Shure is a leading audio equipment manufacturer for professionals and consumers alike. The Shure SE425 Sound Isolating Earphones are just a step down from the company's flagship in-ear monitor, the beloved SE535. Are these headphones doomed to stay in the shadows of their bigger brother? Or do they come into their own just they way they are? Find out after the break!
Members of the audiophile community have followed Shure products for years and with the introduction of the third generation of the SE line up, consumers now have several upgrades to look forward to. The biggest change lies in the new detachable cables that Shure offers. Makers of high-end in-ear monitors are now seeing the virtue in detachable cables in regard to repair and customization, and Shure takes the extra step in designing a high quality metal connection point for their ear pieces. This design can be found in the current Shure SE line up.
The design of the SE425's is a departure of the preceding generation. Now the headphones sit flush in the ear with the cable draping over the top of the ear. This design is found in many higher end universal and custom in-ear monitors. Personally this reviewer finds this design very nice, as sounds from cable movement are eliminated and use of these headphones on the go is more favorable. The SE425's come in two colors - a mirrored finish metallic silver with black cable, and a clear set with clear cable. The detachable cable was a tad long for me at 64", but this will accommodate tall people just fine.
The SE425's come packaged nicely with a number of different tips for customization. Whether you dig the foamies or the ultra flex tips, you will get a variety sizes that will help you get the most comfort out of your headphones. The SE425's also come packaged with a hardshell carrying case and cleaning tool - everything you need to accessorize your headphones.
Focusing on the two top of the line models offered by Shure, audiophiles now have a choice between two very distinct sound signatures. The higher end SE535's are touted as Shure's more musically oriented model. SE535's are reviewed as warm in tone, with a wonderful low end and thumping bass. While this may be favorable to some customers, people who prefer clarity and reference grade sound signatures should find musical nirvana in these SE425's.
The SE425's could be described as analytical, as the music pumped through the headphones has great definition and clarity. While the lows might appear to be lacking, they are there and these headphones should not be considered as bass-shy. Bass is tight and controlled and reflective of whatever song you are listening to. What really sparkles is the mids, as they seem to come forward and drive the headphones musically. They are moving and exciting but do not excessively color the sound coming form them.
To cut right to the point, the SE425's are for those who truly want to experience the music as it was produced. The Shure SE425's come into their own with their own identity compared to the SE535's. Audiophiles who value the analytical sound without too much variation and color imparted by their headphones will love the signature of the SE425's. The average bass hungry consumer should look elsewhere though. These headphones are great for sitting and enjoying your music, as the monitors are quite noise isolating. The cables have a tendency to twist when looped over your hear, so once you get situated the listening experience is quite enjoyable.
For $299, this reviewer found that the sound and build quality from the SE425's makes it right for the price. These earphones are at a fair price point for what they offer. The minor cable twisting and anemic low end puts these at a 4/5, but of course to the right listener, these Shure's can be much much more.