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Grado SR60e Headphones
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
- 1 Year Manufacturers Warranty from authorized dealers (Amazon or 4OurEars)
- 3.5mm mini plug with 1/4 inch adapter
- Open Air Operating Principle. Frequency response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Lightweight Ergonomic Design for Optimal Comfort
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||Amazon.com||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store|
|Color||Black||Black||Black||Black||Gray||Black and Silver|
|Item Dimensions||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.1 x 6.3 x 3.35 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in|
|Item Weight||7.76 ounces||0.51 lb||0.6 lb||0.62 lb||4.8 ounces||0.79 lb|
|Additional Features||foldable||Non-foldable||lightweight||Just released Grado "e" series headphones||lightweight||Just Released Grado "E" Series Headphones|
Everyone loves a thumping bass and kick-drum, but not at the expense of everything else. The Grado SR60e is your entry to the world of full spectrum audio. You'll actually hear notes you never knew were there. Perhaps your audiophile friends have fueled a desire for the legendary Grado sound but you thought it was out of reach. Try a pair of our affordable open-back headphones and experience fuller, more realistic sound. Club-footed imports can't match the sonic enlightenment from Brooklyn, USA. Grado has taken one of the world's most legendary headphones and made it even better. The SR60e has a new driver design, a new polymer to better damp resonant distortion in the plastic housing, and a new cable from plug to driver connection. The way the SR60e's new driver and plastic housing move air and react to sound vibrations virtually eliminate transient distortions. This allows the signal flow over the new cable to reproduce sound that has tight control of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum, while supporting Grado's world renowned midrange. The SR60e will produce a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end.
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Okay, with the studio setting on the off position and the EQ off, the sound stage narrows right to the beginning of your ears where the instrument are situated along with the bass notes and the vocals take front center, more in your face and the voice thickens by a tad which i absolutely love, it's not to forward to take over but enough to rule the show. The treble cymbals are heard as if one is plucking the guitar strings going down your ear canal. What a gorgeous song however, the studio setting on the Sony ZX2 when engaged widens the sound-stage and moves the instruments a bit forward and outside of your ears, the vocals will move right between your ears but a tad higher, but does not V shape the sound but it does thins out the vocals just by a hair, audiophiles will pick up on this. Now while i love my vocals not to be molested in any way, the sound of the in STUDIO setting is so overwhelmingly inviting that i will take the hit on slightly thinning out the vocals which is actually a minuscule hit. I mean all your songs will sound outside the cans, strings notes bass etc, not the vocals of course. I have fallen in love with these cans. Hotel California by The Eagles (album name when...Hell Freezes Over) The guitar strings, the cymbals are just outside your right ear, the bass is center right behind the center of your head. The bass boost on the Fiio E12 had to keep it off because higher than 12 o'clock (loud) the SR60E could not handle it without producing a slight pop. However i turned it off and the bass notes were still very present and clear. You can easily hear the sub notes but it wont rattle your ear cups by any means. Up on the roof"Live) by the Blue Man Group, with the BASS boost ON on the Fiio E12 sounded absolutely full of BASS everywhere and crisp highs, wow wow!!. September in Montreal" by Anne Bisson, bass line clear and very present, Bass Boost OFF, the piano simply played smooth, the voice absolutely dominating in the center between my ears while still not leaving any other instruments like the drum snares behind. Nothing stays behind. Jazz Variants" in FLAC format which you have to absolutely download because you will hear all sorts of cymbals and bass notes, snares, sub notes...my goodness, I'm listening as i am writing!! Go to Chiasenhac.com register for free and type in the search.....Jazz Variants" It shows by Various Artists. It should be the first one that pops out. Downloaded for free in FLAC form. Holy cow you will be blown away! Ok i have to stop or this review will go forever. These cans go pretty darn loud without any distortion, enough to make you deaf. Now i am wondering if i am missing anything with the Grado 225E or the SR325e? Most reviewers state diminishing returns. Welcome to the audiophile world which torments us to perfection.LOL
As for comfort, hmmm?, here is the scoop, i've never liked over ear, i have a Status Audio HD-One headphone which are on
ear and while the sound is pretty good, the comfort was murder on my ears let alone wearing eye wear. I tossed them aside in a cabinet never to be heard from again. So i stayed clear but i remembered a reviewer saying to ride the Grado SR60E slightly above the center of your ears as in sitting a tad higher on your ear top than on your lower ear lobes and it works, i can't put these babies down. As to wearing eye wear, oh yes, they are murder on your ears but this is what i do and works perfectly. Put the headphones on first, then your glasses legs place them on top of the headphone ear foams, your glasses will be at a slight angle up but you will be able to read just fine. Also, don't wear these headsets in the heat, the foam will feel like a hard foam brush..terrible.
