driver?
  • Frequency Response: 22Hz-17,5000kHz
  • Impedance: 20 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Noise Attenuation: 37dB
  • Plug Type: 1/8″
  • Cable Length: 64″
  • Color: Clear/Black
  • Weight: 1oz.
  • Accessories: Carrying case, 6 sets of tips (Small, Medium, Large).
  • Cable detachable: Yes, Kevlar reinforced.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: SE215-CL

Introduction

Shure’s SE215 was the very first IEM I ever purchased, but I bought it for my mom back in 2017.

At the time, she needed some ear buds for work and I decided on these after quite a bit of research. If I had to do it all over again, they would certainly still be a consideration though I think the Tin T2 is a bit better of a value.

You may be wondering, Well? Does she still have them?

No. Someone at her work stole them. Oh well. She doesn’t work there anymore. Lol.

That said, the SE215 is incredibly revealing and sounds like butter for the most part. In listening to the bass, you wouldn’t think it’s as elevated as graphs show and sounds deceptively smooth and punchy without coming across as bloated or artificial.

I think this is due to the smooth curve as there are no real problematic peaks and valleys to speak of.

Overall, the sound signature is extremely tight, authoritative, and punchy without really getting muddy or distorted. Everything just sounds lively and engaging.

The music has a really nice bounce to it.

Accessories

The wire is also really sturdy and overall the IEMs are comfortable. You get a nice carrying case, a mini carabiner to hang off of whatever, and 6 sets of earbud sleeves depending on the size and shape of your ear.

I would classify the sound as bright, with an emphasis on the mid-range around 2kHz and a definite bass shelf from 20Hz to around 200.

Pros

  • Great Soundstage for an IEM. Wow. What is Soundstage? 
  • Incredible clarity. These things pick up everything. More on that later.
  • Nice bass response. It has authority without being overbearing.
  • Detachable and replaceable chord.
  • Noise Isolation is phenomenal. Once you have them situated correctly, they create this nice vacuum-type seal that really blocks out sound well.

Cons

  • They are a bit of a pain to get in properly.
  • They can get a bit harsh/sibilant at times at higher volumes. What does Sibilant mean?

Video Review

Amp/DAC requirements

You won’t need an amp with these, as they were meant for portable devices. How to choose a headphone amp!

That said, they have been known to do well with:

  • FiiO E7
  • Fiio E12

Who do these headphones benefit?

Endorsed for:

  • Drum monitoring*
  • Church live performances* (seemed to be very popular for this)
  • Guitar monitoring
  • Classical
  • Opera
  • Jazz
  • Vocals/Acoustics
  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Hip-Hop
  • EDM
  • Indian Classical
  • Watching movies
  • Audiobooks
  • Radio (my mom uses them for this)
  • Video editing
  • Flying/Travel
  • Running/Gym
  • Snowboarding
  • Podcasts/Audiobooks
  • Yard Work

Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad

Clarity

As mentioned earlier, these things are extremely revealing. In listening to Tim Atlas’s “Compromised” I was a little taken aback.

First of all, I can’t decide if the ridiculous clarity and detail are a good or bad thing. I was able to hear so much that I never had noticed before. The subtle guitar plucks and slides, the sound of fingers changing chords, and most notably the imperfections in the track itself.

I would say that these aren’t on the forgiving side. If the song wasn’t mixed perfectly, you’re going to know about it. If it is, you’ll also know.

Vocals

What I also like about these is the vocal clarity.

In certain songs, I start to hear lyrics that I previously had trouble making out.

Don’t expect to magically be able to discern all the mumblers out there, but do look forward to being able to decipher sounds and voices better.

You’ll also start to hear extra stuff that you didn’t even think was part of the song, or extra voices, instruments, and other miscellaneous sounds. It’s a real treat, but can be a little unnerving! 🙂

Transparency

These are really honest. On Skyzoo’s “By Any Means the second verse is clearly mixed differently than the first.

The first verse is rather clean; it’s integrated into the mix very nicely. The second verse not so much. You can tell it was recorded after the fact, or before depending on which came first.

I had never noticed this with other headphones so it startled me a little. It’s not necessarily bad, just different.

The bass feature on Deezer’s mixer works pretty well with these if you’re listening to bass-heavy music like EDM, Hip-Hop, etc.

Consensus/Conclusion

An incredibly revealing set of IEMs. You will hear things you haven’t before. Not exactly forgiving. You’re going to hear the mix as it was recorded, good or bad. Overall pretty comfortable, just make sure you use the right pieces for your ear. Will take some experimenting.

Final Word

While I loved the SE215 in 2017 and still think it’s a nice starting point for IEM users, I would look to the Tin T2 if you’re searching for a bit more of a balanced sound and better value under $100.

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Shure SE215 Review.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

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Would you invest in these? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Save

Shure SE215

4.6

Build Quality

5.0/5

Sound Quality

5.0/5

Comfort

4.0/5

Soundstage

4.4/5

Pros

  • Great build
  • Great isolation
  • Great instrument separation
  • Very revealing

Cons

  • Treble sometimes harsh
  • Difficult to get a good fit at first

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