Shure might have vacated the phono cartridge class the place it had some glorious merchandise for a few years, however it’s pushing moderately arduous with its second technology merchandise within the headphone and earphone verticals. Having launched the subsequent technology of the award-winning SE846 Gen 2 Earphones, the corporate has additionally reset its sights on the studio market in 2022.
The model doesn’t have a repute for resetting its product lineup yearly and the Shure 440 and 840 Studio Headphones have remained largely unchanged and continued to compete in opposition to the Sony MDR-7506 ($80) and Beyerdynamic DT-990 ($129).
Some of those merchandise have existed inside the studio ecosystem for nearly 30 years however 2022 was in all probability the fitting time for some turnover; Beyerdynamic launched the brand new DT Pro X fashions and Shure has launched the Shure SRH440A and SRH840A Studio Headphones.
Between the 2 manufacturers, the brand new Beyerdynamic fashions are extra of a refresh, while the brand new SRH headphones from Shure are a reimagining of the merchandise.
Studio headphones take a variety of abuse and there may be an expectation from customers that the development high quality and sturdiness can be as much as the problem. $99 may not seem to be some huge cash for a pair of headphones for the studio or podcast classes, however individuals anticipate Shure headphones to supply worth and long-term efficiency.
The SRH440A are comparatively sturdy; the body is made out of a polymer and features a padded headband with a fake leather-based higher band and fabric decrease part which rests in your hand.
The headband adjusts with constructive clicks and a scale on the within of every extension to assist help with adjustment. The adjustment arms terminate in a big flat that enables the gimbal to rotate 90° to the rear and roughly 15° to the entrance on the vertical axis.
The gimbals themselves are huge and moderately sturdy; all the wiring is hidden inside for defense and to reduce the quantity of stress that’s positioned on it.
The gimbals connect on the mid-point of the ear cup and permit roughly 20° inward journey on the high however cease on the vertical axis to make sure an excellent seal even with glasses.
The ear cups are additionally manufactured from polymer utilizing a 2-step design with the 40mm driver sitting within the bigger ahead portion and the rear portion offering an entry level for the cable and a rear cavity for air motion behind the motive force.
The ear pads are fake leather-based as properly and are simply barely larger than the ear and touched in a few places on my ear; they’re pretty shallow with a complete depth of about 1cm between pad face and driver.
The good news is pads are simply modified and changed which ought to permit customers to make use of aftermarket pads if desired. Shure additionally provides a moderately in depth vary of components do you have to ever have to exchange something.
The cable is detachable and attaches by way of the left ear cup with a slight ahead angle for added consolation. The connection is made by way of a 2.5mm 3 pole connector in a locking connector which implies that it received’t dislodge very simply. The different finish of the cable is a 3.5mm TRS with a screw-on 6.35mm adapter plug.
While the cable and connector are very sturdy, they’re additionally a proprietary design and you’ll need to supply any alternative from Shure.
Internally, the Shure SRH440A makes use of a 40mm dynamic driver with a light-weight diaphragm and a neodymium magnet construction for improved efficiency in comparison with the unique 440 driver.
The nominal impedance is listed as 40 ohms with a sensitivity of 97dB/mW; this makes the headphones moderately straightforward to drive from a wide range of sources.
There are additionally some bundle offers from Shure that embody the SHR440A and Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone; which suggests the you possibly can join the headphones on to the mic with out the necessity for an exterior sound card.
We have used the Shure SRH440A with a variety of sources together with mics, DAPs, smartphones, and Dongle DACs; every little thing from the Cayin N3 to moderately highly effective desktop amplifiers just like the Yulong Aurora and Xduoo. In nearly each state of affairs, the headphones labored properly and the efficiency scaled moderately considerably with higher sources.
If you expect the linearity and tonal accuracy of the Neumann NDH 30 from an $99 pair of headphones, you’ll have to search lots more durable; the Shure SRH440A are tuned extra like a “V” with some added emphasis within the low finish and a contact extra element within the combine.
The low finish has moderately good impression and definition and it’s actually emphasised greater than the midrange; there may be probably an excessive amount of low finish impression and weight in comparison with most studio headphones however I perceive why Shure determined to voice the SRH440A on this method.
There is a moderately widespread criticism about studio headphones being moderately light-weight within the bass vary and there may be some advantage to that. The sub-bass extends downward into the 30Hz vary earlier than it begins to backside out and bass notes don’t have the identical diploma of definition or texture.
The mid bass can also be emphasised nevertheless it begins to steadily roll-off because the sound strikes into the decrease midrange.
The SRH440A reply properly to some EQ and I used to be capable of tighten up the low finish and alleviate the bleed into the mid bass making a extra balanced presentation total. If you discover the highest finish to be barely too detailed or vibrant, some modest use of EQ labored properly in that vary.
The midrange is the place the SRH440A actually shine and I discovered male vocals to have greater than sufficient weight and shade with out sounding too thick. Another criticism leveled in opposition to different studio headphones is that the midrange is just too clear and that the vocals are pushed too far ahead within the combine which doesn’t at all times sound very correct or nice.
The SRH440A should not probably the most resolving studio headphones within the midrange; they actually commerce some micro element for texture and a fuller sounding presentation.
The treble extension is moderately good with solely a small diploma of added emphasis within the decrease treble, adopted by extra vitality within the 8Hz to 10Hz vary earlier than it begins to roll-off round 15kHz. This provides the SRH440A moderately stable percussion snap and cymbals have ample vitality however don’t essentially sound 100% correct.
These are $99 headphones so to anticipate reference high quality treble efficiency and an excellent huge soundstage will not be being very real looking.
The Shure SRH440A are studio headphones and have to supply a lot of issues that the majority customers shopping for headphones don’t take into consideration as a lot; actually not on this value vary.
Durability is tremendous vital to musicians and engineers and a majority of these headphones take much more abuse and carry on going. The Shure provide that in a giant means and that’s not the case for many headphones on this value vary.
Studio headphones want to reply properly to EQ changes and corrections. The Head-Fi audiophile neighborhood flip up their noses at EQ and suppose that if a headphone requires it — that’s in all probability an excellent purpose to purchase a special pair of headphones.
Mastering engineers although make a residing making small tweaks to the sound of recordings and wish to listen to what these small modifications on the console are going to do on the listeners programs when the album goes to market.
The Shure SRH440A hit each of these targets moderately simply and provide an inexpensive entry-point into the studio headphone class from a model that owns a substantial slice of the pie.
Are they among the best $99 headphones in the marketplace?
The higher reply is that they provide sturdiness, good sound high quality, and don’t journey throughout themselves when EQ is required.
Where to purchase: $99 at Amazon