Okay, my gear is the Sony Walkman ZX2 (you have to get this player for you analog audiophiles lovers) It's a little underpowered in my opinion but the sound will more than make up for it. Plus all the sound signature settings it accommodates. i.e ...studio, matrix, club, concert) a separate EQ, and separate CLEAR BASS setting that makes the bass clearer, plus a separate setting HSEE-HX to bring out the highs that are lost to mp3 conversion, i don't hear improvement differences with AAC320kbps conversions as this is top notch for compressed files. The HSEE feature is rigged for 128kbps which i dont use so i keep it OFF.. I only use the EQ and STUDIO settings. Oh, the bass is rolled off some passed the 75% volume so i keep it at 75% and pair it with the Fiio E12, still plenty strong paired.
The files are all AAC320kbps or Flac format.
The portable amp is Fiio E12 mont blanc. ( every audiophile needs to own this gem, it's very powerful at 850mw of power. The bass boost is super clear on any well recorded song.
I can understand why the Grados are either loved or hated, the gear also plays a great deal in obtaining the best sound quality. The wrong combo can make or break the deal. I should have purchased a Grado years ago. I paid for my headphones and have NO affiliations to Grado, so this is all my humble opinion to help others on the fence. I really thought i was going to hate the sound signature and it has been the other way around. These Grados SR60e sound fine with smartphones but their beauty comes out with a dedicated DAP and a Portable Amp like the FiioE12. I have not tested the sound with my other amps and or the FiioE17 Alpen2 yet.
Why five whole stars? I have to be fair, the headphones have a truly remarkable sound, they are open and not designed for transport, the cable is just fine for home use. The headstrap could be better quality but at 79.00 i can't ask for more. Maybe the ear cushion? Knock a star off? Because i know i will not stand them in the heat it will be like sleeping in fiberglass...LOL, anyway feel free to ask anything if i can help i will.
Update: As of June 1, 2017, the lightweight leather that rests on the crown of the head has come completely apart leaving me with the wire piece to rest on my head.
I didn't start using these until months after I purchased them because to be honest, my old Urban Ears (that a coworker abandoned and I took) were still working though kind of dirty. I had read so many glowing reviews for Grado. I usually purchase those $10-$15 earphones at the local store, and they work well and last surprising long. What made me splurge on more than $80 for some headphones was a line in Grado's ad stating, "you will hear sounds in a song that you never knew were there." I'm like, wow. So I get these and am immediately disappointed by the clunky, lightweight and cheap plastic design. The sound is not bad, but not great either. I'm going to try the Seinhauser's (sp) next to see how they work out. Lastly, I don't care for headphones where when you listen to a song everyone in the room can tell what you are listening to, I find that embarrassing. These are those kinds of headphones. As a matter of fact, I was using these on a Youtube video, left the video running and went a few feet away to do something and could hear every word that was being said in the video.
Update: As of June 1, 2017 the light piece of leather strap that rests on the crown of your head has come undone leaving me with a wire piece to rest on my head if I don't Super Glue it back together.
In a world full of outstanding headphones and headphone brands, Grado stands alone. The Grado sound is identifiable and distinctive, once you’ve heard it. Clarity and definition, transparency, detail, visceral impact and effect of proximity to the performers on the recording.
It is not for everyone. In fact, Grados are not for the masses. They do not attempt to be all things to all people. It is not for those who want bloated bass (rather than clear, accurate, tight bass in proper proportion) or veiled, muffled, rolled off treble (rather than detail, definition and sparkle); who tolerate recessed midrange (rather than up front and present mids); or those who value luxury trappings as much, if not more, than the sound; who listen at unreasonably high volume (distorting all sound), for too long (risking potential damage to the ears, rendering all sound "fatiguing"). These individuals should by all means go to the cans by other makers.
But if you are a fan of the very specific things that Grado does, and does better than others (that John Grado himself and his small team believe are the right sound- Grados are tuned by ear, by people, not by machine or measurements), the SR60e is the entry point to the Grado house sound. And once in the Grado world, you may be happy to never leave.
Each Grado is a variation on a theme, each model is different, some incrementally (but interestingly) so, while others are quite unique and/or geared to a specific niche or an emphasis of sound. That’s why Grado fans find their journey up the line fascinating. I strongly disagree with those who say “all Grados sound alike”, because they simply don’t.
The entry level SR60e is $79. Let that sink in for a minute. For that insane cheap price, you get a set of headphones that not only does virtually everything well, but does them better than most headphones, open or closed, at its price and beyond, while introducing the basic Grado sound. While the more expensive Grados are even better, more refined, with even more of everything, the SR60e is the starting point, and an outstanding and distinctive set of headphones in its own right. The detail might be startling to those who have only heard "ordinary" cans.
