Over the course of this year Shure has released a few products, quite notably the premium SRH1840 open back, circumaural headphones and the Shure SE846 quad-driver earphones. With 2014 just around the corner, Shure is also going to launch a new closed back, circumaural premium headphone which will be called the Shure SRH1540. The SRH1540 had been announced previously and is now heading into the retail market.
In terms of aesthetics, the Shure SRH1540 is clearly inspired by the SRH1840. The new product can easily be placed as a Shure product. Aluminium yokes hold the ear-cups in place and provide a degree of swivel. The ear-cups themselves have a glossy finish. Shure has used carbon fibre for the manufacture of the ear-caps and the checkered texture of the material is evident. Covering for the cushions is Alcantara, a material used in premium cars, and memory foam has been used as well.
In terms of hardware, the Shure SRH1540 boasts 40mm neodymium magnets. The diaphragms have been constructed from a new material, APTIV film that is intended to help with the linearity of sound and means to keep THD low. The drivers are housed in a steel frame. Removable Kevlar-reinforced OFC cables with MMCX connectors are also part of the specifications.
When testing them out at the press event, we found the fit of the SRH1540 to be roomy and comfortable. Seeing that aluminum and carbon fiber have been used in the construction, the headphones are also quite light. The ear-cups provide a nice seal and the contact pressure is extremely gentle. Alcantara is known to be more breathable than leather or synthetic fabrics, however we did not use the Shure headphones long enough to form an opinion on ear-heating issues.
We were given a chance to test the Shure SRH1540 for a short time and can bring you our first impressions regarding the product. Even though the headphones have an impedance of 46 Ohms, our smartphone had no problem driving the cans. We played most of the tracks over Spotify at the highest quality setting. For Melt My Heart To Stone by Adele, the singer’s voice took center stage while the instruments were arrange around her vocals. The warm tone was captured and the SRH1540’s performance was spot on the money.
Nice lows and bass were observed on Elements Of Life. Our ears could not detect any bass boost, which means compared to other modern competitors, the SRH1540 might sound a bit anemic in the low registers. But the bass is tastefully rendered and is delivered with good impact and definition. Near the end we went through Queens of the Stone Age’s My God Is The Sun for fun. The recording sounded a bit drier than usual, but other than that we had no complaints. The Shure delivered this hard rocking track with great punch.
The Shure SRH1540 is expected to go on sale in the first few months of 2014 and will be priced at S$699. The retail package will include a hard zippered case, a 6.3mm screw-on adapter, two extra cables and one set of extra ear pads. Full specifications of the product can be found below.
Shure SRH1540 Specifications