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Shure SRH940 Closed-back Pro Studio Reference Headphones Reviews

4.0 stars based on 26 customer reviews
Questions about the Shure SRH940 Closed-back Pro Studio Reference Headphones?

Questions about the Shure SRH940 Closed-back Pro Studio Reference Headphones?

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  • Keith
    from Nashville, TN October 11, 2013Music Background:
    Live Sound


    The other night I got these headphones in the mail, and after breaking them in, I immediately started playing Beck's "Sea Change." As soon as the first chord of The Golden Age began, my jaw dropped.

    These are seriously great headphones. The stereo image is amazingly wide. The clarity in every octave is great. The bass isn't hyped either, like in other closed-back headphones. The highs are crisp without being shrill.

    Don't be fooled by the high price of other critical listening headphones, these are on par with anything else. If you like the AKG K701s, you will love these!

  • Bruce
    from October 4, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Review The Shure SRH940

    Ok these are not love to listen to your stereo headphones .... they are truly REFERENCE ... they are FLAT response and sound like great reference monitors in a great treated room.

    if you are looking for HIGH QUALITY mixing of mastering headphones then you will not be disappointed! they are worth every penny of the price

  • Erik Emrich
    from Los Angeles July 24, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Very nice professional headphones

    Professional headphones, what else is there to say.. The velour ear pads are like pillows on your ears. They come with a replacement set of velour ear pads as well. I can always count on my sales engineer AJ Petersen when it comes to choosing the best equipment.

  • Anthony
    from Denver November 12, 2012Music Background:
    Studio Recording

    These things sound AMAZING!!

    Seriously good quality sound (and accurate)

  • MARY
    from WA, United States June 1, 2012Music Background:
    pro musician, recording at home

    Splendid headphones!

    Why did I put up with mediocre headphones for so long? Got these as we headed into final mix on CD project. Looked at plethora of choices out there, read the hairsplitting nuances shared by the mighty pro's.... and went with Sales Engineer's advice. Very happy. Excellent detail for a close listen, a pleasure for enjoying a good mix. Love the detachable cord, flexible fit, etc. Cool carrying case, too. If you've got really good speakers and great DAW, treat yourself to headphones on par.

  • Quan Zhou
    from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada March 20, 2012Music Background:
    Lead Vocal

    Bad Plastic is the only problem!

    I have recently got my amazing SRH940 shell on the right side broken. Even I glued the broken part back, and my left channel is still luckly working. Anyway, shure should stop using cheap plastic shell anyway. The best quality sound should be protected by a best quality shell, shouldn't it?

    Sorry of my bad English. Shure is still my top sound quality choice. :D

  • Charles E. Brown
    from Birmingham, Al. January 31, 2012Music Background:
    Played in a band for twelve years. I play guitar and sing.

    Shure is a great set of headphones!

    If you are looking for a great set of headphones that will not bankrupt
    you then the Shure SRH940 is for you. I use these about four hours
    per day for mixing. Never heard anything better. The highs, mids, and lows are dead on. These were suggested by Sweetwater after I told them what I needed and how they would be used. What I hear on these are what I get on the finished disc. Thanks to the reps at Sweetwater, who know their business, I will not be buying any more headphone until these die of old age.

  • Customer
    from January 13, 2012

    Finally, headphones I can trust.

    I, like many of you out there, own many sets of cans. All the usual suspects: 770s, 280s, 7506s, 440s. I bought these without testing them, but with a lot of research. So if you're worried about that aspect of purchasing, take my word for it, you wont look back. I finally feel okay doing some serious mix work on the run away from my monitors. Even with my 770s, I knew the only thing I could do is clean up tracks and set up basic automation. But I just completed a test mix with these and these only and it translated very well. The crazy thing is I'm hearing things I don't hear in my monitors. I think thats largely due to the separation. Also these things are SOOO comfortable. No fatigue, no headaches, just pure lushness from start to finish. Build quality is outstandling, and the hard case is great for traveling. I can actually fit my LaCie Rugged and all my cables in it! And if you turn it over its a surprisingly good surface for a mouse. I think Shure thought a lot about guys like me when they designed these. I appreciate that Shure.

  • Sam Goodrich
    from Anchorage, AK December 16, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Worth Every Penny

    I give these headphones my five stars. It is a good company that is providing a great product that produces great sound. The other benefits to these headphones is their comfortability, and traveling case they come packaged in. I would buy these again, if they ever go out.

