Shure SRH840 Headphone - in a word, "Wow!"
by Eric Chancey, @BigDaddyDecibel
OK, it's time for an admission. The subject of headphones has never really made my heart skip a beat. I mean, you put them on, confirm that you have a signal at the mixer input and move on, right?
I've always been of the camp that thought that headphones couldn't really be trusted for anything serious in terms of the mix. Beyond that, the headphones I've had were uncomfortable and I just wouldn't use them unless it was an absolute necessity.
That was pretty much my attitude toward headphones until a friend recently introduced me to the Shure SRH840 headphone. Again, I have to admit something. I tried them reluctantly, just to appease him, not having any idea that I would be in for a treat.
The first thing I noticed was their comfort. The SRH840 are extraordinarily lightweight and comfortable, but not so lightweight that you forget you have them on.
Then came the sound. In a word, "Wow!" I've never said that about a pair of headphones before. Not only did I feel like I wasn't wearing them, it didn't sound like I was wearing headphones either. Most headphones have that, well, headphone sound. These sound like real life.
These are reference headphones. I noticed no hype in any frequency range, so listening was like hearing the actual performance; they were transparent in every way. My only minor complaint is that Shure does not include specification information to show how flat they really are.
After my initial listening, I bought my own pair right away and now carry them with me because I know I can trust them as a reference. I now see that headphones can be more than just a input checker, and that I can rely on the Shure SRH840 to make mix and EQ adjustments without a second thought. As dramatic as it sounds, you might call me an evangelist for the Shure SRH840.
Shure has gone the extra step to accessorize the SRH840's with a detachable cable, a mini to quarter inch adapter, extra earpads, and a storage bag. A nice kit -- very well thought out.
The detachable cable is easily locked into place with a simple twist. I found some difficulty replacing the earpad because it is such a tight stretch around the transducer but I would rather wrestle with it for a few minutes than have to throw the headphones themselves away once the earpads get worn out.
Shure has raised the bar for headphone quality and performance by making the SRH840 headphone a pleasure to use.
For a pair of headphones, I have to admit, these are pretty impressive...and for me essential.
Eric Chancey is the Director of Audio at a large church in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. He has a wide range of experience to include live sound, broadcast audio, mastering, and studio work over the past 30 years.