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Shure SRH750DJ


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I posted this on head-fi, too, since so far as I know these haven't been discussed over there by anyone who's heard them, but, you know, I'd prefer to have a discussion about them here.

I haven't seen many posts about the SRH750DJ, but I bought them just a few days ago. They're really fantastic for the money. A little background: I recently sold my Edition 9 and will likely be ordering a JH13 or JH16 within a month or two. In the interim, I was planning to rely on my HD25s, but my car was broken into a month or so ago and the headphones were stolen along with my GPS. I wasn't going to buy a pair of headphones for just a few months of use, but I did want have a backup pair that friends could use, that I could use when the risk of loss or damage would be too high for me to bring along the JH IEMs, etc.

I went to a music store that had just about every headphone in Shure's line. I wasn't familiar with Shure's headphones. I hadn't read any reviews, certainly hadn't listened to any of them, and wasn't familiar with the model numbers, but as I'm a bit of an audio nut I went straight for the top model they had, the SRH840. These also claimed to be "monitors" where the SRH750DJ claimed to be "DJ headphones," which also made the 840 seem more up my alley. I plugged them into my Zune HD and started flipping around between classical, jazz, rock and R&B. I liked them, but felt they weren't as dynamic and textured as I would've liked; a lot like what killed the HD650 for me, but not as bad. I would've been satisfied with them as an HD25 replacement, though, and would've bought them if the store hadn't had an SRH750DJ for me to try out next. These were much more to my liking. They improved on the 840 in terms of dynamics and detail, had less of a stuffy sound, "better soundstage," and had a frequency balance that was more to my taste (a bit lighter in the mid-bass). They're not perfect--a little rolled off in the deep bass to my ears and not as smooth as some headphones I've heard--but still, even coming from an Edition 9, very listenable. They're also more compact, more comfortable, and probably better looking than the 840 (though their styling is a little out there for my tastes). Since they were cheaper, too, they were a no-brainer. Definitely HD25 beaters as well.

It's been quite a while since I've heard any of the ~$300 open headphones that are supposed to be pretty much the top of the line as far as sane people are concerned; the HD650, K701, SA5000, etc. The headphones in that class all had their specific strengths, but each of them had some fatal flaw that made them borderline unusable for certain types of music. The SA5000 was a perfect example. Their incredible detail and dynamics made them my favorite headphone in the price range, but their excessively bright tonal balance made some music sound, just, wrong. The HD650 was my least favorite among these, because while they had a much more balanced sounding and generally tolerable tonal balance than the SA5000, they severely lacked dynamics and detail--that "Sennheiser veil." Those headphones all likely had something they did better than the ~$130 SRH750DJ (again, it's been a very long time since I've heard them), but to my ears, the 750s do everything decently, and in fact do most things pretty well--they've got none of the fatal flaws that made me drop $1100 on an Edition 9 in the first place. After hearing these, I'm going to have to give some serious thought to whether or not this JH13/16 purchase is really worth it.

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