Shure SE310 Review
Shure has worked to ensure that each set of headphones in its SE range appear slightly different. In this case, the most distinctive difference between these and the rest of the range is a small silver band situated around the lower root of each earpiece.
The SE310s feature a single-driver, high-definition speaker with a tuned bass port. The latter aims to help the speaker driver deliver an enhanced bass response in order to ensure better treatment of both high and low frequencies of sound. Like the rest of the headphones in this range, it’s a balanced armature speaker (see review of SE420s opposite).
Again, the SE310s ship with a black carrying case and a 3ft headphone extender cable. The kit also includes a collection of different-sized sleeves for the earpieces, so you can set them up for a snug and comfortable fit.
We were a little disappointed with the SE310s. They cost £169, and in comparison to the £100 entry-level SE210s don’t really deliver on two fronts: comfort and sound quality.
We tested the various sleeves that shipped with these headphones, and couldn’t find a set that made for a tight in-ear fit – they are prone to falling out.
Sound quality doesn’t match the top-tier models in the range, and given the fact these headphones use just one driver that’s no surprise. What is surprising is that the cheaper SE210s seem to deliver a more satisfactory sound. While this could be a subjective reaction, we felt the tuned bass system took some of the soul out of the bass, leaving music sounding theoretically well balanced, but somewhat lifeless.
High and mid-range sounds were very accurate but on the whole we felt the quality of reproduction was somewhat over-equalised, making the music a little anodyne. We had hoped that the bass technology would boost the performance of these headphones when playing drum and bass or reggae, but this wasn’t our experience. Again, this could be a subjective point – many audiophiles may welcome sound at this kind of quality, particularly the accurate highs and mids.
The SE310s are a little disappointing. They lack the beautiful sound symmetry of the upper two models in the range and while better in some ways (mid- and high-range reproduction) than the entry-level set, we didn’t feel these slight advantages supported the higher price tag.