RIP Shure SRH440 Pro Studio Headphones

The year was 1992, and I had decided that I was in the market for a cassette 4-track multi-tracking recorder. So I went to West LA Music [RIP] and was hanging out in the Pro Audio department.

A salesman in that department was helping Paula Abdul with her home studio. She bought the Yamaha MT120S. I figured if it’s good enough for her, then it’s good enough for me.

The rep put together a great package for me, which included a Shure SM58 mic for free, as well as an XLR-1/4″ jack converter.

My old SM58 microphone eventually found fame and fortune, when it appeared on the back of the comedy album, “Curse of the Drinknif Class” by Chris Neff.

He also gave me a good deal when I added pro headphones to the package. And those headphones were the Shure SRH440 headphones.

I still have the Yamaha MT120S 4-track, although it is being stored for safekeeping until I can afford to spend time and money on reviving it. The microphone is long gone, having fallen victim to the passage of time.

But I was using my Shure SRH440 headphones as late as yesterday afternoon. I used them years before my son was born. I used them during the Ruby Cassidy writing and recording sessions. I used them in my home studio, as well as in a studio that I had helped to build.

They were not just used in pro situations, but also with personal listening. They were my one-and-only for the longest time. I used them until the ear pads wore out, and I replaced them with a new set for about $6.

So WHAT happened to them?

Yesterday, I set them on a little tackle box I have that I used for guitar repair equipment. They then slipped off after the cable was caught on my toe, causing them to fall about 8″ to the floor.

When this happened, a piece of plastic that holds one of the cans onto the entire unit broke. The plastic pieces I found were VERY fragile, which tells me that degradation of the plastic meant that it was only a matter of time.

I hate throwing them out, but I am not in a position to repair them.

But fear not, for I have a replacement already.

Back when I was working and making good money, I invested in a set of brand new headphones. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT headphones are very similar to the Shure headphones. The difference is that these also have Bluetooth capability, which I use VERY frequently.

Much like the Shure headphones, the one thing that also annoys me about the Sennheiser headphones it that they come with proprietary cables.

I had not used the cable for the Sennheisers in years, and would use the Shure headphones whenever I needed a cable.

Really, I couldn’t find the Sennheiser cable, and assumed it got lost when I moved from LA in 2019.

But I went through a cable box, lo and behold, I found it!

This means that I can use the Sennheiser in a cabled situation as well.


Today, I say a fond farewell to my old Shure headphones. They lasted 3 decades, which is not something that can be said about most pieces of gear of this size and type.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May 2019: Using my Shure headphones during my final Noodle Muffin recording session, before moving to Oregon.

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Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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