mini reviewWith the Shure SE215, Shure's attempt to bring high-performance sound to the masses is a smashing success.
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The earphone market can seem like a bit of a minefield for anyone who doesn't know exactly what they're looking for. And with the sub-£100 section of the market literally bristling with different options, it can be hard to work out what to buy.
Shure's latest pair of budget earphones are aimed at 'aspiring audiophiles' - people like you and me who are fed up with the poor quality cans that come bundled with most MP3 players. That's especially true of iPods of any generation, despite Apple's claims to the contrary. Those white earphones? Yech!
I can't quite believe that I'm sitting here using a set of earphones that have an RRP of £330. Fortunately, most retailers are selling them lower than that - £269 seems to be the best price we found. And how good can earphones get, anyway? Actually, very very good
Surely £202 is far too much for a rational human being to spend on a pair of earphones? Together with one of the bigger iPods the pair would cost you over £400. That's an expensive way to block out the chattering and sniffing on the Tube
Costing more than most upmarket portable music players, these earphones are clearly targeted at quality-conscious listeners - and they're not even Shure's top model. The cost, of course, is in the detailed micro-engineering
These are almost certainly the world's most expensive earphones, andthey're aimed at the portable audio market. But is compressed digital audio worth good-quality earphones?