BUDGET
IN-EAR

SE215

SHURE

Rating

Price

7.9

85 €

Review published:

06/2020

Driver

1

per Side

1

Dynamic

0

Balanced

Impedance

17 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7.5

Mids

7.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

107 dB

7.7

Handling

9

Haptic

C

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

22 – 17000 Hz

Intro

The SHURE SE215 is the entry model into the professional SE family (I leave the wired SE112 times out).
Probably one in two people interested in portable audio, or musicians have either held the SE215 in their hands before or have it lying around at home and it was certainly a big seller at an earlier time.
But now there are certainly better ones in the price range, if not for half the money, or even less.
Nevertheless, the SE215 is a good DD-IEM that has a balanced V-signature and performs very solidly in terms of sound, but is no longer a benchmark if ever it was.

Handling

The design is always quite similar within the series with minimal adjustments in size and thickness. Personally, I find the wearing comfort outstanding, even though I always bother myself with the cable, which is a bit stiff and has wire reinforcements and you have to bend it over and over again. In contrast to the SE846, the thin sound holes are made of plastic, so you should be careful not to break them when changing tips.

Of course, the scope of delivery is not as generous as in the SE846, but we still get a transport case, a set of foam tips and silicone tips.

The insulation is basically good in all models, but there are also in-ears, which seal a bit better even without musical help. But this way the SE models are optimal for the stage, because you are not completely isolated from the outside world and the "fans" when the band is not playing. You can also listen to others in the train, who think you are listening to music ;)

Sound

The bass of the SE215 is the pulse generator in the signature. Surprisingly, it is more controlled and just as well balanced than expected, as the bass of the SE215 is often described as exuberant and bloated. Yes, the SE215 has a rather voluminous low end, but still I don't find it overwhelming or extremely rebellious. I think the bass is good in its presentation, but I would like to see a bit more punch and sub-bass. It should also be a bit more accurate and have more texture. Nevertheless, a fun tuned bass that offers a very solid sound foundation without overdoing it. Well, admittedly it can get a bit dirty/spongy in some cases, but not in such a way that it becomes annoying.

The mids are a bit pushed into the background, but basically are one of the strengths of the SE215. They present themselves powerful and voluminous. They succeed in standing up to the bass and rather enter into a symbiosis. The mids are clear, not additionally thickened and also the separation works very well. Purists will certainly miss the transparency a bit, which is especially limited in very bass-heavy music. In addition, the mids in the upper range are a bit challenging depending on the music and are not as solid as in the lower ranges. This can motivate you to get tired earlier and to switch to another song. I like the voices quite well and also the instruments present themselves quite naturally, with a light touch into the bright.

There is also a little surprise waiting for me in the trebles. In my subjective perception, they play further than the fast rolling highs of the SE425, or to a similar extent of the SE535, although BA drivers are explicitly used for the high frequencies. A bit of an upside-down world. This means that the SE215 provides me with more details in the high frequencies and also has more level. The disadvantage is that the SE215's treble is a bit tinny and sometimes loses its naturalness. Here, one has to pay special attention to the input, as the SE215 doesn't forgive too much and can quickly drift into artifacts, especially if there is an increased use of cymbals (rock, metal etc.). So the expansion quickly becomes a disadvantage.
A clear advantage of the SE215 over the SE425, however, is the control of the sibilants.

For me, the SE215 is more suitable for pop, singer-songwriter, or hip-hop, although there is something missing in the sub-area, which is especially noticeable in electronic music. It also cuts a good figure for monitoring, although guitarists, bassists or drummers will enjoy it more.

The stage is certainly not the strength of the SE215. I would describe it as moderate and quite average. You don't necessarily start to consciously listen around virtually in the room and try to locate and follow up small subtleties. Nevertheless it leaves enough space for the sounds to unfold and create a spatial image. There are more intimate and claustrophobic representatives.

Outro

In my reviews of the Shure family, one will probably have to get more or less used to the fact that I question the price tag of the models a bit. The SE215 is not a bad Single-DD-IEM, on the contrary, but the 99 € (RRP) can be better invested nowadays. I can't get rid of the feeling that I could easily split the RRP prices of the SHURE products by two and then move in the right direction regarding the price/performance ratio. SHURE, like so many big players in the IEM business, has missed the chance to make the price of their older models a bit more contemporary and not just rest on their laurels. Back then the price might have been more justifiable, but nowadays the market is flooded with countless very good IEMs (especially from Asia), which have more to offer at lower prices. But well, as long as it sells, why change anything?!

If I compared the SE215 with the MOONDROP Starfield, I have to be a little SHURE fanboy to choose the SE215. Advantages of the SE215 is for my taste, the more powerful and voluminous bass and midrange, which increases the fan factor and basically the SE215 does offer a relaxed and detailed listening experience, but has its weaknesses somewhat in the resolution and is sometimes a bit of a border crosser when it comes to the upper mid/lower trebles, which can lead to fatigue and is not always pleasant. But don't worry, the STARFIELD also has to take this criticism, especially when it comes to brass, but it has the transparency, stage and resolution on its side.

Nevertheless, the SE215 surprised me more positively than I expected, probably also due to my experience with the countless replicas of the SE215 from China, which are not authentic copies in terms of sound. Even if it is usually advertised that the same original driver is used, the measurement and also the sound impression (DIY EARPHONE - SE215) shows something different. The SHURE SE215 is much more balanced and especially in the bass not as spongy and testosterone controlled as the replica.

Purchase possibility:
https://www.thomann.de/de/shure_se215cl.htm

The DEMO-In-Ears were kindly provided directly by Shure Distribution Switzerland GmbH.

https://www.shure.ch/de-CH/produkte/ohrhoerer/se215cl

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

SE215

SE215

SE425

SE425

KSE1500

KSE1500

SE535

SE535

SE846

SE846

Second Opinion

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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