Shure's authority in music recording industry is undisputed. However, it mostly relates to their microphones. Their headphones on the other hand, are just as good. Shure SRH840 is one of the most capable studio headphones available just under $200. Today we're going to check them out and find out why.
Before we get to praising Shure SRH840 for all of its good sides, let's get the bad out of the way. Shure either isn't interested or isn't able to make attractive headphones. Chances are it is the former. SRH840 are about as bland and boring as any other all-black headphones on the market. That would be fine if you weren't asked to pay this type of money. In terms of build quality, these aren't bad at all. Everything is fairly sturdy and rigid. Padding is everywhere and snugs your head quite nicely. The only details, aside from Shure logo, that stand out are the Left and Right ear indicators. These are market red and blue respectively. If aesthetics aren't that important to you, you won't have issues with SRH840. However, if looks do matter, Shure made it pretty hard for their SRH840 to be likeable.
Underneath all that padding in each driver housing, you will find a 40mm transducer. Raw specs dictate 5Hz to 25kHz frequency response range at 102 dB/mW SPL and 44 Ohms impedance. The cable you get with the headphones is a 10 feet long unit. Speaking of cables, Shure has made it possible to lock the cable into place once plugged in. A small, but noticeable detail. One thing many are wondering is whether or not you can run these headphones on mobile devices. The answer is maybe. With 44 Ohm impedance, loss of dynamic range and clarity is always an issue. Chances are you will be fine for the most part. The padding is well made, not easy to wear out, and consistent. Those who are spending long hours in a studio will definitely appreciate this.
One aspect where Shure SRH840 excel is performance. You really do get a very refined response with plenty of transparency and minimal bias. Clarity is above average for this segment, allowing you a bit more insight into your mix. All of the imperfections you might run into are easily corrected with a soft EQ line. You are looking at small corrections, up to 5 dB up or down from zero. However, this isn't always necessary. In terms of comfort, things are good. Shure didn't invest much time into aesthetics, but they did cover the padding quite well. Instead of using small pads on the headband, they just went ahead and padded the entire thing. It's easy to see why they chose to do so, even though some similar designs have proven to be sub-bar. For studio work, Shure SRH840 are more than great.
As usual, Shure put all of their eggs into one basket with a tag ‘performance' above it. For a set of pretty bland looking headphones, these are really rocking ti. Transparency is good while there is more than enough of volume available at any given moment. Overall, a great model.