Everyone knows Shure as a high-quality headphone brand. Mackie is less famous, but well known by musicians for its loudspeakers and professional studio equipment. Only recently have they started dabbling in the professional IEM market. How does its most inexpensive model stand up to Shure’s famous entry level SE215? Let’s find out in this Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review.
Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
IN the BOX – Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
|Mackie MP-120||Shure SE215|
|3 Foam Tips||3 Foam Tips|
|3 Silicone Tips||3 Silicone Tips|
|3 Flange Tips|
|Hard Carrying Case||Semi-Hard Carrying Case|
FIT and DESIGN – Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
Both the MP-120 and the SE215 have a similar fit. Over the ear wire and contoured housing. They both provide a decent amount of sound isolation, but I would say that the SE215 does a slightly better job of cutting out ambient noise. They also seem to be equal in terms of durability. The MP-120 and SE215 have single dynamic drivers and thick cables with detachable MMCX connectors. Two peas in a pod. One thing to note is that the MP-120 is specifically designed to be a musician’s IEM, and it definitely has an on-stage feel that is missing from the SE215.
SOUND – Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
The MP-120 is defined by its massive bass and realistic higher frequencies. The SE215 is characterized by its richness and punchiness. Let’s see the breakdown…
Both headphones have a great bass response. But they sound very different. The bass on the MP-120 is subby and huge. Bigly. It resonates like crazy. The SE215, on the other hand, is dry with a lot of grip. Both sound great when listening to pop or hip-hop. If you want a fast transient response, go for the SE215. If you’re a serious bass-head, the MP-120 is the way to go.
In this range, the MP-120 has better detail, while the SE215 is more evenly balanced. The MP-120 has slightly emphasized higher-mids, and the lower mids seem to be powered by the bass. The SE215 has less detailed upper mids, but a fuller mid range sound. The MP-120 sounds more realistic, but the SE215 has a richer feel. If you mainly listen to rock and pop-rock, you may enjoy the SE215 more.
The highs on these headphones have quite a few similarities in this range. They seem to have a comparable amount of transparency and roundness. But the highs are a little thicker on the SE215 and are a bit more forward. Both are equally suitable for jazz and classical music.
The MP-120 seems to have the bigger soundstage of the two headphones. It’s got a bit more width and quite a lot more depth. It’s definitely got a more spacious feel to it.
SUMMARY – Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
The MP-120 sounds like a musician’s IEM. It’s got a stage-like quality that cannot be matched by the SE215. And did I mention that the bass is humungous? That being said, the SE215 is a richer and snappier sound. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference. But both are great deals.
You can find these headphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: Mackie MP-120 Musician’s In-Ear Monitors
Audio 46: Shure SE215 In-Ear Headphones
SPECIFICATIONS – Mackie MP-120 vs Shure SE215 Comparison Review
|Mackie MP-120||Shure SE215|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20k Hz||22 Hz – 17.5 kHz|
|Impedance||32 Ohms||17 Ohms|
|Sensitivity||93 dB||107 dB|
|Transducer Type||Single Dynamic||Single Dynamic|