Shure’s in-ear headphones are small, but the audio takes a big leap forward

shure kse1200 news

It’s long been known in the world of cars, but it rings true in many tech-fueled industries: A heck of a lot of the tech inside of your Volkswagen Jetta or Honda Civic was bred on the racetrack.

In this case, Shure’s new $2,000 KSE1200 in-ear headphone system is the race car.

A recently launched headphone system that pairs purpose-built electrostatic in-ears and a special headphone amp, the KSE1200 is the latest evolution in a decade of high-tiered innovation at the audio giant and one that will have audiophiles gazing at their wallets with increased vigor.

The KSE1200 are a slimmed-down sequel to the KSE1500, a pair of headphones inside which Shure replaced the traditional piston-style dynamic drivers in headphones with a membrane suspended in a magnetic field between two electrified plates and powered by static electricity (electrostatic). Because they’re more precise than traditional dynamic drivers, electrostatic drivers give listeners shocking separation between musical components. Long admired in the audiophile realm for their incredible fidelity, the technology is also unwieldy due to high power requirements, and to shrink it down to in-ear size required serious technological innovation from Shure.

This latest version of the company’s tiny electrostatic headphones is particularly impressive in that it cuts the price by a third from the $3,000 KSE1500 to $2,000 by removing the DAC component from the original design, which puts them in line with many of the audio world’s other most-prized headsets. Such pricing should not be taken lightly; the KSE1200 mark a massive step toward economizing a technology that was available in backrooms and laboratories until just a few years ago.

“We understand what it takes to design, develop, and manufacture audio products of the highest caliber,” senior director of product management Matt Engstrom said in a press release, “With over 20 years of experience in the earphone business we can confidently say that our electrostatic earphones are the pinnacle of our achievements. The new KSE1200 system was developed for those who prefer the electrostatic sound signature using their own DAC. Like the KSE1500, the KSE1200 system produces the absolute highest level of detail and isolation available in a portable design and we are thrilled to now offer electrostatic sound at a more affordable price.”

We spent ears-on time with the original KSE1500s in 2016 and walked away floored by their ability to showcase every tiny detail in the music. We have yet to hear the new KSE1200, but we expect nothing less from the latest model. We’re looking forward to getting some time with these new headphones and also to a future that might include similar technology at less astronomical prices.

Product Review

Dolby makes the most comfortable headphones ever, and that's only the start

Dolby has taken its first step into product design with the new Dolby Dimension wireless headphones. Offering tons of features, supreme comfort, and a shocking price tag, the Dimension are a unique new take on audio in the home, and out.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

BassFit wireless in-ear headphones bring low-end fuel to your workout

V-Moda's latest headphone offering is a set of banded Bluetooth in-ears called the BassFit, a sweat-proof, ultra-secure pair of headphones that are designed to bring low-end power to your next workout.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Product Review

These AirPod look-alikes are better in every way but one

With silicone eartips, water resistance, and a more palatable price tag, Mobvoi’s Ticpods Free are impressive AirPod doppelgangers. But for all the great things they have going for them, there’s one flaw holding them back.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.