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Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. We credit the headphones’ carbon-fiber inlays and use of aluminum for their feathery feel. Shure has used memory-foam padding, but covered it in velvety, perforated cloth instead of mirroring the leatherette headband. These … Sennheiser’s HD800 were impossible to forget you had on. Review of Shure's SHR 1540 These are a fantastic headphone for $500. In October last year, we reviewed their impressive top-of-the-range closed-back model, the SRH940. Shure’s SRH1540 define the point of diminishing returns in headphone fidelity, and they are unparalleled in terms of comfort. No inline remote control or mic on either cable. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. Second is the inclusion of 2 cables. We’ve reviewed some pretty expensive headphones in the past; two chart-toppers include the $2,000 Audeze LCD3 and the $1,400 Sennheiser HD800 – cans so expensive that most folks probably looked at them the way they do a Ferrari or Rolex. Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. The same can be said for the air around wind instruments and the way in which they were reproduced without ever sounding squashed. Impressively lightweight despite large size. We’ve tested plenty of smaller over-ear headphones that were considerably heavier, but not necessarily stronger. PerformanceThe SRH1540 is a phenomenal pair of headphones for reference listening. With the Audeze LCD3, we just felt it would be best for us to sit still. Instead, like the electronic drum hits on "Silent Shout," the bass presence is clear, round, and well-defined without being overpowering. Getting Static or Crackling in Your AirPods Pro? The problem with most full-sized headphones we test is that their large size and weight usually make them a little cumbersome, and eventually uncomfortable to wear. We think much of that impression is due to the extreme level of flexibility the headband allows. by Tim Gideon Aug 27, 2014. The earpads, aside from being comfortable, also passively block out a notable amount of ambient room noise. Striving for accuracy and detail, the Shure SRH840 are very clear-sounding, slightly bright-leaning headphones. Once they're in, they will stay in place unless you are actively trying to remove them. The ear cups (and the 40 mm neodymium drivers that hide within them) are what make these headphones truly spectacular. Exceptionally comfortable. On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the attack of the kick drum loop gets the perfect amount of high-mid presence so that it cuts through the dense mix, while the loop's sustain gets a subtle bass presence. It looks, feels, and sounds right. AirPods 2 vs. They present almost zero embellishment, and are a purist's dream. This is going to be endgame for now, as a student. PCMag Digital Group. They are somewhat large, and do not fold down, but due to the aluminum head band and layered fiberglass ear cups they are very light. My first set of better cans was the Grado SR60i, and in the pursuit of a more balanced signature and better soundstage I stumbled upon the SRH 840 which I loved. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. For us, the SRH1540 epitomize our “ideal sound,” making fewer compromises and scoring more wins than any full-size headphone we’ve heard under $1,000. Immediately, you can tell you’re dealing with a high-quality headphone.”. AirPods Pro vs. AirPods 2: Which True Wireless Apple Earbuds Are Better? For all of the SRH1540’s premium parts and build quality, it is clearly intended for day-to-day listening. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. It's an accurate sound that purists will embrace, but it's perhaps a bit clinical for some listeners. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. The 1540 comes in a big hard case, with two pouches inside for the two 6 ft (1.8 m) cables it comes with, as well a flap of cloth that hides a pair of replacement … The Shure SRH1540 made mincemeat of their time in the lab, justifying their price with full, balanced sound, minimal distortion, and proper tracking. There's an articulate low frequency presence; it just takes a backseat to the high-mid edge of the vocals and guitar strumming. Dampen the Din: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs. QuietComfort 35 II. The Shure 1540 ticks all the right boxes for those who do not mind a v-shaped response: It is comfortable, with pads that weren’t leather based (artificial or not), lively, clear, spacious, and very … We were struck by how incredibly light the SRH1540 felt as we lifted them from their case. Shure SRH1540. Accessories The SRH1540 includes pretty much everything you’d expect, and more. vs. Focal Clear. Since the headphones are large and don’t fold down, the hard-shelled, zippered has to be big. Yet, the difference between the SRH1540 and a pair of headphones that cost $1,000 or more is very hard to notice. Although, it does seem odd for Shure … Midrange is totally clear of congestion, which came as a big surprise considering the headphones are a closed-back design. Rounding out the package are two 6-foot long, Kevlar reinforced, oxygen-free copper cables. There's low frequency presence, for sure, but it's very subtle compared with most options we test. Not so much because the SRH840 isn’t a good headphone (you can read my review … The threaded 3.5 mm jack and screw-on ¼-inch adapter are all gold plated, as are the clever MMCX connectors that fit into the ear cups. Product Store Price; Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headpho... Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones: $79.00: Get the deal: Shure … PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. DesignShure's designs have always tended visually towards the utilitarian rather than the flashy, though the black-and-silver SRH1540 manages to throw in a little flare on top of its simple looks with carbon fiber panels on each earcup. Treble sparkles, shines and rings with pitch-perfect intonation, but never hints at anything remotely related to harshness. With the SRH1540, you hear all the bass parts clearly down to the deepest lows, just without the artificial impression that subwoofers are hidden inside the cups. In fact, they are the first headphone we’ve ever rated a perfect 10. You get a strong sense of the intense low-end, but the crisp vocals and high-mids in general rule the spotlight. Shure SRH1540 Review. The … This is a serious purchase at $499, but mix engineers and music lovers alike will not be disappointed with what they hear. In the office, we could still hear nearby discussions, and loud construction work bled through, remaining as distracting as ever, if just a little bit less edgy. Here is a run down of the features as taken from Shure’s website: The distinctive sound of the SRH1540 headphones creates a vivid soundscape of lofty, extended highs and warm, accurate … How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, The Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running, The Best True Wireless Earbuds for Running, AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds for 2020. And it is a consumer headphone. The case is the sort that you might expect to get with high-end studio monitor headphones (but never do), designed with protection and storage in mind first, and portability a distant second. Name some sonic attribute – anything as related to headphones, really- and we can say with complete confidence that the SRH1540 make us happy in that department. That combination is deadly, especially at the $500 price point. The thing is, the SRH1540 don’t have any of the flashy features commonly associated with premium headphones these days. But if you’ve seen our score, then you already know that the SRH1540 can perform. Granted, it’s a $700 combo, but what a treat it was – our laptop was transformed into a portable hi-fi music server, and we had a hard time disconnecting from it. I was looking for something similar with more bass impact, and here I am, at the SRH 1540… Buy used: $449.99. Perhaps the real magic with these headphones is that they don’t do anything wrong. Knowing that they're more than twice the price of my ol' faithfuls … Their lightweight frame, gentle but firm clamping force, and soft ear pads made putting them on like strapping a couple of pillows to our head. These were impressions based off of material – some of it compressed to 256k – being played back on an iPhone, a device not exactly revered for its hi-fi capabilities. Comfortably enveloping and roomy inside, they’re the sort you could fall asleep wearing and they make perfect company to carry you through album after album. Regardless, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and Shure have held consistently high positions in our top 10 lists of the best headphone manufacturers, and the SRH1540 might just be Shure’s best work to date. A studio monitor would likely have come natively terminated with a ¼-inch TRS jack, featured a coiled cable, and connected to the headphones on one side only. When we talk about audio purists seeking flat response, this sound signature is precisely what we're referring to. Again, the sound here is crisp, but not without low-end. This was our first indication that Shure took the SRH1540 pretty seriously, and that we probably should too. The pads are covered in Alcantara, a composite material that feels like an expensive cross between velvet and fine leather. We’ve long tended to prefer headphones from companies that make microphones. Most headphones we test tend to have a moderate-to-intense bass response, so reviewing a pair like the Shure SRH1540 ($399.00 at Amazon)  almost comes as a shock. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. Keep an eye on your inbox! I do think that the street price of the SRH … The implication seems clear: These headphones are for listening to music, not talking to friends. We also noted copious amounts of strain relief on the cable. Ships with two detachable cables, a replacement pair of earcups, and the sturdiest hard-shell headphone case we've ever seen. Leaning toward the high end at $500, these full-sized, over-the-ear, closed- back cans may be pricey, but they’re achievable – especially for anyone who’s gotten used to the idea of a $400 pair of Beats by Dre. The aircraft-grade aluminum pieces easily slide up and down the headphone frame, making size adjustments quick and easy. The Shure 1540 is the only pair I have heard that covers the entire spectrum evenly, in a natural way (with natural I mean that a piano sounds like a piano, a wooden string instrument like a wooden string … In fact, aside from some carbon fiber-backed ear cups, the SRH1540 don’t have much to cover in the features department. As I come to appreciate slightly brighter headphones and presentations, the Shure SRH1540 is one of the guiding lights along the way. This and its siblings have now been joined by two open-back designs, the SRH1440 and the SRH1840… A lot of that has to do with the SRH1540’s excellent dynamic expression, which allows for subtle nuances between soft and loud sounds to play a prominent role on a wide and deep sound stage. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Peel off the pads and you’ll get a glimpse of the 40mm neodymium drivers buried inside the earcups. Sure they’re big, but they’re so comfortable we could wear them all day – actually, we did. We found the padding was more than ample for keeping long listening sessions comfortable. It's an odd choice, however, since one cable could have been equipped with a remote and one not, a common configuration for headphones recently. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Shure SRH-940 is available for $299 from Amazon.com, while the SRH-840 is available for a mere $140.74 from Amazon.com (down $109.26 from the $250 list price). Impressively lightweight despite large size. We had an especially good time using Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS USB device, which is both an impressive compact DAC and stellar headphone amp. It also helps keep the entire package nice and light. Visual markers or click-stops on the headband would have been nice, but the lock is secure and fits so precisely that it isn't entirely necessary. Apple Will Fix It for Free, Corsair's Latest Headset Is Packed With Tactile Feedback, Apple Discounts Its EarPods and Power Adapter After Removing Them From iPhone Boxes, Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds Cost Only $49, Ultimate Ears UE Fits Earbuds Mold to Perfectly Fit Your Ears. These headphones are an excellent tool for both analyzing a mix and critical listening. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4: Which Pair Is Better? This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Since the 1840's cable has a standard miniplug with optional 6.5mm adapter, one might assume that Shure … The SRH1540 earns our Editors' Choice award easily. The hi-fi streaming music service fully explained, Sonos releases microphone-free Arc SL Shadow Edition soundbar for $750, Tight, musical bass with excellent extension. Each person has their own “ideal sound,” even if they have a tough time expressing what that’s like. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are not delivered with the earth-shaking presence they often have on heavily bass-boosted pairs. The audio performance chasm that exists between these headphones and their closest under-$500 competitors is deep and wide. It is hard to adequately describe how incredibly luxurious they feel, especially for longer listening sessions, but we’ll try in the next section. Shure SRH 1540. Bright, crisp, dynamic headphone pairs are a rarity in this modern era of boosted bass. Having grown to love and rely on our old 'pro' headphones for years, unzipping the carry case for these new Shure SRH1540s felt a little unfaithful.

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