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3.7 out of 5 stars19
3.7 out of 5 stars
Price:£220.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 14 September 2012
I've had a fair number of different in-ear headphones over the past couple of years. My first journey in to miniature headphone technology started many years ago with the almost instant realisation that the bog-standard iPod headphones supplied with the before mentioned article where beyond heinous. Having been a bit of a hi-fi aficionado in my youth I found these headphones to be truly offensive. I moved on to bigger and better (Apple iPod In-Ear Headphones) but they were not really much better. The sound quality improved but only if I walked down the road with my fingers pushing the 'phones into my head, or they would fall out after a few dozen steps. The first in-ear headphones I bought that I liked where Sennheiser CX-300's. They fit, they sounded great. Trouble was I found them a bit boomy. Great bass thump but not too much definition. For only £35 a masterpiece, but I wanted more.

With sound equipment, as with so many other things in life, the law of diminishing returns can quickly become apparent. My next set of headphones where double the price. The Phonak Audéo Perfect Bass Earphones are quite simply superb with regards sound quality, but I've found them unreliable. My second set in six months have just failed! I've reconciled myself to the fact that another quantum leap will require an equally impressive jump in the amount of money I'm willing to spend to achieve perfection. The conclusion to this decision was the purchase of the Shure SE425-V-EFS Sound Isolating Earphones.

To say that I was disappointed with the purchase when I first received the 'phones is an understatement. The bottom end was almost non existent and top end sibilance was dreadful. I preferred my £35 Sennheiser's to the mess of sound that the Shure earphones offered. However, having listened to any number of in-ear headphones I knew that there are three basic caveats to getting the best out of this design: The fit, the fit and... the fit! The first rule of in-ear headphones is that you must achieve a perfect fit. The second rule of in-ear headphones..... You get the idea.

The Shure SE425-V-EFS 'phones come with an impressive array of ear buds. Having tried them all I found the best fit to be the medium sized soft rubber spheres. Having achieved a perfect fit however, the base was still woolly, with no depth at all and the top end was all fizz and no tsss! I was about to come back here and write a truly awfully review of the kit as a result, but then I had an epiphany.

It appears that my poor little iPod just isn't capable of driving the dual-driver Shure headphones to a level sufficient to burn in the headphones with any speed. It was certainly true of the Phonak headphones that they matured as they got used. The Shure 'phones are no exception, but it seems that the burn-in process needs to be pushed if you're using a low-power source. I was wondering if the huge sum of cash I spent on these apparently rubbish phones was cause for concern, so I decided to plug them in to my computer and hear then off the back of the PC Realtek sound card to see if it was the source - my iPod - that was the problem. I still wasn't much impressed, but being aware that the burn-in process can take a little while I left the headphones on at quite a good volume all night. This morning I didn't get the opportunity to try them out as I was chatting on the phone most of the way in to work. On the way home though, oh my!

I didn't want to get home. The bass is now driven and punchy. It doesn't have the massive all encompassing impact of some 'phones I've listened to, but it's controlled and in perfect balance with the rest of the frequency range. Unlike many big-bass phones I've had experience of, the bass on the Shure doesn't swamp everything else. The top end has lost all of the fizz that was so depressing before, and has become clean and clinically crisp in reproduction. For me, one of the biggest features I'm looking for is noise isolation too. I travel to work by train every morning and I want to listen to my music, not the rattle of locomotives or the incessant drivel from my fellow passengers screaming at their colleagues, friends and relatives down mobile phones. With these babies in place you'll think you've moved to the moon.

In summary then, I can feel confident in praising the Shure SE425-V-EFS in-ear headphones to the hilt. Give them time to burn in properly and ensure that you have the best fit you can possibly achieve with whichever ear-bud's in the supplied collection suits your ear shape. You'll be rewarded with a marvellously musical experience.

