On my first day I was told to listen to the Sennheiser HD 660s headphones. I was amazed by the space, the definition of the mids and the clarity of the highs. A few weeks after that, looking through the inventory, I noticed the Shure SRH1840’s. If they weren’t in their boxes, I would have mistaken them for each other. I felt a comparison coming on.
Then, out of curiosity, I look them both up. I was amused after seeing that they retail for around the same price of $499. This was a trip.
They look very similar, both black, both sporting metal grills as their open backs, they even share similar 1/8 inch wires. It was only natural I compare our offerings from these two audio titans, and I was surprised at the similarities and differences. Same price, same style, all that’s really left to decide is the sound, right? So let’s get to it. The Shure SRH1840 vs the Sennheiser HD 660s.
Shure SRH1840 SENNHEISER HD 660s
Good width, height and depth – enough space to fit everything comfortably
Very spacious, superior width and height but similar depth
Who doesn’t love their space? With both of these headphones you get exactly that, but the HD 660s’ are a tad bit wider in that regard. This allowed the music to breathe a little more throughout the experience.
Full, strong, well-balanced and well-positioned
Good positioning, good swell to it
Warm, smooth mids
Accurate, smooth, doesn’t get in the way
Crisp, not too bright, great clarity, good air
Smooth, no harshness. Clarity
A/B-ing between these was fun. The first noticeable difference was the low range. The SRH 1840’s offered a cleaner experience down there. The bass maintained its definition, but in a way that didn’t let it poke out from the base of the music – which leads me to add that the balance on both of these were stellar. The HD 660s’ offered very good low responses, the 1840’s just had a little more punch to them.
The mids had similar responses between these two headphones. Great definition, smooth crossover between the highs and lows, and all around not too noticeable. The way it should be. The SRH 1840’s sounded a tad more balanced in this department.
The highs were the most distinguishable features of these two headphones. For the SRH 1840’s, there was not much room for them to breathe, yet instruments such as vocals and guitar still seared through in a way that was sharp, clean and concise, all while maintaining the timbre of each instrument beautifully. They were accentuated by brightness.
The highs offered by the HD 660s’ were accentuated by the wider stereo field. It added depth and texture that made the songs really pop and come to life. They were sharper in response than the SRH 1840’s, with a tiny bit more brightness and air to them. Personally, this was very attractive.
So they are definitely different headphones. The SRH 1840s offer a warmer, more relaxed sound, while the 660s’ provide a cleaner, more analytical sound. To say one is better than the other is not only subjective, but impossible, though I was hoping for some controversy here. Two audio behemoths making a similar headphone for the same price point seemed to be the ideal comparison, and depending on what you’re looking for, just know this – either of these choices will end up being a good one. Which one would you choose?