GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
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- Grado's award winning headphone - open back design offer a larger sound stage with greater detail and clarity
- "The Grado SR80e's are special, buy them and love them" - What HiFi
- Mini plug termination, incudes a 1/4 inch adapter
- Lightweight, comfortable design
- 4OurEars is the only Grado Authorized Amazon Reseller - 1 Year US Warranty
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|Sold By||—||PHOTOTECH||Amazon.com||Bsd Wholesale||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Headphones Form Factor||Over Ear||On Ear||Closed||Over Ear||Over Ear||On Ear|
|Item Dimensions||3.15 x 6.69 x 7.48 inches||6.70 x 7.90 x 3.90 inches||9.64 x 7.36 x 3.30 inches||4.33 x 7.48 x 9.06 inches||11.40 x 10.00 x 4.10 inches||8.70 x 4.70 x 9.10 inches|
|Item Weight||0.51 lbs||0.66 lbs||0.63 lbs||0.91 lbs||6.70 ounces||0.55 lbs|
|Special Features||Non-foldable||Lightweight||stereo||Tangle-Free Cord, Lightweight||Output Sound Pressure Level 96Db/Mw||lightweight|
The SR80 utilizes a 4 conductor connecting cable and larger ear cushions, the result of which gives a more open stage. The sr80 provides an improved bass resonance, which enhances the overall detail. John grade says he strove for the best sounding phones for the money and with the glowing reviews the SR80's have received, who can argue. Product features: Vented diaphragm, no resonant air chamber, standard copper voice coil wire, standard copper connecting cord, mini plug with 1/4" adaptor.
All warranty, legal, and other product concerns should be referred to manufacturer.
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What in the world was I doing with Bose? Holy #$%^! The sound is more full and the depth is incredible. This is unreal. I'm listening to Brendan Perry and the bass is smooth, the cymbals are clear and his voice is just right. I'm pushing the audio through a simple little FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black).
I could do with a little more punch to the bass. But not much. It's just a touch less than I get with my Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple Devices, Black. I'm listening to heavier bass now and I don't know, I might not be missing much after all.
The feel of the ear pads are nice, but feels like a standard foam padding. Nothing spectacular. It's comfortable though. It's on-ear and I prefer around the ear, but I'm happy with it. It doesn't cause the hot spots around the ear that is inherent in superaural designs. The ear pieces are plastic. It doesn't feel heavy. In other words, the presentation is plain. I wouldn't know by the feel or look that these offer a marked increase in my listening pleasure. I am seriously considering upgrading to the SR225s or the 325s.
I seriously can't get over the fullness of the sound compared to what I was used to. I figured Bose, right? Great quality. But to my ears, I wanted full, deep sound that I can feel. It's an expansive, immersive sound. Nice. I don't have a pony in the race...I don't work at Bose, Consumer Reports, Grado, or Amazon.
But I can tell you and I recommend these to anyone who wants to have more depth to their music. I really don't think you'll be disappointed.
I listened to each Prestige headphone for at least 10 hours. The music I listened to was compressed in Apple Lossless format. I used my MacBook Pro with iTunes for playback. The differences in sound quality noted in this review were also heard on my iPod Classic with music compressed in AAC format at 256kbps VBR quality (iTunes Plus).
The Grado Prestige Series
I've done hours and hours of research about the Grado Prestige Series. The following points lead me to initially purchase the SR-125.
- Numerous forums indicated that the SR-325 was too bright and caused listening fatigue.
- Although numerous forums recommended the SR-225 instead of the SR-125, a review from goodcans.com said that the difference between the SR-225 and SR-125 was noticeable only in certain songs and required well-trained ears.
- The Grado website advertises "The SRx25 will produce a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end." on all SR-x25 headphones, which indicates that the SR-225 and SR-325 are refinements to the original SR-125 (original by order of price).
Below is the list comparing the headphones in the Prestige series and the Reference series. Please note that I have only listened to the SR-80i, SR-125e, SR-225e, and SR-325e. I relied on data from my research for the following differences: SR-60 vs SR-80, SR325 vs RS2, RS2 vs RS1.
SR-60 - entry level
SR-80 - improved bass
SR-125 - improved separation of horizontal sounds with a wider soundstage, more intimate soundstage
SR-225 - improved reproduction of space with a deeper soundstage, more intimate soundstage
SR-325 - improved look and feel, punchier bass
RS-2 - improved accuracy (warmer) with a smooth top end
RS-1 - improved look and feel, deeper and more intimate soundstage
-Prestige Buying Recommendations-
The SR-80 sounds really good for its price, but if you want a taste of the detail you've been missing without spending too much money, try the SR-125. The SR-325 is the real treat of the Prestige Series. It reveals even more detail than the SR-125, has an addictive bass, and a "look and feel" to be cherished. If you don't care much for "look and feel", the SR-225 will provide you more value.
-Reference Buying Recommendations-
The Reference series is notable for its warmer sound and smooth top end. The warmer sound will help instruments (like brass) and vocals sound more life-like. Those interested in Jazz and Classical music should give these serious consideration.
-Comparing the Top of each Line-
Prestige (SR-80) = Value Series
Prestige (SR-325) = Original Series (Improved Detail)
Reference (RS-1) = Prestige + Warmer Sound
Statement (GS-1000) = Reference + Bigger Soundstage
Professional (PS-1000) = Statement + Neutral Response
SR-80i vs SR-125e
While some forums say that there is little difference between the SR-80 and SR-125, I disagree. When going from the SR-125 to the SR-80, there are obvious differences.
