Shure has been a major player in the field of microphones, however their headphones are proving to be every bit as good. One model, Shure SRH1840 is considered to be the most capable set of studio headphones available under $500 right now. Join us as we take a closer look.
If you were to base your opinion about Shure's designs solely on their more affordable headphones, chances are it wouldn't be so good. Fortunately for us, Shure SRH1840 offers something completely different. On a first glance, these headphones look weird. There is something about how the forks join to the driver housings, and how the headband is set up, that simply doesn't look natural. Despite that, Shure accomplished two things here. First being an impressively light and low profile set of headphones. The other, more important one is the structural integrity. In terms of pure aesthetics, Shure SRH1840 look attractive but different. It might take some time to get used to the aesthetic, but that can be said about most headphones these days. One detail that helps in this regard are the open driver enclosures which give a decent view of the goodies inside.
Speaking of which, Shure went with two 40mm neodymium drivers that were custom voiced for this purpose. When it comes to raw specs, things are fairly regular at least on paper. You are looking at a frequency range that spans from 10Hz to 30kHz, at 96dB of SPL. Something that was really interesting about SRH1840 was the impedance rating. You generally expect to find high impedance models in this price range, yet Shure went with a rating of 65 Ohms. This is somewhere on the border of requiring a dedicated amplifier. Moving on to build quality, we can conclude that Shure has covered all of their bases. The headband is sleek, with enough padding in all the right places, while the forks are made of aircraft grade aluminum. Although Shure could have gotten away with a less rugged build, they obviously wanted to deliver a very solid product.
Performance is what really puts these apart from their competition. For starters, being an opened back set you just know that spatial definition and clarity are going to be up there. Add the excellent choice of drivers to the mix and you have a winning formula. The performance you can expect to get is full of clinical transparency, but devoid of any harshness. Highs are tight, accurate but ultimately balanced while mids feel natural. Once you move into bass frequencies, SRH1840 delivers the lows in all of their glory. Mind you, the lows we are talking about are the kind you hear, not the kind you feel. Comfort is great thanks to a very nice set of velour ear pads, but also the carefully positioned padding on the headband. As minimal as it might be, it is found right where you need it to be in order to minimize fatigue.
What it all boils down to is professional grade performance packed into a set of stylish and comfortable headphones. Shure did a wonderful job with SRH series in general, but SRH1840 takes the cake. These headphones are impressive for the money, leaving their competition with some catching up to do.