Today, we’ll be taking a look at Shure’s SRH1840 open-back studio headphones.
Having been in the industry for nearly 100 years, Shure has more than earned its reputation as a powerhouse in the realm of audio.
Having designed and produced some of the greatest gear in history, our expectations are rather high here.
Let’s see if their new headphones warrant such an extravagant price.
Our verdict on the Shure SRH1840
Unsurprisingly, the SRH1840s are a fantastic set of headphones. They’re the perfect tool for analytical listening and mixing and mastering, without ever sounding sterile or dull in their reproduction.
While they may be pricier than your average set of cans, they’re definitely worth the expense.Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon
Power and frequency response
With an impedance of 65 ohms these are far easier to drive than a great deal of headphones we’ve reviewed. You don’t really need an amp to use these, which can save you money in the short term.
They have a reported frequency response of 10 Hz – 30 kHz. Having tried several pairs of Shure headphones before, we were expecting these to have a forward midrange presence at the expense of bass. Fortunately, we were wrong in our assumption.
The low end is incredibly well-defined and superbly balanced with the overall tonality of the headphones. This heightened how detailed and full the midrange sounded, as it wasn’t bogged down or having to compete with any mud from the bass. Likewise, the high-frequency extension felt wonderful.
We would say that these are neutral and transparent, but this gives the impression that they sound flat – which they don’t.
The SRH1840s have every quality to make them the perfect tool for critical listening and mixing applications, but what’s more impressive is that they don’t sound clinical or sterile.
The SRH1840s are shockingly lightweight, yet still feel hardy and durable.
What’s even better in our book, is that these phones have detachable cables – vastly improving their longevity in the studio.
The ear cups are fairly large, and covered in a plush velour padding which feels incredibly cozy.
This along with their lightweight make them more than comfortable to endure longer running sessions.
While these shouldn’t be your headphones of choice for running and exercise (they’re far too expensive for that anyway), the SRH1840s are perfectly stable for their intended purpose.
The detachable cables also ensure that they won’t fly off your head when the cable snags on some equipment as you run around the studio.
Noise cancellation and isolation
Seeing that these are open-back headphones, they don’t do anything for noise cancellation – but they’re not supposed to anyway.
However, they are strikingly good when it comes to noise pollution. At moderate listening volumes, they can be a valid choice for working in the office.
The SRH1840s come with a hard carrying case, an 1/8″-1/4″ adapter, and two sets of audio cables. We have no complaints here, nor do we have anything to add.
Compared to other studio headphones
While these headphones are terrific, it’s always worth it to have a few more considerations before pulling out your wallet.
Here are a couple alternative options to compare and contrast.
Shure SRH1840 vs. Sennheiser HD 600
The SRH1840s are the winner here, hands down. Without getting too bogged down by the details, we’ll just say that you get what you pay for and leave it at that.
Shure SRH1840 vs. Sennheiser HD 660S
These two headphones are equal in quality, despite their differences in sound. The SRH1840s are much warmer, and offer a cleaner bass and more striking high end. The HD 660s are contrastingly clinical sounding.
For us, we prefer the Shure headphones, but either of these are worthy of your investment.
Shure SHR1840 vs. Beyerdynamic DT 1990
Again, we find that the Shures are the better option here. The Beyerdynamics felt fairly shrill to us, but to each their own. The SRH1840s are notably warmer sounding, while the DT 1990s are more “hi-fi”.
They’re both good headphones though, so don’t get caught up if your tastes bring you to Beyerdynamic.