Shure SE215 review

These established earphones offer a bassy flavour Tested at £100

Shure SE215 review

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Shure’s top-end features at a more affordable level - but the rich delivery won't suit everyone


  • +

    Pro build and features

  • +

    Rich, weighty sound

  • +

    Good mid/bass detail


  • -

    Slight lack of excitement

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Although they're the cheapest model in the Shure range, the SE215s borrow surprisingly heavily from the ultra high-end SE535s.

They have the same style of moulded closure, for example, which sits in your ear while the cable comes out the top and fits around it. It makes for a secure fit that pro musicians rely on when performing live.

The cable is also reinforced with Kevlar, and the vast array of bundled buds ensures that you’ll be able to find a perfect fit. We found that the black foam ones, which you compress before putting in your ear so they can expand once they’re in, had the best fit and isolated almost all outside noise.


Shure SE215 review

In times past you’d have expected earphones from Shure to sound exceptionally detailed and rhythmic, but perhaps a little on the lightweight and clinical side. Interesting, then, that the company itself describes the sound of the SE215s as ‘warm and detailed’ – and that’s exactly what you get.

Play Fleet Foxes’ Lorelai and there’s a weight and richness to bass that’s unexpected but very pleasant. Vocals are similarly warm and full-bodied, but still have a level of detail and nuance that’s admirable at the price, and the kind of clarity that really suits the band's lilting vocal harmonies. Combining detail and warmth is tricky to do, but Shure has managed it.

Unfortunately, it has had to sacrifice a bit of punch and excitement. Treble’s a little rounded off and lacking in impact, and you often find yourself willing the SE215s to properly attack a track. Still, those after a bassy flavour or a pair of affordable but hard-wearing onstage monitors will find much to love here.


  • Sound 4
  • Features 5
  • Build 5


Best in-ear headphones 2019

Read our Shure SE535 review

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