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Shure SRH840 Review

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I dont have much experience with over ear headphones except for auditioning various models in shops but I have a lot of long term experience with hifi in general and also with IEM type headphones. 


My setup is : Asus Xonar D2 > Cambridge Audio Dacmagic > Nad 316BEE and I am using the NAD headphone jack (Suprisingly good btw)


When I first put these on I was a little dissapointed because they sounded rather "crispy / crunchy" and clinical if you know what I mean lol.... But after 10 hours burning them in and a few EQ adjustments they sound IMO Stunning!


The top end is very good with a huge amount of detail without ever becomming harsh.... Imo just the right amount of treble (I hate over emphasised harsh treble).... The midrange is also extremely good... very rich sounding and well balanced imo... The lower midrange seems to have been boosted which makes them very punchy and musical sounding.... Also the bass is just right.... extremely tunefull and just the right amount (with a few minor EQ tweaks).


Build quality and comfort is also good imo apart from the slightly annoying wires sticking out.... the weight doesnt bother me and I have had them on all day with no real discomfort at all. I also think they look nice... High quality and professional looking.


Overall I would definately reccomend these, for the price they are EXCELLENT value for money imo.... Initially I thought they were a bit clinical and a bit "crunchy" as I said before but from 10 hours burn in that has pretty much entirely dissapeared. Also people seem to say that they dont need an amp but playing them through my Sansa clip (not great I know lol) compared to my Nad amp is a very big difference. Overall an extremely well made, well balanced, excellent value, sweet sounding pair of headphones.

post #2 of 28



Glad you liked them, they'll grow on ya. Thanks for the review.


Very best,

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hmm after listening to these some more and comparing with other headphones such as grados, whilst the hd840 are detailed and definately not bad headphones, I found that the treble is a bit thin sounding and that overall they are not really that "fun" to listen too, also the mid/high end is a bit "scratchy" sounding IMO...


I suppose an analytical / clinical sound is what should be expected from pro monitor headphones which are designed for that purpose... Maybe good for some but personally I want a more musical pair that are more fun to listen to.

Edited by nicholars - 9/3/11 at 10:40am
post #4 of 28

They lacked the clinical touch and tunefulness for me. Can you describe what "fun" is to you and what is your reference? Also maybe explicit on your eq-settings for us to get a better view what you seek and understand your preferences...

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 


Well with my hifi I use flat eq but with these I found myself lowering the EQ at 10khz and 20khz to try and remove the scratchy, thin sounding treble.


My idea of fun is headphones that sound "nice" and smooth sounding whilst at the same time being musical and exciting to listen to like the Grado 325i but a bit less "in your face" with bigger ear cups and better bass.


I also appreciate detail and resolution and accuracy but persoally I favour "fun" sounding punchy headphones over completly neutral "flat" headphones. Ideally I would like a balance of all these things and from my research I have ordered some Denon AH D2000 as they sound like they will suit me as long as the screw dont come undone!


At the end of the day they are professional monitoring headphones.... and whilst they are clearly good for this purpose... I do not personally enjoy them as much as more "hi fi" headphones such as the grado's and hopefully the denons. 

Edited by nicholars - 9/4/11 at 7:42am
post #6 of 28

I have listened to the subject and performed a close comparison to my new German Maestro GMP 8.35 D the other day. I'm quite new  into reasonable performance headphones (and to hi-fi, for that matter), so you don't wan't to take my opinion seriously, but my impression is: SH 840 really are monitor headphones. They feel very evenly balanced in the whole sound frequency range (especially comparing to 8.35 D) and detailed, with sound being fairly wide and open (again, unlike 8.35D).

post #7 of 28

Since this is a fairly recent thread on the Shure SRH 840s, I thought I'd post my comments here rather then start a new thread. After reading what seems like 100s of posts on a pair of closed cans for under $200, I decided on the Shures. I plan on using them at home with my TT, but they'll get the most use at work where I listen to music 8 hours a day. These headphones are replacing my Sony MDR-CD 380 (I bought these like 10-15 years ago for $70 so they are by no means audiophile cans).


I received the Shures last night and literally have about 4 hours of listening in. Right now I am plugging them straight into my Zen Vision M mp3 player.


Sound: Analytical? Yes....at least what I consider analytical. The instrument separation is excellent. The detail and clarity is great. For example, you can really make out each individual hit on a drum set - things that seem blurred together on my Sonys. I also say analytical because it seems as if each instrument is equal (i.e. one instrument is not more prominent than another). Right now the highs are somewhat strident, but I'm hoping with some burn in time that they'll level out a bit. Mids are excellent and the bass is surprising good rght out of the box, but I do hope it tightens up.


I listen almost exclusively to jazz and I found a huge difference between studio and live recordings. As I mentioned above, right now they have strident highs and this is especially noticable in studio recordings. From everything I've read, I would definitely say these give a neutral sound with little or no coloring - I think some would call this boring and honestly I think so too, but after 10-15 years of one headphone it's an understatement to say I'm use to the Sony sound signature. It's going to take some getting use to. I immediately listened to 10-15 tracks that I'm currently hooked on and know really well. In both live and studio recordings I've noticed a lot more detail in the music and things I've never heard before. While I would call the studio recordings a bit boring or analytical, the live recordings were excellent! I listened to some live tracks by Brad Mehldau & Bill Charlap and was blowin away by the fun factor these live recordings provided. It took the tracks to a whole new level of enjoyment.