  • EN76
    from Hawaii May 27, 2011Music Background:

    much better improve from SRH840

    well thought out. even the carrying case is cool. This one sound much louder even with relatively small amount of volume. The ear pads are the major plus for me. though I use the extra pair on my 840 just to keep my hears cool. It worth the price so I would say if this gonna be your first shure headphone, i would say just invest on these and you won't be disappointed with it.
    oh yeah, i do own 5 different headphones. If i have the choice of keeping just two, i would keep this one and the AKG Q701.

  • EN76
    from Hawaii May 19, 2011Music Background:


    much better and improve design. Love the case that comes with it. since its about the same size cans as the srh840, I use the pair of ear pads that comes with these srh940 on my 840 and it just as cool to the ears now.
    now, only if they sell the ear pads so I can order two pairs just in case they don't make em no more.
    With sound compares to the 840, it almost similar but a bid slide difference in level. I absolutely recommend these to all who is looking to buy shure headphones if you haven't done it, invest on these. but if you have srh840, I do recommend replacing the ear pads with these "extra ear pads" cause its cooler around the ears.

  • roger
    from March 3, 2017

    i like em

    these are closed backs and my intended use for them is tracking .. have sony 7605's and have not enjoyed using them but they fulfilled the closed back function of not bleeding click tracks into the mic but I would NEVER make eq or compression choices based on what I was hearing from the Sony's . With the Shure SRH940 I can make some basic decisions while tracking based on what I am hearing. These are accurate, even tempered and a bit clinical sounding with very good depth/dimensionality .. and although they sound good ... really good.. they are not a 'joy' to listen to music with .. but this was not my intended use... so if you want a very good set of cans for tracking that give accurate enough into to do a few tweeks, that isolate well and are very comfortable .. take a hard look at these .. if you want a set to listen to dark side of the moon with ... maybe not

  • Ryan Mowdy
    from Oklahoma City, OK April 9, 2015Music Background:
    Lots o' stuff

    Best headphones for tracking and recording

    I've gone through a plethora of headphones. Some for mixing others for tracking. I use AKG K812's right now strickly for mixing as well as my Yamaha HS8 monitors. When I am tracking, especially with vocals, I will use these headphones and it works out great and is very comfortable. I used to use beyer-dynamic headphones but they became damaged so I got these Shure headphones and I would recommend them highly.

  • Frank Phillips
    from United States January 7, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Studio owner, engineer, musician

    First cans I'd mix with

    I own a number of headphones currently, including a pair of lower-end Shures, and have used most of the usual suspects for recording studios over the last 40 years or so.

    I have never been comfortable mixing on headphones before - I just couldn't trust the outcome, but I'd often listen to my mix on them, as one of many reference points.

    These SRH940 headphones changed that, and I'm finding that they are flat and accurate enough that I can trust the mixes I make on them. This allows me to mix anywhere with my laptop, for starters, which is really a great feeling of freedom.

    To top it all off, I found that these cans are comfortable for long periods, and really sound great. I've had fun going back and re-listening to a lot of CDs, where new detail is coming out that I never heard before.

    These are, no doubt, the best headphones I've ever owned. Way to go, Shure.

  • Ray Frigon
    from SW VA August 13, 2012Music Background:

    Luscious Sound

    The idea was to find headphones worthy of mixing down recordings, and stay within budget. I read reviews for a couple weeks. Decided on the SRH940.

    I chose them precisely for the reason most people dislike - soft on bass response. For one thing, I'd rather hear music in frequencies where bass is flat - there, but not dominant in any way. Second, once I know the bass response is not dominant or too strong I know if I hear too much bass for my ears, in most other music systems it will be way too much. This has proved quite useful especially for kick drum placement in the mix.

    I normally use Etymotic Research IEMs. I've had them a long time. I love them. I track with them. When I first got the 940s and tried them next to the IEMs I was not certain what the difference was and if I liked what I was hearing. Once I just left them on for awhile I truly felt bathed in sound. The IEMs are crystal clear, with great bass response, too. The sound is very immediate, owing to the isolation and placement of the buds. The 940's also have crystal clear response, stunning clarity, really, but sound more open; the difference between a small quiet room and a large quiet room.