Although the SR60e is not technically neutral, and do not show as neutral on frequency response graphs, the graphs don’t tell the story. The SR60e has its own comfortable balance, in which, in my opinion, everything just sounds right. The SR60e is “colored”, but it actually sounds closer to neutral than some headphones that are considered neutral. (By neutral, I mean the classic Diffuse Field definition, not the newer, bass-biased Harman curve.) The bass of the SR60e is punchy, tight and accurate, but not overdone, bloated or boomy. It is appropriate and proportional, and definitely not lacking (unless you want exaggerated bass; in which case, you would consider the SR60e bass lean. The Grado midrange is outstanding: vivid, clear and smooth, not recessed but also not too forward. Vocals, guitars and other important “presence” elements stand out nicely, putting many other headphones to shame.
As with all Grados, the treble is clear, detailed, and crisp. The signature Grado treble may be described as "brighter" than the average headphone (many of which are simply dull), but to the Grado fan, that treble is not only correct but the way it should be. It's called detail, and that clarity is essential to good sound. All that said, the SR60e treble specifically is clear but not aggressive---in fact, slightly less bright than the highs of some of the other Grados up the line (they vary), but still crisp. The detail and transparency are amazing for a $79 headphone. Those who simply hate good treble will always wrongly accuse Grados of sibilance and sharpness, and run screaming from all headphones with highs. If you hear things that way, you simply are not meant for Grados.
To my ears, the overall tuning is spot on, and the SR60e does not need much equalizing (EQ). Much depends on what ear pads are used with them (S, L or G cushion) (see below section on EAR PADS). With the stock S cushions, I personally like adding yet a few db of treble (4khz-8khz region) and maybe a few db of bass for fun, depending on what I am listening to. With the L cushions, I add less to treble, and still add some bass. With G cushions, I like no equalizing, or, depending on the recording, some bass and incremental additions to the treble to pinpoint certain dynamics.
With the stock S cushions, or L cushions (see below section on EAR PADS), the soundstage of the SR60e is decent, though somewhat compact, but separation and imaging are very good within this space. The effect is that of listening to clear, accurate midsize speakers. Again, amazing for a $79 set of headphones. It is important to clarify that the SR60e, like with many Grados, bring your ears closer to the performers, almost as if you are on stage or in the studio sitting among them. This is a classic Grado trademark. So the more compact soundstage is in many ways by design.
For wider soundstage, the circumaural (over ear) G cushions adds a measurable amount, more improvement to separation and imaging, with more directionality. The more expensive Grados up the line, most of which come with L or G cushions, have excellent soundstage and imaging. (see below section on EAR PADS) Other brands of headphones also typically place you further away from the performers as Grados.
Grados are easy to drive. The SR60e has an impedance of just 32 ohms, and they are also high sensitivity, which means you can connect them to anything from portable devices to full sound systems with good amps and DACs, and they work fine and sound good on all of them. Of course, the better and more powerful your source, the more nuance you get out of them. In terms of sheer volume and overall body and fullness of sound, the SR60e is very good but slightly leaner. I find myself turning up the volume a few notches. I believe this is related to the on-ear design and the pads (versus conventional bigger around-ears cans), as well as the tuning of the drivers.
I tested the SR60e on all kinds of music. It handled all of it well, effortlessly switching gears. Very accurate, the merits as well as flaws of individual recordings are revealed, not glossed over. (Repeat: the flaws of bad recordings will be exposed by these very detailed headphones. Distortion, hissing, harshness, grit, etc. all get exposed, whereas other headphones are more forgiving, or even smooth over these flaws. If you hear these unpleasantries, chances are it is the recording, not the headphones. Grados just give it to you straight.) The SR60e has the clarity, air and detail to excel on classical music, which many highly regarded headphones (open and closed) struggle to handle. Grados are great on rock, jazz, and classical. They are fine on contemporary recordings from pop to EDM, but be careful with noisy, overproduced recordings and excessively high volume. The Grado clarity will accentuate both the good and the bad. (And if you don't take to the unforgiving detail of Grados, you will think they are "fatiguing".) If you like energy and immediacy, Grados have it.
The sound signature is determined greatly by the ear pads. The SR60 stock ear pads---known as the S cushions or “comfy pads”---are foam discs that lie flat between your ears and the drivers. The S pads provide a bit of warmth and bass energy, without obscuring the mids. The treble remains clear. The big downside to the S pads is comfort. The feeling of a flat wall of foam pressed against the ears feels odd, although you can get used to them.
