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Shure SE210 Noise Isolating Earphones review

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Shure SE210 Noise Isolating Earphones

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Our Score:

9

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In January at CES Shure showed me its new SE line of in-ear, noise isolating earphones and recently I’ve reviewed both the SE420s and the SE310s. The SE420s employed a dual driver design and produced superb sound across a whole range of music. The SE310s were considerably cheaper than the SE420s, but didn’t quite blow me away in the same manner. In fact the problem with the SE310s is that the price wasn’t quite low enough when compared to competing products, like the Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pros. But the SE210s that I’m looking at now could well be the best value, high-quality earphones out there.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the SE210s sit at the bottom of Shure’s new range, because you need to put that fact into context. If you assume that the earphones that shipped with your MP3 player are completely useless, which most of them are, then even the entry level Shure SE units will give you a massive increase in audio quality. And comparing the SE210s to various bundled earphone sets that I have knocking around in the office, it’s fair to say that they’re in a completely different league.

The SE210s are very similar to the SE310s, in that they are based on a single driver model, so there’s no need for a crossover to direct upper and lower frequencies to discrete drivers. Instead the single driver provides the full range – much like the majority of earphones out there. However, the SE210s don’t have the Tuned Bass Port technology of the more expensive SE310s, which means that they shouldn’t, in theory at least, handle low frequencies as well.

Surprisingly though, after extended listening and comparison to the SE310s, I found that the SE210s provided decent bass performance that wasn’t too far from what their pricier siblings were outputting. Things are helped by the new, improved foam sleeves, which really do seal Shure’s new earphones into your ear canal, forcing every drop of sound directly into your eardrum and through your skull. Listening to a range of music on the SE210s left me feeling very positive towards these entry level earphones – OK, so they’re no match for the Shure E500PTHs, but at less than a quarter of the price, they really shouldn’t be.

lightlike

October 13, 2008, 6:01 pm

I have had several pairs (4 to be precise, 3 replaced on warranty) and on every single pair over time the insulating plastic around the copper wire corrodes and splits. I wear them "over the ear" and it seems to be where the plastic comes in contact with the skin and is formed into this permanently curved shape around the ear that the corrosion occurs. They come with a 2 year warranty, so have had them replaced every 6 months or so... but now the 2 years is up, I'm not sure I'll be able to get another pair. There is an obvious design flaw here though - better materials need to be used.

dani kornhauser

October 20, 2008, 2:59 pm

has Shure said anything about rectifieng this problem?


i had the same problem with cheapish (㿅) Sony ones.


regards

cRazYee

October 15, 2009, 1:39 am

will you recommend this pair over Ultimate ears 700?

Empgamer

November 7, 2009, 2:07 pm

Or the 102s???

Dobes

December 20, 2009, 1:06 am

I wouldn't reccomend these headphones at all,very uncomfortable,no matter which type of bud you use.As for sound quality,very tinny,bass very weak if at all existent and i am comparing these to my so called inadequate bundled headphones which came with my old Walkman MP3 which in my opinion are of superior quality.I have also tried a pair of samsung headphones that came with my phone and my bundled ipod headphones, even these are better sounding.If your thinking about spending this amount of money on a pair of headphones look elsewhere or ask someone whom has a decent pair and would reccomend them to you.Even better try before you buy if possible.

Dan Healy

December 24, 2009, 6:20 pm

Shures warranty replacement is second to none - I've had 4 pairs free from them because of the problem highlighted in the first comment - if you wear these over the ear, the wire will definitely split in time - in about a year with moderate use. That said, if you can wear them like normal, they should be fine, but also, I find the foam tips that come with them (default ones) very comfortable and the sound isolation is amazing. Riding on my bike blocks out traffic perfectly. I know people say this isn't safe, but to me, as you don't ride a bike looking behind you constantly, what will you do if something behind you careers into you, hearing or no hearing, you won't have a chance. I've cycled thousands of miles with in ear headphones and it just makes you more careful and aware through vision.

Lorinda

March 19, 2010, 9:27 pm

Shure SE 210 earphones are made of substandard materials.After just nine months of careful usage,copper wires were already exposed.To make matters worse,Shure,instead of replacing them,came up with flimsy excuse,and refused to replace them eventhough they are still under warranty.I bought those earphones from the Philippines so those planning to buy Shure earphones,try other brands first and don't waste your money on defective products and lousy after-sales service.

acgs1

June 1, 2010, 7:24 pm

I'm trying to decide between these and HF2s, any advice? They're to go with an X-series Sony player.

acgs1

June 1, 2010, 7:39 pm

Sorry, between these, HF2s ad SHE9850s*

Augustus Nightcustard

October 2, 2010, 1:41 pm

I bought my 210s in October 2008 to replace a pair of E2Cs, mainly as the latter were uncomfortably large in my ear canals. Since then I've been very pleased with them - I've seen no evidence of materials quality problems referred to above and they sound very good with excellent noise-isolation properties. It's an obvious point, I suppose, but you only get good bass if there's a good seal between the ear canal and the earphones - this may be a reason why some people complain of weak bass. My only gripe is the overly short stub lead and the bulky and heavy extension lead. So much so that I made my own extension from an old pair of earphones. They are now so much better to use but it's a shame it was necessary.

Jamal David

December 25, 2012, 3:40 pm

after using for 2 years.... MONSTER SOUND!! Only if you know how to wear them properly. (BIG BANG FOR YOUR BUCKS)

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