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Old May 14, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Jackquelegs Jackquelegs is offline
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My System Specs

Default Prelim Review: Shure SRH750DJ Professional DJ Headphones

Overview
Shure has been a long time brand name in the audio industry for their excellent microphones and other studio audio products. You all may know Shure commercially as manufacturers of the E series in-ear monitors, as well as their new refreshed line of SE series IEMs. Last year they took their first step into the consumer full size headphone market with their SRH series composed of the 240, 440, and 840. Their products certainly did not disappoint as the SRH440s proved to be a competent contender in the sub 100$ genre offering good portability, solid construction, and respectable sound quality. The big surprise came with the SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones, which surprised many audiophiles out there for its stellar sound and build quality, and being able to compete with many headphones at higher price points. The SRH750DJ priced at 188$ MSRP reviewed here today is, in my opinion, the more consumer oriented version of the excellent SRH840. Stay tuned.

Specifications (from Shure website)
Transducer type
Dynamic neodymium magnet
Driver size
50 mm
Sensitivity (1kHz)
106 dB/mW
Impedance (1kHz)
32 Ω
Max. input Power
3000 mW
Frequency range
5 Hz - 30 kHz
Net weight (without cable)
8 oz. (227 g)
Shipping weight
24.8 oz. (703 g)
Length of cable
3 meters (9.84 ft)
Type of cable
Detachable coiled oxygen-free copper
Plug
Gold-plated 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo mini jack


Review Method
Since most of my studio equipment is, well at the studio. This review will be consisted of equipment commonly found in consumer households. Mobile rig will be based on a ZuneHD, with Fiio E5 amplifier.
Stationary rig will be consisted of component out from Auzentech Prelude X-fi soundcard patched through Razer Makos. As well as from a Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K home theatre receiver using the 1/4 inch jack.
I will be comparing the SRH750DJs with headphones I have available, which are the SRH840s, and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50s.

Music Used:
Ashley Wallbridge - Harrier
SunLounger - Another Day on The Terrace
Gorillaz - Stylo (Ft. Bobby Womack & Mos Def)
Santana - You Are My Kind
Santana - Since Supernatural
Sound Quality
Mids
In Santana's guitar solo in "Since Supernatural," the strings of the electric guitar shines through these SRH750s. These headphones Compared to the SRH840s, are not as focused on analytical detail, rather they are for a great listening experience. The mids are not very up-front (which the M50s sort of have), or any sort of overshadowing. Combined with the mesmerizing beat from this song, the SRH750s are definitely good in my books for this genre.
Moving onto "Stylo" and "You are my kind", the vocals were absolutely fantastic here. The 750s kept up with the beat, and pronounced the mids very well. In general though, the 750s sound much warmer than the analytical SRH840s.
In the long run, a warmer and more approachable sound leads to less fatiguing sound when listening for an extended period of time.

Soundstage
The generally accepted soundstage judgements for closed-back headphones like the SRH750s is that they cannot compare with open-air headphones such as the Audio Technica AD700s, or the Sennheiser HD555 - 595s. However for closed headphones, these have quite the soundstage. Compared to the SRH840s, the soundstage feels definitely slightly closed in. Compared to the ATH M50s though, the difference seems to be night and day.
Width of course is not the strong-suit, but depth is quite good. Listening to "You are my Kind" and "Since Supernatural", some background sounds that felt non-existent in lower grade headphones come to life with the SRH750s. The shakers in the background are more evident, and definitely help with the overall tone of the music.
From "Another Day on the Terrace", the soundstage definitely plays through with details. The song is very transcendent when listened with headphones with great soundstage as there are many levels of detail that must shine through. The SRH750 performs well here, but I did get a significant impression of some soundstage shyness. While I heard some pretty good depth, it again was the width of the sound that made it feel a bit closed-in, but that's expected of these headphones.

Treble
The trebles on the SRH750s are not the best out there, and especially compared to open air headphones. BUT, they are still pretty good. The treble on these shine with the music, and fortunately do not sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Transparency only scores a so-so in the department, but again it's more than sufficient for a great listening experience.
I mainly observed treble from Ashley Wallbridge's "Harrier" and Sunlounger's "Another day on the Terrace". The details and shine are definitely there in "Harrier" during the climax combined with some very very very deep bass (I will elaborate on that later). While "Another day on the terrace" shined with the brilliant guitar in the background.

Bass
We've come to the meat and bones of the SRH750s. These were built for bass heavy music genres like trance, techno, and house.
Quantity, there is plenty of bass to be found from these headphones. It's not as overwhelming as the bass found on the M50s, or not as analytical as the SRH840s. These are PERFECT for easy listening and are definitely a breath of fresh air for the analytical sound of the 840s.
"Harrier's" climax sounded absolutely astounding with great bass extension and definition. The beats found on "Stylo" were powerful and tight. A definitely change from anyone who is upgrading from lower end headphones, which tend to sacrifice bass definition and clarity for quantity (which leads to muddiness).
Since the M50s are bass heavy headphones, I have to make a comparison here. M50s are POWERFUL bass headphones. By powerful I really mean if you listen to bass heavy music for extended period of time, you will feel it in your eardrums for at least half an hour. The amazing bit about M50s is that despite the bass quantity, treble and mids are not sacrificed. The same thing can be said about the SRH750s. They have a great amount of enjoyable bass, while not being overwhelming at all. Definitely feels like you can listen to them for a whole day without fearing for haemorrhages.
Overall, bass is the SRH750DJ's strong suit. Compared to the 840s, the 750s definitely took a more enjoyable perspective on music.

Portability
Usually higher end full size headphones are not very portable at all. One reason being they are usually notoriously difficult to drive properly. The other reason being that they are just too bulky.
The SRH750DJ's perform well in the portability department, as it can be folded up easily. Here's what really surprised me about these headphones. The ZuneHD drove these headphones relatively well (not without jacking up the volume to 25/30). Of course the sound is dramatically better when used in conjunction with the Pioneer receiver. Also, when I plugged them into the line out on the Razer Makos, the sound quality did not improve too much from the ZuneHD.
Thus I can conclude that while these CAN be plugged straight into your portable player, or your computer, I recommend that you don't in order to get the best quality. The user does have to supply it with ample power. But don't get me wrong, these actually sound fantastic running un-amped.

A few niggles
Nothing is perfect, and SRH750s are not an exception.
First, the headphone itself on maximum extension barely fit my head (yes I have a melon head). These do not nearly extend as much as the 840s.
Second, the comfort is questionable. While the weight is decreased from the heavy SRH840s, the headband still offers no padding. Also the ear pads feel like a mix between the 440's rock hard pads and 840's puffy pads. I probably have to break these in for a few days for an update.
Third, coiled cable is not for everyone :)

Conclusion
The SRH750s are definitely a strong contender in the DJ headphone market. Usually found at 150$ (WAY lower on staff at Futureshop, contact me for more info) in many audio stores, the performance goes way beyond their price point.
Most people who purchase these will definitely be happy with the way these sound. I know I'm very happy with my purchase, especially when I compared it with the SRH840s that I bought before. While 840s are suited for picking out flaws and details in music, the 750s are just there for you to enjoy what you have to a great extend. Now the 750s will replace the M50s in my casual listening headphones, just because they're so good.

Thanks for reading.
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