Shure has proven to be a good choice for budget conscious producers when it comes to monitoring gear. Their SRH940 are among the most capable studio headphones you can get under $300 at the moment, and for a good reason. Today we are going to see what these cans offer.
If there is one universal truth about Shure's designs, it is that they are anything but exciting. For some, that is exactly what they are looking for, while others might not be too welcoming. That reputation follows SRH940 as well. Shure went with a combination of gray, shiny plastics and standard black vinyl. Design itself is fairly simple, consisting of swivel mounted forks and a regular single-piece headband. One are where we can definitely give Shure some praise are the pads. Believe it or not, there are still some brands in this price range that deliver their headphones with vinyl ear pads. You could even say it's 50:50 at the moment. Shure, even though lacking in other design aspects, ships SRH940 with a beautiful set of velour ear pads that do wonders in terms of comfort. At the end of the day, aesthetics definitely aren't SRH940's strong side.
Under the bland exterior hides a rather capable set of hardware. Shure did a good job with picking a set of drivers that can meet, and probably even exceed the necessary performance requirements. We are looking at two 40mm dynamic neodymium magnet drivers that offer a frequency response range of 5Hz to 30kHz at 100dB SPL. Here's the kicker. Shure SRH940 features a nominal impedance of 42 Ohms, making them a fairly good choices for anyone who has to use mobile devices from time to time. We also have a detachable cable, while Shure offers two different lengths with these headphones. There's your 10 foot coiled cable and an 8 foot straight one. When it comes to frame durability and padding, things are fairly decent. Could Shure have done things a bit more robust? Probably, however the current build isn't that bad at all.
We have already established that Shure SRH940 is not much to look at. That's no secret. With that said, they really come to shine when you plug them in and put them on. Frequency response these headphones are capable of delivering is impressively flat. We are talking plus or minus 1dB on average, with only a single spike that occurs when you reach some 6kHz. That is pretty awesome. In terms of practical use, Shure SRH940 are quite revealing even at lower volumes. What this means is that you can use them with less powerful devices and still retain that critical insight into your music. When it comes to comfort, Shure did a decent job at keeping fatigue at bay for the most part. Instead of using standard padding on the inside of the headband, they went with smaller, separate cushions which have proven to work quite well.
The only, and absolutely only downside to Shure SRH940 is the lack of refined aesthetics. If that is something you can live with, these can be a reasonably priced ticket to transparency you need. On top of that, we award SRH940 a couple cookie points for those awesome velour pads.