Shure’s SE range is rightfully regarded as one of the most impressive line-ups since Brazil’s 1970 football team. Of course, you’d expect earphones to impress when the cheapest will set you back £70 and the most expensive flaunts a £360 price-tag. The SE310s fit into the middle of this range and cost £170.
Considering you can buy a decent pair of Sennheisers for less than fifty quid, that’s a lot of dosh. So are they worth it? Oh yes.
Choose your bud
We’re used to earphones coming with a selection of ear buds for different sizes of ear, but few offer the variety of the Shure SE310s. Whether you prefer the triple-flange, foam or rubber bud, there’s something for you here, but be warned: changing them is a little more arduous than it should be.
We found the foam buds offered the greatest mix of performance and comfort, and the way they fill the ear canal means they offer exceptional noise isolation.
A stadium in your cranium
Once the outside world has been blocked out you can concentrate solely on the music, and the SE310s make this an absolute pleasure. Rather than offering a huge soundstage, they go for directness of communication, making you feel like the band’s playing right inside your noggin.
This might initially seem like a negative, but the clarity, immediacy and excitement it injects into well-worn tracks is an absolute thrill.
That’s not to say the Shures are unrefined monsters, trashing the inside of your head. On the contrary, they pair rip-roaring excitement to lovely richness, warmth and texture, so Imogen Heap listeners will be just as happy as Rage Against the Machine fans.
What it comes down to in the end is how much you value music on the move. If you rarely listen while out-and-about, save some moolah and pick up a budget upgrade. But if you listen as much on the tube as you do in the lounge, we’d suggest treating yourself to these luxury buds with haste.
Middle of the range but far from middle of the road, these Shures are a fine headphone upgrade