Shure SE315 Review

Shure earphones usually receive their due credit when it comes to sound quality, especially high-end models such as the SE535 and SE846.  For entry-level models, though, beginner audiophiles often find themselves at a loss over which model to choose from.  The Shure SE315 is one such beginner model, being a little bit pricier ($199), but also more robust in terms of sound quality.

Shure SE315 Review

Shure SE315 Review

The SE315 come packaged with a case for the earphones, as well as extra eartips.  Utilizing a hard plastic construction and a durable removable cable, these earphones are strong enough to withstand daily abuse, while the MMCX connection ensures clear delivery.

Once the earpiece has been placed in the ear, the cable can be looped over the top of the ear for a more secure fit.  Comfort is decent – you won’t forget they’re in there, but you also won’t feel any discomfort from normal use.

Specs

Type In-Ear
Driver High-Definition MicroDrivers with Tuned BassPorts
Frequency Range 22Hz – 18.5KHz
Impedance 27 Ohms
Sensitivity 116dB
Isolation Up to 37dB
Maximum Input Power Not Specified by Manufacturer
Connectors Gold-Plated 3.5mm Stereo Mini Plug
Cable Length 5.33′ (1.62 m)
Weight Not Specified by Manufacturer

The specifications of the SE315 show us a headphone with a narrower-than-average frequency range, low nominal impedance, and decent volume levels.  This headphone is designed primarily for mobile use, but would work equally well with a computer.

Low End

A little deep but very full, the low end smacks of detail.  Overall the sound is rich and warm, helped along by clean bass that offers good impact and no noticeable bleeding.  Really, I cannot impress enough how clean and detailed the sound is in the low end.

Mids

The midrange on the SE315 offers a fair amount of detail while remaining mostly accurate.  Vocals seem a little flat – perhaps affect by some compression in the mids, but instrumentation seems to be less affected.  While the compression is minimal, there is zero distortion, so the sound is still acceptable.

High End

Somewhat bright, but with strong details, the high end is pretty amazing.  Even with the highest highs, the sound is never piercing or uncomfortable, nor does it sound thin, with the overall impression being one of immense detail.  While plenty of more-expensive headphones accomplish this with ease, it’s the first time I’ve seen such a good high end in a $199 earphone.

Soundstage

There is a imrpession of placement and depth at play here that results in a spacious and realistic sense of soundstage.  While the sound can stillm seemed somewhat “inside” my head (as is the case with most earphones), the impression of space did have me fooled at times.  Suffice to say, this is some impressive soundstage for an earphone, and the next best thing to a pair of full-size open-back headphones.

Overall Impressions

It’s rare to see an in-ear headphone at this price marry a strong low end with a near-perfect high end, but that is exactly what the Shure SE315 does.  Admittedly, the mids might suffer from slight compression, but this is a fault I can easily overlook, especially when I consider the sheer amount of detail hiding inside this little beast.

Recommendations

Need a pair of earphones?  Open to spending a little more for better quality?  Buy the Shure SE315.  Whether you’re a fan of classical or rock or hip-hop or any other genre of music out there, the sound you’ll get from these earphones will knock your socks off.  Sure, there is some compression in the midrange, but the overall balanced and dynamic sound oozes detail that will be welcome with any listening tastes.  Of course, if you prefer a particularly bright or bass-heavy sound there may be other options out there – perhaps something from Audio Technica, like the $149 IM01 (bright) or the $249 IM02 (bassy).  Regardless of any other options, though, the detail on these headphones is unparalleled, and we’re “Shure” you’ll reach the same conclusion.

Final Analysis

Sporting an overall clean sound with plenty of detail and rugged construction to boot, the Shure SE315 is one doozy of an earphone.  This high quality sound at such a low price only strengthens my opinion that everyone should consider these earphones when higher quality is desired.

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What do you think of the Shure SE315?  Do your experiences differ from our analysis?  Let us know in the comment section below.