When comparing Shure SE215 vs Sennheiser IE80, 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 3rd while Sennheiser IE80 is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Shure SE215 is:
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.
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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 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 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 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.
Pro Two year limited warranty
Shure provides a warranty against defects in materials or manufacturing for two years.
Pro Built to last you a long time
IE80 earbuds use high-quality kevlar-reinforced cables with a thick rubber strain relief and the earpiece shells have brushed metal plating. A strong connector holds detachable cables in place. Additional strain reliefis added by the L-shaped plug. These earphones are built to last and if there are any issues with them, there's a 2 year warranty.
Pro Audiophile-grade sound quality
The main reason to get the IE80 is the excellent soundstage that you won't get with cheaper earbuds. The soundstage is wide and balanced with instruments clearly separated, allowing you to easily identify their position. It creates a very immersive sound.
The sound signature is great overall with clarity across all ranges. Highs are loud and clear without sibilance. Mids are rich. The bass is slightly emphasized to add more dynamics to the sound, though it does bleed slightly into the midrange. Also, if you wish to make the bass really powerful you have the ability to turn it up even more with a dial on the side of the buds.
Pro Comfortable for extended periods of time
IE80 earbuds aren't fatiguing and stay in your ear confidently. While they're designed to be worn over-ear, under-ear cable routing works as well. They're also low profile enough that you can lie on your side with them.
Pro Solid noise isolation
Once you pick the eartips that best fit you, the isolation is solid overall with double flange eartips offering the best isolation followed by other foam eartips and then silicon eartips.
Pro If something happens to the cable, you can replace it rather than buy a new pair
Replacement cables are around $20.
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.
Con Replacement cables are expensive as well
If you need to replace the cables, they retail for about $20.
Con Rather expensive
While these are among the cheapest audiophile-grade earphones, they're still priced at $250. It's a serious investment. And for many, just not worth it.