Review : Shure SE210 Earphones – Analysed

Review : Shure SE210 Earphones – Analysed

Shure SE210 - ConnectorsWith the new SE range Shure are trying to introduce the concept of modular earphones, modular in the sense of different cable lengths – I personally don’t see the point of this and I also feel the approach is a little misguided. The earphones have approximately 45cm (18″) of cable permanently attached which terminates in a comparatively speaking large and heavy Y-Junction stroke 3.5mm jack connector. The modular part is that you now have the ability to add a jack extension lead of the desired length in this case the supplied extension lead is approx. 90cm (3ft) long.

Several design flaws become apparent with this. Firstly, you now have 2 connection failure points. Secondly, the extension lead is made of cable which is much heavier and lot less flexible then the cable coming off the earphones, finally the connection point between the earphones and the extension lead is extremely bulky and ends up weighing 5 times as much as both earphones.

Shure SE210 - Y JunctionThese ‘issues’ introduce extra steps in fitting and using these earphones. For me consumer earphones should be 1 step to fit and use i.e. fit in to ears and listen, these have become 2 step earphones. The cable exit is from the top of the earphone, so the cable goes over and around the back of the ear. Used like this the weight of the connection point and extension lead creates high levels of pulling force at the ear. Extra pulling force is also introduced by the drag encountered by the heavy connection point against your back when moving your head about.

The only comfortable way to use these earphones is to transfer the weight of the cabling from the earphones to the whole of your head, this is done by using the sliding rubber cable adjust. Once you have fitted the earphones and the cable is running down your back, stretch back with one hand and grab the connection point where the earphone jack and the extension lead mate, with the other hand grab the rubber cable adjust. While holding the connection point steady, slide the cable adjust tight up against the base of your head (the point your neck stops and your head begins). Doing this creates tension from the earphones to the cable adjuster which has the effect of transferring all the unwanted cable weight to your head.

Once adjusted like this it feels like it would take the pull of an Elephant to rip the earphones from your head but in actual use I found that after some moderate head nodding (as you do when listening to your tunes) the cable adjuster would start to slide and reducing that much needed tension which meant regular fiddling.

We have finally reached that point, the point where you can finally look over my rant about the packaging, waste and poor fitting……….

Shure SE210 - Side DownInitial listening felt very disappointing, for some reason I was expecting something very different than what I got. The sound stage and imaging is excellent, so is the detail but what is wrong – the only way I can describe it is like having the best speakers money can buy installed in a room with worst acoustics imaginable.

What I was hearing sounded extremely thin with no body. I pushed the bass knob to try and introduce some body and warmth to the sound, which thankfully introduced some of the desired effect. Bass roll-off is very sharp so don’t expect to hear any low undertones.

The sound has plenty of detail but not as much as other comparable transducer based earphones. The highs are not very sharp and certain midrange tones sounded lazy and smooth reminiscent of voice coil based earphones.

4 thoughts on “Review : Shure SE210 Earphones – Analysed

  1. The Gord

    One thing you didn’t mention, which needs to be done for ALL earphones and headphones is, THEY NEED TO BE BREAKEN IN, after 50 hours or more of break-in they will sound their optimal, give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  2. Pingback: Review : Shure SE310 Earphones better than the SE210 ? > Tarkan Akdam’s BORED

  3. Tarkan Post author

    I don’t want to taint my forthcoming reviews but the SE530 to me is the pinacle of earphones at this time.

  4. Paul

    I have at this point tried the SE210 & SE530’s I aggree with
    your review of the 210’s. The 530’s I found to be amazing, they ought to be for the price!

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