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Shure Bluetooth In Ear Monitors
While they’re expensive and not as feature-rich as some competing models, Shure’s first true wireless headphones are innovative in design and stay true to the company’s in-ear monitor heritage.
Connectivity Options And Accessories
Executive editor David Carnoy has been a key member of the review team since 2000. He covers a wide range of gadgets and is a leading reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He is also an e-reader and e-publishing expert, and the author of the novels Knife Music, The Great Exodus, and Clarity. All titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books. Books and audiobooks.
Shure may be a well-known audio brand among musicians and audiophiles, but it’s lacking in consumer wireless headphones. Well, now the company finally has a set of true wireless earbuds, and they’re not your typical AirPods clones, although at $279 (£259; AU$146) they cost a bit more than Apple’s AirPods Pro.
Interestingly, the Bluetooth module is removable. As the name suggests, the Aonic 215 True Wireless Noise Isolating Earphones feature Shure’s SE215 buds, a $99 entry-level line of headphones with detachable cables. But the modules, which can be bought separately for $230 (£209; AU$120), are designed to drive any Shure headphone with a detachable cable, including the $1,000 SE846.
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Oddly enough, they’re like the audiophile equivalent of Beats Powerbeats Pro. They have a hook that wraps around the top of your ear and they stay in my ears very securely (even more securely than the Powerbeats Pro headphones). And like that Beats model, they have a large charging case. While it’s technically bigger than the Powerbeats Pro case, it doesn’t feel bulky, perhaps because it’s a bit thinner.
A Shure representative told me that they don’t have a water-resistance rating, but that they should be fine for light workouts, as Shure’s calls are used by musicians, some of whom get quite sweaty during performances. But if you’re looking for true sports headphones, this isn’t it. But like I said, they really stay in your ears (and on them).
As with other noise-isolating headphones, it’s important to seal tightly to get really good sound. All ear tips are included – and there are many – only the largest set of foam tips ensures a tight seal. But at least one option worked and you should find one that works for you.
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Voice is not for everyone. As I said, they are aimed at audiophiles and have a more neutral sound profile with well balanced sound that is well detailed and has good bass definition. For someone used to headphones with more boost in the highs and lows, they may sound a little flat, but if you value precise and clean sound, you’ll love these.
If you listen to a lot of hip-hop or electronic music with booming bass lines, these are not the headphones. It will be good for rock, classical, jazz and more “sophisticated” music. Well recorded tracks and albums like Caetona Veloso and David Byrne Live at Carnegie Hall sound really good.
I tested the Bluetooth modules with Shure’s $1,000 SE846 buds, which are heavier, have quad drivers, and have metal posts instead of plastic (you stick the ear tips into the posts). Yes, they’re better: more open, clear and rich sound with deep bass (the SE846 also has physical filters you can add to tweak the sound). The SE846s are easier to drive than the SE215s, so they play a bit louder. According to Shure, the SE215 is actually the hardest to control from headphones, and an update to the ShurePlus Play companion app for iOS and Android will let you choose which headphones to use with Bluetooth modules.
Shure True Wireless
Frankly, using really expensive buds with a Bluetooth module is overkill (it’s true that the SE846 comes with a wired Bluetooth option, but you also get a pro-grade wired cable). Yes, if your device can stream aptX (Samsung Galaxy phones do) they support the Apple-compatible AAC audio codec with aptX. However, with high-end Shure headphones, you’ll want to plug in the cable for a serious listening session. The idea is, though, that if you really want to go wireless, you can now.
Battery life is 8 hours, which is quickly becoming the standard for the latest Bluetooth 5.0 true wireless earbuds (the charging case gives you three extra charges for a total of 32 hours), and the buds automatically turn off when you leave them charging. case , you must enable each bud manually. They have physical buttons, and the controls are very limited to begin with, but they will be expanded with a software update that will allow for customization of left and right earpiece controls (currently there is no way to move tracks; no volume controls either). You can pause and play music as well as answer and end calls with one tap. A triple tap activates your device’s voice assistant. Double-clicking the left or right control button activates transparency mode so you can hear what’s going on around you and hear your own voice while on a call.
Actually, I should say ‘bud’ instead of ‘bud’ because they only have mono for calls – sound only comes from the right side like Bose’s SoundSport Free, a feature that some people have complained about with those headphones. Too bad, because they’re great for making calls and the Bluetooth module has two beam-forming microphones perfect for picking up your voice. The next generation should add stereo voice calling, but it cannot be added to the current model. (You can use one right earbud while making calls for those who care about this feature).
Shure Aonic 215 Gen 2 Review
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is promoting Shure’s new headphones, including a full-size noise-canceling model. Shur
The add-on allows you to adjust the level of transparency. It can also play high-fidelity lossless tracks if you have a collection of those to keep on your phone. Unfortunately, the app’s in-app equalizer only works with music stored on your phone, not music streaming services.
Overall, I think it’s a good concept. Yes, it looks a bit first generation. And yes, it’s a bit unique and overpriced, especially considering its limited feature list compared to some other high-end true wireless headphones. For example, for about $20 you can buy the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, which has a slightly richer sound with active noise cancellation and more powerful bass.
Shure Se215 Sound Isolating In Ear Stereo Earphones
Anyway, I liked the Aonic 215. It has a distinctive design that definitely lives up to Shure’s in-ear monitor heritage and will help you fall in love with the musician who wears it, even if you don’t. I think they need to drop down to $200 to find a bigger audience.
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