Shure SRH1540 Review

Shure SRH1540 Review

The Shure SRH1540 has been around for a while now, but as far as high-end closed-back headphones go, it’s nowhere near obsolete.  Needing to write another review, I figured I might as well tackle a staple and give you the lowdown.

Shure SRH1540 Review

Shure SRH1540 Review

The 1540 comes in a big hard case, with two pouches inside for the two 6 ft (1.8 m) cables it comes with, as well a flap of cloth that hides a pair of replacement earpads.

Build quality is solid, with an aluminum headband and extenders.  The pleather padding on the headband and the soft cloth padding on the earcups ensure comfort even during the longest of listening sessions.

The removable cables utilize an MMCX connection.

Spec-wise, the SRH1540 isn’t a slouch.  The frequency range is 5 to 25,000 hertz, and the impedance is only 46 ohms.  As such, you can enjoy these with portable players, or enjoy them with higher-output systems.

When it comes to sound, Shure is certainly doing something right.  There’s a twinge of bass, but treble always remains pleasant.  There’s detail throughout the frequency range, but nothing every gets too harsh.  There’s some decent soundstage, and some good separation (at least for a closed-back headphone, that is).

I found the 1540 more fun with slightly bass-heavy tracks.  It paired well with some math rock and ambient stuff.  It also did quite well with classical music and operas, but that lucious low end really lends these headphones to anything with a driving beat.

At $499, the there aren’t many competitors from a price-point perspective.  Fans of a slightly more neutral sound could consider the Beyerdynamic DT 1770, but this headphone is $599 and has a 250 ohm impedance – thus requiring a decent amp to drive them properly.  Another contender, the Audio Technica ATH-A2000Z is even more expensive at $649, but could possibly deliver a slightly more articulate listening experience.

Our recommendation?  If you need a pair of high end closed backs, definitely consider the Shure SRH1540.  If you are searching for something in the range between $500-$700, there may be better options out there, depending on your tastes.

Get these buds for the best price here:

Audio 46 (Use promo code, “majorhifi” to get 10% off)


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Carroll is a headphone junkie residing in Brooklyn. He's a huge fan of Grado, UK hip hop, and the English Language in general. When not testing audio equipment or writing, you'll find him taking photographs or fiddling with circuit boards. You can contact him at