When comparing Shure SE215 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, the Slant community recommends Shure SE215 for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Shure SE215 is ranked 10th while Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is ranked 16th. 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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 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 A lot of equipment
6 types of plugs (silicon/ foam: S/M/L).
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 Fairly neutral sound signature
Sound signature is quite accurate, almost flat. Bass is much more controlled instead of boomy, while there is a slight elevation on the highs, resulting in extra energy and detail up top. These offer a nice middle ground between a fun sound and a more reference/analytical sound signature. This sound quality makes the headphones quite versatile as music enjoyment headphones or studio-use cans.
Pro These have a high quality and durable feel
The M40xs feel solid and are known to be quite durable. The plastics used in the build do not easily flex or make creaks, giving the impression that these can last quite a long time.
Pro Can be used in noisy environments
The over-ear, closed back design along with the thick pleather ear pads can block out quite a lot of ambient noise, and will help users to focus in on the music. These make the headphones great for travel or for mixing/monitoring use.
Pro Comes with two detachable cables
The headphones come with a straight cable and a coiled cable, making them useful in the studio or while walking.
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 Incompatible with cables from other brands
Only Audio Technica cables can be used with these headphones.