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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.