Shure SRH-840: 50+ Hours


The sound of the Shure changes as the hours go by. I can start to describe the sound of the Shure after 50 hours have passed. It is definitely warm, and the sweet Shure midrange that I described in the 1st Impression is still there. What else? Sweet midbass punch. More and more headphone and IEM manufacturers understand that midbass punch adds a lot of groove to music. Grado did it with their HF2, and Westone did it with their W3, to name a few recent ones. Likewise the Shure SRH-840’s midbass punch adds fun and musicality to the music.

After 50 hours, gone is the rough treble that I reported on the first impression. Rather, now you have a good sparkly treble, though it tends to be sibilant on a lot of mainstream music. I can see what Shure is thinking, a warm midrange, a good midbass punch, and a sparkly treble — all combined to make a fun listening experience. The problem is, while the treble has good detail and is quite smooth, sibilance is something I don’t appreciate.

What else? The good thing about this Shure, is that I don’t hear any of the closed headphone reverb that is often found on closed headphones. People call it as the “closed” sound. The Shure SRH-840, along with the Sennheiser HD25-1, are the only closed headphones I’ve found to be free from the reverb problem. The Audio Technica ESW9 and ESW10 have it, the Beyerdynamics DT770 have it, and a lot of other closed headphones too.

I really like the soundstage on the SRH-840. Previously my favorite closed headphone was the Sennheiser HD25-1, and while it did a lot of things well, it didn’t really have a good soundstage. The SRH-840 had enough soundstage to make music listening fun and not claustrophobic, while still able to maintain a nice intimate sound. It certainly has a bigger soundstage than regular Grados, including the Grado HF2. Separation is also very good on the Shure. While the Sennheiser HD25-1 still maintains better separation, the HD25-1 suffers from a small soundstage, making the overall spatial experience not very enjoyable. The Shure has a much bigger soundstage than the HD25-1, and with a fairly good instrument separation, listening to live recordings is a joy on the Shure.

So far at 50hours, the SRH-840 is evolving nicely. I’m curious if it gets any better even after more burn in.



I’ve published the third part of the review: Shure SRH-840: Conclusion

5/5 - (1 vote)



  • Reply March 10, 2011

    Brycon Slaughter Casey

    i have noticed the sibilance problem myself and i really cannot stand it has it gotten better for you over time. like for example after 100 hours.

    • Reply March 10, 2011


      No it doesn’t get better. The Shure is a monitoring headphone and if there is sibilance in the recording, a good monitoring headphone should show it.

  • Yes, I also am leaning towards the thought of a slight, but a rather unpleasant overpowering treble / subtle sibilance. It’s probably small enough though not to deter you from the purchase of these headphones as its other characteristics clearly outweigh any possible ‘shortfalls’ (that might not be shortfalls at all to some). I love the sound; the bass, the vocals, the sound of the guitar, the accuracy of representation, smacking instrument separation, and it’s sound isolation that is nothing less than totally blowingly awesome; people don’t hear you, you don’t hear the world. I would give them around 8/10 for comfort of wearing. My other favorite headphones include the Fischer Audio’s FA-004’s, among others.

    • Reply March 16, 2011


      Yes there high treble response of the SRH840 will show sibilance when present in the recording. I don’t think the treble is overpowering though. Lower treble is quite okay in quantity. I also won’t blame the Shure headphone for exhibiting a natural level of sibilance if the recording has it. Not unless the sibilance is extreme like what I hear on the Edition 10.


  • Reply January 9, 2013


    Mike or Lieven, I picked up the SRH-840 that you recommended to me and like them very much, not at the 300 hr. burn in yet but getting there. I now have $ 250 max for an amp and dac either separates or combo, portable or desktop. Music is classical and acoustic. Thx, Rick

    • Reply January 9, 2013



      The toppings are nice.

      You can also look at the Audinst HUD-MX1 and the Fiio E17.

      • Reply January 9, 2013


        Mike, Once again you have pointed me in the right direction with your recommendation. Thank You, Rick

        • Reply January 9, 2013


          You’re welcome Rick

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