I have been using the Shure SE115 sound isolating earphones in my live band and at the gym for about 3 years now. They have been great headphones and I’ve really loved them. I finally wore through the cord where it passes over my ears and it’s impossible to only replace the cord in that area on the SE115’s. So I decided to purchase the new Shure SE215 sound isolating earphones which have replaced the SE115 product. I was so happy with the SE115’s that I felt confident that the SE215’s could easily replace them.
The Shure SE215 is basically the same single dynamic micro-driver speaker design that the SE115 employed. The cable is 64″ long which is plenty of length for stage use but a little long for gym use. They also come with a fit kit that has various tips to use when fitting the earbuds to your ear. A case is also included for the earphones.The SE215 earphones have one very nice upgrade over the SE115 design. It is now possible to replace the entire headphone cord from the earbuds back. The earbuds unplug directly from the cable which makes it very easy to replace a worn out cable. This design could have saved my beloved SE115.
The sound quality of the SE215 is very good for a single driver earbud. It has very good bass and punchy mid-range tones. The high frequencies tend to get a little bit brittle especially if you are listening to music with a lot of bass. The sound quality leans toward good bass reproduction over high frequency clarity. I feel like that’s a fair trade-off for a single driver earbud.
There are a few things I really don’t like about the SE-215 earphones. I am very unhappy with the way these earbuds fit in my ear. The SE-115 earphones fit very deep into my ear canal which gave me a fantastic sound isolating seal. With this type of headphone the deeper you can get them into your ear the better the seal will be. A good seal means better sound isolation, much better bass and overall sound clarity.
The SE215’s just don’t go deep enough into the ear canal. I am constantly having to adjust them and press them into my ear. I have tried all the various size of foam and silicone tips and none of them seal out like the SE115’s did. The problem is the tube that comes from the earbud portion just doesn’t extend far enough into the ear. This has been my biggest disappointment with the SE215 earphones. For me it has been a deal killer because it’s just no fun to have to constantly fiddle with my earphones to keep them sealed and sounding good.
The bottom line is, if you want to sit still and listen to music the SE215 earphones will work just fine. But if you’re using them as personal monitors while singing or playing guitar they will work themselves out of your ear canal. You’ll have the same problem running with them or using them at the gym. My advice is to find a pair of SE115 earphones on eBay.
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