    The bass response is not weak for me at all. It is just fine. I listen mostly to jazz fusion and many of the bassists in the genre use fairly clean, articulate, crunchy, and crisp sound, which is all captured beautifully in these phones. Drums and percussion have all the low end recorded in today's mics and techniques, and being a drummer I especially listen for cymbal sound. The detail in these phones for the wide range of frequencies drum sets produce, is excellent.

    They are quite comfortable to wear. They are not phones I would wear for tracking. Nothing beats the isolation from outside sound sources as the IEMs, for me. But for mixing our music - which as free-form jazz fusion, ambient, funky rock they will do a as accurate a job as required.

    I like the velvet ear cups, though I do wish they included the option of leather /mock leather cups, as well. But that is just personal preference. The case is really nice. Some kind of handle would have been appreciated.

    Wonderful devices overall. I'm very pleased.

  • Luke Batiot
    from Canada March 3, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Sound Engineer

    Worth the Pricetag

    As far as reference headphones go these certainly aren't for the beginner, which the price tag suggests. But if you're looking for a well built pair of cans with very accurately represented frequency range, these will do the trick. They are comfortable to wear, fitting the head and ears nicely, and offer a rich listening experience which will help you to more accurately hear what your source really sounds like. Essential for anyone serious about their sound.

    from Pensacola, FL February 27, 2014Music Background:
    Artist, Professional Musician

    Slightly Bright but nicely balanced.

    Headphones, better headphones tend to have 2 camps of listeners....Those who want to feel the bass and those who want to scope the details.....The SRH940s favor the detail hunters as they present a nice sonic picture which is overall slightly more 5Khz bright then flat line which of course is the reason for their nicely analytical and revealing sound.... They have in general a close tonality with Beyer DT880s and this is a good thing....They dont offer the mid range complexity of Focal Spirit Pros or Sennheiser HD600s, but they do offer a slightly more accurate and balanced sound overall.....Probably would make fine cans to use to mix and master with their sound being similar to Dynaudio BM5As i would surmise.
    Also, i would suggest that you check out Maestro GMP 435S and most especially .....** SONY MDR-MA900 ** <
    So, unless you are a bass head, then these fine sounding good feeling cans will probably appeal to you very much once they are strapped on.

  • Jay Atwood
    from On the Road September 20, 2013Music Background:
    Full-time pro keyboardist and composer

    Excellent for Sound and Comfort

    I play keys full-time with a national touring theater show with a 14-piece band. These are my go-to phones for daily orchestra pit use.

    There is more than enough sonic isolation for my purposes, and the sound is warm, clear, and accurate.

    The soft earpads are a pleasure, and the swiveling earpiece means that they will fit almost anyone with equal comfort.

  • Brian Burke Jr.
    from Rochester, NY September 10, 2012

    Mechanical Issue with Headband Extender

    These are without a doubt the best sounding headphones at this price point (and even above it a ways) as well as being extremely comfortable. They do, however, have a problem with the extender band cracking and breaking. I am on my third set. I thought it was because I have a large head, I can't even wear and adjudtable baseball cap. But, as others have said on here it is the headphones and not my head, LOL. SHURE is actually aware of it and told me that they would work with me if it happens again after the two year warrantee, at least a little while after... So they are extremely nice to deal with as is Sweetwater. I wish they would solve the problem before I get my next set if in fact I have to. I have always treated mine gently, I guess I will have to be a bit more careful if possible. They do sound amazing though :) They sound so good I only took off one star for the headband issue.

  • Zachari Darian
    from Phoenix, Arizona USA June 17, 2012Music Background:
    Music Producer, Mix Engineer, Parial Owner of a Label, Vocalist, and I play more than 7 instruments.

    Extenders Crack Easily

    In terms of everything except for build quality, these are the best headphones I've ever used. They are comfortable, fit well around the ear, have velour earpads, sound fantastic, have a flat frequency response, and have an extended frequency response. The entire spectrum is beautifully balanced and crisp sounding...and the flat response is perfect for an audio engineer like myself.

    The only downfall, however, is the build quality. The extenders crack SO easily. You could treat these better than anything, but they will still crack, unless you are lucky. I found out the hard way, today, about this issue when the right extender snapped. All I had to do was gently lift the headphones off my neck and then *snap*, pop goes the weasel...cans busted. Luckily, I'm fairly certain that Shure is aware of this problem and will replace the cans if you send them in. Any future buyers just need to be aware of this issue.

