Shure Se215 or Vic Firth Headphones

nsfalgout

Member
Hey guys. Im in need of a new pair of headphones. After a lot of research it came down to these two. I need a pair just for practice with ipod/click track. Im leaning towards the Shure's because I would prefer that over a full over the ear headphone. So here a couple questions I have. Which pair has better ear protection? With the Shure's, since they are kind of like an in ear monitor, will I still be able to hear my kit fine? I dont use mics or anything. So, which ones would be the best option? The price difference doesn't matter, I'm just looking for solid heapdones/earphones.

Thanks!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Hey guys. Im in need of a new pair of headphones. After a lot of research it came down to these two. I need a pair just for practice with ipod/click track. Im leaning towards the Shure's because I would prefer that over a full over the ear headphone. So here a couple questions I have. Which pair has better ear protection? With the Shure's, since they are kind of like an in ear monitor, will I still be able to hear my kit fine? I dont use mics or anything. So, which ones would be the best option? The price difference doesn't matter, I'm just looking for solid heapdones/earphones.

Thanks!
You'll hear them just fine. The SE215s aren't true 100% isolation (no headphone is), it's more like a good-quality earplug. You'll be able to turn the click or iPod down because you won't have to blast it over your drums, thus saving your hearing. I use my as in-ear monitors with my bands... nuff said.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm also a fan of the Shures - but I use the SE315's - same thing but better speaker components. However, I also use the GK Ultraphones too, and those are also great as over-the-ear sound isolation headphones (much better than the Vic Firths). I'd go with the Shures in your price range.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I'm also a fan of the Shures - but I use the SE315's - same thing but better speaker components. However, I also use the GK Ultraphones too, and those are also great as over-the-ear sound isolation headphones (much better than the Vic Firths). I'd go with the Shures in your price range.
Agreed. I've used pairs of Shure ear-plugs for years and they've been consistently excellent. I used them to play the kit with and there was enough isolation. From what I hear, the Vic Firth headphones sound poor but I've never used them myself.
 

cDark3r

Member
I'm also a fan of the Shures - but I use the SE315's - same thing but better speaker components. However, I also use the GK Ultraphones too, and those are also great as over-the-ear sound isolation headphones (much better than the Vic Firths). I'd go with the Shures in your price range.
Do you think the 315's are worth the extra money? They cost almost twice as much as the 215's here in Schweden.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I had the Westones with multiple drivers. Problem is that they don't sound that good because they are balanced armature drives, not dynamic drivers. Thus, the mids are great, but highs and lows roll off too soon, so you don't get that full bass or crisp highs. As a drummer, I want to hear my kick nice and full and my cymbals' bright tones, too, like when I ride the bell. This all caused me too play harder, thereby ruining my excellent dynamics. I also have my own 16 channel mixer with EQ and everything, and no matter how I tried to compensate, it sounded like crap.

At a rehearsal with one of the bands I play with, the guitarist had just bought the Shure SE 215s for 1/4 the price of the Westones I had, and when I A/B'd them, they sounded FAR better. I did not know at the time that the Shures used the "old " technology dynamic drivers. Needless to say, I returned my Westones in a heartbeat!

Interestingly, and to my surprise, the VP of development at Westone got on the phone with me when I was returning the Westones when he heard why I was returning them. When I told him, he was shocked, especially when he heard I liked the Shure SE215 much better. We had a long conversation (over an hour), during which he shared that there a lot of working drummers using the very model I had, and that they were actually designed for the drummer and bass player in mind. At some point during the conversation, I discovered that he was a vocalist. NO WONDER those IEMs were so mid-heavy, I said. To which he had no reply.

I'm now scared to try the "upper" Shure models now, too, because as far as I know, all the other Shures also use balanced armature drivers, which are digital not natural like a standard dynamic driver. And, when I think about it, regular speakers, pro-audio and hi-fi, are all dynamic drivers. Hmmmm.... if modern digital technology sounded better than the "old" speaker technology, I would think all our home, car stereo and PA speakers would have changed over by now, wouldn't you? ;-)

