In 2011, we reviewed the Shure SE215, $99 wired earphones that also sound ridiculously good for the worth and include a detachable cable. Few earphones on this worth vary provide detachable cables, which may add years to the lifetime of the product (changing a cable is lots cheaper than shopping for a completely new pair). Now Shure is bringing the swappable cable to the wi-fi realm with the SE215 Wi-fi, Bluetooth earphones with a detachable neckband wire. At $149, they ship very good audio efficiency, with full, spherical bass response and crystal clear highs, and simply earn our Editors’ Alternative due to the worth of that replaceable cable.
The large secret right here is that the earpieces are the very same ones discovered on the wired SE215 mannequin—they’re merely bought with a unique cable. This implies in the event you already personal and love the SE215, you merely have to buy the wi-fi Bluetooth cable as a way to even have a wi-fi pair. The unhealthy information is that the cable prices $99 by itself—solely $50 lower than the all-in-one package deal reviewed right here. Nonetheless, it is a good option to breathe new life into your older earphones, particularly in case your telephone does not have a three.5mm jack.
Accessible in black, translucent blue, clear, or white, each SE215 Wi-fi mannequin incorporates a black neckband—these colours discuss with the earpieces solely. The included cable clicks into place on the connection level on every earpiece, and incorporates a rigid-but-bendable part of cable designed to go up, over, and behind the ears.
An inline distant management and mic compartment is positioned close to the proper earpiece. It has three buttons—a central button for playback and name amangement, and plus/minus buttons that management each quantity and monitor navigation. You may additionally discover a rubber cable cinch for managing slack, and a plastic compartment with no connections or controls that rests behind the neck. The included micro USB charging cable connects to a coated port on this compartment.
Along with the charging cable, the SE215 Wi-fi ships with a shirt clip, an earwax cleansing device for the eartips, and 6 complete pairs of eartips in varied sizes—three pairs are silicone, and three pairs are foam eartips that passively block out a big swath of ambient noise. All of those equipment and the earphones themselves match contained in the included zip-up protecting pouch.
It is notable second cable isn’t included. For $30 extra, you possibly can merely buy the substitute cable from Shure’s web site, which lets you use the earphones in wires or wi-fi mode. It is only a tad shocking the corporate does not provide this bundled, even for a slight bump in worth. It’s, in any case, a typical inclusion with Bluetooth headphones (over-ear and on-ear fashions).
The in-ear match when utilizing the froth eartips—aided by the additional safety the moldable over-ear cable sections present—is spectacular. It is arduous to get a extra steady in-ear match with out going the custom-molded route.
The mic gives mediocre intelligibility. Utilizing the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we may perceive each phrase we recorded, however audio was fuzzy such as you get on a weak cell connection. Even for Bluetooth mics it is fairly weak, however every phrase was nonetheless clear sufficient to be understood, not less than.
Shure estimates battery life to be roughly eight hours, however your outcomes will differ along with your quantity ranges.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship a robust low frequency response, and at high, unwise listening ranges, they do not distort. At average ranges, the lows are nonetheless fairly sturdy, however they don’t seem to be wildly boosted as they’re on many competing fashions on this worth vary.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a monitor with far much less deep bass within the combine, provides us a greater sense of the general sound signature. The drums on this monitor can get insanely thunderous on some bass-forward earphones, however right here they sound full and spherical—they obtain the best quantity of low frequency presence with out going overboard. A lot of this has to do with how effectively the lows are matched with wonderful readability and element within the highs. Callahan’s baritone vocals are wealthy within the low-mids, but in addition exceptionally crisp and clear. The guitar strums are brilliant and reducing, and the upper register percussive assaults even have some good presence to them. This can be a balanced sound signature that does not forsake the lows or tamp down the highs.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop has a powerful high-mid presence, maintaining its assault sharp and permitting it to slice by way of the layers of the combination as one of many extra outstanding parts. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with a bit extra restraint than we frequently hear by way of in-ears that basically push the sub-bass frequencies ahead. You continue to will get some critical depth from them, however simply as highly effective is the maintain of the drum loop, which is given some strong low frequency thump right here. The vocals on this monitor are all delivered with very best readability within the high-mids and highs—they’re crisp, clear, and by no means overly sibilant.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene in John Adams’ The Gospel In keeping with the Different Mary, get an added push within the lows, bringing the decrease register instrumentation ahead within the combine a bit with out issues sounding unnatural. The upper register brass, strings, and vocals keep their sturdy high-mid and excessive frequency presence, essentially the most outstanding power within the combine, and the added bass depth brings some fullness to the combination that it could generally sound disadvantaged of, however nonetheless performs a supporting function.
The Shure 215 Wi-fi earphones are primarily a modular system with each wired and wi-fi operation in the event you purchase the $30 wired cable accent. Even at that worth—$180—it is a whole lot, and irrespective of the way you take a look at it, these are simply a few of the greatest sounding wired or wi-fi earphones in the marketplace for underneath $200, interval. For $150 or much less, we’re additionally followers of the Jaybird Freedom 2, the V-Moda Forza, and the JBL Reflect Mini BT, all of which supply strong audio efficiency, and a few of which have extra exercise-focused designs. However Shure’s SE215 Wi-fi earphones are certainly one of our favourite Bluetooth choices we have examined, and earn our Editors’ Alternative award, simply as the unique wired model did.