Shure Aonic 40 review

Our Verdict

The $249 Shure Aonic 40 is a standout noise-canceller with a weight upshot.


  • Accurate sound
  • Superb ANC and ambient listening modes
  • Fancy, well-built design
  • Stable battery life
  • Competitively priced


  • Heavy and uncomfortable
  • Unfavorable control scheme
  • Companion app is a bit buggy

Laptop Mag Verdict

The $249 Shure Aonic 40 is a standout dissonance-canceller with a weight issue.


  • +

    Authentic audio

  • +

    Superb ANC and ambient listening modes

  • +

    Fancy, well-built design

  • +

    Stable battery life

  • +

    Competitively priced


  • Heavy and uncomfortable

  • Unfavorable control scheme

  • Companion app is a bit buggy

Appear at CES 2022, the Shure Aonic twoscore has fabricated its way onto shop shelves, hoping to make a splash in what’s already an overcrowded dissonance-cancelling market. What makes these wireless headphones whatever different than the rest? Flagship audio.

  • Our practiced picks for the best noise-cancelling headphones, per upkeep and fashion
  • Check out our Bose 700 review
  • …and our Sony WH-1000XM4 review

Shure’s audio lineage is indisputable, and the Aonic 40 does a remarkable job of not dropping the sonic baton. Its robust ANC technology is some of the finest in the category. Add a gorgeous design, intuitive connectivity, and powerful mics to the Aonic 40’southward list of attractions.

Heft and shoddy controls proceed Shure’s latest release from achieving a higher score. Flaws aside, the Aonic forty checks enough boxes to brand our all-time noise-cancelling headphones listing.

  • Shure Aonic 40 for $249 at Amazon (Blackness)
  • Shure Aonic 40 for $249 at Amazon (White/Tan)

Shure Aonic twoscore review: Availability and price

The Shure Aonic 40 has an MSRP of $249 and can be purchased at major online retailers, including Amazon and B&H, or directly from Shure. Colors are express to Black or White/Tan. Bundled with the purchase are a leather carrying case, USB-C charging cable, aux cable, and possessor’s manual.

These racket-cancellers confront strong competition at all cost points. Inexpensive gems like the $149 Cleer Enduro ANC deliver cracking sound on a upkeep and sub-$250 models like the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 bring an extensive feature ready to the table. Then come category leaders similar the $379 Bose 700 and $299 Sony WH-1000XM4 that offer elite performance across the board.

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Shure Aonic 40 review: Design and condolement

The build quality is premium on these cans. Materials consist of aluminum and difficult plastic, topped with nice faux leather on the earpads. Every component feels substantial, from the buttons to the hinges to the padding. The curved and twisted metal piece connecting the headband to the earcups is a distinctive touch on, while the matte finish with shiny embossed logos scream luxe. Even the carrying case is well designed, covered in shine leather, and providing plenty of protection and infinite to store everything.

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

If only comfortability was every bit enticing. Powerful circuitry and sturdy materials often add together unwanted weight, and, unfortunately, that is the case here. Wearing eleven ounces on your skull for a few hours is straining on the head and neck. Shure could have learned from Bose and Sony on how to craft lighter noise-cancelling headphones without compromising the overall pattern.

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Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Time to come)

Fit is another concern for listeners with depression pain thresholds. As snug as the padding feels on both the ears, the clamp force is tight. I had to accept off the headphones every 45 minutes to give my head a breather; they felt excruciating when locked on a tight setting.

Shure Aonic xl review: Controls and digital banana

Shure kept the command scheme tradition by calculation physical buttons to each earcup. On the left is a power/Bluetooth button and the right has a multifunctional push flanked by two volume buttons and a listening mode push button underneath them. No touch pads on the exterior. No motion sensors for auto-pause when taking off the headphones.

I’thou non a fan of the execution. For 1, the buttons are too potent. You’ll have to printing hard to enable playback, phone call direction or the digital assistant. Some other issue is they’re difficult to identify since they all feel the same and don’t stretch out far enough. I also don’t capeesh the noise command prompt existence disabled right out the box; it collection me basics figuring out whether ANC was on or off.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Hereafter)

Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby all work well. Shure’s microphones demonstrated solid voice communication recognition, picking up every syllable and long-winded inquiry, even in busy environments. All iii bots returned results as quickly every bit they received them.

Shure Aonic 40 review: Audio quality

Shure doesn’t get the dear they rightfully deserve equally a premier audio manufacturer. The Aonic 40 will have you lot singing their praises, thank you to a dynamic sound signature that tin can be tuned via customizable EQ. It does require a little more than sound noesis to apply properly (adjustments can be made to bandwidth, frequency, and proceeds), but the truest audiophile can have a brawl tweaking sound to their liking.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Those intimidated past the terminology can settle for any of the seven well-engineered EQs that emphasize bass, treble, loudness, or vocals. Experience gratis to experiment with each one, but for this review, I focused on the default EQ, which produces total and precise sound.

The Weeknd’s “Best Friends” radiated with 80s’ synth-pop vibes and featured a staccato keyboard bassline that the Aonic xl’s drivers reproduced superbly. Mids were counterbalanced and warm, bringing a charm to the crooner’s cadent vocalisation over the thumping production.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Jumping into the Kanye West’s “Delinquent,” I was shocked by how articulate and fine-tuned the introductory piano chords sounded, along with the excellent reverberation. Nevertheless, I was more blown away past the headphones’ ability to stabilize the record’s excessive lows, giving the funky drums and mushrooming bassline lots of dial minus any baloney.

