Hi-end price demands high-end performance
With over 80 years experience in the audio electronics business, Shure has established a solid reputation among the tricky audiophile audience, the SE315’s sit in the middle of the company’s range.
Unlike many consumer headphones the SE315s are designed for maximum sound isolation. To achieve this they come with a variety of foam and rubber sleeves that should fit most ear types. Worn in an unusual over the ear position, putting these on quickly and comfortably is initially quite difficult.
Once you get used to them you realise just how snug they are; and instantly you can – or cannot rather – hear the isolation in action. External noise is dramatically reduced in both directions, meaning a great reduction in tinny, commuter annoying, emissions as well as bright clear audio.
Heavy duty cabling makes these feel instantly much more substantial and durable, although the cable is a fair bit longer than standard. This will benefit some users, but at the gym there was the occasional worry that it might catch on something, resulting in a painful, swift extraction.
Unlike many other devices, headphones largely need to excel in just one area, audio reproduction. The SE315s perform this task very well. Tested on a number of different audio sources and music styles – including use as studio monitors – the clarity of sound is brilliant. If you are used to the headphones that come with your mp3 player, you are in for a big surprise.
It's pretty easy to improve on the sound of standard headphones, but even in the context of high-end audio these perform well. High frequencies were extremely bright – possibly too much so sometimes – with bass sounds being solid and punchy. The isolation of external noises makes these appear much louder than your included pair which means you can potentially get more battery life from your device into the bargain.
Shure SE315: Value
Despite costing approximately £180, these are technically high-mid range headphones (the top of the range costing nearly double that). Many people may resent paying as much for their headphones as they paid for their playback device, but music and audio enthusiasts will most likely see this as a fair price for the return in quality.
If you are serious about your sounds and are looking for something in this price range, then these are without doubt strong contenders. High quality sound with a snug and durable build make them an excellent choice. If you are thinking about upgrading from standard headphones for the first time, you will be astounded by the difference these make.
Shure SE315 release date: Out now, find out more from Shure
Shure SE315 price: £150-£190 online