It has been a long time since the Shure SRH240A was released on the market. It was definitely a great headphone back then and still is even today. Priced at a mere $60, we can say that it is one of the cheapest Shure headphones you can find. I guess, every company has its own cheapo version of the headphones that suck and people buy it just because of the brand name. Well, Shure is a good brand and unlike others its cheapo cans are definitely worth buying. You cannot expect perfect sound from these, bu they should be enough for casual listening and you can always tune its performance by adjusting the equalizer response.
The build is very nice and sturdy. It is completely plastic and does not feel very premium. A lot of parts are glossy, yet they do not attract a lot of finger prints. The glossy areas are actually the ones that catch the attention at first and then everything else comes after.
The cables are attached to both the ear cups and run for approximately 2 meters in length. The SRH240A does not come with an in line microphone, so the 3.5mm headphone jack has only 3 poles. Speaking of cables, they look okay and should last for quite sometime. You do get an additional 6.5mm adapter in case you want to plug these headphones to studio equipment. For this purpose you will find threaded metallic part to screw on the adapter over the 3.5mm jack. One thing I liked about the 3.5mm jack is its nice golden look that comes because of some sort of nickel plating.
The ear cups on the SRH240A swivel vertically only. It would have been nice if they could rotate in the other direction as well making them feel like DJ headphones. They are attached to a plastic slider that slides inside the headband. With this mechanism you can easily extend or reduce the length to fit them on your head perfectly.
The headband is covered with some sort of fabric. It is not soft but not too hard either. It should feel okay for an hour or two of continuous use. It would have been perfect if Shure added a softer material to the headband to increase the comfort for extended use. On the other hand, the ear cups are made from really good quality material. The shape is also good enough to cover your whole ears and the pads are made from soft material that feels very comfortable. The center region of the ear cups is covered with thin layer of foam and you can feel the hard plastic behind it.
On the whole, the headphones feel very cheap and light in weight, but definitely can stand up to some level of beating.
You will easily notice the poor sound isolation these headphones have if you are living in a noisy area. Apart from that, the sound leakage is also quite significant. The good thing about the drivers on SRH240A is their impedance is nearly 38 Ohms which means they can sound very loud. That way, you will never need to pump your volume too high or else you will go deaf.
Having a loud sound profile does seem to be a nice thing, but it is equally important to see whether the drivers can reproduce the sound equally across the whole audio band. Unfortunate as it may sound, the drivers do not have a flat response at all. The bass is poor or actually sounds like it is completely absent. What headphones are good without the bass? Nevertheless, you could try boosting the bass through software equaliser.
On the brighter side, the mids and the highs are superb. You can hear the vocals clearly and also the instruments in the background are highlighted to some extent. The treble sounds like it is boosted to some extent, but still sounds perfectly good. If you are moving to Shure SRH240A from other, bass boosted headphones such as the Monsters and Beats, you will notice the lack of bass.
I would say that this pair of headphones is ideal for skype calls and casual listening and even gaming, but if you are an audiophile, you probably would not be even looking at this product right now.
For a price point of $60, you are getting a well built headphones that sound perfectly fine for casual listening and some gaming. Because of poor isolation I would not recommend these for commuters. You can easily find much better headphones for even lower cost if you are ready to compromise some level of comfort. Check out the Sony MDRZX110 which cost less than $20 and produce extremely good sound as compared to the SRH240. Even the Philips SHL3105 perform many times better and they cost a fraction of the SRH240A.
SRH240A provides comfort but lacks the audiophile level of sound quality. Nevertheless, even after so many years, it can still be considered as a pair of good headphones.
Transducer Type: Dynamic, Neodym-Magnet
Driver size: 40 mm
Sensitivity : 107 dB SPL/mW
Impedance: 38 Ω
Max. input power: 500 mW
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz
Net weight (without cable): 238 g
Cable length: 2 m
Type of cable: Attached, straight
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5 mm stereo mini plug
A comfortable pair of headphones that have everything but bass.