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Shure SRH1840 review

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the SRH1840 premium 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, so my expectations are rather high here. Let’s see if these headphones warrant such an extravagant price.

About the author

I’m a producer, audio engineer, and songwriter with a decade’s worth of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I have worked with and tested a huge variety of headphones, including Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Sony, and Audio-Technica, among others.

testing the Shure SRH1840 studio headphones
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Shure SRH1840 4.7

Unsurprisingly, the SRH1840 are a fantastic set of studio headphones. They’re the perfect tool for mixing and mastering and analytical listening 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.

What I like

  • Neutral and transparent.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • High-quality build.

What I don’t like

  • Not the most affordable.
Buy Shure SRH1840 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Power and frequency response 4.7

With an impedance of 65 ohms these are far easier to drive than a great deal of headphones I’ve tested. 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, I was expecting these to have a forward midrange presence at the expense of bass. Fortunately, I was wrong in my 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.

I would say that these are neutral and transparent, but this gives the impression that they sound flat, which they don’t.

The SRH1840 have every quality to make them the perfect headphones for mixing and critical listening, but what’s more impressive is that they don’t sound clinical or sterile.

Build quality 5.0

The SRH1840 headphones are shockingly lightweight, yet still feel hardy and durable. What’s even better in my book, is that these phones have detachable cables, vastly improving their longevity in the studio.

Shure SRH1840 headphones closeup
Image: Higher Hz

Comfortability 4.9

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.

Stability 3.8

While these shouldn’t be your headphones of choice for running and exercise (they’re far too expensive for that anyway), the SRH1840 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 2.0

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.

Accessories 5.0

The SRH1840 headphones come with a hard carrying case, a 1/8 to 1/4-inch adapter, and two sets of audio cables. I have no complaints here, nor do I have anything to add.

Shure SRH1840 headphones with cables
Image: Higher Hz

Compared to other studio headphones

While these Shure headphones are a terrific choice for music production, it’s always worth it to have a few more considerations before pulling out your wallet. Here are a couple of alternative options to compare and contrast.

Shure SRH1840 vs Sennheiser HD 600

The SRH1840 are the winner here, hands down. Without getting too bogged down by the details, I’ll just say that you get what you pay for and leave it at that.

Shure SRH1840 vs Sennheiser HD 660 S

These two headphones are equal in quality, despite their differences in sound. The SRH1840 are much warmer, and offer a cleaner bass and more striking high end. The HD 660 S are contrastingly clinical-sounding.

For me, I prefer the Shure headphones, but either of these are worthy of your investment.

Shure SRH1840 vs Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Again, I find that the Shures are the better option here. The Beyerdynamics felt fairly shrill to me, but to each their own. The SRH1840 are notably warmer-sounding, while the DT 1990 Pro are more “hi-fi”.

They’re both good headphones though, so don’t get caught up if your tastes bring you to Beyerdynamic.

Who are the Shure SRH1840 headphones best suited for?

The Shure SRH1840 open-back headphones are the perfect choice for everyone looking for a great pair of cans for mixing and mastering.

Buy Shure SRH1840 at: SweetwaterAmazon