Shure SE425 £189

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

It’s five years on the bounce for the Shure SE425 head­phones, which is a pretty phe­nom­e­nal achieve­ment all told.

Their recipe for suc­cess is all in the de­tail. To say it’s an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence is an un­der­state­ment. Get some mu­sic go­ing and it’s as if the head­phones dis­ap­pear, leav­ing sim­ply su­perb sound. The level of fi­nesse on of­fer is as­ton­ish­ing – you’ll hear things you never thought were there, even on record­ings you know in­side out.

Play John Mar­tyn’s Small Hours and the am­biance these Shures cre­ate is mes­meris­ing, with each flicker of sound and in­di­vid­ual in­stru­ment placed care­fully in the sound­stage.

But they don’t only do del­i­cate. The War on Drugs’ Pain shows the SE425S are more than ca­pa­ble of han­dling tight rhythms and driv­ing rock. There’s enough go­ing on at ei­ther end of the spec­trum to grab your in­ter­est, while the bal­anced pre­sen­ta­tion en­sures they will keep your ear.

The midrange per­for­mance is as solid as you like – and that vein of de­tail con­tin­ues all the way down the fre­quency range. Vo­cals are nu­anced and placed to the fore, yet they never con­flict with other el­e­ments of the com­po­si­tion in the same fre­quency range.

Move down to the bass and there’s still a de­cent amount of thud. The sense of iso­la­tion helps with low-fre­quency ex­ten­sion too – these re­ally do block out al­most ev­ery­thing around you.

If you have up to £200 to spend on a pair of head­phones, there’s sim­ply no point look­ing much fur­ther than the Shure SE425S – you won’t find bet­ter value than these.

The Shures’ level of de­tail makes for an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence

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