Shure is a well known name in pro audio. From microphones to in-ear monitors Shure is a brand that is established and trusted. Their in-ear monitors are especially favored by musicians as well as audiophiles worldwide. From the entry level SE215 to the premium SE846, Shure’s IEMs are literally some of the hottest selling earphones. But as Apple’s iPhone 7 was announced to have no headphone jack many everyday Shure IEM users were fretting the impending upgrade as the Shure SE series IEMs are all wired with 3.5mm (1/8″) plugs. But recently Shure solved this issue with the release of the Remote + Mic Lightning Accessory Cable (RMCE-LTG). The big question however is how does it sound? And is it worth the $99 price tag? I gave it a listen to find out.
Design and Durability
The Shure Lightning cable accessory uses the standard MMCX connection which is a huge plus. This leaves you open to being able to connect these to several other brand earphones as well. The MMCX detachable earphone standard is a solid and smart way to make it possible to keep your pricey IEMs if your cable goes bad.
The overall design otherwise is pretty standard as well. One thing I did notice is the over-ear molding wire seems nicer and easier to use than the original cables from the SE Series earphones. The cable itself also seems to bee a bit tougher and more durable as well.
The only thing that seems to be an issue to me is something that is completely Apple’s fault. It’s the Lightning connection itself. I’m used to commuting daily with earphones and keep my iPhone in my pocket. The Lightning cable does have a tendency to be a little loose though and can sometimes pop out. The solution to this dilemma is simply clipping the cable to the edge of your pocket to keep it safe from sudden tugs.
The remote and microphone on the Shure Lighting cable work as expected with no complaints. The microphone placement is intuitive making it easier to pick up your voice without trouble. And the controls all work perfectly without any detectable delays.
How Does It Sound?
The bigger question of course is how does the Shure Lightning Cable for iPhone sound. The connection is essentially a digital connection which should be cleaner. It is definitely a tad bit cleaner making it worth purchasing even for any iPhone user with a Lightning connection. You will however need to download the ShurePlus MOTIV app in order to use the Shure Lightning cable which is a minor drawback. But there’s not much more you can say about the overall sound because most of that depends on your model of Shure earphone. Personally I found it to be clean and clear making this perfect for daily use at work and traveling.
The ShurePlus MOTIV App
As I mentioned, you’ll need the ShurePlus MOTIV app which is actually pretty cool because it’s more than just a driver to run your Shure IEM. The MOTIV app has record and playback features that musicians and audio note-takers will find quite useful. You can use the built-in microphone with the Shure Lightning cable to record quick song demo sessions at sample rates of 44.1kHz and 48kHz. You can also save and access your recordings later through a separate tab. Definitely a nice call by Shure making the MOTIV application for iPhone a portable recording device.
Summing it all up is pretty simple. The Shure Remote + Mic Lightning Accessory Cable is something you’re gonna need if you’re a Shure SE Series IEM user and have upgraded to an iPhone 7. That being said… it’s a nice accessory that keeps Shure IEM fans happy and listening to their favorite music with crystal clear sound on any iPhone via the Lightning connection. The ShurePlus MOTIV app is a nice feature that adds additional functionality to an app that would otherwise just be a simple driver. The microphone and controls are definitely the icing on the cake and although it will set you back about $99 but it’s still a nice accessory that Shure SE IEM users may find to be nicer than the original.
Type: Detachable MMCX cable
Works with: Shure SE215, SE315, SE425, SE535 and SE846 Earphones
For use with: Apple iPhone’s with Lightning connector (up to 24-bit / 48kHz)
Inline controls: 3-button control for iPhone with microphone
Software: Shure MOTIV app features record and playback functions