Right off the bat, these are going to take some patience in getting the right fit. Luckily once you achieve it, the sky is the limit. You will know immediately once you have them in right, It’s a sort of vacuum packed seal. You’re not going to hear much around you, which brings me to isolation. They are phenomenal in this regard, and in fact this may be their best quality.
Boss yelling at you? Put on the 215’s.
Wife complaining? Put on the 215’s.
Dog barking? Put on the 215’s.
Don’t feel like talking to someone but don’t want to be rude? Put these babies on. Instead of hearing words, all you’re going to see is their mouth moving, but no sound coming out. Now all you have to do is just nod and smile. 😛
Detailed sound, with a great sense of space. Big, loud, and full. Great clarity and balance. Nice bass punch. It’s there, but not bloated or artificial sounding.
Sturdy and durable. I bought my mom a pair for Mothers Day 2017 and they are really solid. The wiring also seems pretty hefty, like it would stand up to some abuse.
Great sound isolation. When you get the right fit, these babies just block out noise really well, and stay in your ears without a problem.
Comfortable. Again, the right fit is mandatory, but once you get them in right they are really comfy.
Replaceable cable. So even if the cable goes out or breaks, you’re able to get a new one.
Carrying case. Comes with a zippered pouch for storage. It has a convenient carabiner attached as well, allowing you to put it on your pant loop if you so desire.
Good for long listening sessions, as the buds don’t really get uncomfortable if they’re in correctly.
Shure customer support is awesome.
The tips are a bit hard to get off. It will take some elbow grease. Just be careful with them.
Left or right side stops working/Defective pair.
Treble range seems to be a common complaint, as they aren’t anything to write home about. The highs in general lack some of that sparkle that we all love.
L shaped plug hard to get into a phone at times,though I had no problems with either mine or my mom’s phone. You may be presented with problems if you have an iPhone.
Church live performances* (seemed to be very popular for this)
Radio (my mom uses them for this)
These will sound good with most genres, but just don’t expect to be blown away by the bass.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
They come with a plethora of different sized foam tips. My mom couldn’t get with the ones that came with the buds, so we switched them out for a smaller set and she loved how they fit.
At first the foam tips are a hassle to get off. Don’t twist, just pull gently and kind of wiggle them back and forth and they will come off. What you’re left with is a tiny cylindrical piece that the tips go around. It’s a bit nerve wracking at first, because you kind of think they’re supposed to unscrew or pop off. Also, the tips will look destroyed from you mangling them, but they’re a memory foam of some sort that retains it’s shape after about 30 seconds to a minute.
If you’re a very petite woman, you may have issues finding the perfect fit. For reference, my mom is about 5’6″ and she did fine with the smallest foam tips.
About the tips: If you can’t hear bass, push the buds into your ears more. If you can hear them after that, the tip you’re using is too big and you’ll need to go smaller. To put them in, scrunch the tip with your index finger and thumb while placing them in your ear. They will expand after about a minute and you’re good to go. For reference, the 215’s come with 6 different tip options:A small, medium and large in foam, and a small, medium, and large option in soft rubber.
About the Left and Right: The tips are color coded; Red is for your right ear and blue is for the left. Things will sound strange if you have them backwards.
After some fidgeting, I figured out that the inch or two of wire that initially comes out of the buds is thicker than the rest of the wire, and bendable. This is so you can wrap it around your ear. Trust me, once you put these in right you’ll know. Also, the wire slide mechanism is meant to travel up towards your neck, so as not to pull the buds out of your ear when moving around.
The cable is thick. Generally headphone and ear-bud cables tend to be really thin and tangle easily. I can’t see that happening with the SE215. It’s nice and long as well, but not too long. Just the right amount of length and girth.
The R and L markings on the buds themselves are very small and hard to read. I have pretty remarkable eye sight and I had trouble finding them. My mom kind of just chuckled because she would never find them if I wasn’t there. Lol.
Make sure that you clean your ears out before using these, as the buildup and nasty ear wax residue tends to love getting stuck on the tips.
Remarkable sound isolation and excellent clarity for the price. Perfect for live sound monitoring of various instruments and vocal styles. Durable and comfortable. Nice accessories. Wire is sturdy, reliable, and not prone to tangling.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that they won’t sound good if you don’t have them fitted correctly. I have a feeling that many of the negative reviews came from people who just never got acclimated with them by getting the correct fit and finding the right foam tip.
Similarities & Differences
They’re both manufactured by Shure and look similar.
Both have good noise isolation.
Both have a detachable cable, and their cables are the same length.
Both are IEM’s.
The SE215’s do not have a bass port while the 315’s do.
The SE215’s bass is not quite as deep or noteworthy as the 315.
The SE315’s are a very mid-range oriented IEM, while the 215’s are warmer overall. This basically means that the SE315 is more analytical and accurate sounding than the 215. The 315 is more detail oriented while the 215 is more for casual cats.
The SE315’s also lack a bit of low end in comparison to the 215’s.
The SE315 is more analytical, but I haven’t heard many good things about them, so for the time being I would advise staying away unless something changes. The SE215 is a great option for it’s price, and I feel like a lot of the negative reviews came from people who didn’t have them in their ears correctly. That said, there are a few issues with these, but overall I think they’re a fantastic purchase. I bought a pair of these for my mom a while back and she absolutely loved them. I got a chance to try them out and I was blown away as well!
If you’re looking for a more casual, fun sound, the 215 is where it’s at.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.