Shure’s KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System is, to the best of our knowledge, a world first. Could the KSE1500 offer a significant advantage to live musicians? Or, are they just a status trinket for champagne-swigging audiophiles? It’s time to look closely at this interesting new technology…
OK, so confession time, Shure’s KSE 1500 Electrostatic Earphones have been available now for a couple of years. Here at Gearnews we always like to bring you the latest, breaking product news. So why are we covering these super expensive IEM’s only now? Well, we think this might be the beginning of a new trend in IEMs, and we all like to read about new trends, don’t we?
KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphones
Electrostatic transducers are nothing new; the electrostatic principle has been applied to loudspeakers and headphones since the 1950s. Electrostatic transducers use a very low mass, electrostatically charged diaphragm instead of a cone attached to a moving coil. The advantages are incredible transient response, bandwidth and transparency.
So far as we’re aware, Shure is the first to put this technology into in-ear style transducers; it’s an expensive technology to manufacture and implement, though. So far it’s largely been targeted at the high-end Hi-Fi community and pretentious audiophiles; however, we can see a potential shift in Shure’s marketing.
Electrostatic earphones for live use?
Shure’s latest round of marketing features David Tench, MD of The Voice, extolling the virtues of the KSE1500 system. We wonder if this is the beginning of this technology crossing over into the live arena? A downside to the system currently is you’d need two boxes to run wireless IEMs: the IEM receiver, and the dedicated amplifier/DAC/DSP box which is part of the KSE1500 system.
Given enough market uptake, however, it’s not difficult to see an all-in-one solution appearing from Shure aimed at professional working musicians. Electrostatic IEM’s for live use? You heard it here first…
Price for the full KSE1500 system is $2999 MSRP