Shure it’s here… The Aonic 215 that is.

First shown off at various tech shows earlier this year like NAMM and CES, Shure’s new line of true wireless ear candy, the Aonic are now available for purchase. And for those of us who already own a pair of Shure IEMs you can thankfully order the Secure Fit Adapter which is the wireless attachment separately.

As I said before when I first saw the Aonic, I’m very interested in these because the current crop of wireless earphones and adapters outside of being very convenient aren’t that great in the sound department. I don’t think I’m asking for much just better sound quality. So let’s see what Shure has done.

Although the Aonic 215 is what I ordered (the Secure Fit Adapter wasn’t available just yet) I’m only interested in the adapters because not only will they work with any SE earphone with MMCX connection points but that’s also where all the tech is. The included 215 earphones are the same as the wired version so they will sound the same when using a wired connection. Personally, I don’t care for the sound of the 215 as I prefer a more accurate, wider and less colored sound stage which those just don’t produce and also why I’ve never owned a pair. Therefore, from this point on it’s all about the sound and the wireless connection of the Secure Fit Adapter.

The Secure Fit Adapter is Shure’s third attempt at offering a wireless option for their SE line of earphones and I’d argue this is their first truly Shure designed adapter period. The first two were more like after thoughts rather than an adapter actually worthy of being used with the SE line. The Secure Fit Adapter is a custom designed attachment that works with all their SE earphones that use the MMCX connector. It uses Bluetooth 5.0, supports aptX, SBC, and ACC file formats, has a “premium” headphone amplifier, an environmental control function to hear your surroundings better without taking them off and the ability to make and receive phone calls. All the basic features of what should make a good set of wireless earphones.


Shure Secure Fit Adapter
Shure Secure Fit Adapter

The physical design of the Secure Fit Adapter is well thought-out to not only make them comfortable but functional by placing everything behind the lower portion of the ear. While this may look a bit odd at first it keeps things more in line with using a wired connection which hangs behind the ear in the same way. Wearing them also makes you realize at how well balanced it is and how the button placement makes more sense. Pressing the buttons may take a bit of getting use to but it’s much better than tapping the portion of the earphone that’s actually in your ear.

AptX, SBC, and ACC are the only file formats supported by the adapters out of the box. To listen to high-resolution and uncompressed audio files you have to use the ShurePlus PLAY app for iOS and Android. From there you can create playlists (no importing), and adjust both the EQ and environment controls. Unfortunately, the EQ settings along with the amp controls only work as long as you are listening to music from within the app while the environmental setting do carry over.

While Bluetooth in of itself isn’t an issue; how each company implements and tweaks it for a consistent audio connection is what makes a difference in having a good audio experience since bluetooth isn’t that great at it on its own. The Bluetooth connection of the Secure Fit Adapter is a give and take. In general I had no problems making or maintaining a connection but it occasionally and at random it would disconnect and usually just from the left ear. This would happen whether or not I was walking away from my connected device and my location at the time didn’t seem to matter either. If it didn’t completely lose connection it would just reconnect like any other true wireless earphones I’ve tried but if it didn’t I’d have to turn it off and on again in order for it to reconnect. This wasn’t the worst wireless experience I’ve had but it wasn’t the best either. In comparison the Apple AirPods seem to be the best at handling wireless interference as I can probably count on one hand the amount of times they completely lost connection and I’ve had to reconnect them over the past 2+ years.

Secure Fit Adapter & SE846

As far as sound quality goes, I’m unimpressed. To give a bit of perspective, I also have their previous Bluetooth adapter (RMCE-BT2) that came with the SE846 which is what I’m using as a comparison. While I never shared my thoughts on the BT2 you can also apply what I’m going to say about the Secure Fit Adapter to those because out the box both sound exactly the same. First off these don’t get loud. I’d never tell anyone to turn the volume all the way up or that loudness is an indication of good sound but these are capable of neither. The mere fact that I can max out the volume without it bothering my ears (for most songs) or ruining the earphone itself is not a good sign because in the case of the SE846 it also means it can’t drive these earbuds properly at all. There’s no punch in the bass, along with the entire sound stage being held back as if it is being muffled. This is exactly why I stopped using the BT2 even though it was very convenient to use. It simply nullified the reason I bought the SE846 in the first place. The only time the sound was decent was when I’m running as I listen to podcasts and not music when I workout. That being said while they aren’t rated as water proof or water resistant they did seem to hold up well during two 5 mile runs. Although, I can’t say what the long term affects of constant exposure to that particular type circumstance would be, my suggestion would be to keep them as dry as possible.

Case with SE846 & Secure Fit Adapter

Included in the box is a charging case, a USB-C to USB-A cable, the standard array of ear tips and an earphone cleaning tool. The case is large compared to some other wireless charging cases of this type but no larger than the standard accessory case Shure includes with all their earphones, just that this one is circular. The case will hold the adapters with the earphones attached and charge them up to 3 times. And unlike other some other manufacturers this case uses USB-C instead of micro-USB. And if you need to carry the cable with you fret not as it will fit in the case along with the earphones with no problem.

Secure Fit Adapter USB-C charging port

Wrapping this up my final thoughts are this. Bluetooth is still the major constraint that plagues high-end earphones. Its limited bandwidth makes it difficult for earphones to produce their stated sound signature. While Shure did a good job of designing the Secure Fit Adapter they didn’t go far enough in the sound department. Supporting only three codecs and having to use an application to apply EQ settings that don’t carry over outside of the app is a disservice to not only the user but Shure itself. And while I fully understand the limitations of Bluetooth it’s a bit bewildering that they settled at such a low bar in sound quality and functionality. I didn’t discuss call quality but suffice it to that it is horrible and only works through the right ear. I don’t know why but again another unexplainable choice. And while I used the SE846 and an iPhone to test them I did try out the included 215 just once and with a laptop to make sure it wasn’t my ears playing tricks or that I was being biased towards the SE846. So since the results were the same I can’t imagine these sounding good with any of the SE earphones no matter what they are connected to.

I was debating about keeping these for a future review of the next version of these because I can’t see how Shure would not fix these issues. Ironically, as I was trying to gather my thoughts to finish writing this because I’ve had these for about a month, Shure started sending out emails saying this:

“Thank you for trusting Shure and for recently acquiring the Shure AONIC 215 True Wireless Sound Isolating™ Earphones. For almost 95 years, Shure has been striving to be the most trusted audio brand worldwide on stage and in studios. Ensuring outstanding quality in all our products is a key part of who we are, and we pride ourselves in delivering extraordinary audio experience. Part of putting quality first means doing the right thing, and making sure you have a great experience with us. Unfortunately, the AONIC 215 Earphones you recently purchased do not represent our quality standards. Don’t worry, we got you. You can easily return the following products through this return program.”

Since this isn’t a safety issue I hope that this means they know this version of the Secure Fit Adapters do not sound good and that they will fix the problems quickly. The email goes onto say how to return them and they are also offering a gift card. It bothers me that they let these out the door knowing it wasn’t up to their own standards but at least they are admitting to it and offering free returns. Although, what they should do is to simply give purchasers their money back because these will only end up in a landfill anyway.

It’s unfortunate that I have to say this because I do like how they are designed. They also fit well with my only change to the physical design would be to make the loop about 5mm bigger as the tolerances are tight and I don’t have large ears. But obviously, don’t buy these as you will be upset. If you read any reviews about how these sound good (and I know they’re out there because I’ve read a few) please ignore them. People are either not being honest or simply don’t want to say anything bad about the product or company. I like Shure earphones but they need to go back to the drawing board for this one. Hopefully, the next ones will be of the quality we expect and deserve from them.


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