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Shure Aonic 40 review: For those picky about their audio

On cold winter mornings, I’m more than tempted to put a pair of soft, fluffy headphones over my head to keep them from freezing. And if it’s a pair that can keep the room heater from humming, I can, of course, enjoy my daily dose of musical discovery even better.

The Shure Aonic 40 is perfect for Noida winters in that sense. It also takes the music to a whole new level, as you’d expect from anything bearing the Shure emblem.

The Shure Aonic 40 carries on the rich heritage of Aonic 50, which I reviewed a few years ago, to a new audience that may not have the capacity to spend so much on high-end audio experiences. The design is on the same line with soft ear cups emerging from hook-like metal finished arms at the ends of the headband. The headband isn’t as plush as the Aonic 50, but is still comfortable to wear for long hours.

The earbuds come with your standard volume controls, plus a voice assistant feature that sets up instantly with Siri. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The volume controls are on the right side and the power/pairing button is on the left. On the right, another button controls noise cancellation. The volume controls center button brings up the voice assistant with a long press – for me it worked for Siri without any configuration. The Shure Play app lets you customize many of them.

The Shure Play app also offers the best equalizer around. It has a good set of presets that should meet most of your needs. But there’s also a full manual mode that lets you access the exact audio profile you want, high or low shelf.

The Shure Play app comes with a range of equalizer presets to meet most of your needs. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajn/Indian Express)

And that’s exactly the kind of precision needed to appreciate a number by a maestro like Philip Glass, even if it’s about rediscovering the Ragas in Minor Scale he composed with Ravi Shankar. These are tunes we’ve heard and loved hundreds of times, but with the Shure Aonic 40 and the exact settings you want, it’ll be like a revelation all over again.

These are the kind of headphones that can really make people appreciate the depth of Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice or the pathos that Yesudas can bring to his numbers. But those are just a walk in the park for the Shure Aonic 40. This one is made to take your classics and classics to the next level.

For example, diving into editing work early in the morning with the clear skies of Iambic, noise cancellation and music hit a sweet spot where I have to focus on the job at hand, even though my set of kitchen is in full training with stove, fireplace and faucet trying to outdo each other. And the cello that arrives from time to time at Masollan de Balmorhea will remind you of the good investment you made by purchasing this pair from Shure.

The battery of the Shure Aonic 40 can easily last a full day. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The battery can last you a full Sunday listening to your favorite numbers or just browsing through Apple Music for songs and artists you never knew existed. Plus, call quality is great, so if someone lures you into a Zoom call despite being on the weekend, you don’t need to pick up the pair.

At Rs 19,999, Shure has also gone very aggressive with the prices for the headphones which are clearly above many others in this price range. A great option for those who are really picky about their audio, the Shure Aonic 40 has the potential to make the Chicago brand popular among Indian music lovers.

Now let me come back to Philip Glass.