Cleaning Shure SE215s


Previously, I've blogged about the poor reliability of Shure canal phones, headphones, etc. I've had one set replaced at least twice because one ear would just decrease in volume enough that you couldn't hear anything. Both times, I did genuinely get a different set of SE215 with new serial numbers.

If they do this during the two year warranty period, Shure will replace them free of charge. After that time, you will be held responsible for a cleaning/replacement charge. At this point, you may well feel that you should just buy another pair, as the repair charges are probably a significant proportion of the cost of buying another pair.

I discovered a way to get a pair of Shure SE215 back from the one ear dead state, and it's very simple. This has now worked for me twice, and may be worth a try if you are experiencing this issue *and* your Shures are out of warranty.

If they're in warranty, just take them to Shure and get them replaced.


My method is an act of desperation and is only applicable where: "My earphones are dead and I can't afford a new pair of Shures, and the affordable Ultimate Ears 200vi are crap. (I really don't need to hear that much wire jiggling noise, thankyewverymuch!)"

You will need:

  • a pair of Shure earphones which have at least one ear blocked/silent;
  • Contact cleaner spray;
  • Weak Lemon Drink (or any beverage of your choice, really);
  • A sense of desperation that you are willing to risk your headphones for this experimental procedure.

Please note (DISCLAIMER) that I accept no responsibility for any damage to your Shures, computer, lungs, environs, property, chattels and demesnes. You undertake this venture at your own risk. Contents may settle in transit. No motorcycles after 3PM.

The steps to follow are as follows:

  • remove the silicon or foam tips from your headphones;
  • bring your headphones to a place where spraying contact cleaner is safe and non offensive, and where there is good drainage. Bathrooms are good;
  • spray a short burst of contact cleaner directly into the ear tubes of the headphones and immediately turn the headphones opening down to drain excess fluid out;
  • DRINK YOUR WEAK LEMON DRINK NOW! (You will need to allow some time for the alcohol in the contact cleaner to evaporate, meanwhile excess earwax or other precious bodily fluids have been melted/synthesized and sent to the NSA/FBI/KGB for analysis and long term storage.);
  • Excess alcohol in your weak lemon drink may need dissipating through fried food and carbohydrates.
  • Test your headphones for good audio in both ears.

It may take a while for all the various substances to evaporate so be patient. You may need to DRINK YOUR WEAK LEMON DRINK a second time. You should probably pour another, rather than regurgitating the first drink. however, if you have insectoid ancestry, feel free to disgregard this advice.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on September 7, 2013 11:41 PM.

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