In 2011, we reviewed the Shure SE215, $99 wired earphones that also sound ridiculously good for the value and include a detachable cable. Few earphones on this value vary supply detachable cables, which might 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 excellent audio efficiency, with full, spherical bass response and crystal clear highs, and simply earn our Editors’ Selection due to the worth of that replaceable cable.
The massive secret right here is that the earpieces are the very same ones discovered on the wired SE215 mannequin—they’re merely offered with a special cable. This implies in the event you already personal and love the SE215, you merely must buy the wi-fi Bluetooth cable with a purpose 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 bundle reviewed right here. Nonetheless, it is a good approach to breathe new life into your older earphones, particularly in case your cellphone would not have a three.5mm jack.
Obtainable in black, translucent blue, clear, or white, each SE215 Wi-fi mannequin incorporates a black neckband—these colours seek advice from 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 fitting earpiece. It has three buttons—a central button for playback and name amangement, and plus/minus buttons that management each quantity and observe navigation. You will 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 lined port on this compartment.
Along with the charging cable, the SE215 Wi-fi ships with a shirt clip, an earwax cleansing software for the eartips, and 6 complete pairs of eartips in numerous 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 is just not included. For $30 extra, you may 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 would not supply this bundled, even for a slight bump in value. It’s, in spite of everything, 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 secure in-ear match with out going the custom-molded route.
The mic affords mediocre intelligibility. Utilizing the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we might 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, a minimum of.
Shure estimates battery life to be roughly eight hours, however your outcomes will fluctuate along with your quantity ranges.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship a strong low frequency response, and at prime, unwise listening ranges, they do not distort. At reasonable ranges, the lows are nonetheless fairly robust, however they are not wildly boosted as they’re on many competing fashions on this value vary.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a observe with far much less deep bass within the combine, provides us a greater sense of the general sound signature. The drums on this observe can get insanely thunderous on some bass-forward earphones, however right here they sound full and spherical—they obtain the perfect 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 additionally exceptionally crisp and clear. The guitar strums are brilliant and chopping, and the upper register percussive assaults even have some good presence to them. It is 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 robust high-mid presence, protecting its assault sharp and permitting it to slice by the layers of the combination as one of many extra outstanding components. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with a bit extra restraint than we regularly hear by 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 observe are all delivered with splendid 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 accordance 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 robust high-mid and excessive frequency presence, essentially the most outstanding drive within the combine, and the added bass depth brings some fullness to the combination that it might probably generally sound disadvantaged of, however nonetheless performs a supporting position.
The Shure 215 Wi-fi earphones are basically a modular system with each wired and wi-fi operation in the event you purchase the $30 wired cable accent. Even at that value—$180—it is a whole lot, and irrespective of the way you take a look at it, these are simply among the finest sounding wired or wi-fi earphones in the marketplace for beneath $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 provide 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’ Selection award, simply as the unique wired model did.