The Shure SRH440 is a bit of a mixed bag. As far as build quality, they do suffer a little bit and feel cheaply made and flimsy. The construction becomes subpar when compared to other headphones in its price range. It’s not a deal-breaker, but you will notice a marked difference. They are vastly inferior in this regard to close competitors like the Sony MDR V6, MDR 7506, and Sennheiser’s HD 280 Pro. More on all of those cans in the Final Word.
All of those headphones trump the 440’s in terms of comfort and build. I have owned both the 7506’s (almost identical to the V6’s) and the 280 Pros. The 280s are extremely flat, almost boring, and lifeless actually. Some will disagree, however. The 7506’s are very analytical and cold but have a somewhat harsh treble range. Your ultimate decision depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice in this price range. Do you value comfort/build more than sound, or vice versa? That’s not to say that the other options aren’t without flaws. The build on the 7506’s is good, but the ear-cups present an issue with cracking and peeling. The 280 pros are built like a rock, period. If you want more bass, the V6’s/7506 may be more for you, as the 440s are more neutral overall. The 280s are darker in the treble than either the 440 or V6. But I digress…
The isolation on the SRH440’s is excellent, as well as the treble. These are probably the most prominent and best features about this can. Metal 571 likened the overall sound signature to that of the HD 600. A bold statement indeed! A “passing resemblance” he called it. Check him out on twitter!
The bass of the 440 is very well extended, but largely “bass light.” This isn’t your average bass heads ‘phone. Don’t expect Beats by Dre or anything. The 440 is also pretty revealing of bad sources, so be aware of that. The treble isn’t as clear or clean as the HD 600, as there are more distortion and ringing. It’s a little more indistinct. The overall “evenness” of the response is excellent, however, which makes it probably the best option in this price range as far as overall sound quality. The build? Lacking.
Excellent sound isolation.
Preferred overall for flat, even response.
Bright in the treble, but not harsh. Maybe the best aspect of this can.
Fold nicely for portability.
Removable cable. A separate straight cable can be purchased as well.
The bass is tight, accurate, and clean.
Build and comfort both lacking.
Ear-pads will get hot and sweaty after a while. They are big enough but not deep enough. They are replaceable, however.
Hardly any headband padding.
Soundstage. Don’t expect much, but it’s decent. Not much imaging or width.
More detailed music with less of an emphasis on impact.
Not good for:
Poorly recorded music
These have a very well extended bass frequency, but it’s not booming. The treble range and sound isolation are both excellent, but again they are lacking in build quality and comfort. As far as even sound across the spectrum, the 440s just maybe your best bet in this price range.
Well, this is really tough. So I will try to break it down as quickly and concisely as I can.
Sennheiser HD 280
Superior construction, solid as a rock.
Extremely flat sound with less treble and detail retrieval. Darker than the others.
Comfort is a plus, but they are a tad bulky. Not portable.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.