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Jazz records requite me the greatest sense of frequency range, and the Aonic forty happily met my expectations. The deep double bass, swinging horns, and tinny cymbals on Leroy Hutson’s “Cool Out” blended beautifully, making for ane hell of a melodic, intimate mind. Live performances were besides given an immersive presence, as exemplary on Latin Jazz classics like Eddie Palmieri’s “Pa Huele.” You could hear the small-scale pockets of oversupply interaction, while nevertheless enjoying the rails’s magnetically percussive resonance.

Shure Aonic 40 review: Active noise cancellation

Three-level noise cancellation (Calorie-free, Normal, Max) gives you full control of ambience sound blockage. Information technology’s tough discerning betwixt the trio, but the feature is highly effective for peaceful listening. As expected, Max is suited for dealing with all frequencies and should ever be your go-to. Be mindful that it sucks upwardly the most juice, and then turn off ANC when it isn’t required.

Using the headphones during work hours provided atmospheric relief by neutralizing common household distractions. Appliance timers, loud family chatter in the kitchen, and my infant boy’southward shrieks never fabricated their way onto the soundscape. The Aonic 40 handles low frequencies best, shutting out droning sounds like the ones coming from our washing machine or airplanes that flew over the business firm.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Only a small number of wireless ANC headphones can suppress loftier-frequency noises at an elite level. Add these to the listing. It’s been a nightmare equally of late getting my baby to nap during the day. Shure’s ANC technology fabricated it endurable enough to work through by keeping his screams depression enough to focus on tasks. Other noises like bird chirping and whistles went unheard. Shure’due south mics won’t mute blaring sounds like sirens or whistles, but neither are noisy plenty to pull you away from whatever’s playing on the headphones. Current of air resistance is likewise strong and minimizes whisking furnishings.

Raising Environment serves as the Aonic 40’s transparency style. It has 10 adjustable levels and setting the characteristic to max lets in the slightest sliver of noise. The mics will sense stuff similar the headphones rubbing against fabric or the whooshing sound created when walking in a quiet room. That’s awesome if you’re trying to hear every detail possible from distant, but it can as well be painful if something like a bullhorn goes off a few anxiety abroad. Setting it to level 7 is perfect for increasing environmental awareness and engaging in clear-sounding chats.

Shure Aonic 40 review: App and special features

ShurePlus Play is the companion app and hub for all features tied to the Aonic 40. I already touched on hallmarks like ANC, adjustable ambient listening, and the EQ with presets. What more than is there? Very niggling.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Futurity)

You can turn on the Busy light role to activate a red light on the headphones when taking calls in the dark. In that location is a power-salvage mode that places the Aonic xl into sleep mode when inactive after a gear up time. Apple Music integration and a USB Sound mode to prioritize “total-quality audio” or mic performance on conference calls are available as well. Other notables include a battery level indicator, control customization, firmware updates, and an interactive user guide.

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The app does misbehave at times, peculiarly when connected to 2 devices at the same time through multipoint technology. It crashed a lot and asked to re-pair the headphones when my mobile device already established a connection.

Shure Aonic 40 review: Bombardment life

Battery life is rated at 25 hours with ANC on. This places the Aonic 40 shut to the Bose 700 (20 hours) and QuietComfort 45 (24 hours), just several hours lower than the WH-1000XM4 (30 hours) and far less than the Enduro ANC (60 hours). Information technology’s still sufficient for coincidental listening or travel. The 10 days of moderate utilize (2 hours daily) I got on a full accuse was satisfying.

Shure Aonic 40 review

(Paradigm credit: Regan Coule/Futurity)

Shure doesn’t listing what battery life is with ANC off considering these headphones have no selection to disable the feature.

Frequent flyers that desire to ensure some playtime on the trip dorsum home will find relief in the Aonic xl’southward quick-charging capabilities, netting you v hours of use on a 15-minute accuse. This is ane hour more than what the Aonic 50 generates in the aforementioned charging time.

Shure Aonic forty review: Telephone call quality and connectivity

Voice and video calls audio cracking on these headphones. Any conversations I had outside were audible on both ends, fifty-fifty in gusty conditions where the missus heard me loud and articulate, despite lots of background racket. The beamforming mics could have done a better job of blocking out incidental sounds. Indoors was even more rewarding every bit Zoom calls sounded well-baked, leading to a few compliments from clients and friends.

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(Paradigm credit: Regan Coule/Time to come)

Bluetooth 5.0 fabricated for a reliable wireless feel. Range maxes out at 60 feet, which is virtually double the length of almost wireless headphones, letting me roam freely around the business firm while my connected device charged in the office.

Shure Aonic 40 review: Verdict

Shure accomplishes its goal of creating a worthy Bose rival at a reasonable (and lower) price point.

The Aonic 40 has the dissonance-cancelling and sonic prowess of a $400 model, and information technology can be had for $250. You lot go incredible frequency range that complements all music genres. Its ability to cake out nearly 85% of ambient racket is impressive. The design is also handsome, though the control scheme and weight are burdensome. Shure needs to refine its companion app every bit well.

Paying extra for the Bose 700 or Sony WH-1000XM4 spares you from these nuisances and presents better racket cancellation and features. If you’re however non ready to pause the banking concern on prime noise-cancellers, then the Aonic 40 can serve every bit a terrific fill-in.