Shure is one of those names that immediately makes you think of music. They were founded as a company supplying spare parts for radios in 1925 in Chicago. These days they are well-known worldwide mainly for their range of quality studio and performance microphones.
However, they also have a great range of sound-isolating earphones, and that is what we are looking at in my in-depth Shure SE215-K review.
The Shure SE215-K Earphones- Overview
These earphones may be thought of by those who prefer the ‘wireless’ option as a bit dated, but there are some very real advantages for ‘going wired.’
Connections are always easy, provided your device has a 3.5mm jack socket. It is fair to say that the wired buds will connect to just about everything your wireless buds won’t. They require no batteries, which is a big advantage, and they will outlast Bluetooth buds.
They feature a dynamic Micro Driver that produces a nice detailed sound but with just that bit of enhanced bass. I will take a look at the sound in more detail later. They look good and sound good, but do they represent good value for money? Let’s find out, starting with the…
It seems that these earbuds have been designed by Shure with two aims in mind. Firstly for excellent sound isolation and secondly, to be robust yet comfortable to wear.
The cable problems which often occur with wired earphones is overcome by having an over-the-ear configuration. Thus keeping cables out of the way. The cable, which is detachable, is Kevlar reinforced, which gives it plenty of strength.
The MMCX connector is gold-plated and is designed with a lock-snap mechanism. This allows you 360-degree rotation and assists you in getting a comfortable fit. The total weight of the earphones is just 5.7 ounces.
You are supplied with three memory foam and three silicone pairs of ear tips. The memory foam tips have a diameter of 12mm, 13mm, and 18mm.
These might seem large, but they are sized to create a very snug fit in your ear. They are squished down in size as you insert them in your ear, and they expand when in place to ensure a good fit. The silicone tips are slightly smaller at a diameter of 11mm, 12mm, and 14mm. They are obviously more solid and are sized to create a good, secure fit.
They connect to your device via a 3.5mm jack connector. The earphones are available in black or clear.
These earphones could have two principal uses. Firstly in a conventional way to listen to music. But secondly, they are sometimes used as on-stage monitoring in a ‘live’ situation by musicians.
In both scenarios, comfort and a secure fit are important. They are designed with a low-profile shape that is lightweight with a nozzle that has an angle that will fit comfortably in your ear.
The wiring that fits over your ears does feel a little stiff and awkward at first. But it will mold itself to the shape of your ears and become reasonably comfortable after a few uses.
As you might expect with a Shure product, the sound is very good for certain styles of music. There is a slightly enhanced bass delivered through the Dynamic MicroDriver, but this does have a slight downside. The higher frequencies are not as prominent as they might be and can get a little lost. This especially applies to high backing vocals or any vocal that is a little buried in the mix.
The frequency range of the Shure SE215-K is 21Hz–17.5kHz.
Shure seems to have spent some time testing and evaluating these earphones. Indeed not only in terms of general listening but also ‘on the road’ by professional musicians and sound engineers.
The Sound Isolation
This is an important area to consider as it is one of the main ‘selling’ points for the Shure SE215-K. As mentioned earlier, there are different sizes of tips included, which allow you to choose the most suitable and get a good fit that is essential for sound isolation to be effective.
The idea behind sound isolation is to prevent any external ambient noise from interfering with the listening experience. The SE215 relies on what is known as ‘passive isolation.’ This is a design that uses the earbuds themselves to isolate you from any ambient noise. Other ‘non-passive ‘ designs use technology to block out those sounds. For that to work, the fit in the ears needs to be as good as you can get it.
The Shure SE215-K will block up to 37 dB of ambient noise, but this will depend on the fit in the ear. It is, therefore, worth ensuring you get the fit as good as it can be to make sure that the earbuds will perform to the highest level.
Do I like them?
As I mentioned, wireless earbuds, whilst being convenient in certain circumstances, can have their problems. Being able to easily connect to devices is one. The reliability of Bluetooth is another.
For those reasons, there are still people that prefer a wired version, and I must confess that I am one of them.
Shure Make ‘Em To Last
Shure is known for designing and making rugged equipment that will last for a long time. Those that have seen Roger Daltrey of The Who swing his Shure SM58 microphone like a rodeo lasso in their live shows will know what I mean.
The SE215, while not able to take that degree of punishment, has nevertheless been given a sturdy build. It feels solid in the hand despite it weighing only just over five and a half ounces.
The housing of the earbuds doesn’t really give you a secure fit on its own, as it is what they call a universal fitting. In other words, they are designed for lots of people, all with different ear sizes, as these products usually are. However, the nozzle design means that you can get a good, snug fit in your ear, which is one of the prime considerations regarding effective sound isolation.
Shure SE215-K Review – Pros and Cons
- Good Sound Quality
- Excellent Isolation – An impressive 37dB of ambient sound is blocked out.
- The MMCX cable is both sturdy and removable if necessary.
- Six Ear Tip options – three silicone and three memory foam.
- Lacks Upper Frequencies
- They can stick out a bit even though the fit in the ears is good.
Looking for other quality In-Ear Monitor options?
Then check out our thoughts on the Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers currently on the market.
As for other earbuds, take a look at our reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Neckband Headphones, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Skullcandy Earbuds, or the Most Comfortable Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Or, if you’re still not quite sure what type of earbud would suit your best, our In-Ear vs On-Ear vs Over-Ear Headphones Guide is worth a look.
Shure SE215-K Review – Conclusion
The Shure SE215 has a good sound, a stylish, robust design, and offers sound isolation to a high standard.
It isn’t the cheapest set of earphones you will find, but the price point is more than competitive. Given the quality of the sound and the high level of sound isolation, it represents better value for money than many of the alternative options.