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Focal Utopia (2016) vs Shure SRH1840 (2011)
Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016)
The Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) makes for a good, if unremarkable, Over-Ear Headphone for people with a $1,800 budget.
The Shure SRH1840 (2011), however, is merely mediocre at its $499 asking price, when compared to similarly priced products, and won't satisfy the needs of most people.
In either case, we suggest that you first take a look at some other options at the $1,800 and $520 price points before committing to one of these - it's likely that you'll be able to find some better alternatives.
If you're still interested in learning more about the Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) and Shure SRH1840 (2011), however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:
While the Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) wasn't able to make it to the very top of any roundups from sources that perform quality hands-on testing, it still got featured in a large number of them. HomeTheaterReview.com, What Hi-Fi?, Headfonics, Head-fi, and Headphone Review have all deemed it worthy of a place on their respective shortlists.
As for the Shure SRH1840 (2011), it wasn't able to earn a top spot in any roundups from trusted sources that conduct their own hands-on testing. Nevertheless, it managed to impress reviewers at What Hi-Fi?, Head-fi, CNET, and Wirecutter (NYTimes) enough to make it onto their respective shortlists.
To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Head-fi, for example, preferred the Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016), while What Hi-Fi? rated both of them the same.
We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) got reviewed the highest by HomeTheaterReview.com - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Shure SRH1840 (2011) most impressed reviewers at What Hi-Fi?, which gave it a score of 10.
Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Over-Ear Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Over-Ear Headphones being 7.5 out of 10, whereas the Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) and Shure SRH1840 (2011) managed averages of 9.5 and 8.9 points, respectively.
Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear (2016) vs. Shure SRH1840 (2011) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.