Updated on March 2nd, 2018
Shure has really been cranking out some headphones, they have been producing headphones that can easily stand up to the industry standards and take them to task.
In the last few years, receiver monsters Shure have really been putting the research and development into producing exceptional headphones.
From the closed back SRH940 to their two open-back outlines, the SRH1440 and the Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones, they have really been making waves in the industry and quickly becoming a top player to contend with.
The SRH1840s are the most expensive phones in Shure’s range, with a sticker price impressively higher than AKG’s K702, Beyer’s DT990 or Sennheiser’s HD650, however they are more reasonable than Sennheiser’s lead HD800.
I wanted to take a look at the new Shure SRH1840 to help not only myself determine if they are worth the steep investment but to help other people decide if they were for them.
I had really one main goal in mind when I decided to do this review. Given the cost of this model I wanted to see if the cost was really justifiable.
I wanted to see if Shure could convince me (a huge skeptic) that these headphones were going to change the way I heard music.
I have to say before I get started with what I found that I was in fact:
- A little biased when I started out
- Ultimately way more impressed than I expected
- Very excited to own a pair
I am not a huge fan of Shure, I can tell you that I was actually not expecting great things so I went in as a total cynic when it came to this review. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised by what I found with these headphones.
I am now the very excited owner of a pair. They work great, I have owned them for a while and use them a lot without any loss of function. They have really held up great.
Read on to learn more about my experience with these headphones.
Shure’s bundling is positively intended to give an impression of extravagance. The SRH1840s arrive in a crazy impressive, solid, dark cardboard box, which houses an impressive, cushioned, semi-hard case, alongside an extra link and set of extra ear-cups.
The links basically fit properly at the base of the ear-cups, and a firm pull will remove them, which ought to make averting any issues when you overlook you’re wearing them and get up too quickly while they are still connected.
They went together pretty easy but you did have to really push on the link to secure it firmly.
I was pretty amazed that they are stunningly lightweight and appear to be pretty durable in their build.
After wearing them for a little while I found them to be pretty comfortable and did not really notice I had them on for long, albeit, similar to the SRH940s, they had a slight propensity to load what little weight they have right on the top of the head but ultimately I found them to be overall pretty comfortable.
I was happy with the feel of the headphones and I am partial to the open back design anyway.
I liked that you could wear these headphones without much fatigue. When you are faced with 5 or 6 hours of listening in the studio comfort becomes a very important quality, almost as important as performance.
These did not disappoint in any arena. They were super comfortable for long periods and they were highly functional.
With an impedance determined at 65ω, the SRH1840s are less demanding to drive than some of the other open-back models I have reviewed.
I likewise found that, in spite of being open-back, they were shockingly responsible when it came to noise contamination of the people that were sitting around me.
For some reason you would think that open backs mean instant noise pollution but it is not the case with this model.
I spent a good deal of time listening with other people working around me, no one had anything negative to say about the sound leaking so I guess no one else heard them.
They worked out pretty well for their intended purposes as far as listening and keeping everyone else from having to hear.
All of the above information is great but what you really want to know about is the sound. How do these headphones sound?
Life changing. The sound is right on, you will instantly be able to pick up sounds you never noticed before even in tried and true tracks that you have listened to over and over again.
It is the right balance of just about everything, but be forewarned if you are all about pumping the bass that is where your love for these headphones will end.
They lose a little something at the lows, you can read more below about a comparison I did. For me that was not an issue.
The shut back Shure earphones I’ve reviewed before all have an unmistakable tonality that is really hard to miss and really hard to get past, it sort of feels like you are trying the same headphones over and over again no matter what the price point.
Until I listened to the SRH1840s I really did not think that Shure had the ability to create anything that was different from their other models.
You get a completely unbiased sound that reflects the superior engineering that have gone into this model.
I was pleased with the bass and pleasantly surprised by the sound. The mid reach is great without any exaggeration.
Maybe in light of the fact that they utilize firmly coordinated drivers, stereo imaging is likewise in the same class as I’ve gotten from other high end models that are two to three times more expensive than this model.
At the end of the day, these earphones offers every one of the qualities you’d search for in a device for investigative listening or blending, however what’s most great about them is that regardless they exhibit music in a manner that you would hope to find in studio headphones.
They offer a bright crisp sound across a wide range of genres from heavy metal to delicate sonatas.
They are great for editing purposes for both vocal and musical tracks because you can pick up sounds that you miss with other headphones.
Shure clearly dedicated themselves when it came to this model. Unlike other models that I have tested out this model takes away all the doubt that you have when you are listening about whether you caught a mixing issue or not.
The word “clarity” comes to mind when you are talking about these headphones they offer clear, concise listening opportunities for both business and pleasure. I was happy with these headphones.
Comparing Some Options
I did a little informal comparison to see if they were really worth the money or not by comparing them to the Sennheiser HD650 model and was not really too surprised by the results.
The differences were really most obvious at the low end of the spectrum. On the lows the Sennheiser offered a bit more bass but they sounded a bit too pumped up for my tastes but there was a difference that should be noted.
I was actually surprised to see that when I switched back to the Shure’s I found that there were some sounds that I could not hear on the Sennheiser’s which actually threw me for a bit of a loop because I had never noticed them before.
My little impromptu test resulted in me determining that the Shure’s actually were more responsive to me when it came to catching every single nuance, beat and word. I was impressed.
If I had to give someone advice on whether or not to make this steep purchase I would have to go with, yes if you have the cash and you want to invest in a pair of headphones that are going to change the way you hear music and voice than these are the ones to invest in.
As a professional you cannot risk your reputation to lower costing lesser performing headphones that may not showcase your talents to the fullest potential.
Shure has done a phenomenal job with these headphones and it will show in your studio work.
Anything that is going to make your studio time more productive and less “work” is a good investment. I found them to be some of the best headphones I have ever used in the studio and I think you will too. They tick all the boxes when it comes to comfort and function.
If you need high quality, clarity than you need these headphones. If you are a listening aficionado that does not want to miss a sound then you need these headphones.
If you work in the industry day in and day out and need something comfortable that is not going to lose functionality than you need these headphones.