Introduction and Features
Twist and Flip
Shure has a long and illustrious history of producing top notch sound equipment. Starting off as a manufacturer of products for radio, the company seems to be returning to its roots with its headphones designed to offer DJ level quality. Meeting the needs of individuals involved with audio and its manipulation on a daily basis, the Shure SRH550DJ Headphones are versatile and boast features that are applicable in both a professional and everyday setting.
The DJ moniker is based on the fact that both ear cups are rotatable by 45 degrees in the horizontal plane along with having the ability to flip out 180 degrees to let you strike the classic DJ-mixing-at-the-console pose ingrained into our minds by pop culture. While it would not have a lot of practical application for a vast majority of the consumers, it does help make the cans extremely portable after they have been folded up.
Another high level feature is a threaded gold plated 3.5mm input jack. The threads ensure that the connector can be converted into a different one with the help of screw-on attachments. Currently a threaded 0.25-inch adapter is available from Shure themselves if you feel like using your SRH550DJ Headphones with a different device. Sound is pumped by 50mm drivers with neodymium transducer magnets which give the SRH550DJ Headphones an impressive frequency range of 5Hz to 22000Hz. Closed back ear cones ensure a certain degree of noise canceling as well.
Increasing the functionality of the headphones is the adjustable headband which has been refined from previous models and offers click feedback when adjusted. Ear cup padding, which is the part most susceptible to wear and tear can be removed and replaced. Rounding up the list of features is a 2m long cable which allows you to have a great degree of freedom when using the SRH550DJ Headphones.
While different users may have certain preferences for particular sonic palates, we try to remain as neutral and balanced as possible when reviewing audio devices. With that in mind our test materials span across a diverse range to find out how adaptable the headphones are to derive an accurate conclusion. Gamers are not this cans' intended user group, but we've included game testing into the mix for the more diverse users.
Testing was conducted in our office with our standard audio testbed, which is a Shuttle XPC SD37P2 (Intel 975X) machine with an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude sound card. Note that although this headphone set is DJ friendly, we maintained indoor testing to ensure our experience with the headphones can be cross-compared with others we've tested before. With that, here's the full list of test tracks used:-
- Pod Race Scene from Phantom Menace
- Tyrannosaurus Rex Sound Effects from Jurassic Park
- Theme from Jurassic Park
- Apollo 13 Lift-off Sound Effects
- Theme from Cutthroat Island
- Fanfare for Louis, performed by the Dallas Wind Symphony
- Hotel California - Eagles
- Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead
- Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele
- Elements of Life - Tiesto
- Lord of the Rings - (Starting sequence)
- Swordfish (Starting sequence)
- Battlefield 2: Bad Company