When comparing Shure SE215 vs Audeze LCD-4, the Slant community recommends Audeze LCD-4 for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Audeze LCD-4 is ranked 29th while Shure SE215 is ranked 43rd. The most important reason people chose Audeze LCD-4 is:
The hallmark of the LCD-4's sound signature is the bass. The lower frequencies go quite deep and also have a lot of power. This sound is achieved without bloat or muddiness. Those who prefer powerful yet still fairly accurate bass will definitely love these. The mids are full, clear and are quite forward as well so detail from vocals or guitars can easily be appreciated. The highs take a bit of a back seat. While there is still a good level of detail and resolution on the sound, the highs are not as sparkly or airy as other high end headphones. This can be a good thing for some though as this gives the LCD-4 a smoother sound but with less shimmer up top.
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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 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.
Pro Dark sounding headphones with powerful bass, full mids and slightly recessed highs
The hallmark of the LCD-4's sound signature is the bass. The lower frequencies go quite deep and also have a lot of power. This sound is achieved without bloat or muddiness. Those who prefer powerful yet still fairly accurate bass will definitely love these.
The mids are full, clear and are quite forward as well so detail from vocals or guitars can easily be appreciated.
The highs take a bit of a back seat. While there is still a good level of detail and resolution on the sound, the highs are not as sparkly or airy as other high end headphones. This can be a good thing for some though as this gives the LCD-4 a smoother sound but with less shimmer up top.
Pro Superb build quality
The build is a mix of metal, wood, authentic leather as well as carbon fiber. You can really tell that these headphones are expensive and are built really well.
Pro Soundstage has good width
The open back design gives these headphones good soundstage. Though not the widest, there is a good sense of space and separation to the sound.
Pro Heavy duty detachable cable with solid connectors
The LCD-4's cable is quite thick and hefty which should make it more resistant to breakage and other problems that most thinner cables have. Also, it uses mini XLR connectors which are much more secure as they lock in place.
Pro Ear cups feel really soft and smooth on the skin
It uses authentic leather on the earcups' surface which feel really smooth and supple on the skin. There is also a lot of cushioning thanks to the high quality foam material that is inside the cups. The foam also has acoustic properties that help seal in the sound really well.
Pro Includes a large, hard plastic shell case
The LCD 4 comes with case with ample room and padding inside for the headphones and the cable. While the case will most likely not fit in your travel bag, it will provide plenty of protection to your headphones should you decide to take them out of your home.
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 Very heavy
It weighs around 700 g, and that's without the cable. This makes the LCD-4 one of the heaviest headphones in the market today and will most certainly put quite a strain on your head and neck if you decide to wear these continuously.
Con Leather material on ear cups trap heat
The leather material prevents heat from escaping effectively. This results in heat building up rather quickly around the ears when using the LCD-4, so it's likely that you'll feel uncomfortable after long listening sessions.
Con Requires a powerful amp for optimal volume and sound
Plugging these directly to your computer or smartphone will lead to poor sound, since it requires a powerful amp to get good volume and to output the optimal sound quality that they are capable of producing.
Con Leak a lot of sound
The metal grills on the sides of the earcups do next to nothing to keep the sound within the ear cups. Other people near you will most likely hear what you are listening to.