Shure SRH940 review

Take no prisoners, but they sound simply brilliant Tested at £180

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

These Shures take no prisoners, but they sound simply brilliant - audition a pair now


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    Open, transparent sound

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    well integrated across frequency range

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    comfy to wear


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    Revealing sound might not be to everyone's tastes

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

When a pair of cans is destined to spend its life indoors, size isn’t much of an issue. And these Shures are unashamedly large, padded and Cyberman-esque — we can’t see many folks taking them on the Tube.

If you were of a mind to, though, at least you wouldn’t irritate your fellow sardines: the Shure SRH940s are closed-back headphones, and don’t leak sound to the outside world.

They’re lovely and comfy on the head thanks to their padded velour ear-cups, and their circumaural design (which surrounds your whole ear rather than sitting on it) means your lugs won’t get too hot.

Shure SRH940

Shure SRH940: Sound qualityPlugged in through a Chord Chordette Toucan headphone amp and playing a WAV file of Boards of Canada’s 1998 classic Roygbiv via iTunes, the first thing that strikes us about the SRH940s is their immediacy.

They’re a fast, energetic listen, and open and revealing with it too – which goes slightly against the grain of their closed-back DNA. The rich synths of the track are conveyed explicitly, and there’s oodles of detail in the low-fi hi-hat part.

The mellow melody is nicely rounded, and the whole frequency range sits together really well, with nothing standing out too far or sitting too far back in the mix.

Switch gears to Chan Chan by the Buena Vista Social Club and all that detail is once again to the fore. The tight-yet-full quality to low frequencies is particularly pleasing.

Shure SRH940: Verdict
Gripes? Only one very minor one: there’s a very slight spike near the top of the treble, which can occasionally stray into thinness during lean-sounding recordings, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means.

If you find the Shure SRH940s a little too eager-sounding for your tastes, consider the Award-winning AKG K550s, which offer a more easygoing performance – but if it’s excitement you crave, these smashing Shures tick all the boxes.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test