As a quick search of our website will show, the 'just under £100' earphone market is hardly un-catered for. All the usual suspects - including Shure, Philips, Etymotic and Sennheiser - are well represented and if anything, it's a price range that could be described as oversaturated.
I'd argue, however, that this is a good thing for consumers. For a start, I maintain that £90 is pretty much the sweet spot of price versus performance, above which the average MP3 listener won't notice, or care about the improved performance on offer. Further, with so much competition, any manufacturer hoping to release a new £100-odd proposition needs to try that little bit harder if it is to fend of its rivals.
It's a challenge Shure has risen to with the SE115 in-ear 'phones. Sitting between the SE110 and SE210 earphones both in name and in price - at around £90 - the SE115 earphones continue Shure's recent trend of opening up its range to a wider audience than would - or could - afford its higher end products, such as the SE420 and E500PTH/SE530 earphones.
Hinting at that consumer-friendly attitude, the SE115's are available in four colours: black, blue, red and pink. I just so happened to be sent a pair of the later and I think they look pretty snazzy, although I'll confess to receiving a few strange looks on the tube. Some people just can't appreciate how subtly tasteful vivid pink is, I suppose.
Colour options aside, there's little new about the SE115s' design, which is no bad thing. The same cable-over-the-ear insertion method present on other Shure 'phones applies here, as does the modular cable design. I still think the lower section of the cable is a little thick, but it certainly can't be called flimsy.