Preliminary review: Shure SE-215 earbuds

After years of using Etymotic earbuds (first the ER-6is and then various telephone headset versions), I grew frustrated with how they always break when the cable frays at the point where it connects to the miniplug jack.

Because they have a $35 replaceable cable and sounded good in an in-store trial, I switched to the Shure SE-215s.

In terms of sound quality, I think they are very similar. Maybe a bit more bass, but the same high-fidelity rendition of all sorts of music, podcasts, and audiobooks. They are also similarly good at excluding external noise, and nearly inaudible to people beside you, even at high volumes.

The one significant downside is the weird design. The Etys definitely take getting used to, because of how deeply they sit in your ear canals. The part of the Shures that actually goes inside your ear is more comfortable, but the process of putting them in (which requires a weird half twist and putting the cable over the top of your ear) is still strange after a few weeks.

I also find that they stay in place less well than the Etys when I am walking around.

All told, I am happy with the Shures and will report on how long they last, whether I eventually get used to the insertion procedure, and anything else of note.


Attendance histogram

With a couple lost to the CUPE 3902 strike, I taught twelve sets of tutorials this year.

The histogram below shows how many students attended more than any particular number of tutorials:

Histogram of tutorial attendance, out of twelve

Any thoughts on the distribution? It looks approximately unimodal and symmetrical, with the largest number of students having attended six to nine of the twelve tutorials. Students were free to attend any tutorial they wished, but these numbers include students who missed their normal tutorial and attended an alternative one.

This histogram shows active participation in tutorials:

Histogram of tutorial participation, out of twelve

Students who contributed to the conversation either spontaneously or when prompted, or who demonstrated knowledge of the readings, were coded as ‘active’.

If I could change anything for next year, it would be to do more to shrink those first two categories in the participation chart.