Due to the combination of their comfortable fit and slightly darker than neutral harmonic balance, the SE215 are a very low fatigue earphone. I could wear them for hours without the slightest need to remove them to give my ears a rest. But it’s vitally important to follow Shure’s fit instructions—the cables must go over the top of your ears and behind your head. If you try to wear them so the cables go straight down not only will the phones fit badly, they probably won’t even stay in your ears. Worn properly, the SE215 are one of the most comfortable earphones I’ve tried for long listening sessions.
Listening to the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” from Abbey Road [EMI], I couldn’t help but notice the rambunctious electric bass as heard through the SE215 earphones. Yes, if you enjoy following bass lines the SE215 earphones are going to make you smile. Paul’s bass lines on “Because” are so big, fat, round and juicy.
On the sublime “Aerial Boundaries” from guitarist Michael Hedges’ album of the same name [Windham Hill], the SE215s did an excellent job of preserving the recording’s reverberance and expanding sonic envelope. The sound was still a smidgen dark, with the upper harmonics of the guitar’s attack muted slightly. Even so, Hedge’s string slaps were dynamic, though I missed that last dab of upper frequency brilliance.
Consider this product if:
•You like a warm sound with a big, powerful bass.
•You plan on giving your earphones heavy or active use and therefore prefer models with a detachable/user-replaceable cord.
•You prefer earphones with signal cables that go behind your ears.
Look further if:
•You prefer a headphone with a drier, more neutral harmonic presentation.
•You prefer a small footprint earphone with a within-the-ear canal fit (although the SE215 can serve in this capacity depending on which ear tips you choose).