I'm a big fan of "In Ear", sound-isolating headphones. I've previously owned the Etymotics ER-6, and Shure SE210, SE310, and SE530. All of these headphones have amazing sound reproduction, but the fragile part of any pair of headphone is the cable itself. Both Etymotics and Shure have pretty decent warranty, but replacing the cable outside of the warranty is nearly as expensive as buying a new pair of headphones. While My SE310's are still in good shape, all the others needed cable replacements, received at least one replacement under warranty, and are now "out of service".
The Shure SE315 continue are true to the Shure branding and are marvelous headphones. After using them for about a day, it appears Shure has solved almost every issue with their previous headphones.
- They're Shure headphones, so they sound great and come with lots of different tips for nearly any preference.
- The in-ear comfort is exactly the same has previous Shure entries. If you've owned Shure before, you know what you are getting into for fit.
- The replaceable cable is something that was SORELY needed. Nothing is worse than paying $200+ on a pair of headphones and having the cord break out of warranty and have it cost nearly the original purchase price to have them replaced by Shure. Now, just replace the cable with a new $50 cable. Admittedly, $50 isn't cheap, but that's a lot less than it would have been with previous Shure headphones. Replacing the entire cable is SUPER easy.
- The body of the headphone itself is angled better than with previous models, so they are more flush to your ear. They should work better with earmufs, ear on a pillow, etc.
- The "over the ear" part of the cable is now covered in a thin foam(-like) sheath, so hopefully less cord breakage should occur around the ear, which seems to have plagued previous Shure headphones.
- The 1/8" jack now seems sturdier than previous models and is angled, so it should last longer.
- Yup, they're Shure. Yup, they're expensive.
- I loved that on my previous Shure headphones that the cord split in the MIDDLE, so if the part of the cord that connected to the 1/8" jack needed to be replaced, it was a pretty cheap replacement. Also, if the cord gets jerked away (caught on something), it just disconnected in the middle. This feature is gone. The cord is one single piece like with other headphones.
- The 1/8" jack itself, while beefy and angled (both great features) is REALLY fat - about 1 cm wide. If you don't use a case (like I do for my iPhone), you'll be fine, but if you do use a case, I think there is an excellent chance you won't be able to plug in the headphones unless you ream the case hole wider (which is what did, using a knife), get a case with a huge headphone jack hole, or stop using a case (not an option for me).
The SE315's are three steps forward (yay replaceable cable) and one step back (huge headphone jack and a single piece cable instead of a split cable design). I do intend to get the "CBL-M+-K" for the iPhone mic and music controls and maybe that will have a more svelte 1/8" jack.
Overall, I'd mark the SE315's a 4.5/5.