Now I'm a happy bunny.
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on 27 February 2011
Earphones and Hi-Fi quality are something of a conflict. Most audiophiles prefer to listen to speakers rather than headphones never mind earphones or in-ear earphones. It is perhaps surprising therefore that Shure and other manufacturers have gone to the effort of producing in-ear earphones that attempt to give Hi-Fi quality. They are larger than normal earphones and dwarf in-ear earphones and this is because the small speakers (2 in each ear piece) are outside the foam sleeves that you place in your ear. The more expensive SE-535 incorporate 3 micro drivers. The initial experience with these earphones could well be disappointing. Like headphones and speakers these require what is called `burn in' before they give the sound the designer intended. Then there is the fact that you may not have the earphones inserted correctly when you first try them and the fact that depending on the physical size of your ear canals you may not have the right foam sleeve for a good seal. Burn in is a process through which speakers/headphones/earphones gradually loosen up and give their best performance. Presumably a designer could configure things so there was no burn in but then the device would probably not last as long. For speakers this may be 200 hours, headphones 100 hours and earphones much less. I would guess my SE-425's were burned in after about 10 hours listening. Putting on these earphones is quite awkward and takes a little while before you can put them on quickly. The secret is to wrap the cable over the back of your ear and then send it forward in front of you. One small criticism is the markings for L & R are small and not very clearly marked which means you sometimes get the channels mixed up and removing these earphones once installed is not a quick job. The seal of in-ear earphones is important. If you have large ear canals and you put small foam sleeves in then all the bass frequency leaks and even very high quality earphones sound terrible. A tight seal and the bass is emphasized and outside noise are minimised. Shure provide you with 4 types of sleeves: Foam/Soft flex/Yellow foam/Triple flange. So it is unlikely you won't find something suitable for your needs. Shure has aimed for a quality balanced sound with these earphones so those looking for extended bass should search elsewhere. Listening to these earphones once you're set up shows a number of fine elements: Mid range is as good as my Sennheiser headphones which is quite an achievement, percussion and bass actually appear rather than being a low resolution crunch and treble which most earphones do rather well is as expected. The bass element is one that even earphones as good as these can't match a set of headphones. The bass doesn't feel quite as full and may also be affected by your seal and outside noises. These earphones are suited for people who travel on trains or buses; they are not for people who walk or exercise listening to music. This is because like all sealed in-ear earphones the sound of impacts/breathing when you are walking all mar such a quality listening experience. It is obvious that a quality media player is required to get the best from these earphones. Because you can play music at lower volume and due to the efficiency of the micro drivers battery life is no worse than ordinary earphones. These earphones are also very comfortable once inserted. In the end it depends on how important music quality on the move is to you. For anyone who listens at home a better purchase would be a reference set of headphones. So an expensive set of earphones to minimise the compromise of music on the move.

For:
Exceptional sound quality for type
Very comfortable
Includes accessories such as sleeves/case/1/4" adaptor
Thick replaceable earphone cable
Efficient, doesn't drain player battery due to 4 micro drivers
2-year warranty

Against:
Expensive
Awkward to put on
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on 10 May 2014
Firstly its worth saying that the sound out of these headphones are incredible. However after 12 months of use one ear lost sound completely I tried changing the cable but still no sound. So I contacted the reseller to be told “sorry we cannot help you” please contact Shure so I did.
Shure told me that this reseller is not authorized to sell the product so the 2 year warranty is void. So before purchasing the product please bear in-mind that with this reseller you only get a 1 year warranty.
Extremely disappointed with the response I received so I would advise you do not part with your money and buy direct. I’m still open to be contacted regarding this matter.
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on 20 June 2016
As another reviewer has said the sound quality of these earphones is fantastic. So why only 1 star? One of the ear plugs (not the cable) developed a fault after only 4 months and I had to ask for a refund. So I was unlucky? Perhaps. But this is the 3rd set of Shure earphones I have had to replace because of the same problem. I suspect there is some sort of design fault with the ear plug part of the earphones. I should add I am not a heavy user (perhaps 3 times a week) and listen to mainly classical music.
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on 8 May 2012
I have not heard the more expensive 535 phones, however these are simply marvellous headphones. The sound is crisp yet well-rounded. Bass is not massive, but these are meant to be analytical rather than turbocharged nonsense. However, to get the best out of them, get some custom earsleeves made for yourself. You'll never want to hear the real world again!
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on 14 May 2016
Let's just say I got an amazing bargain from the warehouse and everything was included in the box which was only slightly damaged.

As they have only just arrived I've only listened to 'Cant feel my face' by the weekend , sound isolation is amazing at home as I couldn't even hear a peep out of my two munchkins running around like crazy people ok n a Saturday morning.

