In this review, I’ll be looking at the Shure SRH440 closed-back headphones. These are an incredibly popular choice for starter headphones, so let’s take a look and see why.
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Final verdict on the Shure SRH440
While there are quite a number of headphones out there that can outperform the Shures, the SRH440 come through with a wonderfully affordable price of $100 and a decently accurate sound quality.
What I like
- Neutral sound.
- Detailed imaging.
What I don’t like
- Lacks bass.
- Harsh high end.
Power and frequency response
On paper, the Shure SRH440 has a frequency response of 10 Hz – 22 kHz. However, the reality of its performance requires a more nuanced analysis.
For one, there is a substantial drop-off starting at around 60 Hz. The response is fairly neutral from this point on, until quickly dropping off again at 15 kHz.
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that these headphones are not meant for casual listening. You won’t be getting much sub-bass, nor will you be getting any sparkly high end information out of these.
However, the midrange remains neutral and accurate. Detail is excellent, and perhaps too excellent. Upon testing, I was able to catch on to subtle issues even on professionally mixed and mastered tracks.
Overall, these are best for professional monitoring. Casual listeners would fare better with different headphones.
These headphones are rather chunky, and while the general design is more than adequate for most purposes, the material has quite a bit of give to it.
Longevity might prove to be an issue here, but again, for $100 what more can you expect. These are budget headphones, and their ability to last wasn’t the highest priority on Shure’s checklist.
The Shure SRH440s are quite comfortable with all things considered. The earcups are made of vinyl which isn’t the greatest, but are replaceable and can easily be swapped out with SRH840 pads which feel far nicer.
While I can’t recommend these headphones for sport, the SRH440 are perfectly stable for casual listening and monitoring. Just be wary of running or working out with them, they may fly off.
Noise cancellation and isolation
As far as noise cancellation is concerned, the Shure SRH440 do a fairly decent job. While not the best I’ve heard, I can easily recommend using them on your commute or work environments.
Upon purchasing the Shure SRH440, you’ll also receive a carrying pouch, a coiled cable, and a 1/8 to 1/4-inch adapter. This is about everything you’ll need to get started.
Compared to other studio headphones
While the Shure SRH440 truly are some of the best options under $100, for those of you looking for cheap studio cans, here are some alternatives to consider.
Shure SRH440 vs Sony MDR-7506
These are some of the most ubiquitous headphones in the recording world. I can’t say they’re better than the Shures, nor can I necessarily say that they’re worse. Both are great starter options.
Shure SRH440 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
While the ATH-M40x has far more bass response, I find it a bit exaggerated for serious use. The Shures are ultimately more comfortable, and are more accurate for critical listening.
Who are the Shure SRH440 studio headphones best suited for?
Overall, the Shure SRH440 are a great pair of budget studio headphones, best suited for novice producers.