Shure KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphones
The premium KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphone System is an electrostatic earphone and amplifier system for use in‐line with portable media players.
These single‐driver electrostatic Sound Isolating™ earphones provide an astounding level of clarity and detail for the most discerning audio aficionados.
The KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphone System is a premium Sound Isolating electrostatic earphone system for use in‐line with portable media players. Featuring a pair of single‐driver electrostatic Sound Isolating™ earphones and matched, high voltage amplifier. The input stage of the System is designed for seamless integration with premium audio players common in today’s high quality portable audio market.
Providing an unrivaled level of clarity and detail, the KSE1200 system brings the award winning performance of Shure’s electrostatic technology into a more compact, efficient, and affordable solution.
Both the Shure KSE1500 and KSE1200 systems make portable high fidelity audio a reality.
Built for those who want to experience the best possible sound without sacrificing mobility, the KSE1200 is designed for seamless integration with portable media players common in today’s high-quality audio market. The new model is based on the KSE1500—the world’s-first Sound Isolating™ electrostatic earphone system previously released by Shure—and continues the Company’s commitment to innovation in today’s ever-changing portable listening market.
Audiophiles everywhere have enjoyed the incomparable listening experience of the KSE1500 since its introduction three years ago. The KSE1200 system leverages the unmatched performance and technology of the KSE1500, but bypasses the DSP and digital inputs already built into many of today’s high-quality players. The result is an even more compact, efficient and affordable solution achieved by the circuitry in the electrostatic portion the amplifier. Providing the most transparent listening experience available from today’s portable players, the KSE1200 offers high-fidelity listening where portability is a requirement (e.g., critical listening, business travel, and within streaming environments via a computer, smartphone or tablet).
“We understand what it takes to design, develop, and manufacture audio products of the highest caliber. With over 20 years of experience in the earphone business we can confidently say that our electrostatic earphones are the pinnacle of our achievements,” said Matt Engstrom, Senior Category Director, Product Management at Shure. “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.”
The KSE1200 is the result of Shure’s decades of research and design experience in Sound Isolating Earphone development. The benefits of technological excellence and sound quality are enhanced with comfort, and the new earphone system boasts the same sleek and incredibly comfortable fit that Shure customers have come to expect from its SE Earphone line. A fit kit, including a selection of earphone sleeves, is included for secure and comfortable listening.
KSE1200 Analog Electrostatic Amplifier Specs
- Single‐driver electrostatic Sound Isolating™ technology
- Includes Micro B charging cable
- Seamless integration with premium audio players
- delivers a constant 200V DC Bias and +/‐ 200V signal
- 4‐band Parametric (available only when used in conjunction with ShurePlus™ Play App, due Summer 2018)
- Analog signal path via standard 1/8” (3.5 mm) “Line In” input/switch for pure analog audio
- Control functions with LED detecting input level and main power/volume knob
- Integrated USB rechargeable battery can conveniently charge from standard USB wall charger or computer (Battery life of up to 12 hours)
- Premium Shure construction featuring an elegantly machined black aluminium housing, manufactured to exacting Shure quality standards
- 2 Year Limited Warranty (Warranty Information | Service & Repair)
I’m listening, thanks to friends at Moon Audio, to the Chord Electronics Hugo 2 DAC between my iPad Pro with Tidal streaming via a Silver Dragon cable to Apple CCK adapter (between the Hugo 2 and the iPad), Blue Dragon cables from Hugo 2 out to Shure’s new soulful in-ear-monitors (IEMs).
I like how Shure’s universal IEMs wrap behind the ear and then twist into my ear. Their choke can be moved to allow more or less line to the IEMs. The connection between ear and Shure's flute is so good I don’t use the choke much. As with any IEM, the sound quality is intimately related to fit. Shure’s KSE1200’s fit great especially given their usual gaggle of nipples for fit modification.
I’m using Miles to mellow out. I started listening to Shure's electrostatic wonders with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Bowie’s 1973 masterpiece #35 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums never sounded more immediate, full, and resonate. Sound quality credit needs to be shared with Chord’s Hugo 2 (about to write a review there too) and Moon Audios cables, but the quick, sure, muscular, and the full sound arrives in my ears thanks to Shure’s SE1200s.
How Shure can create an electrostatic IEM is technically beyond me, but I’m fully spoiled now. I’ve owned just about every Shure IEM, and can’t imagine going backward. The 425s sounded great then but they would feel thin and incomplete now. After Ziggy and the Spiders, I listened to Walk on the Wild Side from Lou Reed’s 1972 Transformer album not realizing Bowie produced arguably Reed’s best album.
I’ve never heard backup vocals on Walk on the Wild Side via the Thunderthighs sound so clean, fresh, and supportive. “And the colored girls go,
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo…..” has never sounded so good. Those London backup vocalists created an irresistible hook for Reed’s Warhol Superstar melancholy. When listening to new audio gear old tracks I've heard thousands of times help tease strengths and weakness.
I’ve heard Transformer’s Walk on the Wild Side backup vocals through hundreds of turntables, amps, preamplifiers, and speakers. The Shure KSE1200s ability to melt away, their creation of a large soundstage, and addictive lyrical, clear sound in the ranges I LOVE (mid to high) make Miles’ Freddie the Freeloader soulful, bluesy, and an aggressive walk with Chamber’s double bass. When Freddie (Miles) shows up his horn moans, cries, and wanders. Cannonball Adderley's saxophone ups the soulful moan moving Miles’ tempo and sound almost screaming his rejoiner.
I’ve never heard the conversation between Miles’ trumpet and Adderley’s saxophone so clearly. Whose fingers have more magic? Miles of course, but there is plenty of magic to go around.