When comparing Shure SE215 vs AKG K391 NC, the Slant community recommends Shure SE215 for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Shure SE215 is ranked 39th while AKG K391 NC is ranked 45th. 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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 Good accessory bundle
The accessories included are all very useful. You get two 3.5mm headphone cables, a USB charging cable, silicone ear tips, a travel pouch and an airplane adapter.
Pro The headphone cable can be detached from the control module
You can easily replace the 3.5mm cable should it get damaged. You can detach the 3.5mm cable from the control module which is very convenient. Other noise cancelling modules have fixed cables, so you’ll have to replace the headphones should the cable get damaged.
Pro Integrated microphone
You can take calls with these headphones on. A microphone is integrated into the remote which makes answering calls fast and convenient.
Pro Decent active noise cancelling
A good amount of noise will be blocked from mixing in with your music. Loud, low-pitched sounds may still be clearly heard though
Pro Compact noise cancelling module
You aren’t likely to have issues using these on the go. Most active noise cancelling in-ear headphones have large control modules, while the K391NC has a fairly compact and light module. You can easily use these headphones while walking and comfortably enjoy active noise cancelling with your music.
Pro Fairly detailed and rich sound
The highs are quite detailed, yet do not get harsh. The mids are slightly forward, so vocals and instruments can easily be heard. The bass is not very powerful but is tight, so you’ll get decent punch from your music.
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 Limited inline controls
The inline remote only allows you to play, pause, and skip tracks. You can’t control volume levels though.