has introduced five new earphones ranging from the affordable SE110 ($119.99)
to the high performance SE530 ($499.99). We will cover the mid-priced SE310 model
($299.99) which offers performance at a reasonable cost. The SHURE in-ear design
blocks out over 90 percent of ambient noise, making them ideal for commuters and
travelers. Musicians, especially those on-stage have already benefited from the
performance of the SHURE design. The SE310 design features Hi-Definition MicroSpeakers
integrated with a tuned bass port for deep response. The SE310 design utilizes
a single balanced armature driver to deliver accurate audio reproduction and extending
the capabilities of portable audio players. The stylish and comfortable design
compliment the high performance sound.
The SE310 comes with a Premium Accessories Kit that includes
three sizes (S, M, L) of the Flex and Foam Sleeves. Since the inside of each person's
ears is different in size, SHURE provides a kit that works for virtually everyone.
It is important that a good seal is maintained with any earphone to maximize bass
response and optimize the sound isolation capability. The earphones have a cable
that is 18" long and is ideal for iPods or similar media players that are
kept in a shirt pocket. However, if you need a longer cable, SHURE provides a
3-foot extension. The oval shaped zippered protection case offers a convenient
tangle-free way to store the SE310 earphones.
We took some frequency response measurements using our Sencore
SP295 Audio Analyzer. While this unit works well with speakers, we had to make
some adjustments to measure the output level of these earphones making sure the
microphone was well sealed with the earphones. What we found is the midrange had
a slight boost with good response on both the low and high frequencies. This would
account for much of what we experienced with these earphones including the forward
midrange and the excellent overall frequency response. It was interesting to see
a slight bass boost near 20Hz. Like most earphones, the sensitivity of the SE310
is excellent and according to SHURE produces 111 dB SPL/mW.
Impedance measurements on the SE310 earphones took on some interesting characteristics.
The impedance stayed between 22 and 43 ohms at all frequencies below 5kHz. Beyond
that, the impedance began to rise as a function of frequency all the way to 20kHz,
where it measured 147 ohms. The impedance at 1kHz was exactly at 28Hz as specified
by SHURE in the documentation. This is very similar to measurements we took on
the E3c earphones a couple of years ago. Many of the portable audio players sound
quite good, yet their ability to drive headphones varies from unit to unit. As
a result, your mileage may vary depending on the quality of the source electronics.
We used our SE310 earphones with a Microsoft Zune media player and found this
combination to be a wonderful experience. The added feature of sound isolation
proved to be a huge benefit when traveling on long trips in a noisy airplane.
We listened to a variety of music and also used them when watching movies on the
Zune media player. We found the SE310 to have more capability than the media player
Using the SE310 earphones with a dedicated SACD player and a HeadRoom Little headphone
amplifier resulted in a more pleasing experience. The bottom line is that the
SE310 earphones are not likely to be the weak link in portable audio applications.
So toss those cheap earphones or ear buds in the trash when you get a new media
player and enjoy what you hear though a pair of good earphones.
The SE310 is a mid-priced earphone from SHURE and offers a nice balance of sound
quality and cost. This in-ear design not only have great audio performance, but
also has the added benefit of sealing out unwanted background noise. We found
this to be especially true on planes, where background noise can be exceptionally
annoying. With any in-ear design, comfort may be an issue, so SHURE provides many
fit options along with the SE310. The earphones are also available in black. Those
looking for more performance can move up to the SE420 ($399.99) or SE530 ($499.99)
models, while those on a budget can look towards the SE210 ($179.99) or SE110
($119.99). SHURE has everyone covered with the SE line.