Shure SE210 Noise Isolating Earphones - Shure SE210

By Riyad Emeran



  • Recommended by TR
Shure SE210 Noise Isolating Earphones


Our Score:


Starting with Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation, the SE210s gave a good all round account of themselves. The strong underlying bass line was well resolved and flowed through my ears convincingly. Meanwhile, the haunting vocals that somehow seem to float over the mix were beautifully rendered – I can guarantee that if you usually listen to this track using Apple Earbuds, it will be a revelation listening with the SE210s!

Turning to some classic R&B I unleashed Everything is Everything by Lauren Hill – no matter how many years after its release I listen to this track it sounds as fresh and powerful as the first time I heard it. Once again, the SE210s managed to bring out the heavy bass line without letting it overpower everything else, while that overlaid snare drum beat cuts through the other sounds like a knife through butter. Meanwhile, Lauren’s powerful vocals and harmonies just flowed through my head, leaving me feeling completely connected to the music.

Changing direction completely I queued up Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp. As well as being a superb song and one of Supertramp’s best, Goodbye Stranger is also a masterpiece when it comes to arrangement. There is so much going on, with the main vocals, the background harmonies, the melodic keyboards, ambient percussion and superb guitar solo at the end. Also, the whole track has a kind of echo effect as if you were listening to a live performance in an empty auditorium. With so much happening, it’s easy for lesser headphones to lose some of the effects, leaving the song sounding flat and lifeless, but the SE210s did a brilliant job. Even the finger snapping that appears halfway through the track cut through the proceedings convincingly, complete with reverberation.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed with the way the SE210s handled themselves across a wide cross section of musical styles. Obviously if I listen to the same music using the dual driver SE420s they will eclipse their cheaper cousins, but that’s why you’re paying over twice the price for them. What the SE210s offer is the best price/performance ratio when it comes to good quality earphones.


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.



October 15, 2009, 1:39 am

will you recommend this pair over Ultimate ears 700?


November 7, 2009, 2:07 pm

Or the 102s???


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.


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.


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.


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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