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SRH940 vs. SRH1540 - Which Is Best?

Recently, Shure released the new SRH1540 premium closed back headphones. We explain the difference between SRH940 and our new premium model.
January, 24 2014 |

Recently, Shure released the new SRH1540 premium closed back headphones. The new model complements our existing closed back range, which includes SRH240, SRH440, SRH840, & the SRH940. However, from a price perspective, they're actually on par with our premium SRH1840 open back model; making them the new top dog closed-back. In this post, we take a look at what makes them different from SRH940's…

SRH1540 & SRH940


Which Is the Best Headphone?

As always, the answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve – combined with an element of personal taste. It's less of a question of 'which is better' and more a case of which application you'll be using them for. In short, the SRH940's are reference studio headphones, whereas the SRH1540's are a premium closed back design. So what does this mean?

Essentially, the biggest difference is the sound signature. For the SRH940, the sound is flat, which basically means the sound is not coloured or bias. Hence, they're referred to as reference models (they reproduce your mix as accurately as possible). The SRH1540, on the other hand, actually accentuate certain aspects of your music or mix. They produce warm bass and detailed, extended highs. So, if you're an audiophile and this is your thing, you'll no doubt welcome the extra detail and energy. Alternatively, if you're looking for accuracy, the SRH940 is still the best choice. It's generally advised to have at least one good pair of flat, accurate, studio reference headphones when checking your mix, and the SRH940 delivers superbly in this category.

Design & Comfort

At Shure we pride ourselves on great design and the SRH1540 is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable headphones we've ever made. The headband is extremely ergonomic and lightweight, which when combined with the ultrasoft Alcantara® earpads makes for a headphone that virtually disappears.

Exceptional comfort is another factor in their appeal to audiophiles, where many hours of wear calls for greater comfort.


The frequency response delivered by SRH1540's makes for a great listening experience, and they're some of the most comfortable headphones you'll wear. However, despite the cheaper price point, the SRH940's are still the most accurate model on offer. To summarise, it's likely you'll prefer the 940 in your studio, and the 1540 for your Hi-Fi.

Features and more detail available on our website: SRH940 & SRH1540

Alternatively, you can try them for yourself at select Shure resellers.

Marc Henshall
Marc forms part of our Pro Audio team at Shure UK and specialises in Digital Marketing. He also holds a BSc First Class Hons Degree in Music Technology. When not at work he enjoys playing the guitar, producing music, and dabbling in DIY (preferably with a good craft beer or two).