Both Shure and Westone recently released new wireless earphones. Shure’s models are a bit less expensive than Westone’s but I wonder how much the price makes a difference in the sound. Today I’ll take a closer look and compose a Westone Wx vs. Shure SE215 Wireless Earphone review to find out
Westone Wx vs. Shure SE215 Wireless Earphone Review
|Westone Wx||Shure SE215|
|Driver Type||Single Balanced Armature, Full Range||Dynamic Micro Driver|
|Impedance||19 Ohms||17 Ohms|
|Sensitivity||114 db @ 1 mW||107 dB SPL/mW|
|Bluetooth type||Version 4.0 with aptX||Version 4.1|
|Battery Life||Up to 8 Hours||Up to 8 Hours|
|Bluetooth Range||30 ft (10 m)||30 ft (10 m)|
|Ear Tips||5 Pairs foam, 5 pairs silicone||3 pairs foam, 3 pairs silicon|
Both the Shure SE215 and the Westone Wx come in similar boxes. It seems the Wx is a little bit more neatly packaged though.
Both earphones come with zippering carrying cases and charging cables. They both also have extra foam and silicone ear tips, although the Wx includes two more than the SE215.
Build and Design
My favorite aspect of both earphones is their detachable cables. It feels good knowing that if they get yanked, they won’t just break off at the earpiece. It is worth noting a few things about the cables. Replacement cables from Shure cost just $99, while replacement cables from Westone go for $149.99.
I am happy to report that both earphones fit my ears! This is a joyous day, my dear readers. I’ll admit that the Westone Wx Earphones are much less bulky and are more comfortable than the Shure SE215s. Once the seal is made inside my ear canals, it doesn’t feel like there is even anything in my ears. The SE215s have bulkier driver housings and a bigger battery hanging off the cable. If the bigger battery falls to either side of my head it weighs down the earphone. Both earphones hook over the ear, although the SE215 has an extra coating making the cable stiff so that it can bend around the ear.
The Westone Wx has a slicker design overall. It is lighter and I especially like the compact battery and remote control.
Both earphones were very easy to connect to my phone. Also, when I turn the earphones on I hear the headphones tell me how much battery life is left. The Westone Wx battery symbol shows up on my iPhone, letting me know how long until I need to charge it.
Both earphones also have a range of about 30 ft with their Bluetooth.
The Westone Wx supports Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX, the best sounding Bluetooth codec on the market right now. Unfortunately, the Shure SE215 supports only Bluetooth 4.1, not aptX. The internet seems outraged, although I think this fact might be less important if you plan on streaming with these earphones or commuting with them.
Both earphones fit my ears extremely well and as a result, they both have excellent noise cancellation. All ambient noise is quieted and more pronounced sounds are dulled.
The Westone Wx feels a little bit more like a reference earphone to me, more balanced overall than the Shure SE215. The bass frequencies on the Wx seemed to have more space around them and sound clearer. The SE215 still has a full bass response and some might even find it more aesthetically pleasing. As a recording engineer, I appreciate having the extra space, so the Wx is my favorite in this category.
The mid-ranges of both earphones feel quite different actually. The SE215 seems to have a frequency boost somewhere around 2kHz. As a result, the vocal tends to sit a little louder in the mix than the Wx. By contrast, the Wx has a frequency cut somwhere between 200-300Hz. This makes the bass guitar sit a bit lower in the mix (sometimes, and depending on the mix) but leaves more space for the low end. Again, I think it really all comes down to your aesthetic theory of sound to determine what you’d like better, but I personally like the Wx.
Unfortunately, neither earphone has a particularly impressive high-end response. The SE215 produces higher frequencies but feels less focused to me than the Wx. On the other hand, the Wx seems to have a boost somewhere around 12kHz. It is hard to explain the difference in sound, but the Wx has a more focused quality to it and it is especially noticeable in the very high frequencies and the very low frequencies.
The focused sound of the Wx results in a more defined sound field, especially from left to right. I also notice more depth in the sound stage than the SE215 although it, too, has audible depth. The Wx responds faster to dynamic changes and makes the music feel more emotional. Maybe it has something to do with its balanced armature driver? I’m not sure. But there is definitely something about it that sets it apart from the SE215.
The Westone Wx ($179.99) is $30 more expensive than the Shure SE215 (149.00). I would be willing to spend the extra $30 for the comfortable fit alone. But in addition I enjoy the sound better and like that it supports aptX. Both earphones are really great and I think it would be wise to try them both before deciding for yourself since the sound signature is a bit based on your individual sound aesthetics.
Both earphones are available at the best price here: