The second most popular question asked by their friends and acquaintances to techno journalists is: "What headphones to buy so that they are good and not very expensive?" (in the first question the word “smartphone” appears instead of the word “headphones”). If we are talking about wired models, then the answer is usually this: take two thousand rubles and choose something German or Japanese in the store - it will sound tolerable. But in the case of wireless models, the question cannot be brushed aside: "inexpensive" and "good and wireless" almost never stand side by side. That is why Shure SE215 at a price of about 12 thousand rubles can be called affordable - after all, they sound stunning for their category.
SE215 is not a new model, it appeared in 2011. But you should not be afraid: like other audio equipment, in terms of sound, headphones rarely become outdated. Moreover, the SE215 remains one of the most popular Shure models and is still included in the selection of the "best headphones under $ 100". Therefore, the company acted wisely: it took the wired headphones that many loved ones - and made them wireless using a special cable. It is on it that the transmitter is located (a small rectangular box), with the help of which SE215 connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone. The cord is small, but you need to throw it around your neck, like a scarf, and the headphones will not work without it. Good news: the cable is detachable, if desired, it can be replaced with a traditional cable with a mini-jack at the end, making the headphones wired. In the set such a cord was not put, it can be purchased separately.
Shure also sells a Bluetooth cable, so if you already have a regular SE215 you can "upgrade" it. This is not only convenient, but also helps to extend the life of the headphones, because it is the cords that fail first of all.
The SE215 isn't the nicest headphone on the market. They have a classic Shure design: utilitarian, without any special "frills", although they look interesting in white. Shure always does this, just look at their microphones. However, the headphones have their own "trick": the plastic is translucent and the internal structure of the speaker is visible.
According to the form-factor SE215 are "plugs", and in the ear they sit as if they were walled up there with construction foam. The kit comes with six removable ear pads at once, so you can choose the most comfortable one for yourself - the standard one suited me. The wire near the speakers themselves is flexible, and therefore I would advise making a loop out of it and throwing it behind the ear, which is both more convenient and reliable. This "dead" fit provides impressive sound insulation - and this is the first of the many advantages of headphones.
SE215 does not have voice control, but on the right side of the wire there is a special remote control, with which you can adjust the volume, pause playback and switch tracks. It also has a built-in microphone that allows you to use the SE215 as a headset. The quality of the recording is so-so: the words can be made out without problems, but the voice "buzzes", as if the speaker of the phone could not withstand sound pressure.
The main reason to buy the SE215 is the sound. It's amazingly balanced, with little focus on the midrange, making it especially enjoyable to listen to songs that revolve around the voice. From the new Paramore album, Tell Me How, you can clearly hear all the peculiarities of Hayley Williams' voice and manner: from the pleasant, deep subtone in the verses to the fast, subtle vibrato in the choruses. The reverberation is perfectly audible, and the unusual voice processing characteristic of the entire album is not lost either. As the song develops, the instruments come in neatly, and each of them takes its place in the soundstage.
The headphones also do a great job with something more dynamic like the Lights Out of the British Royal Blood: Mike Kerr's signature overdrive on the bass guitar does not turn into a buzz even when the volume is increased and does not merge with the rustle of cymbals. The wide panorama manifests itself in the bridge of the track: two parts played in different octaves are clearly audible in each channel, and sampled backing vocals and claps are mixed neatly without getting lost in the depth of the mix. But most importantly, the SE215 handle bass neatly: there is not as much of it as, for example, in the Beats headphones, but this, in my opinion, is more of a plus: it is perfectly readable and does not overwhelm other instruments. That is why Lights Out, built on the rhythm section, does what they love the music of Royal Blood for - "shakes".
However, this does not mean that the SE215 will not please fans of ultra-low frequencies: in the same DNA of Kendrick Lamar, the trap bass (especially in the second part of the track) sounds like someone is knocking out a dusty carpet over the ear - everything is right. And all this does not harm Kendrick's reading and aggressive samples in the background.
The headphones are in complete order with detail: they cope even with Bjork's music that is complex in terms of dynamics and the number of strange sounds per unit time (see The Gate). Maybe not as successful as expensive open-back headphones, but for in-ear models this is a kind of achievement. All in all, that's all for us: Shure SE215 should be included in the list of cool-sounding wireless plugs. Do not impose audiophile requirements on them - the format is still not the same - and you will be satisfied with the sound.
Throughout testing, SE215 confidently kept in touch with both the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8, and they worked for about two days without recharging.
SE215 will seem old-fashioned to some: there are no futuristic "chips" like those that AirPods owners boast about. But they sound great and fit almost perfectly in the ears. It's nice to listen to music in them - isn't that why we buy headphones?>