In this review we take a look at the stunning Shure SRH1540s…
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We’re playing catch-up a little on headphones at the moment, as so many are getting released. They are coming out in all shapes and sizes, but many are seemingly aimed directly at the studio producer, so we’re ploughing through as many as possible. And we’re certainly glad that these top-end ‘premium’ ones from Shure didn’t slip through the net…
At £399, they sit at the top end of Shure’s SRH range, which the company says delivers headphones ‘for professional and audiophile applications’. It’s a range that covers all bases price-wise, starting with phones costing just £39.
The 1540s are certainly distinctive in looks – with large, oval earpieces, complete with a shiny and attractive black/grey shimmering finish. With what feels like double padding on the earpieces and a layer of useful headed padding on each of the two headbands, they certainly fit your head well, and comfort is exceptional. Luckily, all this extra padding doesn’t come with any extra weight.
At just 286g, they come in at less than our standard reference headphones, and while you might not consider it an important point, over very long periods of mixing you will start to appreciate light weight in your phones (or at least start to curse the heavier ones). The headband expansion – necessary for our big heads – is of the smoother, continuous type, rather than set positions – always welcome.
Sound-wise, there is little to fault the 1540s. We were thrown instantly into the mixes we were listening to – always the first sign of a great set of phones. Like good monitors, you can almost look around you within the sound field and choose parts of the mix to tweak and tailor. With these phones, that experience was greater than many we’ve experienced in a long time.
Compared to our reference ATs, they are a little fuller and wider, but only a little, and slightly coloured in the lows (again, only a tiny amount), which actually makes listening over long periods easier. In fact, they’re ideal for just such sessions, being exceptionally comfy, and sounding incredible. They might be expensive, but after a few hours mulling over a particularly awkward mix, you’ll thank us.
● Closed-back premium headphones
● Driver: 40mm
● Impedance: 46 ohms
● Frequency res: 5Hz-25kHz
● Two cables, pads and case included
● Weight: 286g