Shure SE110 review: Shure SE110

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The Good The Shure SE110 earphones are the most affordable entry point for high-endurance, high-fidelity earphones. They are especially adept at delivering bass.

The Bad The SE110 earphones sacrifice some of the high-frequency sparkle and low-end definition found in Shure's more premium-grade earphones.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a relatively affordable pair of earphones that can withstand both audiophile scrutiny and physical abuse, the Shure SE110 can rise to the challenge.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

With the majority of us simply looking for a reasonably priced upgrade from the stock earbuds that came with our MP3 players, Shure's SE110 earphones are one of the best values you can find for under $100.

When you look at any pair of Shure earphones, it's easy to see the difference in construction quality compared to a budget set of earbuds. Shure's reputation of making professional-grade products for touring musicians is evident in its consumer audio products as well. With the included two-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects, there's a good chance that your Shure SE110 earphones will outlast your MP3 player.

One of the secrets to Shure's earphone longevity is its recognition that the weakest link in consumer earphones is the connection between the cable and the earphone. No matter how expensive your earphones are, if this connection breaks or starts to deteriorate, repairs to the miniature components are nearly impossible. Shure's earphones (including the SE110) hold one of the highest standards we've seen for construction quality. The SE110's cables are three times the thickness of the cables found on earphones like the Etymotic eR6i or Sony MDR-EX71SL and the critical connection between the cable and earphone housing is impressively reinforced with soft rubber. We also found that the thicker cables prevent those inevitable cord tangles from turning into tight knots.

The second-weakest link in consumer earphones is the seal the earphones create in the user's ear. Shure's included "Fit Kit" is one of the best around, offering multiple sizes and types of earphone fittings (foam and rubber) to create what is hopefully a well-sealed and comfortable fit. Without a good seal in the ear, even a $500 pair of earphones will sound thin and tinny, so we're happy Shure didn't skimp with its sub-$100 product. A zip-up carrying case and cleaning tool are also included.

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