Grado Prestige Series SR80i Stereo Headphone (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Top Customer Reviews
For years I had used a pair of Sony MDR-somethings until the earphone pads were disintigrating. I had some extra cash and decided to do some research before rushing out and buying a new pair. I was unfamiliar with the Grado brand, but all of the reviews were fantastic for their entire line. But I wasn't really thrilled about an open-ear design, I had been used to closed-ear headphones. Research on a bunch of audiophile sites said that open-ear headphones gave the most natural sound, and the Grado SR 80's were rated the best buy for any headphones under one hundred fifty dollars, better than the more famous Sennheiser brand. Then I kept reading how uncomfortable they were. I hesitated buying them and for over a week I kept reading more Grado reviews. I almost bought some other brand because the reviewers claimed they were more comfortable than the Grado's. I finally found a few reviews that said the newer pads on the Grado's were more comfortable and became even more comfortable after a short break in period, just like the sound quality improves after a few dozen hours of play. So I broke down and ordered them.
The very first time I put the Grado's on I could not believe the sound difference over my old Sony's. It was like listening to the artists in the studio or on a small stage, instead of them in the room next door. There is no muffled or tinny sound. Everything becomes crystal clear. You can pick out individual instruments, hear individual voices in crowds, even the artist breathing. Lyrics become much easier to understand, and my appreciation and enjoyment of music has increased because of the Grado's.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these to anyone.Read more ›
I just wanted to add that (at least in the newest incarnation--the pads have been tinkered with by the manufacturer) they are *very* confortable, compared to many other headphones. The earpieces have two pivot points: one allows them to pivot on a vertical axis attached at the headband and another on a horizontal axis running through the earpiece. This combined with the bendable headband allows for a lot of adjustment. I have a pretty large head and they're not overly tight or otherwise uncomfortable. And the apparently-recently-redesigned earpads on this model have some cushion without being mushy-soft on their outer surface (pads like that always made my ears sweat).
Before buying these, I read just one (recent) review that claimed these were comfortable, and I didn't beleive it. Now I do. (I also didn't beleive they would sound appreciably better after a break-in period, but they did after about 30 hours of being attached to my receiver with the radio on nonstop.) Well, that's all I wanted to say. Back to listening.
I spent a lot of time researching headphones and finally came to the decision to buy the SR80s. I couldn't be happier. These headphones will not completely transform your music or change your life, however, you WILL hear things in your music that you've never heard before and you WILL become much more immersed in your music, achieving a new level of appreciation for it. The things that you will hear from the SR80s that you won't hear from your generic $20 headphones or earbuds will be 1) balance, 2) clarity, and 3) instrument separation. The balance (in my opinion) is perfect. Some say the SR80s have a "bloated" bass compared to the Alessandro MS1s and the SR60s (which I will talk about later), but I prefer a little more bass and I think these are just right. They represent everything across the range at just the right volume without anything being too overpowering. As far as clarity goes, if you're music is high enough quality (see "Other Things to Consider"), you will be able to hear the little details that you would normally miss in your music. For example, if listening to a song with acoustic guitar, you will hear the buzz of the strings, the sliding of the fingers, and the actual contact between the pick and the string. Instead of just hearing it, you will now see and feel it too. Although instrument separation may not seem too exciting, it means the difference between a listening to a song and feeling like you're in the same room as the band. It prevents things such as the rhythm guitar from being drowned out when the lead comes in.Read more ›
Once you get used to them, and after spending a few days of burning them in, the SR80 starts to shine. Connected to an Arcam CD72 CDP via an Onkyo TX810 stereo receiver, Mahler 5th (conducted by Rattle) could finally show its tragic might. "Nozze di Figaro" (conducted by Kleiber) overture was as lively as Mozart intended it to be, although the cans have very dominant bass, it didn't overshadowed the brightness of the violins. "Kind of Blue" was a little bit too "Bassy" to my taste, but overall the details and clearness overwhelmed me. Listening to the live preformance of "Your Latest Trick" (Dire Straits' "Sultan of Swing") the SR80 lacked the soundstage to deliver the live performance feeling, but again - details were astonishing, this lack of soundstage was the SR80 vice when playing "Alexander Nevsky" (conducted by Bernstein), "Arise ye Russian People" and again the cans were a little too "boomy". The ability of the SR80 to show the finest details of the sound with its great bass capability made listening to a fine studio record, such as "Violator", a true delight - "Halo" is my favorite track and the SR80 shows the great production work put into that record.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had the series "e" sr80, but my curiousity got the best of me, and I tried the series "i" sr80. What a pleasant surprise! Read morePublished 2 days ago by Jeffrey M. Martin
Sound quality good. Durability poor. Both ear pieces have snapped off of the headset, despite adult gentle use.Published 2 months ago by Timothy Walker
Bought these about eighteen months ago. Only used them about a dozen times. Sound was great but, now one of the channels has stopped working,so on that basis one star and be... Read morePublished 7 months ago by gerard ball
Okay, I just want to start off by saying these sound GREAT. I feel like the music is surrounding me with these. It's pretty astonishing. Read morePublished 10 months ago by jökull