I am fairly new to the high end audio world (even though I consider myself buying entry level gear), so I know my review is lacking. I just wanted to provide some inital thoughts because I found these kind of posts extremely helpful when I was trying to decide on headphones. I don't really have any other audiophile-level headphones to compare these to - otherwise I would. So far, I'm really happy with them, but again I've only had 4 hours of listening. If the highs mellow out a bit, I think these will be a great set of cans. Although they're currently not as fun as my cheapie Sonys with studio recordings, I really like the level of detail the Shures provide.


I'll provide an update as I get some more hours of listening under my belt.


post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hmm yes your review reflects my thoughts on the Shure 840's exactly... Very analytical and accurate / detailed, impressively so... But after a week or so I decided to sell them and got some Denon D2000 instead... Its all down to personal preference I suppose but personally I found them too analytical / boring (they didnt make me want to nod my head or tap my feet) and also the highs annoyed me slightly, although this can be rectified with EQ...

If you find that the treble continues to annoy you and you find that they dont have enough bass and are too analytical and boring sounding then I would highly reccomend upgrading the the Denon D2000. The Shures however are impressive headphones if analytical and accurate / neutral is what you are looking for (except for the midbass hump), also very well built and good isolation. Depends what music you like and what you are looking for but personally I find the Denons to be a lot more pleasurable to listen to. Just posting this in case you decide you dont like them for the reasons you mentioned and are looking for an alternative that improves on these shortcommings.
post #9 of 28

Thanks for the recommendation Nicholars!! Right now I'm going to continue burning in the Shure's to see if the sound changes. I listened to 2 vinyl LPs today and was very impressed with the sound signautre - the highs were nowhere near as harsh as with the mp3 player, but the detail remained and it had an aspect of fun that was missing from my mp3 player. I suspect my source, the mp3 player, is just not up to par. As I burn these in, I plan to test them on a few different sources.


Personally, the headphones are enough fun (at least right now) with live jazz that I'm planning to keep them. I am planning on getting another set of cans in the next 3-4 months and will see if I can find the Denon's to test out.


Thanks again for the recommendation! I'll post an update once I get a few more hours in on these Shure's.

post #10 of 28

i had these headphones for a while and really loved their sound. the second best closed cans i have heard so far - i've not heard the d2000.

i ended up returning them for the dt250/250 which i think is one of the most balanced phones i have ever heard

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Mmm the Shures certainly aren't bad headphones it just depends what sound signature you are looking for. I use Shure IEM's and I thin they are a good brand just the 840's weren't really what I was looking for.

post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by bookaboo View Post

i had these headphones for a while and really loved their sound. the second best closed cans i have heard so far - i've not heard the d2000.

i ended up returning them for the dt250/250 which i think is one of the most balanced phones i have ever heard

In your view would you say the DT250 is better than the Shure? the part in the review where he said he had to EQ them sounds to me like they are not that good, I dont like EQing out any flaws.


post #13 of 28
Rather than create a new thread, as the other impression poster stated I thought I'd just throw my thoughts in here as well, this being the most recent SRH840 thread.

I've had my 840s just over this weekend and had several hours to listen to them in average length sessions. My signature lists what I have to compare them to.

I'm not going to pull any punches, these are hands down my favorite headphones I own. They improve upon the SRH440s in every way, they're decidedly more comfortable then any other pair I own and they sound absolutely fantastic.

They make my HFi-580s sound bloated and heavy, and my SRH440s sound anemic. My Grados compare well, but are a different beast. Overall, I kind of wish I had just sucked it up in the beginning and gone with the SRH840s to start instead of the SRH440s. Though I guess starting off lower makes me appreciate the quality of these now even more. I ended up getting them less then half retail on Amazon Used - Like New and I have no regrets. They're my go to headphone now, followed closely by my SR225s.

They have a great balance, but don't skimp on bass. The highs are delightful and the mids are there in full force. They've made anything I've listened to through them a real treat. I can't recommend them enough.
post #14 of 28
Originally Posted by pinkfloydfan View Post

In your view would you say the DT250 is better than the Shure? the part in the review where he said he had to EQ them sounds to me like they are not that good, I dont like EQing out any flaws. 


i found the dt250 to be cleaner and less bloated in the mid bass. the whole presentation was clearer and more natural. the srh840 was my favourite closed can until i tried the dt250/250


post #15 of 28

Hexidecimal - glad you are enjoying them. As my post mentioned, I received these on Friday and have had them over the weekend. Have you noticed changes as you're burned them in. I was reading another thread and numerous posters reported around 100 hours of burn in was needed. I had a busy weekend so still only have 4 hours of listening on mine, but will get another 8 today at work :-)


Just curious if you've noticed changes from right out of the box?

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