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Reviewed on Aug 29, 2017

Shure SRH 440
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.3
Mixed Usage
7.7
Critical Listening
5.5
Commute/Travel
5.8
Sports/Fitness
6.1
Office
6.1
TV
5.8
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The Shure SRH 440 are good-sounding headphones with a durable but plasticky design. They're comfortable, and have a well balanced audio reproduction for critical listening but aren't the most versatile headphones. They're a bit cumbersome to carry on your person, they don't block a lot of noise and they're too unstable and bulky for the gym. However, they are quite an improvement compared to the SRH 240.

Test Results
Design 6.6
Sound 7.9
Isolation 5.8
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy and durable build.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Slightly bulky design.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

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6.6

Design

The Shure SRH 440 have a simple, utilitarian design that feels durable. They have an all-plastic build quality, that's not as premium as some of the other headphones we've reviewed, but feels sturdy enough for most use cases and is significantly better than the SRH 240. The headband is flexible and the ear cups are dense and well padded. That and their relatively lightweight build and roomy ear cups make them comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. Unfortunately, they're a bit too bulky for sports and physical activities so they won't be the most stable headphones to take to the gym.

Style

The Shure SRH 440 look somewhat similar to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They also have a studio design that's a little bland, but the utilitarian look will work for some. They have a thick headband that's well padded and dense oval ear cups that make the headphone look durable. They only come in one color scheme, however, an all-black matte finish that's understated and won't stand out but also feels professional.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.9 lbs

The Shure 440 are comfortable over-ear headphones. They have large ear cups that fit well around most ears. The headband is not too tight and the whole build is mostly plastic so they're relatively lightweight on the head. The quality of the padding, however, could be improved.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
6.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.3 C
5.8 Portability
L : 5.8 "
W : 6 "
H : 3.7 "
Volume : 129 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The SRH 440 are not the most portable headphones. They fold into a more compact format that can you can put in your backpack or bag but will be too cumbersome to carry around on your person.

6.0 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones come with a soft pouch that will protect them from scratches while in your bag but it will not protect them from falls.

7.0 Build Quality

The Shure SRH 440 are decently sturdy headphones despite their all-plastic design. The headband is flexible and won't break even under heavy strain. The ear cups are also dense enough to withstand a few drops without getting damaged. However, the build quality does feel a little cheap and the exposed audio cables from the headband to the ear cups could get damaged through regular wear and tear and cannot be replaced.

6.5 Stability

The SRH 440s are not sports headphones. They will easily slip off your ears if you're doing high-intensity activities like running or working out. On the upside, they're stable enough during casual use and the detachable cable will disconnect if it's hooked on something provided you haven't locked it into the ear cups.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.2 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with a 1/8" TRS-TRS coiled cable with no inline controls.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.9

Sound

The Shure SRH 440 are a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a very good Bass, a very good Mid Range, and a very good Treble Range performance. However, their Bass lacks sub-bass and is prone to inconsistencies across different individuals, and their Treble could be slightly sharp on S and T sounds. Additionally, they Image well, but their Soundstage isn't the most open and spacious sounding.

8.3 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.06 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
50.4 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-3.97 dB
Mid-Bass
:
0.05 dB
High-Bass
:
-0.46 dB

Very good Bass Range performance. Low-frequency extension is at 50Hz, which is decent. Low-bass, responsible for thump and rumble, is lacking by about 4dB. But the SRH 400 has more low-bass than SRH 240A. Bass and high-bass are nearly flat and within 0.50dB of our target. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

8.6 Mid
Std. Err.
:
1.91 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.56 dB
Mid-Mid
:
1.22 dB
High-Mid
:
2.28 dB

Excellent Mid Range performance. The response is virtually flat, but consistently over our target by about 2dB. This gives a slight emphasis to the Mid Range, over Bass and Treble.

8.4 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.07 dB
Low-Treble
:
0.65 dB
Mid-Treble
:
1.77 dB
High-Treble
:
-0.9 dB

Very good Treble Range performance. Low-treble and treble are virtually flat up to 7KHz. The bump centering around 10KHz makes the S and T sounds on these headphones slightly sibilant and sharp.

5.8 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
1.02 dB

Sub-par consistency performance. The Bass Range of these headphones is susceptible to inconsistencies across humans. We also noticed that certain types of glasses could break the seal on these headphones and cause a significant drop in Bass. We measured the maximum of 18dB of difference at 20Hz between our human measurements. However, their Treble consistency is decent.

8.5 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.3
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.61
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.87
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.25
6.7 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.22 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
4.81 dB
PRTF Distance
:
14.55 dB
Openness
:
4.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.6
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
7.3 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.938
Weighted THD @ 100
:
10.149

Decent Harmonic Distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the Treble Range is very low, regardless of the level, which is excellent. However, high-bass and low-mid show excess distortion, especially under heavier loads.

5.8

Isolation

The Shure SRH 440 only passively isolate against ambient noise. They won't be the ideal headphones for commuting as they let too much noise seep into your audio in loud environments. Unfortunately, they also leak a bit too much for quieter settings, although they shouldn't be too distracting to the people around you at moderate volume levels.

5.3 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-10.12 dB
Bass
:
1.14 dB
Mid
:
-8.32 dB
Treble
:
-24.03 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Sub-par Isolation performance. These headphones do not isolate any noise in the Bass Range. In the Mid Range they achieve about 8dB of reduction, which is sub-par. In the Treble Range, they are able to reduce the outside noise by 24dB, which is about average.

6.9 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
40.31 dB

Average Leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 500Hz and 5KHz, which is a relatively broad range. However, the overall level of leakage is low.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS :
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

4.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Wired headphones, negligible latency.

In the box

  • Shure SRH440 Headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • Audio cable
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best headphones for studio, the best headphones under $100.

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO are better headphones than the Shure SRH440 thanks to better build quality and better and more consistent bass delivery. However, they are way more expensive, and the Shure SRH440 are very comfortable headphones that offer great value for their price tag. They are all plastic, but if you’re looking for budget critical listening headphones, the SRH440 are a great pick for sound quality. On the other hand, the metallic frame of the DT 1770 feels more high-end, and they isolate a bit more noise than the Shures.

Conclusion
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6.3 Mixed Usage
Mediocre for mixed usage. These headphones are best used for critical listening as they don't block enough noise for commuting, and they're a bit too bulky for sports. They leak a little at high volumes, so they won't be the ideal headphones for the office either. However, they deliver in the sound department and are a decent option for both casual and critical listeners.
7.7 Critical Listening
Good for critical listening. The SHR 440 deliver a decently balanced sound that caters well to instruments and vocals. The Bass is punchy without being overwhelming, and instruments are not too distant or too forward on most tracks they reproduced. However, there is a pretty noticeable spike in the treble range that may make certain tracks and frequencies sound a bit too sharp. They also do not have the best Soundstage due to their closed back design.
5.5 Commute/Travel
Sub-par for commuting. Their passive isolation doesn't block much noise, they have no controls, and they're not the most portable headphones.
5.8 Sports/Fitness
Poor for sports. They're a bit too bulky and unstable to use while doing sports. They're also not particularly breathable headphones, so your ears will get quite hot when exercising with these headphones on.
6.1 Office
Mediocre for office use. They won't block the chatter of a busy office and leak a bit at higher volumes. However, they shouldn't be too distracting at average volume levels.
6.1 TV
Above-average for home theater use. They have a well-balanced sound, and they're comfortable enough to wear for hours. They're also wired, so they have no latency when watching videos, but their cable may not be long enough for you to comfortably watch movies from your couch unless you have an audio cable extension cord.

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