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Airport Express + Shure SRH840

 

My sister bought me the AirPort Express for my birthday.
Nothing much to say except that it's ridiculously small. 
Ethernet, USB and audio jacks. The USB is only for a shared printer though, you won't be able to attach a HDD and have network storage (you'll need a AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule for that).
Looks nearly identical to Apple's chargers. The thickness on these are identical, which is pretty awesome in terms of design and engineering.
Connected and spewing Wi-Fi.
I received some money from friends and picked this up. The Shure SRH840.
This runs for around $200 average and is Shure's most premium headphones. They are designed to be monitoring headphones, so aimed at musicians and audio engineers. One of the most interesting thing about these is the price. Most headphones in this class / of this quality are usually $100~200 higher in price.
Included accessories. Shure was nice enough to include an extra set of ear cushions too.
The build quality is stellar. The majority of the parts are made of thick, durable plastic with nice fit and finish. Either cups have a metal plating that adds to the premium look. And as you can see, these are closed style of headphones.
The headphones do have a bit of exposed wiring. Some people complain bitterly about this but personally, I don't think it's an issue. Just don't take a scissor to it.
I'm liking these color coded L/R markings, you immediately know if you're putting them on right.
Giant Shure logo on the top. The leather on the headband and ear cushions are very soft. I just wore them on an 11 hour flight and didn't have any discomfort. This is quite astonishing because I also wear glasses and most headphones start applying too much pressure within a few hours of use.

The headband seems to be made of rubber and is rather acrobatic. 
The audio cable is removable - and locks into place during use. 
The most important bit - how do they sound? I've burned these in for about 30 hours and probably should for about another 100 before I make any final judgments. Despite this, I can say that they sound brilliant. The sound is very well balanced, perfect for reference headphones. Ever since the rise of hip-hop, the recent trend has been the crank up the bass on headphones and other audio equipment. Headphones like Beats by Dre are not in the same league as the SRH840. Although they are marketed as "studio headphones", they have a heavily biased sound. If you are a basshead, don't go for the SRH840. However, if you want an accurate representation of your music, regardless of genre, theses will serve you well.

 

Due to the closed design, the SRH840s do have a slightly tight soundstage but I wanted something with some noise isolation so it's not a big concern. I just test drove these on the plane and they do a respectable job of sound isolation. You won't get the results from a dedicated sound isolation design but about 70~80% of the sound is unnoticeable once the music starts rocking; you'll still hear some of that annoying baby that's been crying for the whole flight.

 

To truly juice the goodness out of the SRH840s, you would probably want to use an amp. They do still sound decent without one - better than Grados but noticeably underpowered from an iPod. Still, an unamped SRH840s still sounds way better than most other choices.
They also fold for portability. 
Compared with my Phiaton MS400. 
Compared to the on-ear design of the Phiatons, the SRH840s are massive. I should also point out that the SRH840s are not exactly the most portable headphones - and they're not meant to be. They're optimized for critical listening so take them on long trips but don't try jogging with them.