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Shure SRH840. Impressions & it's awful headband!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A couple weeks ago, I picked up a set of SRH 840's & absolutely fell in love with their sound.  I have been searching for my ideal closed headphone & sound-wise, the 840 is it.  I will most likely be selling my AKG K550's.  Although their build quality is outstanding, I hate their fit & they are honestly quite boring.  While the 550 & 840 are both considered "reference" phones (I am using them primarily for mixing), I feel like listening with the Shure's is like listening with a microscope where the k550 is listening from the back of the theatre.  Call this soundstage, if you will, but that's what open back cans are for.  Anyway, onto the headband...
 
It's awful.  It seems quite durable, yes, but man is it heavy, uncomfortable & just flat out poorly designed!  The rubber chunk inside the vinyl is obviously stiffer than the foam, causing two pressure points at the front & rear of the band.  Another member on here took the time to adhere a sennheiser HD 650 headband pad in place of the rubber / foam / vinyl catastrophe, and I will be following his lead.  However, I will take it one step further, as I have realized another design flaw of this headband.  The spring steel section seems too long.  This makes it so that the band only touches the middle of your head & proceeds to bow out & look ridiculous before finally coming back to your ears.  If this is not the fault of the spring steel middle section, it is due to the plastic adjustment sections curving inward too soon / too sharply.  I'll have to evaluate the situation more closely once I get them all torn apart, but it seems that if the top section of the band were about an inch shorter, the sides would not be forced to bow out so far & the band would actually contact more of the top of the head.  
 
If any other 840 owners would like to weigh in with their ideas on headband mods, please let me know!  I'll update this thread with results!
post #2 of 14

Something like this?

 

Final modification applied to the headband of my SRH440. I trimmed the pleather from the stock abomination they called a headband, and stitched it to the ledges of the HD650 headband cushion. The earpads are SRH940's pads.

 

I have more pictures in my gallery, including pictures of the thing in pieces. very_evil_smiley.gif

 

The form of the HD650 cushion fixes the arc problem. The hole in the middle create an arc of smaller radius that spreads the weight over a wider surface.

 

The padding is also thinner in the middle than the rubber piece, so you have to adjust the headband smaller than it was when stock. This lowers the radius of the headband compared to stock.

 

Also, the problem isn't that the headband is too long, it's that it's mounted on the outside of the cups. Just put them on and look straight in a mirror, you'll see what I mean. The headband is stretched flat because it's farther away from your head at the cups than on the top of the head.

 

Removing the heavy, useless rubber piece and installing the HD650's pad instead will solve the issue: less weight, more padding, more contact surface and a small headband radius.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Kim-

  Yup!  JUST like that (you're the other member I was referring to in the OP).  That's great to know that installing the 650 headband will reduce the radius.  I ordered the 650 headband a couple days ago & has a 3-4 week shipping estimate rolleyes.gif  I'm super excited to get this project underway.  I already have a couple of the straight cables on their way from Amazon as well.  One to replace the coiled cable 90% of the time, the other to cut to a more portable length & solder a 3.5mm Neutrik plug onto.  I was wondering - did you notice any sonic differences switching to the velour 940 pads?  I'm really quite fond of the pleather pads but might want to try the cush eventually...

post #4 of 14

In the process of replacing the srh940 headband with a Beyer DT770/880/990 headband.
Already surgically torn up my friend's srh940, he seems rather upset seeing me help him tear up his baby... (now waiting to purchase a headband)

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I considered something like that except I used to own a set of 770's & did not like the fact that they were not at all foldable.  In fact, once I get the comfort / weight issues of the 840 resolved, I may see if there's any way to modify the swivels so I can swivel the cups flat like the 940.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by silence2-38554 View Post

Yeah, I considered something like that except I used to own a set of 770's & did not like the fact that they were not at all foldable.  In fact, once I get the comfort / weight issues of the 840 resolved, I may see if there's any way to modify the swivels so I can swivel the cups flat like the 940.

well but the thing is the headband is super prone to cracking. So he's frustrated enough that he wants a transplant. Afterall a non folding headband is better than a cracking headband.
Maybe you could add your own hinges onto the metal construction of the beyer headband.

post #7 of 14

If I remember correctly, I waited 5 months to receive the SRH940's ear pads and 3 months for the HD650's headband pad. Gotta love living in Canada. rolleyes.gif

 

OH and just to be clear; I've got the 440, not the 840. Maybe the pads on the 840 are of better quality. The 440's pads barely lasted a year.

 

For me it was not just a "sonic difference". It was being able to use the headphones again. The stock vinyl pads became so hard they were brittle. They hurt my head, and had no seal at all. In short, they were ruined and needed replacement as a fix, not as an upgrade. The velour pads were a night a day difference. Suddenly the cups sealed around my head, and I could hear music properly.

 

There may have been sonic differences between them and the stock pads, but my stock pads were in no shape to be used as a reference.

post #8 of 14

The headband in the 840 is something I will never understand, the headband for the 440 is perfect in my opinion, and I have no idea why the just did not use that one. Where can I order the HD650 pad and how easy is it to do that mod?

post #9 of 14

I had to stitch pleather and solid plastic together. Depending on your skill set, this may be the least "easy" part. Though it's not hard.. not for someone who's got experience building random stuff anyways. It just takes patience and an attention to details.

 

Building stuff is fun. =D

 

And no, the 440's headband is not perfect. It's an abomination. How can a useless solid piece of rubber used as dead weight be a perfect headband?

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Has anyone else experienced a frequency imbalance between channels in these cans?  I think I'm looking at exchanging mine with another set because the low end on the left is significantly more pronounced than on the right.  I have tried flipping the phones around on my head as well as comparing them to other headphones.  The left driver is definitely more bass heavy frown.gif

post #11 of 14

Have you tried opening them and compare? There may be a manufacturing error in the left driver. I'm thinking something like a missing foam plug or a loose tape.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Nah, since I've only had them for a couple weeks I'm just going to exchange them at guitar center.
post #13 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by silence2-38554 View Post

I was wondering - did you notice any sonic differences switching to the velour 940 pads?  I'm really quite fond of the pleather pads but might want to try the cush eventually...

 

I tried my SRH940 pads on the 840s and 440s and did NOT like the changes. They felt brighter and bass presence went even lower, very inconsistent especially on the 440s. But some might like that characteristic, I enjoyed it but not as much as stock 840s or 440s with 840 pads.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

 

OH and just to be clear; I've got the 440, not the 840. Maybe the pads on the 840 are of better quality. The 440's pads barely lasted a year.

 

Yup. The pads for SRH440 are different than the ones for SRH840s.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

 

And no, the 440's headband is not perfect. It's an abomination. How can a useless solid piece of rubber used as dead weight be a perfect headband?

 

At first I felt the headphones to weight a bit because of the headband and the cable... I guess I got used to it! ;-)

post #14 of 14

Just got my 840s today, and within 20 min. I knew I was gonna mod them. Looks nice and comfy with the 650 head padding, might be the way to go.

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