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Reviewed on Jun 29, 2017

Shure SE425 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Hybrid

The Shure SE425 are well-built and durable in-ear headphones. They have an ear hook design that makes them a decent option for sports and they easily fit into your pockets. They're also a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears. Unfortunately, they don't have any controls and although they've improved their sound quality over the SE315, their mid-rangy sound may still be a deal breaker for more critical listeners, especially, at their price range.

Test Results
Design 7.6
Sound 5.6
Isolation 7.7
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Minimal leakage.
  • Durable build quality.
  • Stable and portable design.
Cons
  • Mediocre-at-best sound quality.
  • No controls.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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Summary

  • 6.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Critical Listening
  • 6.1 Commute/Travel
  • 6.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.1 Office
  • 5.8 TV
  • 5.4 Gaming
Mixed Usage 6.1

The Shure SE425 are a bit better for mixed usage than the SE315 thanks to their slightly better sound quality. They're just as compact and easy to carry around with a stable and durable design that would be decent for sports. Unfortunately their lack of controls, mediocre isolation and the below-average sound they may not be the ideal headphones for more critical listeners.

Critical Listening 6.1

Mediocre for critical listening. The SE425 improve slightly on the sound quality of the SE315 with better a Mid and Treble range. However, they still have a big emphasis on low-mid that extends to the high-mid which makes their sound a bit boomy and muddy while pushing instruments and vocals to the forefront of any track. Unfortunately, those instruments and vocals do not sound as clear and detailed as some other in-ear headphones due to their somewhat inconsistent high tones. That and their closed-back, in-ear fit means they have a poor Soundstage that won't be ideal for more critical listeners.

Commute/Travel 6.1

Mediocre for commuting and traveling. They're comfortable and they're easy to carry on you at all times. However, they isolate a little less than the SE315 and they have no control scheme which is a bit disappointing.

Sports/Fitness 6.9

Average for sports. They have a good ear-hook design that's stable enough to run with and they're decently comfortable for an in-ear. Unfortunately, they don't have any controls and the audio cable may get tangled or hooked on something when exercising.

Office 6.1

Average for office use. They barely leak even at very high volumes so they're a decent pair of headphones to use at the office. Unfortunately, their sound quality may be a bit fatiguing after using them for a while.

TV 5.8

Above-average for home theater. Like the SE315 they're more comfortable than typical in-ears so you can wear them for longer. They also sound good enough for most movies. However, the lack of range, from the relatively short audio cable, means they won't be the ideal headphones to comfortably watch movies from your couch unless you have an extension cord.

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best earbuds, the best closed-back headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.

BGVP DM6
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The BGVP DM6 are better headphones than the Shure SE425. Their sound quality is more neutral and won’t sound as mid-rangy as the Shures. They are also create a better seal if you can find a decent fit, isolating more against ambient noise. On the other hand, the small design of the SE425 fits more people and is very comfortable. They also come with a nice hard case to protect the headphones when you’re not using them.

Test Results

Style

The Shure SE 425 have the same look and feel as the SE 315 but the earbuds are a bit bigger. They also have an ear-hook design and angled earbuds that better fit the contours of your ears. The cable is thick, heavily rubberized and detachable which makes them feel like premium in-ears. Unlike the SE315 they stand out a bit more with their flashier color schemes.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.07 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Shure 425 like the 315 are decently comfortable headphones that come with multiple tip types and sizes to help you find the right fit. They're also worn like an ear-hook design, so the earbuds are shaped to fit snugly within the contours of your ears. This makes them more comfortable than typical in-ears, although if you're not a fan of the in-ear fit, they may still get a bit fatiguing after wearing them for a while.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
7.5 Stability

These headphones have a stable design that prevents them from falling from your ears. The pseudo ear hooks are flexible which fits a bit better around your ears, but the lack of stiffness means they won't be as stable as other true ear-hook designs. They're still great headphones to run with though, and unless you physically pull them out or the audio cable gets hook on something they won't fall from your ears. This makes them above-average headphones for working out, and for sports.

8.5 Portability
L : 2.3 "
W : 2 "
H : 1.5 "
Volume : 7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The SE425 are portable in-ear headphones. They're a bit larger than the SE315 and most typical in-ears but they still easily fit into your pockets. They come with a good case that's also quite portable. This makes them practical and convenient to have on you at all times.

8.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

Comes with the same hard case as the SE315. It's decently portable and protects the headphones from impacts and drops as well as minor water exposure. It does add a bit of bulk to the headphones, but the case is still portable while being big enough to carry all the accessories.

8.0 Build Quality

The SE425 feel like premium and durable headphones. The earbuds are dense and tough enough to withstand a couple of drops without getting damaged. They also have a thick and rubberized cable that's detachable in case it gets damaged over time. This means you will most likely have the Shure 425 for a very long time. Unfortunately, the lack of an extra cable out of the box is a bit disappointing at their price range especially when compared to the Westone W40.

9.0 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1 C
Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with a detachable audio 1/8 TRS cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.5 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.71 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-5.57 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-1.41 dB
High-Bass
:
4.17 dB

Good Bass Range performance. The 425 lacks about 4db of Low-bass which is responsible for low-end thump and rumble. Bass has a tilt towards high-bass, which is overemphasized by up to 5dB. This results in a relatively well-extended Bass that sound quite boomy (The ripple in low-bass is due to coupling issues we experienced during testing).

5.9 Mid
Std. Err.
:
5.47 dB
Low-Mid
:
5.68 dB
Mid-Mid
:
4.14 dB
High-Mid
:
6.33 dB

Poor Mid Range performance. The entire response is virtually flat, but consistently overemphasized by more than 4dB. This makes the sound of these headphones quite Mid-rangy and forward.

5.3 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.63 dB
Low-Treble
:
3.62 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.22 dB
High-Treble
:
-15.19 dB

Poor Treble Range performance. Low-treble is consistent, but over our target by an average of 3dB. Treble is relatively balanced but inconsistent. High-treble shows more than 15dB of underemphasis, taking air and brilliance out of the sound.

9.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.07 dB

Excellent frequency response consistency. Given a proper seal and fit using the variety of tips that comes with the SE425, the user should be able to achieve consistent performance with these headphones each time.

1.2 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
3.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
7.5 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.3
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.56
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
21.21
7.0 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
2.018
Weighted THD @ 100
:
6.213

Decent Harmonic Distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is rather elevated regardless of the level. However, the increase in distortion under heavier loads is minimal, which is good.

6.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-18.74 dB
Bass
:
2.62 dB
Mid
:
-12.57 dB
Treble
:
-47.46 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Decent Isolation performance. The SE425 don't have active noise cancelling and isolate noise by plugging the ear canal. They do not achieve any isolation below 300Hz, which is worse than some other in-ears we have measured. However, in the Mid and Treble ranges they achieve 13dB and 47dB of reduction respectively. Both values being good.

10 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
16.4 dB

Excellent Leakage performance. The SE425 has one of the quietest leakages we have measured so far. For all intents and purposes they do not leak below 2KHz, and above that, the level of their leakage is very low.

0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A
0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
In the box

  • Shure SE425 Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Earbud tips (x9)
  • Wax removal tool
  • Carrying case
  • Manuals

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