Shure SRH440 Review
May 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

ostewart

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Heres my review of the Shure SRH440 that i recently bought, i know they are fairly old, but i felt like i should review them.
I am by no means an audiophile, I love my music and I like to enjoy it through good headphones and speakers.
 
All opinions expressed are my own, and this is a subjective review, so others may not agree with me.
 
they have had more than 50 hours burn-in, no real difference was noted.
 
Gear used:
 
iPod Classic 7G 160gb (rockboxed) > Shure SRH440
 
iPod Classic 7G 160gb (rockboxed) > Modded Fiio L3 > Fiio E11 > Shure SRH440
 

 
Transducer type
Dynamic neodymium magnet 
Driver size
40 mm 
Sensitivity (1kHz)
105 dB 
Impedance (1kHz)
44 Ω 
Max. input power (1kHz)
500 mW 
Frequency range
10 Hz - 22 kHz 


Net weight (without cable)
0.6 lb (181 g) 
Length of cable
3 meters (9.84 ft) 
Type of cable
Detachable coiled oxygen-free copper 
Plug
Gold-plated 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo mini jack
 
Pros:
Balanced sound
Detachable cable
 
Cons:
Comfort (fixable)



 
Build Quality, Comfort + Accessories:
 
These things are built to last, they mostly plastic, but the quality of the plastic is very good, the headband has a pleather feel to it but it does not have any proper padding. the cups are big enough for most ears, the pads are slightly hard and are a bit shallow so my ears were pressed against the cloth against the driver. the pads are replaceable, and most get the SRH840 pads as they are memory foam and more comfortable.
the plastic cups feel strong and the plate that says Shure is metal, a nice touch.
The cable is single entry, coiled, detachable and 3m long, it clips in place via a 2.5mm jack. i think having a detachable cable is a great idea as it is usually the first part to break, but the strain reliefs are good quality and feel strong
the only part that worries some are the cables coming out of the cups that are exposed, but they wont be a problem unless they catch on something.
The hinges are metal, but the extender arms are all plastic, the folding mechanism is very nice, and they fold to a fairly small size, so they are actually good as portable headphones. i use them every day on the bus, and the isolation is good for closed full-size headphones, they dont leak at all.
Right and left are written on the hinges, and right is red, left is blue.
 
These are a bit uncomfortable as most have said, the top of the headband puts a bit to much pressure on the top of your head, and the earpads are a bit to shallow. as you can see i have put some foam on the headband (awaiting the arrival of my HD600 headband pad) and i put some cable under the pads to make them slightly higher (now they dont press on my ears and i can wear them for 3+hours.
 
they come with a pleather carry pouch and a threaded 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter.
 

 
 
Sound:
 
Bass:
 
Bassheads need not apply, these are marketed as studio headphones, and have a fairly neutral frequency response.
the bass is not big in quantity but is really qreat in quality. it is tight and fast with very good extension, i can easily hear 20hz tone with these, and even with dubstep i can hear every note. the bass is very articulate and there is air between the kick drums and bass guitars. i do not find these bass light like some people do.
 
Mids:
 
Shure are well known for presenting mids very well, and these are no exception.
The portrayal of the mids is perfect on these for my liking, i hate recessed mids, and these are the right balance. not too in your face but not far back, they hit the sweet spot. guitars sound crisp and detailed, vocals sound smooth but with great detail, sibilance is dealt with fairly well, if the recording is bad and sibilant then these will show it. female vocals sound so right with these, the bass does not bleed in to the mids, and what your are left with are perfectly balanced, crystal clear mids. vocals do not sound thin.
 
Highs:
 
These have a boost in the 10Khz region, and you can detect it. Cymbals crash as they should, and they have enough detail and sparkle, but the problem is that they dont extend very well. i hear people calling these bright, but i do not find that the case. i would go as far as saying they have a slightly warm sound signature. my Superlux HD668B extend and shimmer better in the highs, i still prefer the highs of the Superlux. these just sound a little dull in the highs, im guessing it is to avoid them sounding overly bright with modern recordings.
 
Soundstage, Instrument Separation and Imaging:
 
The soundstage is fairly average, slightly wider than normal in a closed headphones, but nothing compared to Beyerdynamic DT770 pro, there is more depth than width.
instrument separation is excellent, you can hear all of the layers clearly, i love them for being like this.
imaging is just amazing, you may not get a huge soundstage but the imaging is the best i have heard. it never feels detached (like separate sides) you can pinpoint where each instrument is and the panning is just so well done.
 
 

 
Conclusion:
 
Warning: very unforgiving of badly recorded music.
Slighly warm soundsig, but very balanced. the timbre is spot on, nothing every sounds fake or mettalic. very good detail, very good mids and imaging. if your looking for a good allround headphones these are perfect.
i find these even handle Classical music very well, the soundstage may not be huge but the instruments just sound right.
These work very well with jazz, and acoustic.
 