I also spoke to someone who makes custom earmolds, and he makes them anyway you want, with any drivers you want. When he heard my story he said he's not surprised. He told me that he's actually made quite a few molds for people in which he used the dynamic drivers from two pairs of SE215s. In other words, he takes two Shure SE215s and uses the speakers for each pair in each mold, so you get two dynamic drivers in each ear. He says people love them. That should say something about how dynamic drivers can sound better than digital drivers.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Do you think the 315's are worth the extra money? They cost almost twice as much as the 215's here in Schweden.
Well, here in the US they are also double the price of the 215's too. But my company issued me the 315s and I didn't have a say in it. But I did get a chance to do an A/B comparison with a friend's 215's and my 315s and the 315s are a little clearer (as they should be - you're paying extra afterall). And the way my company does it, we got a stock of all the different ear inserts to try and use, and mine have been modified to use a mini-XLR connector so it can't disconnect on its own while I'm playing (and those of you who know what I do, I'm in no position to re-connect anything should it become disconnected, and it's paramount that I always hear what's happening as I have to remain sync'd up to the track I play to). So I would say they are worth it. We tried the 515s as well (or whatever the most expensive ones are) and I really liked those too, but my company wasn't about to purchase 20 pairs ;)
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Bo, do the 315s sound clearer WITHOUT detracting from the full bass and crisp highs of the 215s?

In other words, from what you said, I "envision" hearing every little nuance of cymbals and hi-hats, but I am curious as to if that would occur at a cost to the low-end. My terrible experience with the Westones that cost 4x the price of the SE215s was that the mids were very pronounced (think the sound of a kick drum without the crisp attack of the beater against the head, and no punch or fullness... kind of like a hollow thud... in words I would say it sounded like a "thock" or "thonk").

While I always like upgrades, I'm asking because I would probably not like the 315s if they did that, nor would I want the guitar or a female singer to be really shrill in my ears, either. As you might expect, I'm definitely not interested in any more Westones, but if something were to add to the already nice mix (I think it's referred to as "soundstage" in IEM jargon) of the 215s, I'd also welcome more separation without compromising the fullness of the 215's dynamic driver, I'd be willing to give it a shot.

Thanks.
 

chopmat222

Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I'm from Vietnam. I'm new here and this is my first post :)

I'm playing drums just for fun, not a professional drummer. I have been using Shure SE215 and very happy with the sound, isolation capability etc. However its quality is quite poor. I bought one in about June 2013, after one month the left earphone is dead. Because I am living in Vietnam so I could not request for warranty but to buy a new Shure EAC64BK 64 -Inch Detachable Earphone Cable and using that replacement cable.

Now the the right earphone is going to die !!.

I notice that during the time playing drums, the sweat will absorb to earphone through the contact place between the earphone and the cable. That maybe the reason why the earphone dead so quick ? Do you have any advice on how to use the phone properly so that I can use it longer ?

By the way, this is my clip :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAgtUG05Qxg

Thanks for your help !
Thanh
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I bought a pair about a year ago, and use it quite regularly. I don't like the swiveling cable connection, not because of the connection itself, but because the swiveling of it is annoying. I had some metal tape on hand, so I positioned the cable where I wanted it, and taped it so it does not swivel. I have had no problems.

I like the sound so much, I bought my two children each a pair for Xmas and B-Day presents. They both like them, too. I put the tape on my daughter's pair, but not my son's. All of our three pairs have been issue free.

It's interesting that replacing the cable fixed the dead left earbud. That would indicate that the left one was not dead after all. Now you say the right one is dead. This might sound like a stupid question, but are you sure that the earbuds' plastic sound tubes (that the earbud tips slide onto) are not clogged with wax? In fact, just this past weekend my daughter was saying that there was no sound coming out of one of her earbuds. I cleaned the tip, but it still had no sound. I pulled the tip off and saw that the tube itself was clogged. Cleaned it out and all was fine. Looks like the tubes should be checked regularly, just like the tips.

Hope this helps.
 

chopmat222

Junior Member
I bought a pair about a year ago, and use it quite regularly. I don't like the swiveling cable connection, not because of the connection itself, but because the swiveling of it is annoying. I had some metal tape on hand, so I positioned the cable where I wanted it, and taped it so it does not swivel. I have had no problems.

I like the sound so much, I bought my two children each a pair for Xmas and B-Day presents. They both like them, too. I put the tape on my daughter's pair, but not my son's. All of our three pairs have been issue free.

It's interesting that replacing the cable fixed the dead left earbud. That would indicate that the left one was not dead after all. Now you say the right one is dead. This might sound like a stupid question, but are you sure that the earbuds' plastic sound tubes (that the earbud tips slide onto) are not clogged with wax? In fact, just this past weekend my daughter was saying that there was no sound coming out of one of her earbuds. I cleaned the tip, but it still had no sound. I pulled the tip off and saw that the tube itself was clogged. Cleaned it out and all was fine. Looks like the tubes should be checked regularly, just like the tips.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for your advice !

