SRH840A and SRH440A

Shure’s SRH840A and SRH440A monitor headphone models are updates of one of their most popular products—the SRH840 and SRH440, which are professional studio headphones that are very present in studios around the world. A pair of reference headphones is a must-have tool for anyone producing or recording any kind of audio. They allow you to hone in on every detail of your mix or your instrument/voice while you record. I received both of the new models and I’m here to report on how they sound and feel.

First of all, make sure you watch this short video review where I discuss each headphones’ features, their differences, and my first impressions.

Shure SRH440A monitor headphone features


The SRH440A features a good-looking, light shell. It’s padded at the headband and the cup cushions are very soft. It’s very easy to adjust and will fit all heads and ears. A great feature is the detachable cable that is included. If it breaks, it’s quick to replace, since it’s not soldered. It’s also lockable, so you won’t pull it out on accident while working. The end is a 1/8th plug, but a threaded 1/4 adapter is included, making it compatible with most audio equipment.

The drivers are 40mm dynamic neodymium, a lightweight material that makes the headphones easy to wear for long periods of time. They provide a wide frequency response that will help you hear every detail, no matter what you are listening to.

The closed-back design enables good noise reduction, so anything in the background will go mostly unnoticed while you concentrate on the audio. This is good for mixing, recording musical instruments, or listening to other guests on podcasts.

Shure SRH840A monitor headphone features

Shure SRH840A

There isn’t a world of difference between both sets of headphones. They share the same shell and padded headband. Even the cable is the same, so if you have both pairs, it’s interchangeable.

The SRH840A has a slight design difference from the 440A—beautiful gold coloured lettering and contours on the cups. The stitching on the headband is also matching, for a very elegant overall appearance. I noticed that the cloth material over the drivers in the ear rests is thicker than the one on the 440A. It feels like the 840A will endure more use than the former.

On the technical side of things, the specs are also only slightly different. The frequency response is extended on both ends of the spectrum. The bass frequencies extend to 5Hz from 10Hz on the 440A, while treble frequencies reach 25kHz from 22kHz. This is generally considered outside of average human hearing. In practice, the distinction is hardly noticeable, unless you really hone into the frequencies in the low and high end.

For the 840A, a faux leather carrying pouch is included. This is also sold separately if you want to store and transport your 440As safely.

Shure SRH840A and SRH440A sound quality

Comfortable headphones

The SRH840A and SRH440A are marketed as studio headphones. Their sound is usually flat and uncoloured, making recording, podcasting and editing/mixing as accurate as possible. The 840A and 440A provide a very enjoyable listening experience. The low-end is powerful and satisfying. The rest of the frequency spectrum gives a detailed and representation of the audio, with an embellished feel. Nothing is enhanced over the top, providing a smooth and musical sound.

Those that are looking for an ultra-transparent result will be a bit disappointed. You won’t get the most faithful representation here, something that is especially useful for mixing and getting the perfect microphone placement. This doesn’t mean that these headphones aren’t useful for audio production; quite the opposite actually. It’s common practice to have a set of monitors/headphones to check your work with a tool that sounds something similar to the type of product that average listener has access to. In general, most people don’t consume any type of audio with a very transparent device. This means that if you are looking for a tool to check your mixes, this is a great choice.

Lockable wire

For simple listening to your favourite artists, these headphones are also a very good choice. Both models are quite comfortable and you’ll be able to enjoy full-length albums with little to no fatigue. The sound quality is very musical and, I think, participates positively to the experience. If this is an upgrade to an older pair you own, you might start hearing details in the music that you’ve never noticed before!

Who are the Shure studio headphones for?

For those that are producing music, the SRH440A and SRH840A provide a slightly embellished listening experience. Extra bass provides an enjoyable result and the sound is smoothed over the whole frequency spectrum. If you are looking for brutally honest reference monitors, this might not be the product for you. On the other hand, if you want a quality pair of headphones to compare your mix with, it’s a great choice. It’ll give you a good idea on what the average consumer is going to hear when listening to your audio. It’s easy to then correct the sound using them or revert back to your usual reference monitors/headphones.

These headphones are also ideal for recording musicians. They are comfortable, so you’ll be able to go through long days of recording without accumulating fatigue. Also, they sound really pleasant, so the task of tracking will be an enjoyable one, bringing out the best possible performance.

SRH840A and SRH440A headphones

For podcasting and vlogging, they are also an excellent choice. They have great isolation, making the task of focusing on the discussion very easy. You won’t be distracted by background noise as with some other designs or earbuds. They also enhance speech and will make everyone’s voice sound as good as it can get. Both models look very sleek and aren’t cumbersome, so they won’t be a distraction for video.

No matter what your needs are, the SRH840A and SRH440A headphones are great, affordable accessories that you will enjoy working with. Either model will be welcome in any kind of audio environment and the design is very stylish for those of you taking pictures and/or video.

Make sure to check out the Shure SRH840A and SRH440A studio recording headphones at Best Buy.

Nikolai Olekhnovitch
Nikolai Olekhnovitch is a professional guitarist from Montreal. The experience and musical versatility he acquired during his music studies and involvement with diverse musical acts come in quite handy when reviewing various instruments. When he is not on the road performing, he’s exploring martial arts and seeking out the perfect espresso.