Although the S pads are preferred and recommended by Grado for the SR60e (obviously because that is what they come with), and the SR60e sounds good with them, I highly recommend also purchasing the two other pad options, the L and the G cushions. Both give the headphones a different sound. Both are foam rings or bowls that leave the driver exposed. Both improve the clarity and definition, with more chiseled mids and treble (yes, a bit brighter). Bass is tightened up and still present, but less warm than with the S pads. Both are far more comfortable than the S pads. The G cushions are larger, fitting completely around the ear, while the L cushions as they fit comfortably around the edges of the ears. The only minor issue with the Gs is fit, and getting a good seal around your ears. Grados are lightweight and do not clamp hard. It probably is not a huge problem for most, depending on the size of your head.
I find that the L cushions give a more sharply defined, clearer sound than the S pads, with the same immediacy and soundstage. The G "salad bowls" lend an extra airiness to the sound, with more soundstage due to the larger chamber, as well as a bit more distance from the "stage" than the S or L pads. I also think that the G pads accentuate the detail retrieval. In other words, again, both the good and bad qualities of recordings are even more exposed, for better and worse. The L and G pads are excellent for jazz and classical music.
You can get the L and G cushions from Grado (even though expensive), or via makers such as Ear Zonk. There are also cheaper generic versions that will also do the job. If you are willing to do DIY surgery on your S pads, you can cut quarter-sized holes in the centers of the S cushions to expose the drivers. This "quarter mod", popular among many Grado DIY enthusiasts, is the quick and dirty way to turn the S pads into something like L pads.
The ideal, which I strongly recommend for any Grado, is to have and use all of the different pads, and switch between them according to the genre, the recording, and your taste. There are clear tradeoffs with each option. If you have an equalizer, use the EQ to fine tune even further.
All Grado pads are light, stay cool, and are easy to care for. Just throw them in the wash with your laundry. They are super easy to change: instantaneous peel off or replace, literally in a second.
BUILD AND DESIGN
As for how the Grados are built, they are simple, uniquely no-nonsense, and functionally appealing. Even the higher end Grados, which feature higher end materials, utilize a similar "glorified DIY" design. Do not look for Grados to be like fashion cans on the market. They are made by hand, by the Grado family and their small team in their small facility in New York, tuned and tested by the family. Not by faceless bureaucratic staffs. Their classic funky retro design is a part of the heritage. It is all about the sound.
The SR60e is an open, on-ear headphone with no isolation. Grados are among the lightest headphones around. The headband is flexible metal in a leather-like vinyl. They fit very comfortably, and the clamp is light. The ear cups are plastic (the higher end Grado ear cups are made of wood or metal), swivel 360%, and the height adjustment is via a no-nonsense rod that you adjust up/down.The headphones are flexible and portable enough to carry, but they really are meant for serious listening, at reasonable volume, in a quiet room, at home.
The cable is non-detachable and connected out of both left and right cups in a "Y" configuration. The reason for this is to deliver a clearer signal, and to minimize the potential for imbalances if strung with one cable across left and right sides. The cable itself is high quality but "ugly". Thick, rubberized, and on the heavier side, designed to prevent microphonics and resonance (noise transmitted by things brushing against the cable). Quite industrial, not pretty, but extremely effective for what it's supposed to do. In some cases (especially with higher end Grados, which come with an even heavier cable), the cable might be knotted up or kinked in packaging. If so, you will have to do some extra untwisting and straightening. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack with a 6.3mm adapter.
As a hard to please listener, I have a good number of headphones in my collection, including the Beyerdynamic DT880 and DT990, the Audio-Technica M40x and M50x, the Shure SRH750DJ and SRH940, the Phillips SHP9500, the AKG K240DF, and many others.
But the Grados are special, and they capture a specific sound that I personally consider ideal; worth exploration and study regardless of how good the other headphones and headphone manufacturers might be. Simply put, Grados, including their entry level models, cut to the essence of recorded music, and have an uncanny knack of highlighting the important elements of performances.
The entry level SR60e easily outperforms most if not all headphones in its price range, and many beyond it, including highly touted flagships of other brands.
Whether it is your first step in the Grado journey, or it is your first and final stop (this headphone is good enough to fully satisfy many listeners), the Grado SR60e is a great headphone, from a company that has earned its loyal following. At $79 (and less, if you find a used pair), it is a great headphone that also happens to be a ridiculous bargain. If you have never owned a pair of audiophile headphones, the SR60e is an ideal introduction.
(Note: the cheapest Grado is the wrap-around-the-head, eGrado portable, which sells for around $50, features the same driver as the SR60e, housed in a different, wraparound-head on-ear design. The eGrado is neat for what it is, but I consider the SR60e to be the official entry level full size headphone in the line.)
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