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Shure SE420

After 4 grueling months of work, I just consoled myself with a new pair of Shure SE420 headphones. Not that the work gave back me deserving returns, though I hope that’s coming in the future, but I’ve been thinking of getting a good pair of headphones that I can move around with. My Sennheiser HD595 was difficult to bring around due to its size, and ambient sounds leak through when I travel on the train. I’ve been eying Shure’s headphones for the past 2 years. So when Shure launched it’s latest range of sound isolation headphones, I thought it’s a good time to get one.

After using it for a week, here’s my verdict. It’s a good pair of phones. Mids and highs are clear and crisp. Very good for vocals and instrumentals. You could feel guitar strumming messaging your ears. Lows might be a tad weak, if you’re used to stronger lows. After switching between my Sennheiser HD595 and Shure SE420 just to test out the differences, the Shure SE420 sounds more balanced across its lows, mids and highs. With the SE420’s frequency range between 20Hz and 19kHz, I didn’t experience low rumbles and trailing highs that could lift my emotions higher. Shure says that they manufacture headphones to reproduce sounds as close as possible to original recordings. I wonder if the previous experiences with my music was more of an artificial one with impressive technical engineering. Prolong use of the SE420 will probably tell.

With its Ear Canal design, the sealing of the foam buds onto your ear canal will create an environment that seals out a lot of outside sounds, but amplify your own body’s sounds. So it’s not good if you walk, or jog with the phones in your ears. Chewing will definite kill your music. If sealing of the foam buds are very tight, you can even hear your own heartbeat. But if you just use it while you are sitting down, it works better than those active noise-canceling headphones.

The wires are thick and some may feel that it’s stiff. For me, it doesn’t affect me much because the quality of the sounds produced are my higher concerns. But the stiff wires will rub against your skin as you loop it around your ears (as recommended by Shure on the proper method to wear the headphones), and the sounds will amplify into your ears.

That’s my contribution to the review of Shure SE420. Other reviews have covered quite a bit, and you can read it all of them on the Internet.

Yes, I am happy with the SE420. I think it’s worth the money, although I wish it could be cheaper. I’m itching to try out the SE530!


My problem with weak bass was with a problem I had with my Linux box used to encode music.  After resolving that, I’m happy to say that my Shure SE420 headphones is able to produce tight strong bass.

Categories: Review Tags: , , ,
  1. January 20, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    oh damn….i shouldn’t have read this review. i’m just going to ignore it until i have more money and i’ve thoroughly used my e3c’s that i just got…

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