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Shure SRH840 - Sound Quality, Isolation and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



  • Recommended by TR
Shure SRH840


Our Score:


The Shure SRH840 are closed-back headphones, hugely reducing the amount of noise let in and let out - many pairs of "studio-grade" headphones use this design as it's beneficial for monitoring. It's not just this that helps block sound out, though. The material used in the pads is also very important.

Using velour pads is often preferable for comfort, reducing how much your ears are heated-up and getting rid of the slightly sticky feel of some fake leather. But they leak much more sound than the material here. The SRH840 do heat your ears up a tad, but the pads' surfaces are soft, well-padded and comfortable.

Sound Quality

Striving for accuracy and detail, the Shure SRH840 are very clear-sounding, slightly bright-leaning headphones. They have a great top-end, which is both insightful and a little unforgiving at times. After a short burn-in, we found that it's well-executed enough to avoid adding any extra sibilance to recordings.

Shure SRH840 3

There is plenty of bass - slightly more than offered by an entirely neutral set - but it's a little laid-back, lacking some of the impact of the last studio headphones tested, the GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.35. However, there's a certain smoothness and openness to the SRH840 that makes them convincing as leisure headphones - for movies and music outside the home studio - rather than just monitors.

It's the mid-range warmth, which characterises most of Shure's SE IEMs, that makes them much more fun to listen to than many analytical headphones. It does step on the toes of the top-end transparency a little, but it's a worthy trade when there's plenty of open-ness to the top-end for analytical ears to grab onto. The soundstage is also good for a closed pair, although we imagine not a patch on the new open-back Shure SRH 1440.

Shure SRH840 1

The SRH840 are headphones with the requisite neutrality of a studio headphone and the smoother qualities of a home Hi-Fi headphone. They are the best of both worlds, but if you want a set simply for monitoring and zero "fun" applications, you might be better off without the tasty candy coating of warmth that the SRH840 provide. However, we know which type we'd rather live with.

Shure SRH840


Available for around £120 if you shop hard enough, the Shure SRH840 are excellent value, competing well with sub-£200 sets from Beyerdynamic, and in particular offering much more enjoyable sound than the classic £120 DT100. The folding, swivel-cup design also makes them significantly more versatile than many pairs of this size. We have some quibbles about a few design elements, but these are simply brilliant headphones for the money.


The Shure SRH840 are excellent all-round home headphones that are superb value at £120-odd. Well-made, and with sound lets them switch between roles as a monitoring tool and more relaxed listening buddy with ease, they're highly flexible as long as you keep them indoors - they're just a bit too big for portable use in our book.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 8
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 9

Adam Cimarosti

January 13, 2013, 11:08 pm

I have had these headphones for a long time. I absolutely love them. First of all, they are crisp, but have a warm tone and fairly rich bass. I got these because, being a software engineer, I want to unplug from the noisy environment around me and listen to music loud without annoying those around me. They leak little to no sound and very effectively (passively) isolate you from outside noise, to the point colleagues at times need to tap my shoulder to catch my attention while I'm busy writing code. I wear these for hours at a time and find them quite comfortable, but note that I have a large-ish head. I travelled with them on public transport for a while and found that to be a bit of a chore (they ain't small), unless I was carrying a back-pack. I now leave these at work and I am looking for a second pair of headphones for electric guitar practice home.. ..and I might just buy a second pair.

If you're looking for something that is very sound-insulating and delivers a detailed, rich and warm listening experience look no further.

As an added note I would recommend to stay clear of all the tinny sounding active noise cancellation headphones like the over-hyped and overly-expensive Bose, they may be ligher, but these are unquestionably better in every other way.

Aaron Graham

December 15, 2013, 7:09 pm

I loved these headphones to death. The sound quality and clarity is really phenomenal, however he build quality is quite short of their "legendary build quality" standard. I've had these for just shy of a year and one day I tried to slide down the ear cup adjustment and low and behold the cup adjustment slide snapped with me hardly even pulling it down. I was considering buying there new SRH 940 ,however I don't think I will be buying too much more from Shure.

Al U

December 19, 2013, 12:02 am

A friend had raved to me about Shure's customer service when his e5s broke. Lo and behold, when I had a similar breakage to yours, they replaced the headphones for me, despite being 18 months out of warranty. If you have your receipt you should definitely get in touch with them.

Butch Ramsey

July 15, 2014, 10:38 pm

My plastic hinge on top of earcup broke away from my earcup,HELP:):)

Ron Lee

January 6, 2017, 5:34 am

I bought mine used so have no recourse to warranty repair. I used them about 4 months when the hinge holding the earcup yoke broke away from the headband. Upon inspection I was surprised at the design allowing for two tiny plastic pins to hold things together.
The sound quality, noise isolation and comfort of these are all excellent and I can't imagine a better set of headphones. I was able to track down a new replacement for the entire headband for around $35
The new headband was installed and lasted about three weeks. I was away for about two of those weeks and left the headphones on my mixing desk. No one has access to the room in my absence.
When I returned, I used them for about two hours, then laid them on the desk. Next day I went to use them and noted the plastic piece holding the yoke to the headband was dangling.
At no time were these headphones subjected to abuse or mishandling. I am very unhappy with the design and quality of this Shure product.
Earlier I came across another post by a user with the same failure (and there are a lot complaints about it out there.) This poster mentioned the headband for a different brand of headphones might work. I will look into that, otherwise this fine set of cups will end up in the trash along with the Shure headband.
I absolutely do not recommend the Shure SRH840 despite the fine quality cups. It's like throwing good money away.

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