Are the Shure SRH840 headphones comfortable enough?
Feb 7, 2011 at 9:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11


New Head-Fier
Feb 2, 2011
I need a pair of closed headphones in the office as my Shure SE530s are too cumbersome to remove and put back if someone approches me, and my open Grado SR60s are obviously too loud in this environment.
I decided to order the Shure SRH840 headphones as I am quite happy with my current Shures and I can see that the SRH840s are quite popular here, so I am hoping I will like them too. They are quite pricey in Switzerland at around $300 but that's okay.
My biggest concern: are they comfortable enough for several hours of listening? (Short hair, no glasses. I may have a little bigger than average sized ears and head but nothing special.)
Or maybe I should get some other headphones, not the SRH840. Why? I usually listen to Jazz, Electronic, Rock, Classical. As music source I use my iPad or iPhone, currently without amp.
Feb 7, 2011 at 9:50 AM Post #2 of 11
Unfortunately comfort is a subjective thing. We all have different shapes and sizes for our heads, not to mention other factors like hair or glasses. For example: I find the AKG K701 to be one of the most comfortable headphones ever. But many people find them extremely uncomfortable for various reasons. The only thing you can really do is try them for yourself.
Feb 7, 2011 at 10:45 AM Post #3 of 11
I just picked up a pair of 840's as well. They haven't arrived yet but comfort is my big question as well.  As 'project86' says though, comfort is a very individual thing. Research any headphone out there and you'll likely find that there are widely differing opinions.  The Absolute Sound review for example praised the 840 for being comfortable, but another review I found online gave it a 5/10 on comfort and said that it was by far the biggest negative attribute.
It's not a particularly satisfying answer, especially if you have to shell out full price for the phones and then don't have a good secondary market to resell if you don't like them. I think this is actually one of the things that makes this community so active - it's really easy to buy/sell used headphones here in the US through head-fi, so the risk of trying something new is very low.
FWIW, as far as I can tell the Fischer FA-003 would be the obvious alternative if you decide the Shures aren't right. I haven't heard either set, but they seem to be described as having sound signatures that are in the same ballpark as the 840's, and most folks seem to report that they're comfortable as well. They may be a bit tough to come by though since distribution is a bit limited.
Feb 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM Post #5 of 11
I guess it depends on the shape of your head but I'd also give them a 5/10. Most annoying were the coiled cable and loose feeling on my head.
Feb 11, 2011 at 5:22 AM Post #7 of 11
So yesterday I went to Jackpoint in Zürich and this very nice guy let me try out several headphones.
I liked the Shure SRH840 the most, and bought them, although they were not comfortable at all. I mean, it's fine, they fit my head, I can move my head around, but it is pushing against my head, and when I am drinking from a bottle, they want to fall from my head. Here's hoping that they get comfortable after while. It's not critical, I can have them on for several hours, but it's definitely far from comfortable. As xnor wrote it is about 5/10. Sound isolation is also not perfect for an office as you can still hear people around you if you are listening to some finer music is but it's okay.
The sound that is coming from the headphones, that's another story. That's why I could not leave them in the store. Currently I am going through my favorite music, and it's impressive. I am very satisfied. For example, how the music of Arvo Pärt sounds is really astonishing. I wonder what difference a break-in time will bring.
I will need an amp though. The iPad seems to be strong enough for most music, but I need an amp for Bach passions or Pärt's delicate music.
Mar 3, 2011 at 3:46 AM Post #8 of 11
They get better (more comfy) over time, mine I can leave on for a few hours after a few days of intermittant listening and playing in... But long ears are gonna get pinched for a while...
The sound yup... the sound is way nice... funny the Iphone 3G with lossless drove them very well, Archos 405... with 320kbps very politely, not so dynamic and bass a little less, but yes the bass ain't that clear... without the juice... Best result by a long while was my audio interface pumping and my DAC playing... completely different and much better.
Jul 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM Post #9 of 11
I find I have the same problem with the SRH840s as the Audio Technica M50s. The headband either sits on my head so hard that the top of my head hurts, or it's not sitting on my head so the earcups keep sliding down.
Jul 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM Post #10 of 11
I find I have the same problem with the SRH840s as the Audio Technica M50s. The headband either sits on my head so hard that the top of my head hurts, or it's not sitting on my head so the earcups keep sliding down.

+1. Sold both the 840's and M50s after a short period because of the headband pressure on top of my head.
I keep a shaved head most of the time though, which may be why. Many with good bed of hair I'm sure won't have the same problem.
Other than that, I did find 840's more comfortable than the M50's due to roomier, softer pads and less clamping pressure.
Jul 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM Post #11 of 11
I have 840 and I like their SQ but comfort wise they are lacking compared to beyerdynamic and Sennheiser, pleather is sweaty and they are heavy and slide around on my head. Can only wear them for about an hour at most. I had M50 too and cups are softer and bigger on 840 but M50 is lighter headphone. 840 better for bigger ears like mine but if you have smaller ears I would think M50 is better. Both use pleather though which I just don't like compared to velour for comfort.

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