Shure — maker of yummy-sounding, somewhat-affordable headphones — introduced its new SE line, which promises to deliver beefier bass and more comfort when you stick 'em in your ears. The top of the line SE530 is a rebranding of last year's E500, but with new in-ear sleeves that should last longer. Shure has been making foam sleeves that scrunch up when you insert them, then expand to seal out the surrounding noise — kinda like earplugs. But earplugs sell by the bag for a few bucks, so you can toss them out after they start disintegrating and getting gunked up. That's rather pricy with high-end headphone sleeves. So Shure spent the past year engineering a new waterproof foam that holds up longer and can be washed with soap and water.
The $450 SE530 is the most powerful set — with a tweeter and two subwoofers in each phone. The suggestively named SE420 model ($350) is similar, but with a single woofer that should still be smokin'. Both the SE210 ($150) and SE310 ($250) lines have single drivers, but the 310 includes the Tune Port — a hole behind the diver that is also found on Shure's top-end 530 phones. By letting air in behind the driver, the Tune Port is supposed to enable beefier, better-tuned bass, says Shure.