When comparing Sennheiser IE 800 vs Shure SE215, the Slant community recommends Shure SE215 for most people. In the question“What are the best rugged and durable earbuds & IEMs that last?” Shure SE215 is ranked 4th while Sennheiser IE 800 is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Shure SE215 is:
Bass is emphasized so there is a good bit of thump while staying controlled. Mids are rich, highs avoid sibilance, though they're a bit rolled off. Soundstage is okay--instruments are separated out enough for them to not sound like they're all coming from the same place, but it's not particularly wide.
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Pro Good durability with scratch resistance
Instead of using metal or plastic in the construction of the earpieces, Sennheiser has used a special ceramic material on the IE 800 which is scratch resistant. This helps to keep the weight of the in-ears down, yet can still withstand use and abuse pretty well.
The cable on the other hand is very high quality and covered with Kevlar reinforcement for added durability.
Pro Oxygen-free, kevlar-reinforced copper cable
Wrapped and sealed in an oxygen-free environment, these cables are immune to corrosion so long as their tough kevlar shielding remains intact.
Pro Good noise isolation
The IE 800s allow some ambient sound to pass, but not enough to be bothersome.
Pro Ear tips provide a good seal
The ear tips are a step up from the common silicone ear tips on the market today. The part that comes into contact with your ear is made out of soft, flexible, high quality silicone. The inside canal of the ear tips however is made out of a firmer plastic material, with a metal mesh in the middle.
This combination allows the ear tips to create a very good seal when worn, reducing sound leakage/bleed while also ensuring optimal sound delivery.
Pro No bass distortion at any volume
Precisely engineered pressure vents behind a single dynamic driver leave no opportunity for distortion to occur.
Pro Fantastic listening experience
Sennheiser is known for audiophile gear, and these earphones qualify. Their frequency response, dynamic range, and clarity of definition do justice to their price tag.
Pro Rich, full sound
Bass is emphasized so there is a good bit of thump while staying controlled. Mids are rich, highs avoid sibilance, though they're a bit rolled off.
Soundstage is okay--instruments are separated out enough for them to not sound like they're all coming from the same place, but it's not particularly wide.
Pro Outstanding build quality makes them long lasting
SE215 earbuds use tough plastic earpiece shells, have a robust kevlar-reinforced cable, a sturdy Y-splitter that's difficult to bend and an L-shaped plug that adds additional strain relief. They won't break if you snag them, drop them or sit on them. They're also completely sweat proof so you can use them while working out without having to worry about damaging them. They're durable enough for professional stage use for which they were specifically designed for.
Pro Fantastic sound isolation to block out unwanted noise
The memory foam eartips mold to your ear to provide amazing sound isolation, though there's a bit of a learning curve to using them. You have to press them together before putting them in and then allow them to expand in your ear. Once expanded they will take the shape of your ear and that way provide excellent noise isolation.
The earphones also come with silicon tips which are easier to use than the foam ones and also last longer.
Pro Comfortable once you get used to them
The SE215 earphones have a negative profile, optimized nozzle angle, over-ear fit and memory eartips that ensure the earphones stay in place comfortably regardless of situation. You can even lie on your side with them.
Pro Thick, replaceable cable
The SE215's 6.4-ft. cable is very thick, and further reinforced at the left/right split point. Reviews confirm the durability benefits of its heavy-duty design. If it ever does break, the cable is built to detach safely from the earpieces, allowing replacement.
Pro Two year limited warranty
Shure provides a warranty against defects in materials or manufacturing for two years.
Pro Will stay in place in the ears
The optimized angle of the earbuds, over-ear fit, and memory ear tips ensure that the earphones stay in place comfortably regardless of situation. These are also sweat-proof, so they're a great option for active use.
Con Y-split connection can pull down the earpieces
The detachable cable after the Y-Split cable adds a bit of weight to the earpieces. This can pull them down and cause them to dislodge at times.
Con Does not come with an in-line microphone/remote
While not really a CON, this omission can make or break your purchase decision for these headphones. Sennheiser offers an add-on cable which features the mic and remote, but is quite expensive.
Con Headphone cable is not completely removable
While the headphone cable can be attached/detached via a 2.5mm connection from the Y-split down, the cable cannot be removed from the earpieces themselves. This can make replacing the fixed cables very difficult and potentially expensive.
Con Need some time getting used to
It may take some getting used to memory cables and there's a bit of a learning curve to putting the earphones in with memory eartips. At, first memory cables may seem a bit stiff, but after they're broken in, they're generally more comfortable than typical wires. There's even a wire sleeve that helps form the wire bundled with the earphones to help combat this issue. As for memory eartips--every time before putting them in your ear you have to press them together and then allow them to expand in your ear.
Con Inline mic and volume controls cost an extra $50
The supplied detachable cable does not have a mic or inline volume controls. They can be added by upgrading to the M+ cable.