It's not uncommon for people to shell out $200 or more for a pair of headphones that aren't even good, which is why a set of $40 cans from a company we actually trust sounds pretty darn good.
Shure's new SRH on-ear headphones come in two sonic flavors. The SRH144 offer "extended range." That basically means more natural, balanced sound with better high-frequency response than the SRH145, which are a bass-heavy model meant to appeal to the crowd that might otherwise be shopping for Beats by Dre.
The headphones have a nearly identical lightweight foldable design with some very cushy looking earpads. The difference is that the 144s have a semi-open design to create a more natural sound, whereas the 145s have a closed back to bring out the bass. Pretty standard design tricks at work. There's also a $50 SRH145m+ model that comes with an iOS-ready in-line mac and remote.
The SRH models appear to be be a great deal assuming the headphones sound as good as we've come to expect from Shure. Though, it's worth noting that Sennheiser's wonderful PX 100-II portable set only cost $50 these days.
Though Shure has always made relatively affordable kit, it's nice that the company's recent turn sees them reaching into a deep trove of audio expertise to make gear that people don't need to sell organs to pay for. [Shure]