Shure SRH1540 Mastering & Studio Closed-Back Headphones

91 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank High Notes

Gearank Recommended

The SRH1540 first appeared on our recommended list for Closed Headphones Under $500 from March 2016 until January 2021 when it was out-ranked by the Neumann NDH20.

Then in January 2022 it had high enough ratings to go back on the list where it tied for #1 ranked spot with the Beyerdynamic DT 150 and it remains in that position today.

These headphones were also on our recommended list for Studio Headphones Under $500 from February 2018 until February 2020.


The SRH1540 is the flagship studio headphone from audio giant Shure.

These are high-end premium headphones that will be too expensive for many home recording studios, but to quote Robbie Stamp from Future Music who gave them a 5 star rating, “It is often the case that you can’t imagine better sound quality until you hear it, and the 1540s opened our ears to the possibilities”.

These headphones feature high tech materials like carbon fiber, and aircraft-grade aluminum paired with their best 40mm driver design with proprietary materials for better linearity and lower Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

The ear pads feature memory foam for enhanced comfort over long sessions.

Closed-back headphones are not as popular for use with mixing but the soundstage and response of the SRH1540 offsets that.

These headphones provide an excellent monitoring experience that translates your mixes well across different listening devices, all while providing luxurious levels of comfort for long sessions.

From “Best Closed Back Headphones for Recording and Tracking” guide

The SRH 1540 is Shure’s top-of-the-line monitoring headphones for the studio. They utilize top-tier materials like aircraft aluminum and carbon fiber for the enclosure.

It also features a tightly matched pair of Neodymium-powered 40mm drivers with low total harmonic distortion.

These features allow the SRH1540 to have a massive soundstage, that give it almost speaker-like immersive sound, which is not usually expected from closed back headphones. This immersive sound makes it useful for mixing and mastering, in addition to quiet tracking.

It also produces high quality audio in a way that’s easier on the ears than what you’d expect from closed back headphones. Together with its memory foam pads and plush lining, it provides a more relaxed and comfortable listening experience.

The downside to its clarity and massive soundstage is that the bass is a bit lacking. Noise isolation is also not as good compared to other closed-back headphones.

If you’re looking for a top tier pair of headphones that strike a great balance between critical listening and pleasurable listening, the Shure SRH 1540 is the top pick.

  • Massive soundstage
  • Relaxed listening experience
  • Premium build quality and materials
  • Clear and immersive sound


  • Bass is a bit lacking
  • Minor sound leakage


  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 25,000Hz
  • Maximum Input Power: 1000 mW
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Impedance: 46 Ohms
  • Noise Attenuation: Not Specified
  • Weight: 10.1 oz
  • Cable and Connectivity: 6 ft dual-exit, detachable oxygen-free copper cable; Gold-plated 1/8″ stereo mini jack
Rating Source Highlights
Website Source *Rating Value
MusicRadar Robbie Stamp 100/100
digitaltrends Caleb Denison 100/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm’s adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

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