What are the Shure SE112m+?
The Shure SE112m+ earphones are the entry-level set in the company’s highly respected line-up. These latest earphones include a three-button remote, which has bee lacking in the SE112s that have been around since 2014.
For around £50, you get tonal balance similar to Shure’s more expensive models. But here sound is created by a single, standard dynamic driver rather than the balanced armature array used in Shure’s higher-end earphones.
On the downside, the SE112m+s are a little ugly and, while they offer above-average isolation, the fact that they burrow far into your ears means their fit may not suit everyone. The somewhat harsh, separated treble is an issue too.
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Shure SE112m+ – Design and Comfort
The Shure SE112m+ earphones are similar to the SE series, in that they’re big and care about style not one jot. We’re okay with that, but those concerned about design, may be disappointed.
So while we wouldn’t describe the big, bulbous earpieces as pretty, they do at least provide some practical features.
Of note is the surface of earphones. The grey parts of the SE112m+ are made of hard plastic, while the black bits are rubber. Together they provide a high-friction surface to grip onto when placing them in and out of your ears.
The tip of the earpiece is also unusual, being a lot thinner than that found on most earphones. However, since it’s just like that found in other SE-series earphones, you’ll be able to use the very rounded ear tips Shure is renowned for with the SE112m+.
It’s here we come to the Shure SE112m+’s more polarising elements. The tip style enables you to just jam these earphones in – so long as you’ve picked the right tips – to get a good fit. However, they can feel reasonably invasive and the earpieces stick out quite a way from your ear canal, especially if you don’t want them to sit too deep.
We had no comfort or fit issues with the Shure SE112m+, and found their passive isolation to be above average. However, as mentioned, their style and fit is sure to put a few folk off.
Unlike some higher-end Shures, the SE112m+ earphones don’t need to be worn snaked over your ears. But for a more secure fit – when out running, for example – there’s nothing to stop you from wearing them in this style.
Shure SE112m+ – Features
Aside from lacking some style, and they’re slightly bigger form, the Shure SE112m+ are a fairly ordinary set of earphones. You get a three-button remote designed for iOS devices and a cable that’s slightly thicker than the norm.
They use a Y-shaped cable with an L/R break that sits pretty low down. However, you can use the attached rubbery tie to bring the left and right sides together if you want to limit the amount of wire flapping about.
And that’s it; there’s no active noise cancellation or wireless. You do get three sets of Shure’s olive-shaped tips plus a simple carry case in the box, though.
Shure SE112m+ – Sound Quality
The Shure SE112m+ seem to want a ‘have it all’ sound signature, offering decent bass and Shure-style strong mids while also trying to provide a clear, biting treble. That’s quite a lot to ask of single dynamic driver earphones. Especially a set at such a modest price. Shure’s more expensive models aim for the same, but have multiple balanced armature drivers at their disposal.
One first listen, it sounds as though the Shure SE112m+ earphones might have cracked it. They have a slightly warm sound, featuring enough bass to give you that sense of thickness and power but without clogging up the sound or causing any booming at all.
They’re not quite as rich or wide-sounding as the recently reviewed Sennheiser CX 5.00, but then they don’t go too much the other way with a sound that’s overly smooth.There is a bit of a problem, however.
In order to try to compete with the chunky mids, Shure has added a localised treble spike to the SE112m+. This is meant to add a clear injection of treble, and avoid the sound becoming too warm in a cloying way.
But the issue here is that the treble becomes almost separated from the rest of the sound. It’s poorly integrated, in the same way a tweeter may not mesh with the main driver in a traditional hi-fi speaker. It also tends to make the SE112m+ earphones sound a little harsh, as the result of the treble is somewhat granular and unrefined.
At first it confuses the ears: how can a pair of earphones that in the main sound quite warm and beefy also sound a little harsh? However, it is a problem and it lets the Shure SE112m+ down.
We have to conclude that while they may seem to tick all the right boxes with some material, rivals such as the SoundMagic E50 and Sennheiser CX 5.00 provide a more consistent experience.
Should I buy the Shure SE112m+?
The Shure SE112m+ are a decent set of earphones offering good sound, as long as you’re willing to put up with a few characteristic quirks. Style-wise, they also may be a bit too bulbous for your tastes.
In general sound quality is good, balancing power, warmth and detail while having only a single dynamic driver to work with. However, the treble sounds both harsh and disjointed – it isn’t quite as tied to the rest of the sound as it should be. As such, this is a good, rather than great, pair of earphones.
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Disjointed treble upsets what is otherwise the complete package.