Shure SE425

The Shure SE425 sound-isolating earphones are an excellent choice for eclectic listeners who demand stellar audio and a high-quality design.


8.0
CNET Rating
9.0
User Rating


Shure has been churning out impressive-sounding in-ear headphones for consumers for more than 15 years, and any new models from the company have featured mainly evolutionary changes from their predecessors. The latest update to the Shure consumer line is no exception, with the new SE models featuring a few fairly minor — but mostly welcome — tweaks.

Design

First up in the hot seat are the Shure SE425 earphones, an AU$469 follow-up to the Shure SE420. The earpieces of the SE425 feature a noticeable design shift from those of the SE420. Rather than the bulbous tear-drop shape that tends to stick out of the ear, Shure has moved to a contoured mould that's meant to sit inside the outer ear. We saw this originally with the Shure SE530, and — for most users — this design means a more ergonomic fit. Plus, in the case of the SE425, the size of the earpiece is actually smaller, so it should fit better than that of the SE530.

Of course, this newly contoured earpiece shape also means the SE425 earphones need to be worn a bit differently from their predecessor. Namely, the ear buds need to be twisted in just right, and the cable is then looped over the top of the ear. Shure has built in a few inches of memory wire right near the ear buds to help with this. Still, not everyone will like the feel of the cord over the top of the ear, and the initial tweaking to get the earpieces just right is tiresome at first; practice helps over time.

As for the cable, Shure provides plenty of length: 1.63 metres to be exact. However, those who had a pair of SE420s might be disappointed to learn that the design is no longer modular. That is, you can't split the cable at the Y-junction in order to make a shortened length for a player clipped to a lapel or worn in a shirt pocket. This is a bit of a bummer, because the cord is quite heavy and tends to pull at the earpieces with the entire length hanging free.

That being said, we appreciate the thickness and flexibility of the cable of the SE425 as it speaks well to the headphones withstanding the test of time. Plus, the Y-junction and L-plug housings are extra rugged, and Shure now reinforces the wire with Kevlar. Add to that a two-year warranty and the fact that the earpieces are user-detachable, and you have a set-up that practically screams "durability"

As for extras, the SE425 earphones include the usual suspects. You get a hard-sided, zippered carrying case, an earwax-cleaning tool and a 6.5mm adapter. Plus, there's Shure's standard fit kit with three sizes (S, M, L) of the flex and black foam sleeves as well as one pair of triple-flange and one pair of universal-fit yellow foam sleeves.

Performance

Of course, sound quality is perhaps the chief concern for a pair of earphones costing almost half a grand, and the SE425s don't disappoint in this department. We wouldn't expect them to, either, given the fact that they feature the same impressive internal technology found in the SE420s. The earpieces cram in dual-High-Definition MicroDrivers, which means that each earpiece has a dedicated tweeter and woofer.

Music piped through the Shure SE425 earphones sounds fantastic, pure and simple. The ear buds offer excellent passive-noise isolation, and the seal of this design allows for deep, tight bass response — it's enveloping without being overwhelming, and there's no distortion. The highs are sparkly, and music overall has impressive clarity; even during frantic hard rock riffs, we could pick out the varying sounds. No detail is lost, and mids provide the warm richness we crave across the board. There's not a particular genre that stands out here, so if you have eclectic listening tastes, rest assured that the SE425s will not disappoint.

Via CNET US

Previous Story

Jays a-Jays Two earphones

MP3 Players
Next Story

Bose AE2



Add Your Review 1


* Below fields optional


Post comment as
Argyris
9
Rating
 

Argyris posted a review   

The Good:Very balanced sound, Great Comfort, Lots of Tip Options

The Bad:No travel adapter, Tad bit pricey

Just got these 2 days ago after reading the handful of reviews I could find. Paid 382 Singapore $$ at Duty Free in the airport for the clear one's as they gave the sort of pro look. It was either this or close to S$700 for the 535's. Small budget called for the 425's which I have absolutely no regrets. I did not do a burn in or wear them for 2 days but what I can say is that straight out of the box they sound awesome. The sound produced is very balanced. The bass, the mids and highs did not overlap/overpower one and other and muddle the sound. You can definitely hear everything crisp and clear.

I sampled Pearl Jam, The Prodigy, Swollen Members and Kasabian through my Mac Book Pro and iPhone. Pearl Jam's Daughter and Corduroy never sounded more edgy and gruff the way (I imagine they would want it), The Prodigy's Omen and Invaders Must Die sounded like a rave party in my face, Swollen Member's Lady Venom and Watch This really blew me away and Kasabian's Vlad The Impaler sounded terrific. Guitars sounded crisp, bass was tight, accurate and present with lots of depth but not thumping (bass heads look elsewhere) and vocals were accurately represented. There was always a kind of separation within all the elements in a song so you could accurately pick out the bass guitar from the drums and other guitars and the vocals seem to be always lively and never seemingly drowned out. This is my definition of balanced sound. Sounds stage wise, you almost felt that you are always smack dab in the middle of the band on a studio jam session. I love it.

Accessories are pretty standard fare. Hard case, cleaning tool and an assortment of tips. What I would have liked to see is a travel adapter too since i travel quite a bit. Sound isolation was nearly perfect! I DEFINITELY wont recommend wearing it while riding a bike or driving as it seriously blocked out ambient noise quite effectively (to my ears at least) with proper fitting ear tips.

Bottom line is this: Great sound, lots of ear tip options and super comfi. Downside is that they may be a tad bit pricey and no travel adapter. But with all the great features and nice unexagerated, balanced sound (for once) this are a great purchase for any music lover and audiophile alike. I am no audiophile but I can definitely tell the difference between crappy $50 earbuds and $400 IEM's.




Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Shure SE425

  • Argyris

    Argyris

    Rating9

    "Just got these 2 days ago after reading the handful of reviews I could find. Paid 382 Singapore $$ at Duty Free in the airport for the clear one's as they gave the sort of pro look. It was either t..."

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products