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Shure AONIC 3, 4, 5 In-Ear Headphones Demystified

Which new Shure AONIC in-ear headphone is right for you?

Shure AONIC 215, 3, 4, 5 In-ear Headphones

New Products Explained

Shure just announced three new in-ear headphones named the AONIC 3, AONIC 4 and AONIC 5. They join the existing AONIC lineup that already includes the AONIC 215 in-ear headphones and AONIC 50 over-ear wireless noise cancelling headphones released earlier this year (April 2020).

Since Shure already had been offering “SE” earphones for musicians and audiophiles, we were a bit confused by the new AONIC naming/numbering. So we asked the folks at Shure to explain what differentiates the AONIC series. Here’s what we learned:

1) Does each use the same driver from any other model?

Each of the AONIC 3, 4, and 5 models have very different driver designs. The acoustics for all three models were designed from the ground up. The Hybrid design is the most radically different, as it combines a balanced armature and dynamic driver. The AONIC 3 and AONIC 5 use balanced armature drivers (single and triple drivers, respectively), with customized venting and acoustic path tuning to achieve the right balance. The AONIC 5 includes three interchangeable filters to customize the sound signature, which is a technology we originally developed for the SE846 earphone.

2) Do they replace any previous models?


  • SE215 renamed as: AONIC 215
  • SE315 replaced by: AONIC 3
  • SE425 replaced by: AONIC 4
  • SE535 replaced by: AONIC 5

However, we will continue to produce the SE425 and SE535 clear earphones with a professional cable (no microphone or in-line volume/call controls) to support our professional customers who use the earphones for in-ear monitoring. These sound signatures are proven and very well-known by engineers and musicians, and we will continue to support those customers. 

3) What’s unique about AONIC line as compared to other “SE” models? 

Design: The AONIC earphones were designed with a premium look and feel on the outside, while also proudly showing the technology and precision manufacturing inside. The AONIC 3 is the smallest earphone we make, which is great for folks who prefer really compact earphones, especially if you have smaller ears. The AONIC 4 and 5 employ two-tone designs which feature a variety of colors on the outer half, with a clear inner half to see all the drivers and miniature components. Our manufacturing standards are extremely high, and being able to see inside gives listeners confidence about what is going in their ears. 

Sound: The AONIC 3 delivers a very detailed and natural sound signature, so it’s great for listeners who prefer a more accurate listening experience. It delivers studio-quality sound at an affordable price point. The AONIC 4 is the first hybrid driver earphone Shure has ever made, and it takes advantage of the best characteristics from each driver type – using a dynamic driver to deliver strong, punchy bass, and a balanced armature driver to reproduce clean, articulate highs. It’s pretty flattering on any style of music, while still maintaining a very natural sound quality. The AONIC 5 offers a unique way for listeners to adjust the sound signature by swapping out the nozzles that contain different acoustic filters. Depending on individual preference, you can select a balanced, bright, or warm listening experience. 

An important thing that the AONIC line has in common with the SE line is the use of detachable connectors. This means you can easily switch between a cable and wireless connection, by using the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit adapter. This not only adds convenience and versatility, but it also protects your investment — the earphones are built to last for years and years, so as wireless technology changes, we’ll continue developing cutting-edge solutions to match advancements in phone and portable listening technology.

4) Are all AONICs wirelessly compatible/interchangeable with adapter?

Yes, all AONIC earphones are interchangeable with the adapter.

5) What brand/models does AONIC outclass? 

We have a high level of respect for other audio brands with the same goals as us – to bring amazing audio quality to people who love music and appreciate the finer details. We have over 95 years of experience designing and manufacturing some of the world’s most reliable professional audio products, and a state-of-the-art acoustics lab run by highly skilled and creative engineers. Our manufacturing is approached with strict adherence to high quality standards. The AONIC earphone lineup certainly reflects that attention to detail in every aspect of the design.

6) What is the intended customer profile for each AONIC model?

For the music lover and general consumer:

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The AONIC 215 Sound Isolating™ Earphones deliver clear sound and deep bass with an integrated remote + mic for seamless communication. Breakthrough Sound Isolating design keeps earphones in and noise out, providing incredibly immersive audio no matter where you are. Turn your workday into a concert and your workout into the discovery of new musical dimensions.

Engineered from decades of experience supporting music legends, the AONIC 3 Sound Isolating™ Earphones feature striking full-range sound in the smallest earphone design from Shure. Experience comfort and immersive audio wherever you go while hearing music the way it was meant to be heard.

For the music lover and audiophile:

The first dual-driver hybrid earphone from Shure, the AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphone features warm, detailed sound through a combination dynamic and balanced armature design and unique acoustic pathway. Experience comfort and immersive audio wherever you go.

The AONIC 5 Sound Isolating Earphones feature spacious, remarkable sound with clean, natural bass through three high-definition balanced armature drivers. Experience comfort and immersive, customizable audio with selectable frequency response. Available in three unique colors.

7) Regarding quality is this the correct order from low to high, AONIC 215, 3, 4, 5?

The price increases as you move up along the line with AONIC 215 being the most accessible price point to AONIC 5 being an investment.

8) Is a higher priced/quality AONIC model expected this year?

All products are currently available on

Price & Availability

  • AONIC 215 – $99
  • AONIC 215 True Wireless – $229
  • AONIC 3 – $199
  • AONIC 4 – $299
  • AONIC 5 – $499
  • Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter – $179

See more reviews and news about headphones.

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