I was also very surprised about only the left earbud was dead at the first time after using it only one month. At that time I tried to adjust the cable connecting with the earbud all the ways but still no sound. I still keep the old cable, I will try again and maybe the miracle would happen :)

Yes, sometime I do pull off the earbuds from the tips to clean them with cloth. But I notice that some wax could not be cleaned out. Do you know if there is any liquid that can be used to clean the tips and tubes safely ?

Metal tape is a good idea, I will try it. At least it could somehow prevent the sweat absorb through the tubs and tips of the earphone.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Using a cloth to clean the tubes would mean you can only wipe down the outside, which does nothing for cleaning the wax that gets inside the tubes. You need to use the tool that came with the earbuds to clean the inside of the tubes. I wouldn't dare try to clean with any sort of liquid. That might damage the drivers, as they are dynamic drivers, and might possibly be made of paper, although I would expect them to be neoprene. In either case, even if liquid were not to damage the drivers by contact with the liquid, it would take a darned long time for them to dry out, given the housing is sealed all around except for the tiny opening in the tube.

When you look into the tube, can you see wax? Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you don't clean the wax out and it falls down into the housing past the tubes, a piece of it could potentially lodge against the driver, which would in turn stop the speaker from moving altogether, hence prevent the generation of sound. So, check for a clear path down the tube first. For what it is worth, I clean mine with the tip pointing down, to try to help ensure that any loosened wax does not fall down the tube and into the housing.
 

chopmat222

Junior Member
Thanks MrLeadFood, I think your advice is very helpful. I notice that it's very difficult to swivel the right earbud at the connection contact (the right earbud is the one I said it's going to die). Yes so far I have only cleaned outside the tube. I will use the tool that came with the earbuds to clean the wax inside the tube as your advised to see if it would improve the situation (I hope it would :) ). Thanks again !
 
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MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
You're welcome.... I hope. ;-) Keep me posted as I would be interested in hearing if cleaning the tubes resolves your problem.

On the other hand, the connection issue on the right side is a bit disturbing. As an aside, did using the new cable fix the problem on the left, or is that side the same as with the old cable?
 

chopmat222

Junior Member
You're welcome.... I hope. ;-) Keep me posted as I would be interested in hearing if cleaning the tubes resolves your problem.

On the other hand, the connection issue on the right side is a bit disturbing. As an aside, did using the new cable fix the problem on the left, or is that side the same as with the old cable?
Things going as follows:

1) The left side dead after I bought and used earphone about one month. I tried to adjust every ways but it's definitely dead. Before I bought the new cable, I tried the right cable to the left earbud and it worked. That is why I decided to buy new cable.

2) After replacing with the new cable, the left "sing" again. Both sides have been working fine (about 8 months) until I found the right side sometime "sing" sometime "dumb". I pulled off and cleaned with cloth but only outside the tube everytime it's dumb.

3) Yesterday, I intended to clean the tube inside as your advice, but it sang so well :)) so I thought I better just leave it until having problem again then will clean it.

Will keep you posted after applying your way.
Thanks :))
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The Vic Firth headphones are average. They do the job. The sound is adequate. They perform up to their price level. I have owned a pair for a few years without issue. There are higher priced headphones that are better of course.
I have not used the Shure so I can't comment on them.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Things going as follows:

1) The left side dead after I bought and used earphone about one month. I tried to adjust every ways but it's definitely dead. Before I bought the new cable, I tried the right cable to the left earbud and it worked. That is why I decided to buy new cable.

2) After replacing with the new cable, the left "sing" again. Both sides have been working fine (about 8 months) until I found the right side sometime "sing" sometime "dumb". I pulled off and cleaned with cloth but only outside the tube everytime it's dumb.

3) Yesterday, I intended to clean the tube inside as your advice, but it sang so well :)) so I thought I better just leave it until having problem again then will clean it.

Will keep you posted after applying your way.
Thanks :))
Ahhhh, thanks for clearing things up. I agree that the original cable was probably the issue for that first problem with the left side. But, the new cable might not be seated correctly on the right side, now. You said it was hard to turn, and it is apparently working intermittently, so the issue may be that it is not seated properly, or there is a manufacturer's defect in the connector for the right side.
 

dish2112

Junior Member
Just bought the 215s myself. Short and sweet... I think they are amazing for the money. Great sound, canceling and there are no issues at all with staying in ear. :)
 

pmancuso

Senior Member
I have the Shure 425 and have nothing but problems. They cut out and sometimes come back in if I turn my head in a different position. The swival connection sucks it bearly snaps in and I'm sure that is where the problem lies. I may go to headphones or back to a stage monitor with ear plugs.
 
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