Amped?
 
yes these can be driven fine with a portable device, but i do prefer them amped, the bass tightens, and it just feels overall more controlled.
 

 
Tracks used:
 
Diana Krall - The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
 
Deolinda - Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live no coliseu dos recreios, lisboa) (ALAC)
 
Funeral For A Friend - Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
 
DeadMau5 + Kaskade - I Remember (caspa remix) (320Kbps MP3)
 
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons Spring Allegro (ALAC)
 
A Hero A Fake - Swallowed By The Sea (320kbps MP3)
 
Black Uhuru - Utterance (ALAC)
 
The Scene Aesthetic - Beauty In The Breakdown (320kbps MP3)
 
Eminem - When I'm Gone (ALAC)
 
Eat Static - Survivors (ALAC)
 

 
Hope you enjoyed
 
Oscar
 
May 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM Post #2 of 16

manveru

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Nice review. Odd about your findings with the bass though. I found that extension pretty much stopped at 40Hz. Jazz was unlistenable for me because the tone of the double bass and the lower notes just got lost.
 
May 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM Post #3 of 16

ostewart

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Thanks for the comment, im listening to Diana Krall now, and I can hear every double bass note.. Strange.
Im not a bass head, and these are perfect for me.
The bass is very accurate and tight, but not loud.
 
May 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM Post #4 of 16

manveru

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Sure, but there's a difference between "hearing" it and "hearing" it, if you know what I mean. I'm not really a basshead either, but I suppose I am a sub-bass fiend. 
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May 26, 2012 at 1:24 AM Post #7 of 16

ostewart

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HD600 headband pad arrived, much more comfy, all I need now is to get the 840 pads,
Also I managed to get these for £4.40 as I had a £50 voucher from amp3.co.uk and there was an open box pair for cheap. All I paid was shipping. Best bargain ever.
I cant wait to get the Soundmagic HP100 that was sent last week.
Thanks for all the comments, keep em coming
 
Jun 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM Post #8 of 16

ostewart

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little mod update: a tiny bit more bass, but i just found them to sound more neutral. i didnt need them to have more bass, as i found them fine as they were, but empty cups? why?! so i got some adhesive window sealing foam and damped the cups, plus a lil blu-tak to the back of the driver, then i liberated the driver a bit (punched 2 more holes in the back of the driver), here are the photos:
 

 

 
Try this and tell me what you think
 
Oscar
 
Jun 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM Post #9 of 16

ostewart

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I have now mastered the Mod posted before. Instead of Foam, Use dynamat or similar acoustic deadening material in the cups, then only have 2 holes open on the back of the driver.
 
now better treble, with as good bass if not better, and the mids do not get sucked out.
 
Aug 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM Post #10 of 16

stozzer123

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Would you take these or the hd668b in a shootout?  I ask because i have the 440 but interested in the hd668b as i am traveling more and dont want to carry my more expensive cans when moving about, it would be for my hotel room as oppossed to the plane as i use iems for that so the fact that the hd668b are semi open wont be an issue.  thanks.
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM Post #11 of 16

ostewart

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Hd668 B are great cans, but are big and bulky. They sound fantastic and after a few mods even better. The Shure has amazing mids, which is where the superlux lacks a bit, but the highs are better on the superlux and bass is bigger too.
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM Post #12 of 16

stozzer123

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Thanks for the response, i do like the shures but looking for a change, I now have the samson sr850 on the way (should be here monday.  What are the mod options on these.  If I could of got a decent UK price for the fostex T50rp i would have gone rastapants balistic on them.
 
cheers 
 
Stozz
 
Sep 2, 2012 at 8:05 AM Post #13 of 16

ostewart

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Search for the thread superlux HD668 B stock or modded?

And also just search HD668 B mods
 
Jun 1, 2013 at 3:13 AM Post #15 of 16

Kloug

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Excellent review of the SRH440 !
 
I agree with you, the Shure SRH440 is very neutral and balanced. I think it's the best sound in that price range. I've got the SRH840 two times and the SRH750DJ but returned them because I prefered the SRH440 in every aspects. I even tried the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, but just sold it after a few months of use. I've never got used to the heavy bass and coloration of the M50. I actually love my SRH440 with SRH940 velour earpads.
 
Here's my analysis of the SRH440 :
 
 
BASS : Nice bass overall, with very good presence and punch, and honest extension. Bass is not flat however, it's a bit emphasised but not boomy at all.
 
MIDS : Very neutral and accurate mids, a bit recessed but I like it. More natural mids than SRH840 (for me).
 
HIGHS : A strong point here, the highs are very sharp, defined and pleasant.The extension is excellent.
 
 
What the SRH440 [size=small]lacks is finesse. So [/size]I've found a (much) better headphone than the SRH440, a bit more expensive but not much : the Fostex T50RP modded with Dynamat, modeling clay and cotton damping. Oh boy, this Fostex is sooo good! Superbly flat and natural. You should try it!
 

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