  • Jud Caswell
    from Brunswick, ME August 5, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician and Recording Engineer

    Bright and Tight

    Incredible clarity, tight bass, somewhat forward in the sibilant range. I wanted to upgrade my audio-technica m40s to give me another reference point for mixing, and I didn't find these to be the solution I was looking for. The build quality is excellent and they are very comfortable, but the lack of fullness in the bass and the slightly hyped treble made me think they wouldn't help my mixes -- even though listening was very enjoyable.

    A friend and I did a shootout with these, the ATs, an old pair of AKG k240s and the Sennheiser hd280s and the Sennheisers were our favorites (at around a third the price of the Shures). I'd guess the bass of the Sennheisers is a little less focused and accurate than the Shures, but the fullness of it gave a better overall picture of the mix. The Shures let you hear deeper into the mix with more clarity than the Sennheisers, but they also made many of my favorite recordings sound like they needed de-essing.

  • Julián
    from May 9, 2016Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing Engineer

    Worst materials - Great sound

    These headphones sound amazing but have the WORST built I've ever seen. They are all plastic construction and break too easily. I've had them repaired twice and they just don't hold together.
    I'd seriously look at other options with better build quality.

  • Michael O'Malley
    from September 2, 2015

    sound good, flimsy

    These sound great--lots of detail, flat response, excellent for monitoring, They are just flimsy. Under ordinary use both earpieces broke at the joint where they swivel. Shure charges 104 dollars just to look at them for repair. I can see no reason to send them back and spend that for repair if they come back with the same flimsy plastic joint.

    I expected better for that money

  • dgearman
    from Fountain, CO USA November 13, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, recording engineer

    Flawed wonder

    These have a great sound...perfect for tracking and were my goto headphones until (like many other users) they began developing cracks in the extenders. The plastic used is very thin, and the slightest stress will cause them to break. It's a shame, as otherwise I would give them a 5.

  • Vinny
    from United States August 7, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur Mix Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Student, Songwriter

    Should be 5 Stars, but plastic cracked twice!

    By all means, the Shure Srh940s deserve a top rating and are sleek, comfortable, and have great isolation. From the moment you first plug them in, you will feel more than satisfied with their performance and is well worth the price tag.

    The problem: The plastic headband cracks SOOO unnervingly easy. My first pair of these, I sent them back to Sweetwater and customer service was A+, a brand new pair was shipped out to me. Now on my second pair, it's been maybe a year or so and the crack has shown up once again. The first pair, I blamed myself thinking that I was careless with my own equipment, but for me, this second pair seals the deal.
    These headphones have left my desk perhaps 3 or 4 times and even then, were transported in their case. I have no doubt that the plastic cracks are not due to consumer neglect, but to a really unfortunate manufacturing flaw as these headphones have really helped my mixing and tracking sessions run smoothly for the time that they have lasted. I will hopefully be trading them in for a pair of 1840s as I cannot recommend a pair of headphones which do not last longer than 2 years.

  • Brian F. Burke Jr.
    from Rochester, NY May 25, 2014Music Background:
    Keyboardist, Writer, Saxaphone Player, Harmonica Player

    Spend the extra money for the new model

    I wrote the first review after I sent in my first pair that broke, now that I am on my second pair it took just long enough, as I waited too long to send in the first pair, to go past the 2 year warrantee. Now I have A great sounding pair of cans that are fiberglass cloth and epoxied together to fit my head only as they no longer adjust nor do they fit in the nice case they came with. They have finally gotten to the point where the wires are going from all the fixing. No one has rated to new ones as they are $200 more (I thing I remember paying $399 for mine not $299, not sure) because of the huge price difference. Most likely they are quite similar. Shure is aware of the problem with the plastic and the design, that's why they changed it, I spoke with them and they said they would continue to send me headphones as long as I sent mine back and were broken due to plastic failure. Too much hassle really. I would call on Sweetwater to stop selling these due to the known problem and the fact that they are supposed to be the top of the line, at least until the plastic problem was found out and they could get a new design to market. I think I will try to get a discount on a new pair from Shure, if not maybe I will try the Focal's. Buyer be ware

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