I'll update this review during the week as the true test will be dying the commute to work in central London.
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on 2 December 2013
Comfortable in-ear fit with superior music reproduction revealing surprising detail. Ideal for audiophiles seeking an excellent value and relatively discreet alternative to bulky headphones for travelling/commuting.
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on 16 May 2011
These are expensive earphones, having previously had Ultimate Ear headphones I have to say these are far more comfortable and fit better into the ear. They are expensive and much cheaper ones are available but the quality of the sound is clear and rich, well worth the investment if your a keen music lover.
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on 13 June 2013
I'm a big audio fan and I have always preferred the sound of larger headphones over earphones. I decided to invest in a decent set of earphones after my cheap Sennheiser CX300 II's broke. I didn't want to spend a huge amount on earphones, but after reading numerous reviews, i decided to go for it with the Shure's. Initially all the reviews favoured the 535 Shures over the 425's as they had a warmer sound with more bass than the 425's delivered. I read the sound of the 425's was more accurate to the music, perfect for an audiophile. I decided to go for the 425's as they were significantly cheaper. I have to say, i'm very pleased with the result. I have compared them sound wise to my Sennheiser HD650's and I feel the small shures really compete on an equal level. I won't lie, I still prefer the Sennheisers, but there isn't much in it. I also think the Shure's benefit from being amped up. I used my Graham Slee Solo and custom valve amps to power them. The difference was definitely noticeable. The only reason I haven't given these earphones a 5 star is down to price. They aren't cheap! Personally I think sound wise they are worth 5 stars!

I found they can be a little fiddly to put in your ears, but once you get used to it, it isn't a problem. I find removing the ear piece to be a pain in the backside! The rubber ends are very tricky to remove. I experimented with a few different sizes, but settled with the foam ones that came on the earphones. I also found the cable can be annoying in the way it pulls on your ears. It can feel a little heavy at times and I managed to take some of the weight off the cable by wearing them with the cable in front rather than down your back, as they are designed to be worn. They do however do a great job of blocking out noise, great for in busy areas!

Overall, definitely worth it if you have the cash!
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on 2 October 2012
Ok to start with i'm not!! a musician and by any stretch of the imagination i'm not!!! an audiophile either, so this review is aimed at people just like me ordinary guys & girls who just love their music.

As a forty something my taste in music covers all genres from 80s to Trance to Classical to Metal,and i can honestly say as a music lover that these little silver sticks of dynamite nearly blew my ears off!!! nomatter what i'm listening to.

And to all Classic 160GB Ipod owners out there my review here will make your!! days also.I always had a 30GB Ipod so never had a problem with the volume until my trusty 30GB went to Ipod heaven after many years faithful service,and i was therefore worried about purchasing my new 160GB Ipod alongside these earphones due to negative reviews regarding the volume limit.Well to all 160GB Ipod owners out there if you get yourself a pair of these Shure SE425 IEMS that problem will be solved as soon as you plug these into your Ipod as they are honestly that!!! good.

I know other reviewers have said that these earphones need to be used with music that is 320 KBPs or better to get the best out of them,well i'm no audiophile so that may well be true but take it from someone whose music collection is just middle of the road sound wise nomatter what the KBP level of your music don't be put off buying these as they will without doubt make your music sound better than anything else on the grid,with the possible exception of the Shure SE 535s which are i am told the best that Shure make.Well if the SE535s are the Ferrari of the IEM world then these SE425s are a screaming snarling Lamborghini sitting right on the 535s tailpipe.

So be like this ordinary down to earth music lover and get yourself a pair of these plug them into whatever portable music device you have and walk around town with a satisfied grin on your face because you have a state of the art HIFI sitting around your head with a fit so good you will think they are surgically attached to your ears.

Oh and by the way for the fashion conscious these Silver & Black ones look damn!!!!!!! good!!!!!.

First time fitting is fiddly but just practice for a short half hour putting them in and you'll be good to go,also there is a great selection of buds so the perfect fit is assured.Also to people who said the bass isn't great i would firmly disagree!! the bass is more than punchy enough and in perfect sync with all other elements of whatever tune you are listening to in any music genre.

They are also future proofed as the lead is detachable and replaceable if the worst should happen and the lead frays or breaks although i'd be surprised if that happens as these are Kevlar coated and practically Military Spec.

Buy these guys & girls they may not be cheap but they are without doubt worth every penny,and if you can recover from the initial shock of spending so much money on such a small item they will reward you for years with music listening Nirvana

So there it is a review from an ordinary music lover of an EXTRAORDINARY!!!! pair of IEMS.
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