We think the Shure KSE1500 are likely the world’s most transparent and neutral in-ear headphones.
Their ultra-fast sound, stunning level of immediacy and ‘flat’ technical accuracy to the recording is unmatched by any other in-ears we’ve heard. As one of our Headphone.com reviewers poetically waxed, “It’s not just that it feels like I’m inside the music; it’s more like the music is inside me.” We’re not sure if Yogi Berra could have said it any better.
The Shure KSE1500 system is comprised of a smartphone-sized electrostatic amplifier unit that drives the earphones. The earpieces are non-detachable, ergonomically comfortable and appear similar to the slim-profile Shure SE846 dynamic-driver earpiece dimensions.
One reason for the Shure KSE1500 easy-on-the-ears feel is its weightless, massless diaphragm driver design. Within each earpiece, microscopically thin diaphragms are enveloped by an electrostatic field generated by tiny plates that regulate the voltage charge oscillations across the diaphragm. The result is a purity of tone and texture with a dynamic speed other in-ear designs simply can't muster.
The expansive widescreen imaging ability of full-size electrostatic headphones is also a major strength of the Shure KSE 1500 in-ear system. It has perhaps the best ‘outside the head’ imaging and spatial dimensionality we have ever experienced in any in-ear headphone. Unlike many other earphones vertically pancaked soundstage, with the KSE1500, instruments and voices sound freewheeling and well-delineated in the recording space as they spread out before your ears like a deep tapestry of sound and color.
The sense of black space heard around the notes is palpable and surprisingly airy given the isolating in-ear design. In tandem with the effortless dynamic quickness, there’s little question the Shure SE1500 is the most fully resolved in-ear headphone available to date.
A specialized LEMO 6-pin headphone cable extends 4ft connecting the KSE1500 earphones to the amp unit. The cord itself is precisely biased to drive the electrostatic earphones. Of course, the Shure KSE1500 earphones/amplifier system can only be used as a unit; it's not compatible or interchangeable with any other in-ear headphones or headphone amps.
The Shure KSE1500 electrostatic amplifier also functions as a 24-bit /96kHz DAC-ADC unit allowing you plug directly into the USB port of your computer for superb high-resolution digital listening.
What's in the box: