Shure SRH-940: Detail Monster

shure_srh940_01

From big time microphone manufacturer Shure comes a new headphone designed to top the Shure SRH-840. Big thanks to Harris and Franky over at Shure Indonesia for lending us the unit used in this review.

I was really impressed with the semi hard case that they include with the SRH-940. A very welcome addition over the plain leatherette pouch I got for my SRH-840. And like with the SRH-840, you also get an extra set of pads with the SRH-940 except that the 940 comes with verlours instead of leather. In photographs or in real life, the dark silver finishing looks classier than the SRH-840’s matt black finish. But when you hold the two headphones in your hand, the SRH-840 feels more solid than the SRH-940. I don’t know if Shure lightens the plastic walls on the SRH-940 to get an overall lighter headphone, but the SRH-940’s lighter weight and clamping force is far more comfortable than the SRH-840. Since the pads on the SRH-940 are oval shaped, I find them to be more comfortable than the circular verlours on the Beyer full size headphones. Good stuff.

The hardcase is very nice.

 

 

Inside of the hardcase.

 

 

Removable cables with locking mechanism.

 

 

The changes in the sound signature is quite obvious. The SRH-940 is clearly a brighter headphone overall than the SRH-840. You get more treble, more clarity, more sparkle. The bass loses some body but it’s a lot clearer than the bass on the SRH-840. The result is a headphone that feels a lot lighter in the sound but is overall quicker in pace and even perceived transients. When I did the Closed Cans Shootout, one of the things that I wish was different is the presentation of vocals on the SRH-840, which was quite laid back in relation to other headphones like the Shure SRH-750DJ or the Audio Technica M-50. In this case, the SRH-940 has gotten the vocal presence just perfect. The vocals are forward and engaging, not too close or too glaring, and the instruments properly laid down on a different layer behind the vocal.

From a monitoring perspective, the SRH-940 is definitely an improvement over the SRH-840, and quite a big improvement too. Not only you get better clarity on the treble, but also very noticeable on the bass regions. For music listening, however, though vocal presence has been vastly improved, but the SRH-940 is dryer sounding than the SRH-840, so that’s something to keep in mind. The SRH-940 is also more critical of the recording and source quality, and although it’s a very desirable trait for a good monitoring headphone, the SRH-840’s more forgiving stance would be more preferable to us music listeners. Obviously Shure was building the SRH-940 to be a monitoring headphone, and in that sense I think the SRH-940 is a much better product than the SRH-840.

Although I’m used to listening to the Sennheiser HD800, still the amount of detail that you get from the SRH-940 is just staggering. I know that the HD800 is better in translating ambiance in the recordings and things like micro details, but even the HD800 doesn’t push all the details in the music out like the way the SRH-940 does. Now you need a good recording to hear all of this effect and for that 24/96 Classical music files are best, but even a moderately well recording like Jewel’s Spirit album is giving me goosebumps from the SRH-940 & Audinst HUD-MX1 combo. When I first listened to the SRH-940, I thought the headphone was a bit dry. But after some ~24 hours later, I think the dryness has subsided though it still is not as smooth as the SRH-840, mainly due to the verlour vs pleather pads differences.

SWAPPING PADS

When I received the SRH-940 and noticed that you get an extra sets of pads, I quickly thought that it would’ve been nice for Shure to give us pleather pads from the SRH-840 instead so we get to choose between verlour and pleather. After all, verlour is known to make sound brighter and reduce bass boominess (also takes out some bass body), while pleather does the opposite: darkens the sound and add bass body. But, guess what? I tried swapping the pads from the SRH-840 to the SRH-940 and vica versa, and I didn’t like the result. The effect I anticipated was there, the SRH-940 gains bass body, but it was more like an abrupt 3dB bump throughout the bass frequencies. Yes, you get more bass, but gone is the balance in the tonality and the smooth transition from the mids to the bass. Not recommended.

The opposite is also true with the SRH-840. Less bass with SRH-940 pads gives you better detail on the bass, but it did sound like an abrupt EQ to lower bass quantities, resulting in a somewhat hollow feeling on the low frequencies while adding some low treble to the mix. Let’s face it, the engineers at Shure knows their business and both the SRH-940 and the SRH-840 work best with the stock pads on. If you happen to feel that one headphone is not quite right, the best solution is to change to the other model entirely.

END THOUGHTS

Overall the SRH-940 is still primarily a linear headphone geared more toward monitoring, as most music listeners would prefer a fuller and punchier lows, more mid coloration, and a less intense treble, even if that means less detail levels and looser bass. In that sense you can take something totally different like the heavily warm and colored B&W P5 headphone, and feel that music flows better out of the P5. But there are times when we want to hear those details in the recordings, and in a way, the SRH-940 gives me almost the same detailed sensation I hear on the Beyerdynamic DT880 headphone, except with better mids and vocal reproduction.

Quite a winning product, in my opinion. Just remember that given the accurate, monitoring stance of the SRH-940, the headphones are very picky about your source and recording quality. Most of the harshness, sibilance, and extreme compression on mainstream recordings will be very audible through the SRH-940s. Likewise, old analog based recordings also don’t sound too good out of these.

AVAILABILITY

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). I do think that the street price of the SRH-940 should be lower after a few months (in the US, at least).

GEARS USED FOR REVIEW

Headphones: Shure SRH-940, SRH-840, Sennheiser HD800, Audio Technica M-50
DAC/Amp: Fostex HP-A3, CEntrance DACMini

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208 Comments

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Matt Hamner

    such a good review! @andrewstarke @lukefairbairn @muchirigateri  would love reading this maybe!

    • Reply June 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Matt. 

      • Reply September 28, 2011

        Player1josh46

        Hey Headfonia I’m looking into these headphones and I’m stuck between these and the 840s. Now here are my preferences. 

        Mid/Vocal to be focus while still having noticeable bass and non fatiguing treble. I listen to a variety of genres so if these can work for everything then great.( for hip hop, rap, electronic i dont need an abundance of bass, just a good quality bass.) My source is an iPod Touch 4g and my music is mostly 320kbps with some 192-256kbps in there as well. I previously had the M50s but didn’t like them because of their recessed mids. Now I am almost about to get the 940s cause I hear this is the best ones for my preferences.($250 max). Is this too bright and sibilant or is it fine for my needs. 

        • Reply September 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi Josh,
          I think the SRH-940 may not work too well for you. The bass is not that punchy (and you need punchy bass for your music), and the treble can be fatiguing with hip hop, rap, and even more electronic music. I think you should be looking at the Sennheiser HD25-1 instead. Punchy bass, and the treble is not as bright as the SRH-940 while the vocal have very good focus and presence. The SRH-940 is better suited for monitoring in my opinion.

          • Reply September 28, 2011

            Player1josh46

            I have an equalization app(EQu) for my iPod. Will it affect the 940s in any way?

            • Reply September 29, 2011

              Anonymous

              Well if you can tone down the treble and up the bass. But I’d rather you start out with a headphone that fits you rather than buying something and having to EQ it to sound right.

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Lewis Leong

    Great review as always! I’m glad Shure got into the headphone market. The SHR-940 sound like a great closed headphone. I wonder if Shure will release an open-back headphone in the future.

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, definitely a great closed headphone. And you’re right too, an
      open-back headphone by Shure would be awesome indeed.

      • Reply September 29, 2011

        Player1josh46

        Well what about the 840s compared to the 940s? I’ve heard that if I don’t like the 940s then the 840s would suit me better.

        • Reply September 29, 2011

          Anonymous

          Lol. Please go back and read the review man. 

        • Reply October 13, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi, 
          Please read the review as I’ve drawn some comparisons to the SRH-840. 

        • Reply October 13, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi, 
          Please read the review as I’ve drawn some comparisons to the SRH-840. 

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    eagle1

    This is exactly how I feel about these cans. A tad bright, but great mids and lacking bass! To tell you the truth, from a standpoint of music listening (not monitoring) I still find the 840s, even the 440s a bit better. Still, bear in mind that I listen without amp. Not sure how much came into play your Dac/amp combo (which is why I’m looking for a portable amp to see if it will bring more performance from these cans!) Thanks!

    • Reply June 20, 2011

      Rudi0504

      Dear Eagle1
      You can try with RSA RS 71 B  to drive SRH 940.

      My source is Ipod U2 Mod and in WAV File Music and as LOD i use Cooper from ALO Geometri  with Caps

      In my opinion this is the best sounding for SRH 940 for portable use

      Cheers 

      • Reply June 20, 2011

        eagle1

        Thanks for the rec’ Rudio. After reading the “Usual Suspects” article and the JDSLabs, E11, etc. reviews, I think I will wait for the Portable Amp Shootout <100 planned by Mike. These cans do not seem hard to drive and I'm sure a cheaper solution will suffice… I'll see if I can "step it up" after I get some time with one of those "cheaper" amps.

        In fact, Mike, have you tried these headphones with the JDSLabs CMoy or the Fiio E11?

        Thanks.!

        • Reply June 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes I like the SRH-940 with the JDSLabs.

          • Reply June 21, 2011

            Angel Melendez

            Do you just use the bass boost function on the JDS?

            BTW, I will still wait for your roundup 😉

            P.S. eagle1 == GelockS 😉

            • Reply June 21, 2011

              Anonymous

              No I actually don’t like the bass boost on the JDS. I think it’s
              primarily a bass light headphone and so it’s best to enjoy it as such
              and not try to boost it. The drivers are very revealing and bass boosts
              turn out ugly on the SRH-940.

              I am struggling to finish that round up. Writers block moments. 🙂

      • Reply June 21, 2011

        Anonymous

        Exactly the RSA SR71-B will give you that added low end body while
        lowering the treble.

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes I can understand what you say. The 840’s tonality is more suitable
      for music, though I prefer the vocal presentation of the SRH-940. If
      you’ve got a dark and low-end heavy amplifier, then you can make the
      tonality of the SRH-940 a little more like the SRH-840, but with neutral
      sounding amps, it’s not going to change much. The Shures are relatively
      good straight without a dedicated amp.

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    eagle1

    OH, BTW, I bought these headphones from Earphone Solutions. They also have it at $299 BUT they have a coupon: “ET5” that subtracts 15% so the total is: $254.99

    I think they are a GREAT buy at that price!!!

    Thanks.

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Katun

    Excellent review! I always love reading reviews on a product I already own and love, because it makes me love it even more. XD

    I actually put the M50 pads on these (yes, they fit), and found although they gained some bass, the tonality just sounded flat out weird. And they weren’t as comfortable either. Stock pads are great, I just wish they were a bit deeper, as after an hour or so when I remove them from my head, my ears definitely let me know that they have been pressed down for all this time. The headband is not my favorite thing in the world either, irritating me only second in worst to the K701’s headband. Yeah, I will admit, they feel quite cheap, and are creaky as well, but I still love the heck out of them. If they would have nailed the comfort and build as good as they did the sound, my HE-500’s would be gone in a heartbeat.

    But, I do think they are fabulous headphones. And in fact, I would probably rank them as my 2nd favorite in sound out of everything I’ve tried, and 3rd favorite headphone overall (2nd place goes to HD598 because of their comfort and soundstage). A wonderful, wonderful sounding headphone.

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing, Katun. Yes the SRH-940 is a nice headphone.

  • Reply June 21, 2011

    Earfonia

    Great review Mike!

    What do you think about SRH-940 compared with Beyerdynamic DT-880 ?
    Thanks!

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Lol did you miss the conclusion paragraph?

      “But there are times when we want to hear those details in the
      recordings, and in a way, the SRH-940 gives me almost the same detailed
      sensation I hear on the Beyerdynamic DT880 headphone, except with better
      mids and vocal reproduction.”

      • Reply June 21, 2011

        Earfonia

        Ah, I see, overlooked that paragraph 🙂  Thanks!

  • Reply June 21, 2011

    Aravind

    Great review Mike…also please post your thoughts on   1.the soundstage of the 940 which is supposedly good and 2. how it compares to closed/open headfones in the same price category (esp., hd598, hd600)

    • Reply June 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      I just realized I failed to mention the slightest bit about the soundstage.

      The soundstage is definitely good. It doesn’t jump at you as being
      extremely special (wide or deep), but if you take the time to listen to
      it, you would realize that the soundstage presentation is very good. The
      imaging is right, the center focus quite precise, the layering and depth
      good. So it was definitely a good soundstage performance.

      I think the reason that I failed to mention about the soundstage in the
      review is again, the soundstage doesn’t strike you as being too special.
      The HD598 still has the upper edge in recreating a more believable
      ambiance (that factor that really puts you as being inside the venue —
      provided the recording is good).

      When compared to the HD600, the HD600 would be more open sounding (well
      it’s an open headphone), but the soundstage three dimensionality is
      actually better on the SRH-940. With the HD650, the Shure’s soundstage
      is easier to notice if your system is entry level, but when the
      amplifier and source quality improves, the HD650 will scale up very
      well, where the SRH-940 doesn’t.

      • Reply June 21, 2011

        Aravind

        thanks for your comments…sounds like a very competent headfone worth the investment…

        • Reply June 22, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, I think it’s a good headphone.

  • Reply June 22, 2011

    Eric

    I want to know what is the Pros and Cons of SRH-940 and Sony Z-1000 since I will be buying one of the headphone mainly for portable use. Also what to know which one has better soundstage, detail, tightest bass and the least coloration of the two headphones.

    • Reply June 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think you’ll be happier with the Shure. It has minimal coloration,
      tight bass, and it pushes the detail out.

      In my opinion the Sony is the more refined headphone overall and the one
      I’d go for music listening though.

  • Reply June 22, 2011

    Eric

    Thanks for the help what about comfort level and the size of both headphone?

    • Reply June 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Comfort is roughly equal. Size, the Sony Z1000 would still look normal in public. The Shure won’t.

  • Reply June 24, 2011

    P. J.

    Hi Mike, did you get any ear fatigue with these? When I had studio monitors, the brightness and high level of detail made it impossible to truly enjoy music for longer periods.

    • Reply June 25, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, monitors have the tendency to do that, likewise the SRH-940.

  • Reply June 24, 2011

    P. J.

    sorry double post

  • Reply June 25, 2011

    Mehdi Imed Guessous

    hi,
    1) can the srh940 compete with k701 for clarity, ability to reveal details ?
    Can you hear a breaking glass with great sharpness.
    2) Is there a minimal bass “thump”, “impact”, so that you can enjoy something like techno.  I’m not talking of the bass quantity, but  a “punching” feeling if you see what I  mean.

    Some tests I’d be interested:
    1) How is pop song “in the closet” by Michael Jackson when listening through them. I  mean are the highs nicely played (lot of  ear piercing highs in the song,  and a breaking glass near begin).
    This song is so well known, don’t tell me you you can’t find a lossless version (I can’t barely listen to the sound of the breaking glass, on the compressed version at youtube).

    2) How do you find the bass on  Chester Beatty – Levanon B1 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvvO9JqJEO0).  It thumps a minimum, is  or is it just a  muddy mess ?
    If there’s only percussions, with overall an ambient bass, that’s plain wrong.

    3) There’s an incredible amount of  subtle details in the song “le vielle amant” by “emilie simon” (also “en cendre” from same singer)  . In particular the unusual plucking of the strings of a piano.   If you could listen to a lossless version,  that would be nice.  Otherwise there’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD9i-DaT9Rg   . I guess it could by qualified as “acoustical”;  but I think in this song,   it’s even more subtle than that.  Perhaps “plucked strings” with so short decay on notes , that they might be unnoticed if they are a bit “smeared”. Can you listen as much detail as with a k701 or  any “detail revealing” headphone.  I can currently listen more details from my senn IE7, than my hd595, on this particular song.

    I’m trying to upgrade/change from my hd595, I  just find them boring on the extreme ends (high & lows). Seems they “excel” only for vocals or elevator music.  So does the shr940 do the trick, or should I look to something else. (for similar budget, I only have a xonar stx if amping can help). Thanks.

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Mehdi,
      1. The SRH-940 is more detailed, but the K701 has a cleaner background
      and separation.
      2. Bass is definitely lacking especially for techno. Get the Senn HD25-1
      instead if thump and punch is what you want. I’ve recommended it to a
      lot of Techno fans.

      Tests:
      1. Sorry don’t have Michael Jackson in my Library. 🙂 I would again
      think that the Shure would be too bright and lacking bass for MJ.
      2. I haven’t listened to that Youtube track, but the bass on the SRH-940
      is all about detail and articulation, but not so much about punch and thump.
      3. Detail level should be better than the K701.

      What do you feel is missing from the HD595? Perhaps I can make a better
      recommendation.

      The HD600, for instance, has excellent micro detail levels, and awesome
      bass impact and punch with a fairly good articulation too. It would play
      MJ very well, and the Xonar STX should be enough for it.

      • Reply June 28, 2011

        Mehdi Imed Guessous

        hi headphonia,
        the problem is not having more “punch”, but Zero punch/impact/thump on the hd595. Without having “blasting” bass, at least it should be rendered to a minimum, I find that something is lacking.
        Also, the clarity of the hd595 , make me feel that sometimes that I’m hearing behind clothes.
        I’d like something that would be pretty good at both extreme of extremes of frequencies spectrum, I think the hd595 is too focused on the mids.
        Somethings great both for techno & classical music, I care  less for vocals.

        • Reply June 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          HD25-1.

          • Reply June 28, 2011

            Mehdi Imed Guessous

            Then I  may consider the Aiaiai Tma-1 . Far more interesting design.

            • Reply June 28, 2011

              Anonymous

              Well… it’s quite a different headphone than the HD25-1, but it’s
              entirely up to you.

          • Reply June 28, 2011

            Mehdi Imed Guessous

            I  think you are reasoning just as if  I  was listening to a lot of mainstream music.
            Also the Michael Jackson   example I’ve provided , is definitely not bassy (at least compared to techno / drum & bass).  I  would describe it more with fast paced highs,   “nervous” , craving for aggressivity.  And frankly overall MJ  music is not much bassy. (I  don’t think you’ve listened a lot from that artist) .  About the techno example, I  provided it because I  found it’s almost unlistenable without a minimal punch, but I  may give up  with this kind of music. 

            I  already have two headphones from Sennheiser  (senn IE7  & hd595) , and don’t want to buy a third from the same brand.  And that hd25-1 is ugly.
            If the amping was not so complicated (or expensive)  with the k701, I  would have take them because I love the k317  (except for the bass).   So I’d  stick with the srh940 at the end, I  don’t  know yet what “too bright” means. Hey, I’ve been enjoying Merzbow lately.

          • Reply June 29, 2011

            Anonymous

            Mehdi,
            “too bright” means there is too much treble. 

          • Reply June 29, 2011

            Mehdi Imed Guessous

            Obviously,  you don’t know Merzbow.  Not every review agree that the headphones are “too bright”, and according to my tastes I  think it won’t bother me.

          • Reply June 29, 2011

            Anonymous

            Mehdi,
            I really have a problem trying to understand your point.

          • Reply June 29, 2011

            Mehdi Imed Guessous

            Merzbow is experimental music which is basically noise, which means heavily relying on treble .  You said the headphones  were too bright,  I  said I  enjoyed recently Merzbow, and hence this “too bright” thing, doesn’t frighten me. At least I’ve read no review saying that people were suffering, because of too pronounced treble with the srh940. I’ve seen a guy complaining more about comfort however.

          • Reply June 29, 2011

            Anonymous

            Cool. That’s the first time I’ve heard of Merzbow.

            Learning new things every day. 

  • Reply June 26, 2011

    Ron Burgundy

    Thanks for the review. How is the isolation compared to the SRH840’s?

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      The SRH-840 is a bit more isolating.

  • Reply June 26, 2011

    chong

    Hi, if:
    1. Isolation is not important for me.
    2. I am not into critical Listening audiophiles journey
    3. I just want something sound smooth, and relax for whole night long. 
    4. Again, yeah comfort!

    In between hd598 and srh940, which i should choose for? 

    • Reply June 26, 2011

      Mehdi Imed Guessous

      For something smooth & relax off course the hd598.

      • Reply June 28, 2011

        Anonymous

        *thumbs up*

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      If that’s your priorities, I would get the HD598 over the Shure. It’s
      smoother overall, though bass is a bit lacking for Rock, Rap, Techno and
      such.

      • Reply July 3, 2011

        chong

        I stood a chance to audit HD598 and few other headphones yesterday, end up i have made up my final decision to grab the K601. It seem more suitable for me. I am not good in describing the sound like what you audiophiles did, the only i can say is the k601 sound more relax than hd598 to me.  😛

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi Chong,
          Yes, that sounds like the AKG sound. Glad you like it.

  • Reply June 26, 2011

    Sam

    Hi 🙂
    Just wanted to know how they compare to the Denon AH-D2000 and the AKG K701

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Briefly,
      D2000 is far bassier, colored, unlinear frequency, less detail than the
      SRH-940.
      K701 is cleaner sounding, wider soundstage, softer treble, smoother
      sound, less treble, less detail, less accurate soundstage than the SRH-940.

      • Reply July 3, 2011

        Sam

        Thank you for all the caring and for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it 🙂

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Sam.

  • […] I would say it's a more balanced set of cans since the old 840s sounded dark, and bassy at times. Shure SRH-940: Detail Monster | Headfonia It's a good read if you are interested in the 940. I think I'm gonna order one in the coming weeks […]

  • Reply June 28, 2011

    Jason Suarez

    Nice review. Sounds like my kind of headphone. Looks great too. People aren’t going to stare at these in the way they stare at akg spaceship cups 😛

  • Reply July 8, 2011

    Jack

    Thanks for the review, I’m really considering these!

    What is their overall presentation like? Are they laid back and relaxed like the srh840, or more energetic and forward?

    • Reply July 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Jack,
      More energetic and more forward than the 840, especially in the vocal.

      • Reply July 11, 2011

        Jack

        Appreciate it, think I’ll grab some.

        Guess I’ll find out what honest bass sounds like, foreign concept!

      • Reply July 16, 2011

        Jack

        Hey, I’ve had these for a few days now, and I really like them. The detail and speed of the drivers especially!

        I’m just wondering about your “bass light” comment – do you mean these are bass light compared to other neutral cans like a k701, HD600 and DT880, or to more colored cans?

        Thanks.

        • Reply July 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hmm.. perhaps similar bass body to the DT880 and K701, less than the HD600. As a neutral cans the SRH-940 is fine with the bass, but as a music listening device I feel that more bass would’ve been good.

          But as I wrote on the review the SRH-940 was meant to be a monitoring cans, so I guess it’s fine as it is, if you’re using it for monitoring.

          • Reply July 16, 2011

            Jack

            I hear that. For a lot of things I really like the natural sound and detail of the 940’s, but a lot of the time I reach for more fun headphones. If they managed to squeeze a little more bass out of these things while keeping the great tone and extension they’d be perfect to me.

            1040’s, maybe?

            • Reply July 16, 2011

              Jack

              Whoa… reply fail.

            • Reply July 16, 2011

              Anonymous

              Lol for a moment I was like “1040s”?

              Well, Shure is more of a professional gear company so if they do make a
              1040 headphone it’ll probably be a monitoring headphone too.
              Of course they can make an audiophile sounding headphone, just like they
              do with the IEMs.

            • Reply July 16, 2011

              Anonymous

              Lol for a moment I was like “1040s”?

              Well, Shure is more of a professional gear company so if they do make a
              1040 headphone it’ll probably be a monitoring headphone too.
              Of course they can make an audiophile sounding headphone, just like they
              do with the IEMs.

  • Reply July 11, 2011

    joe

    mike..how would you compare the bass of these with hd 598?? in terms of quantity, quality (i think the shure should win here), and extansion

    • Reply July 11, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well,
      I find it hard to compare the bass on the two headphones since they are
      voiced very differently; Shure is precise monitoring, the Senn is mellow
      semi-laid back audiophile headphone. Both headphones happen to be okay
      with bass. The Shure is perhaps more articulate, clearer. While Senn has
      never been a big fan of clear bass articulation. 🙂

      • Reply July 11, 2011

        joe

        hmm..ok.. i understand that completely.. but, i am thinking about replacing my hd 598 with something closed..because the ambient noise where i live here is very annoying.. do you have any reccomendation?? i am interested in these cans, as i am looking for a balanced presentation like 598..

        • Reply July 12, 2011

          Anonymous

          Joe,
          If you are looking for something that sounds like the HD598 but closed .. I don’t know I would look for a closed-back Sennheiser. But at the moment I can’t think of a closed back mid-fi Senn except for the RS170 wireless model.

          I’ve actually done a review of the RS180 (which is also open-back) and the review has been quite favorable.

          http://www.headfonia.com/sennheiser-rs180/

          Otherwise you can consider the Sony Z1000. In a way it can be similar to the HD598, but closed back. It’s an excellent headphone.
          http://www.headfonia.com/first-impression-sony-z1000/

  • Reply July 12, 2011

    Chris

    hey,

    I’m looking for new headphones for producing club music. Concerning the price,  300$ is the maximum i want to spend. I’ve read through a bunch of reviews/articles but I can’t decide. Which headphones would you recommend me most for producing music?

    • Reply July 13, 2011

      Anonymous

      Chris,
      Not too experienced with producing club music but I suppose you can
      either look into this Shure or the Beyerdynamic DT880.

  • Reply July 13, 2011

    Chris

    Well that’s exactly the answer I expected. Reviews tell pretty much the same as you advised me here, so I think I will take the Shure 940. Thanks for your help..

  • Reply July 14, 2011

    Johan Ullman

    Great review! I’ve had these for a couple of weeks now and I absolutely love them! I’m running them without an amp, directly from my computer right now and I suspect they can only get better. So can anyone recommend me a good matching desktop-amp for the srh940?

    Thanks! //Johan

  • Reply July 17, 2011

    Anonymous

    How does this compare to the AKG K 701?
    And what portable amp would you recommend to power these?

  • Reply July 17, 2011

    Anonymous

    Yeah I’d like to know how they compare to my K702’s

  • Reply July 20, 2011

    Nicol

    Have you heard the Sony SA-5000? I’m curious how these compare, and what these are like with string instruments and female vocals.With my personal tastes, I like a vivid, bright, wet sound.  Think female vocals where you can sense her lips and tone, and I prefer a crystal clear ‘staccato’ sound on violin strings, (not a smoothed over, legato sound).
    Do you think I’ll like the SRH-940?

    • Reply July 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Nicol,
      I haven’t heard of the SA5000, but from what you described I think
      you’ll like the SRH-940.

      • Reply August 3, 2011

        Nicol

        Mike, I heard the SRH-940 now and they are a stunning headphone, I highly enjoyed them.  I appreciate your review here which in part made me very curious about them.They really excelled at strings and female vocals like I suspected.I think the SRH-940 [from memory] is a level higher than the SA-5000, I thought the SRH-940 was THE headphone for me…… until later that day when I heard the ATH-A2000X.  I felt the A2000X is a headphone on a higher level than anything I’ve ever heard, especially in realism, even surpassing Stax, and a level up from the SRH-940, even in detail retrieval.Just curious if you have any thoughts on this mysterious model?

        • Reply August 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi Nicol,
          The A2000X is indeed mysterious — don’t hear about it mentioned very often, and no, I’ve never auditioned it.

          The W1000X on the other hand seems to be a far more popular model lately.

  • Reply July 21, 2011

    Anonymous

    Interesting review!

    Can you elaborate on how these compare to the ATH-M50? Call me a fanboy, but so far, I’ve listened to more headphones than I care to remember. At it’s price point, it seems that the ATH-M50 beats pretty much every closed headphone under $300 in terms of overall sound reproduction, and in some aspects beats more expensive ones.

    Also, how is the soundstage on these cans? Closed cans aren’t exactly known for their soundstage.

    • Reply July 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Chris,
      The SRH-940 is more detailed, more forward, faster paced, more
      articulate (especially bass region) and has more treble than the M-50.
      The soundstage is more accurate, though not as wide as the M-50.
      The M-50 is more laid back, smoother, wider soundstage though not as
      accurate, looser on the bass, and the vocal presence is not as spot on
      as the SRH-940.

      • Reply July 31, 2011

        Donunus

        So when you say the shures are bright, is it the entire spectrum? or is it peaky like the m50?

        • Reply August 1, 2011

          Anonymous

          Something along the line of a Beyer DT880 with a little less treble and fuller mids.

          • Reply August 1, 2011

            Donunus

            Have you heard the dt48e yet? I have these right now and was wondering if the shures were as ridiculously transparent as these. These also have more mids and less treble than the dt880s. less bass too but very coherent and evil good low level detail.

            • Reply August 1, 2011

              Anonymous

              Don,
              I heard the dt48e with a bunch of friends and none of us thinks that there is any good in those cans except for the mids. I don’t know, a bad pair perhaps? I certainly didn’t think it has low level detail. The housing reverb was awful too.

              Anyway I think the Shure is the type that pushes those details out, somehow similar to how the DT880s are. So the character is very different than the DT48e.

          • Reply August 1, 2011

            Donunus

            My dt48e doesn’t have any reverb at all. By the way, they also get better the more you sweat and the seal gets better. It becomes like a suction cup sticking on your head before the sound is at its best. The dt880s lacked lots of detail compared to these. Those had peaky highs so I couldn’t really hear lots of background detail besides the highs. Anyway Its either different pairs or just different tastes I guess. Thats weird though about the reverb. Anyway, i hope to hear these shures someday.

            • Reply August 1, 2011

              Anonymous

              Yes it definitely has reverbs and I just remember now that the thing got no bass from the mid to low bass. Didn’t really try the sweaty trick though 😉

        • Reply August 1, 2011

          Anonymous

          But when I say fuller mids, keep in mind that this is still mostly a monitoring headphone, so nothing lush or mellow like the B&W P5.

    • Reply July 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      I know I mostly talk about the SRH-940 to the SRH-840 in this review,
      but you can read the closed cans comparison article to get a better
      sense of how things stand between the SRH-840 to the M-50.

      http://www.headfonia.com/closed-cans-shootout-m-50-esw-9-t50p-hd25-1-beats-studio-srh-840-srh-750dj-k181dj-and-dj1pro/

      By the way the soundstage on the SRH-940 is among the best I’ve heard on
      closed headphones.

  • Reply August 1, 2011

    zowki

    I was pretty set on the Sony Z1000 until I read this Shure SRH-940 review, now I’m undecided again. How does the Z1000 and SRH-940 differ?

    • Reply August 1, 2011

      zowki

      I looked deeper into the comment thread and it looks like you already mentioned the difference between the Z1000 and SRH-940:

      “I think you’ll be happier with the Shure. It has minimal coloration,

      tight bass, and it pushes the detail out.

      In my opinion the Sony is the more refined headphone overall and the one

      I’d go for music listening though. “

      • Reply August 1, 2011

        Anonymous

        Thanks, you saved me some search work there. 🙂

  • Reply August 5, 2011

    bookaboo

    hi mike,

    great review again

    i am looking into a closed headphone and these seem to be ticking all the boxes so far. i was just wondering if the treble extension was of the piercing variety as i am sensitive to treble. for example i find the treble on my dt770 pros too much and much prefer the treble on my hd 650 so where does the treble on the srh940 lie? closer to the sennheiser or the beyer? i have read that these are comparable to the dt880 in sound but the only reservation i have is in the treble region. i listen to mostly classic rock, blues, country, folk, acoustic.

    thanks

    • Reply August 6, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Bookaboo.

      If you’re sensitive to treble, then stay away from this Shure, as it is quite close to the Beyer level treble. Perhaps something like the Hifiman HE-300 would be a better alternative.

      http://www.headfonia.com/hifiman-he-300-the-dynamic-driver/

      • Reply August 6, 2011

        bookaboo

        how about the beyerdynamic dt250, srh840 or something right out of consumerland – the monster beats pro?

        thanks

        • Reply August 6, 2011

          Anonymous

          What music ?

          The Dt250 is okay, it’s an old headphone with old drivers — roughly the same technicalities as the HD25-1 but less exciting tonal balance (I’d recommend the HD25-1 more).
          The SRH-840 is less trebly than the 940, but being monitoring drivers it also shows sibilance.
          The Monster beats pro, never auditioned it.

          If you are sensitive to treble, chances are you’re more into mids and lows. Try the B&W P5.

          • Reply August 6, 2011

            bookaboo

            hi mike,

            thanks for the advice and prompt replies.

            i listen to a wide range of music pop, classic rock, country, folk, r n b and acoustic. i have had the hd25 in the past and have had to give them up because of the harshness of the exposed sibilance. i have also had the P5 liked the sound but didnt like the feel of them (i know im a fussy customer but comfort is also a factor for me). the monster beats pro is similar in sound signature to the beats studio you reviewed but with a little more bass punch and more forward mids. they sound like an even bassier HD650 if thats an indication. i find them a little bit too bassy on some music (acoustic, country, etc) but the top end is great on my old rock muso ears so maybe a compromise is in order . i can get them through work at a reasonable price so i may give them a try (and send you a review 🙂 unless you think that the dt250 is a better allrounder.

            • Reply August 8, 2011

              Anonymous

              Sounds like a hard ear to satisfy there.

              I think you have to realize that at the end you can’t end up with one perfect headphone to suit all recordings. Like the issue you mentioned with the HD25-1 and sibilance. The HD25-1 is pretty rolled off in the top treble and is not a particularly sibilant headphone, but a lot of recordings have very strong amount of sibilance in them and there is nothing short of a heavy attenuation in the treble that will kill those sibilance.

              The P5 sounds like the headphone with the sound that would fit you, but apparently you don’t enjoy the fit. The Monster Beats Pro also doesn’t sound like the proper headphone since you find it to have too much bass.
              I don’t think that the DT250 will be any different in this case, or even the much newer DT1350.

      • Reply August 6, 2011

        bookaboo

        but is that an open headphone? i need a closed option so i don’t annoy my wife:-)

  • Reply August 8, 2011

    bookaboo

    hi mike,

    hey i went out and auditioned the srh840 and loved it so much i took it home. just the sound i was after. also was reading some eq tips that dononus posted in the he 300 discussion for the dt990 and tried them on the dt770 and am enjoying this sound as well do i think i’ll hang onto these as well. what a great site this is that we can learn so much from not only yourself but the other posters as well.

    thanks mike and dononus

    • Reply August 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      Sounds great!

  • Reply August 13, 2011

    Chevon James

    i have a few closed headphones in mind and i was hoping you could help me decide.
    im looking for something with plenty of isolation ( bringing headphones on bus/train), it has to have amazing quality ( i want to hear things ive never heard before ).

    so SRH940 or ATH M50?

    • Reply August 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      If you want to hear things you never heard before, I think the SRH-940 would be better. But the M-50 has a better isolation. I’m not sure the SRH-940 would isolate on a train ride. IEMs would be best for that.

      Keep in mind though that the amount of detail you can hear is limited on the recordings you listen to. Some recordings are not that detailed and it’s not going to change anything even if you upgrade to $1k headphones.
      Taken from the FAQ: http://www.headfonia.com/faq/

      The next most important thing is recording quality. Recording quality is a very big factor in the overall Hi-Fi chain, as you simply can’t get a good sound with a bad recording. Good music is always good music regardless of the recording, but the recording is what will give you that Hi-Fi sound through your headphones. Try playing a mono Beatles recording through your $50,000 headphone system and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sadly, many great music and albums have sub-par and even bad quality recordings.

      It’s also important to be able to differentiate the different types of recordings so you can tell if a certain fault in the sound is caused from the recording or from the headphones. A very common example is sibilance. Some recordings have very high level of sibilance and it’ll show through in almost all headphones — that’s not the fault of the
      headphone. Another important fact to notice is the recording technique.
      Most Pop/Rock recordings these days are done in a closed, soundproof
      studio, and there would be no real soundstage inherent in the
      recordings. So don’t blame your headphones if the soundstage sounds
      flawed, constricted, or artificial, because that’s not the fault of the
      headphone.

      Live recordings are almost always the best types of recordings to
      evaluate the overall acoustic performance of a headphone — there you’ll
      be able to tell an accurate soundstage from a fake one, micro detail
      levels, ambiance feel, et cetera.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Chevon James

    thank you.

    but to go into more detail, 90% of my music is rock. particularly post hardcore and screamo  ” Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria, Woe is Me” etc etc. so can the srh940’s deliver the bass i need or should i get the ath m50s?

    another thing. if the answer is the m50 then should i get the pro700 mk2 “seeing as they manage to go even harder.” and OMG sorry for rambling but i think this would be better in a list instead lol

    for hard rock and screamo – srh940, ath m50 pro700 mk2?

    are the  pro700 mk2 so bassy that they are muddy and decrease quality of the music because clarity  to me is everything.?

    what music are srh940’s made for?

    what other headphones are great for rock?

    • Reply August 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      Chevon,
      I think the DT1350 is perfect for the stuff that you listen to. Not the SRH-940, not the M-50, not the Pro 700mk2.

      Other headphones you may want to look into is the HD25-1.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Chevon James

    one more question before i leave you alone lol

    i recently ordered the sennheiser hd598 but i never has time to research seeing as they were on auction for 140 =) so have you had experience with them or know what music they are used for?

  • Reply August 22, 2011

    Mehdi Imed Guessous

    I  got my srh940, and  I  realize that the word “monster” in the title isn’t necessarily positive.  I found the  exaggerated treble , hurting the musicality of some song.  On some pop music,  I  hear  almost only percussions, and bass is  drown in the background.  I  got a more satisfying sound using an eq, in fact a vst chain, but is it anymore the  “original” headphone ? Also I  didn’t find the trebble that much impressive, I  didn’t see the point of over emphasizing it.  I  was lured by the fact that these headphones were supposed to be good for professionals, but I  think it’s misleading.

    • Reply August 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment, Mehdi. But did you actually read the review?

      Copy and pasted from the review:

      Overall the SRH-940 is still primarily a linear headphone geared more toward monitoring, as most music listeners would prefer a fuller and punchier lows, more mid coloration, and a less intense treble, even if that means less detail levels and looser bass. In that sense you can take something totally different like the heavily warm and colored B&W P5 headphone, and feel that music flows better out of the P5. But there are times when we want to hear those details in the recordings, and in a way, the SRH-940 gives me almost the same detailed sensation I hear on the Beyerdynamic DT880 headphone, except with better mids and vocal reproduction.

      • Reply August 22, 2011

        Mehdi Imed Guessous

        Dear headfonia, the thing I retained the more from you article is the final “Quite a winning product, in my opinion”.  Every other descriptions were more or less technicalities I couldn’t understand or be convinced until I tried them (I’m a noob regarding  high end headphones) .   Also explain me how they are supposed to be good “professional monitors”,  because how could you ensure that the music “sound right”  in  your recording , if from the begin the treble is over-emphasized  ?  In that regard , I  find that my hd595 are better if you wish to remaster a track (it’s more neutral from the start).  Anyway I’m not saying that these are bad headphones, I’d say that I was somehow surprised.

  • Reply August 24, 2011

    Chevon James

    i own a zunehd and the shure srh940’s and i was wondering what amp i should get

    the headstage arrow 12he “EXPENSIVE YIKES”
    the Fiio e7 or e11
    or something else you’d recommend “for rock music”

    • Reply August 25, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Chevon,
      The E11 would be nice for Rock. Or the PA2V2. http://www.headfonia.com/music-on-a-budget-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout/

      • Reply August 26, 2011

        Chevon James

        great ! so my set up is a zuneHD, Fiio E11,and a pair of Sennheiser HD 25-1 ii.
        is there anything else i need to complete my rig for rock music?

        • Reply August 27, 2011

          Anonymous

          That would be enough for now.

          You can try the DT1350 if you have the extra budget. Also the upcoming Audinst AMP-HP portable amplifier would make for a nice upgrade over the E11 Fiio.

    • Reply October 27, 2011

      Hapster

      You shouldn’t need an amp really, they’re only 42 ohms

  • Reply August 26, 2011

    Dleblanc343

    Hi there. So I was thinking about getting these, but then the grado ms2i’s caught my attention. And well, now I’m also somewhat interested in the k702. From what I understand, the shure’s would be the most detailed, while the ms2i’s would probably be the most neutral? The k702’s are comfortable from what I heard, but what are it’s main strengths? I am looking for something different than my srh440’s, lack of bass is not a problem, but I’d like to hear it lol :P. I want something neutral- somewhat trebly; something detailed but not necessarily overkill. I tried the 940 at a local audio shop briefly, tried them with my e7/e9, sounded good, but I can’t compare to the other two. It wasnt too bright for me, but very revealing when tried with older recordings.

    So to be more clear, what can you say about each headphone, and their respective strengths and weaknesses when put against eachother?

    • Reply August 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Long and complicated question there. 🙂

      Okay so MS2i, K702, and SRH-940.

      SRH-940: Trebly, neutral, detail, sharp.
      MS2i: Trebly, engaging, musical
      K702: Neutral, less trebly, big wide soundstage.

      That’s probably how I’m going to describe them. The MS2i would be the most musical sounding of the three, but the driver resolution and refinement is not up to the K702 or the SRH-940’s level.

      • Reply September 4, 2011

        Dleblanc343

        And how about the dt880 among all this, and how would you rank each headphone in terms of your preference?

        • Reply September 5, 2011

          Anonymous

          For music listening, I’ve always have a problem with the DT880’s thin mids and very bright presentation.

          I would probably rank them, based on personal preference: MS2i, SRH-940, K702, DT880. For music.

          • Reply September 5, 2011

            Khubmai

            Hi Mike. For music your personal preference: MS2i, SRH-940, K702, DT880. .

            If I add MS-pro, ATH-AD900, What is your rank for resolution and refinement?

            What headphone is beautiful sound for acoustic?

            thank you.

            • Reply September 5, 2011

              Anonymous

              Roughly (because it also depends on what music)

              MSPro, AD900, MS2i, SRH-940, K702, DT880.

              I think the MS Pro is very good for acoustic, but it is very expensive.

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    Simon Guilmain

    Hello Mike. I currently own the SRH-940 and I appreciate the detail and balanced tehy offer. I fine them musical but would like a bit more presence in the lower frequency. I’m not a Bass head (Far from it) but they are my only pair of full-size close headphone and with some genre of music the extra bass would be nice. I owned the Denon D5000 before and just trade them for MS-Pro (And I’m very happy with that trade ;^p). My question is would you recommend the Sony Z1000 or the Audio Technica W1000x to replace the SRH-940?  Here’s a sample of the music I listen:  Dave Matthews Band, Marillion, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Morcheeba, Mogwai, Pat Metheny, Yo-Yo Ma.

    Thanks!

    • Reply October 13, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Simon, 
      If you’re looking for a closed headphone then the Z1000 is one of the finest and the most balanced around. 

      Otherwise you can also look at the HD600, it will give you the detail and the resolution and all the good stuff (though it’s darker than the SRH-940) but with a very good bass impact which you don’t get with either the Shure SRH-940 or the Z1000. 

    • Reply October 13, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Simon, 
      If you’re looking for a closed headphone then the Z1000 is one of the finest and the most balanced around. 

      Otherwise you can also look at the HD600, it will give you the detail and the resolution and all the good stuff (though it’s darker than the SRH-940) but with a very good bass impact which you don’t get with either the Shure SRH-940 or the Z1000. 

  • Reply October 21, 2011

    Kid

    Heya! Some questions here. I listen mostly to Jpop music and it seems like this genre is kinda wide with some  more into bassy (like abit of techno) and and some with guitar/piano cover and the most important is the female vocal. Wanted to upgrade form SRH-440 and currently looking into this SRH-940. Looked into forums and saw it was kinda bass-shy. So is the SRH-940 suitable for J-pop genre or SRH-840 will do the job or any other headphones? Thanks!

    • Reply October 21, 2011

      Kid

      And mostly J-pop music surely has band instruments. So wanna get headphone with this criteria: 
      – Vocal presentation and separation (mid)
      – instrument separation
      – just enough or little bit more bass like SRH-440
      – Detailed sounding
      –  average soundstage is alright

      Or do you have any ideas on amp that can make this SRH-940 sound more bassy which is closer to SRH-840 or SRH-440? 

      Thanks in advance. (new in these too many questions too ask, my bad.)

    • Reply October 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Kid, 

      Jpop is mostly high energy, full of beat, fast paced music, except for some bands and female vocalists. Rather than finding a headphone based on individual bass-vocal-soundstage-separation aspect, it’s best to find a headphone that will work well with the energy of Jpop music. 

      I think the DT1350 would be a good headphone to look at for Jpop. The Shures simpy won’t work. Not the 840, not the 940. Not to mention that the monitoring headphones (like the Shures) will show you every bit of the sibilance prevalent in Jpop recordings. 

      http://www.headfonia.com/beyerdynamic-dt1350-death-to-the-hd25-1/

      • Reply October 21, 2011

        Kid

        Thanks for replying, have any recommendation for full size one’s? Still I quite enjoyed using SRH-440 listening to Jpop music. Will try and check DT1350 out.

        • Reply October 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Something full size.. weird I can’t think of any at the moment.

          • Reply October 21, 2011

            Kid

            Take you time man, no worries! Your suggestion helped me alot! Cheers.

          • Reply October 21, 2011

            Anonymous

            I just posted the question on my twitter, see if anybody has a good suggestion:

            http://twitter.com/headfonia

          • Reply October 23, 2011

            Kid

            Is it possible to get the bass of SRH940 nearby the SRH840/440 by using the fiio E10 or the upcoming E17? Or getting the Sennheiser HD600 will do the job?

            • Reply October 24, 2011

              Anonymous

              The E10 or E11 with bass-boost would help boost the bass level to make it more SRH-840 like yes, but it won’t be the same as the SRH-840.
              The HD600 is a different headphone with different characteristics and sound.

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    madriz

    Hi Mike,

    Between the SRH940 and DT880, which one is more detailed? Or are they in the same level?

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Madriz,
      Very close but I think the DT880 still has a slight edge. I can hear better ambiance details on live recordings on the DT880, but for studio recorded songs the difference is probably irrelevant.

  • Reply December 1, 2011

    Neoavlaon

    I really do have a STUPID question. I was gonna buy pxc 450 which normally priced at 279. Then all of sudden, Amazon raised their price to 319. I gave up and start to looking for alternatives. I stumble upon SRH940. Made the purchase, and Crazy Amazon lower the price of PXC450 to 243. No I am thinking to cancel my order and switch back to PXC450, if you were me what would you choose?

    Isolation is kind important to me. 

    Thanks

    • Reply December 1, 2011

      Mike

      Wow, I don’t think I can answer that for you.

      • Reply December 1, 2011

        Neoavalon

        please, allow me to elaborate.

        If you are force to choose b/w pxc450 and SRH940 which one would you choose?considering 1.isolation/noise reduction is most important then SQ then comfort then durability MANY THANKS! 

        with all due respect,  I need your answer to make the final call.

        ESL student, please forgive me if i said anything wrong. and I am a little bit agitated. 

        • Reply December 1, 2011

          Neoavalon

          I think by now there is still a window of opportunity for me to cancel my order.

          Maybe I should see a therapist regarding “how to make decisions” . I know. But now, I just could not make the call. I admire PXC450 isolation. But at the same time, I am impressed with SRH940.I mostly listening to jazz, new age, classical, and vocal.

          • Reply December 1, 2011

            Mike

            Screw the Senn then, go with the SRH-940.

          • Reply December 1, 2011

            Neoavalon

            Thank you, sir!

            now I have some inner peace and shout out “screw amazon! ”

            lol.

            Really appreciate your opinion and reply so promptly!!!

            • Reply December 1, 2011

              Mike

              You’re welcome. 🙂 I happen to be online and reading the pages. 🙂

              But usually comments are answered within 24 hours.

          • Reply December 1, 2011

            Neoavalon

            Yeah, I am feeling lucky!

            Again Thanks a Million Times!

        • Reply December 1, 2011

          Mike

          I think you should go with the PXC450 if travel headphone is what you are looking for. The SRH940 is a monitoring headphone.
          Better yet, go with this one:
          http://amzn.to/ruhRZm

  • Reply January 3, 2012

    Charles Smith

    Hey I’m a sound tech at my church and a DJ at a radio station. I currently use the shure srh440’s I have been thinking of upgrading to the 940’s I also listen to my iPod with them on a regular basis. Any advise?

    • Reply January 3, 2012

      Mike

      Sounds good Charles. I think you’ll like the SRH940s. They make a far better monitoring headphone than the SRH440. Perhaps add a good amplifier for your Ipod set up.

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    shing111

    Many people said Shure Srh940 is a bad headphone and overpriced. Do you agree?

    • Reply February 6, 2012

      Mike

      Nah, it’s a good headphone. Just have to know what it’s designed for and what music it plays well with.

      • Reply March 5, 2012

        Guessous Mehdi Imed

        My first impression with the srh940 was depressing , but then I  enjoyed them much more  after modding them. Could you try this easy , and reversible mod ? I  just increased the depth of ear cup, by inserting piece of rope basically in each cup (1 cm thick, roughly, 24 cm length). I  found them better balanced after that, and also clarity was improved (don’t be skeptical without trying). If you can’t or don’t want to try, well never mind.

        Also I  bought recently the hd25 II  1 you were recommending me instead of the srh940, I’ll admit they are much more fun and put me in a good mood (vs the “depression” I  got first when trying the srh940) . Off the three “full size” headphones I  own now :  hd595, srh940, hd25 II, I  think the hd25 II  is the one I  like the best.

  • Reply April 7, 2012

    Jazzeroo

    Firstly, I will not say this 940 has got staggering detail as I personally find its musical presentation almost designed to please all and is probably geared more towards a longer listening rather than a full -on detailed examination the recorded material. Nothing wrong with that but as far as monitoring headphones it claims to be,  it just passes in my opinion. It is pleasant and enjoyable enough to warrant an endorsement.

     Treble it has plenty but it lacks attack and precision. They are all there but they are not all there and in some cases, the 940 seems confused and noisy instead of delivering clarity. Cymbals (ride or crash) tend to sound almost similar when really harmonics have a lot to do with cymbal tones and pitch rather than just treble and the 940 is found wanting in that area.
    So you get this wash of highs with no specific tone in some busy passages.

    As for bass, that it has plenty too, but again fails to disclose precise notes expected of it at the low end and instead tend to sound lazy. The mids and high-mids are quite good and anything strummed, plucked, vocalized and bowed are lush and pleasing.  Just don’t expect snare hits that will chop your head off.  It hasn’t got that intensity.

    Like I said, maybe the designers deliberately chose this sound signature to be less fatiguing rather than being articulate and precise which could get tiresome as is mostly the case with too precise a  musical presentation.
    I guess maybe my 940s need more time to burn-in as it seems to get better every time I use it or also maybe I am getting used to its signature sound rather than expecting it to be any different.
    It still is my first-call headphone for most applications and its closed back keep out enough noise to make it enjoyable and others not to be disturbed on planes and crowded places. It is almost portable. Soundstage and imaging like these in a headphone are seldom portable.
    These Shure SRH-940s certainly belong in the high-end world of headphones, and justifiably so for their price and sound, but just enjoy the musical experience rather than the absolute details.
    The AKGS and Senns tend to do those slightly better—just.

    • Reply April 7, 2012

      Mike

      Thanks for sharing Jazzeroo.

  • Reply April 8, 2012

    juan salazar

    hey! nice page bro.
    can you give some advice i’m looking for a monitor headphone that is less colored for mixing purposes. I’m interested on the 840, 940, Akg Q701, and i would like to know what are your thoughts about the sen HD380 and their relation with the ones above.

    • Reply April 9, 2012

      Mike

      Any of the headphones you mentioned are good. The two shures and the AKG are relatively neutral with their own signature presentations .
      As for the Senn HD380 I actually have never heard of it. 🙂

      • Reply April 9, 2012

        juan salazar

        thanks dude!

  • Reply April 20, 2012

    juan salazar

    I did it! Lol!
    I bought the SH940! and they are amazing!!!! crystal clear! i love the detail very nice for mixing, monitoring and just hearing music. As a musician when a i hear music i like to catch the details and with this ones you surely can. Thanks for your review is very accurate as what i’m hearing now with this cans.

    • Reply April 20, 2012

      Mike

      Good to hear that, Juan.

  • Reply June 27, 2012

    Eyal Sade

    I have a question: how does it compare with ATH-A900X ?
    Eyal.

    • Reply June 27, 2012

      Mike

      It’s a very different headphone to be honest. I don’t even know where to start.

  • Reply June 28, 2012

    Eyal Sade

    When comparing the 940 to the Beyers-‘880.. is the latter more detailed?
    Also, which is more Comfort. and, which gives better separation?

    • Reply June 28, 2012

      Mike

      It’s a very close comparison. The Beyer may be the more detailed one, but honestly I’m not so sure. I think the bottom line is that both headphones are very comfortable and very detailed. Detail level should be more than enough, unless you are really trying to find spots in the recording.

  • Reply July 1, 2012

    Eric Thompson

    So from what I’m understanding… get the DT880’s? : )

    • Reply July 3, 2012

      Mike

      Well it may seem so on paper, but for music listening I’d go for the Shure. The DT880 sounds extremely spacious, too spacious often that it diffuses the energy of the music if you listen to Rock. The Shure on the other hand focuses the energy pretty well and the PRaT factor is great.

  • Reply July 2, 2012

    Eyal Sade

    and how does it compare with the KRK KNS-8400 ?

    • Reply July 3, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Eyal,
      Sorry no experience with the KRK.

  • Reply August 13, 2012

    Mike

    SRH940 all the way. I didn’t really like the T70, and people’s impressions have been quite similar as well.
    So for the Tesla Beyers, so far it’s only the T5P and the T1 that’s good.

  • Reply September 28, 2012

    Anders Støvring

    Drill a hole 1,4 mm in each cup, and you’ll get subbass, but still a balanced sound. That way they become really outstanding.

    • Reply September 28, 2012

      Mike

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Anders.

  • Reply October 31, 2012

    breizh

    hi Mike,

    how would you compare the shure srh940 with the AKG K550, especially for the bass quality/quantity and the soundstage ?

    do you think one is better than the other for classic rock (stones/dylan …) ?

    thanks a lot !

    richard

    • Reply November 1, 2012

      Mike

      Richard,
      For classic rock like stones and dylan, definitely go with the Shure SRH940. The K550 is too wide (the soundstage) and the bass a bit slow in pace and weak in punch, it doesn’t really suit rock. The SRH940 is a much better choice for Rock.

      • Reply November 5, 2012

        breizh

        ok, thank you very much Mike, that’s clear !

        richard

  • Reply November 29, 2012

    SSA

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks a lot for the review. It has been a huge help for me to make a shortlist for the headphones I am planning to buy. I am currently stuck between AKG 550 and the Shure SRH 940. I know you previously said that for rock music SRH does the job better, how about other types? Classical, solo piano and jazz? Which one would you go with? Or would you reccomend Focal Spirit One or P5 of B&W over the initial two?

    Your opinions much appreciated.

    SSA

    • Reply November 29, 2012

      Trent_D

      I could be very wrong, but a recommendation for the Beyer DT770 AE might be in your near future.

      • Reply November 29, 2012

        L.

        That headphone does it all! I’m listening to it right now with the WA2

        • Reply November 29, 2012

          SSA

          Trent,
          Thanks a lot. But it seems to me, Beyer DT 770 would need an additional amp to drive, is that correct or would I be able to use it on the go without additional amp?

          • Reply November 30, 2012

            Trent_D

            I used to own the K550. It’s a nice headphone, but it also needed an amp. Not to drive it, as it, like the dt770 is easy to drive, but it was quite revealing of its components. What will you be plugging these into? Ipod? e10?

            • Reply November 30, 2012

              SSA

              Hi,

              Yes, likely an Ipod/Iphone, but also the amp at home. I thought at 80 ohms, I may not be able to use it without an amp. I may get an additional headphone amp down the line but for now, it will be plugged in a mobile device or a rather old integrated amp (with which I use either a pc or a cd player to play music)

              If I may, what is it that makes you feel that one should go with Beyer and not AKG (or Shure, Focal, P5 for that matter). Did you have problems with K550? I did test-drive it and one thing, for instance, that scares me is the force of the clamp. Was that a worry for you as well?
              Thank you for your time.

    • Reply November 29, 2012

      Mike

      Classical, Solo Piano and Jazz the K550 is quite nice. What Trent said though, you should look into the DT770AE.

      • Reply November 29, 2012

        SSA

        Thanks a lot Mike. I am giving it a look now, do you think its good on the go though? (as well as home use).

        • Reply November 30, 2012

          Mike

          It’s a bit big for walking around but still manageable. At least more manageable than the K550.

  • Hey Mike! I really want to know which portable amp will suit this headphone? I want more bass impact and bass quantity. Is C421 the right choice? Thanks!

    • And what about alo mk3 that have bass adjustment knob or objective o2? I will soon try all of them at MunkongGadget. Which one you recommended? Thanks!

      • Reply January 27, 2013

        dalethorn

        If you already have the SRH940, adding bass may present difficulties and introduce distortion, since the low-cost analog amps will generally muddy the 940’s bass, and a DAC/amp like the Dragonfly will make it even tighter or thinner. In my opinion a better thing would be to reduce the very bright treble, which will make the bass more apparent, and add much less distortion.

        • Thanks dalethorn! I tried c421 with srh940 this morning and I found that c421 added more bass quantity and impact but srh940 got a blacker background with absolutely zero distortion when paired with this amp. I also tried this with fiio e11 and found that this amp added more bass quantity but less bass impact than c421. But I am now having no chance to try it with o2 and alo mk3 yet. So I want to know how srh940 sound when paired with these amp?

          • Reply January 27, 2013

            dalethorn

            http://headfonics.com/2011/08/shure-srh-940-our-man-is-comparing-it-to-the-hd800-is-he-mad/#comments

            Scroll down here to the comment by ‘Amclaussen’. His lengthy comment will tell you what you need for best results with the SRH940.

            • Thanks again dalethorn! But there’s no Lehmannaudio BCL amp to be auditioned in my country and this is not a portable amp also. I upgraded srh940 from my old ath-m50 so I seek a portable amp for more bass impact to make srh940 sound more engaging like my old m50. What I really impressed on srh940 is that there is no sibilance on treble which is sometimes too bright for my taste so I fixed it by EQ-ing and mid is very forward (after EQ-ing) on srh940 when compared to m50 which is my preferred sound signature.

              • Reply January 27, 2013

                dalethorn

                The 940 may improve on the *impression* you have of its impact with a different amp, but at most it will be a miniscule change, and because the M50 bass (especially the deep bass) is so much stronger than the 940, it will not make much difference. The only practical way to be assured of a better match is to audition several amps in person.

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Bahadir

    Hi, I have a question about the build quality. Because other than that I am sold when it comes to Shure. I have a pair of 6 year old Shure IEMs which needed service once after the warranty expired because of the cable and Shure replaced the cable for free.

    So, is there anyone here who’s been using the 940’s for a while and had a problem with them? There are forum topics on a cracking issue and I don’t know if people are abusing these headphones or something but it seems like a common problem. I wouldn’t want to buy 250 Euro headphones just for them to break in a year so please comment if you’ve had any experience with this.

    Thanks.

    • Reply March 13, 2013

      dalethorn

      I had the 940 for 6 months or so, and donated it to someone who needed a headphone. No durability issues at all. The Shure headphones seem very good to me in build quality. I’ve had the 940, 1440, and 1840.

    • Reply November 5, 2013

      Kartoffelmao

      Yes, mine broke easy… The tuning on headband breaks very easy just from normal use of taking the headphones on and off my head. Even though the sound is terriffic im rather gonna go for the Philips Fidelio X1 or the new Fidelio L2.

      • Reply November 6, 2013

        Mike

        Please try the L2.

  • Reply November 18, 2013

    Gabriel

    how would you compare the soundstages of the SRH940 and the SRH840?

    • Reply November 18, 2013

      dalethorn

      I haven’t heard the 840 but the soundstage of the 940 is unusually good for a closed headphone. The reason I replied even though I haven’t heard the 840 is because I want to suggest that a lot of the impression of soundstage with the 940 is due to the strong treble (i.e. why it’s called the detail monster). I’ll bet if you EQ’d the treble of both headphones to be more comparable, the soundstage would also become more similar.

      • Reply November 21, 2013

        Mike

        840 soundstage is a bit wider but less depth than the 940.

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