There is a much wider soundstage with the SR-125. Imagine a sector of a circle whose central point is at the back of the listener's head and the arc length is at the front. This area illustrates the space for sources of sound. The central angle would determine the soundstage width. The SR-80 would have a central angle of 110° while the SR-125 would have a central angle of 180°. For example, a sound that only plays on the left phone would sound like it's coming from the point 55° left of center with the SR-80. On the SR-125, it would sound like it's coming from the point 90° left of center.
The wider soundstage and improved intimacy result in more accurate sound with sufficient space for good separation of sound sources. In some songs, I can focus on just one track recording of the song; for example: backup singers become well defined like they are in a space all on their own, separate from the other sounds, as if there were recorded separately and then mixed in at that location (which is what happened). The SR-125 reveals this other dimension of production: how much work was put in the stereo mixing of the song. I have found that not all songs have such interesting production.
These improvements also make defects in the recording (hiss, pops, and clipping) less subtle.
I had to get used to such a wide soundstage provided by the SR-125. In the beginning, it felt like a different experience. Sometimes, I found it difficult to focus on the music as a whole because I felt bombarded with what seemed like stereo sources 180° apart. It seemed to require work to piece the sources together and felt a bit unnatural. Early Beatles albums in pseudo stereo were dreadful to listen to. More than ever, they became like listening to two completely different sources (which they are).
However, I found it more difficult to go back to the less intimate sound of the SR-80. The sounds become so distant that it no longer seemed like I was in the same room with the band, but maybe looking through a window. Now, I am used to the wide soundstage.
Another thing I read in some forums was that the SR-125 has less bass than the SR-80. I think that because of the improvements, the bass has to compete with the other sounds that now come into focus with the SR-125, which makes the bass seem more inconspicuous.
SR-125e vs Other Headphones
Interestingly, the difference in width of soundstage is not as obvious in other headphones I have such as the Koss PortaPro or the Sennheiser HD280 Pro. However, their sound quality is closer to, but not as good as the SR-80.
SR-125e vs SR-225e
The SR-225 comes with L-cushions instead of the S-cushions that come with the SR-125. The difference in sound quality between the SR-125 and SR-225 is not as impactful as the difference between the SR-80 and SR-125, but I was surprised to hear that even more intimacy was possible.
The L-cushions increase the intimacy further, providing additional clarity and making details in the music are easier to hear. Vocals come closer to your ears. The reverberations of the lightly tapped cymbals are more easily heard; they can also be heard for bass drums. These reverberations give the sound a more musical feel. In addition, bass seems to be easier to isolate. When switching back and forth between the S-cushion and L-cushion, the intimacy is immediately noticeable; the details are easily noticeable in slower songs.
The SR-225 also has a slightly wider soundstage, but it's difficult to detect.
The headphones are slightly heavier, probably due to the larger chamber and different grille.
I enjoyed the increased intimacy of the SR-225. Again, once I had more intimacy, it was difficult to go back to the SR-125.
*No headphone amplifier was used for this experience. See section: The Case for a Headphone Amplifier.
*Also see section: Infamous L-cushions.
SR-225e vs SR-325e
With the SR-325, we enter the area of diminishing returns with regard to sound quality. The SR-325e has a warmer tone - it's difficult to detect. There is also a punchier bass - can be detected, but not significant. I had to listen to songs back and forth at least a handful of times to understand some of the differences I was hearing. It also helps to be in a quiet environment and use quiet, slow songs in some cases.
The best thing about the SR-325 is the improvements to the look and feel of the line. The headphones are numbered (carved on the ear pad side of the chamber). The chambers are made of aluminum and painted silver. The aluminum adds weight to the headphones, but it feels good. The headband is much improved (thank god). Pictures somehow don't accurately describe it. It is wider by 1/4", made of stitched leather with a rigid paperboard inside to support its shape, and lightly padded on the underside.
However, I do have some complaints about the look and feel. There were a few small defects in the paint. A small piece chipped on the first day. The exterior nubs of the plastic piece that holds the cans to the headband were not the same size. These issues might have been caused by the struggle to meet the spike in demand caused by the introduction of the E series headphones.
While I'm not sure the SR-325 is worth the full premium over the SR-225, it was difficult to give up the aluminum chambers and sturdy leather headband once I had them in my hands.
*No headphone amplifier was used for this experience. See section: The Case for a Headphone Amplifier.
*Also see sections: Infamous L-cushions, Long-Term Listening to the SR-325.
Long-Term Listening to the SR-325
I've been listening to these exclusively for about 3 months. During this time, I noticed some things.
Over time, the SR-325 developed a liquid smooth, airy bass thump (the so-called "punchy" bass). This gives an addictive quality to music. Just listen to the intro of Pink Floyd's Breathe in the Air... or Carpenter's Mr. Guder. It's so blissful; yet, such a tease because it leaves me wanting more. This "punchy" bass alone motivated me to upgrade to higher-end headphones (GS-1000).
I also noticed that I've been gravitating towards different music. I cherish music that was recorded better. Slow music that I previously thought was boring now became exciting. On the other hand, music with ambience, that I previously thought was exciting, became less exciting.
*No headphone amplifier was used for this experience. See section: The Case for a Headphone Amplifier.
The Infamous L-Cushions
The L-cushions provide the biggest upgrade to the base sound quality of the SR-125e than the other upgrades that make up the SR-225e or SR-325e.
If the SR-125 was also shipped with L-cushions, the differences would be as follows.
SR-125 - base sound
SR-225 - slightly wider soundstage, slightly improved accuracy (warmer)
SR-325 - improved look and feel, slightly punchier bass, slightly improved accuracy (warmer)
Owners of the SR-125 may be tempted to buy L-cushions to get better sound. However, I found the sound to be too bright to enjoy for extended periods. Thus, revealing the greatest strength of the SR-225: not too bright with the L-cushions.
If you are looking to experiment with the S-cushion or L-cushion: moving to the L-cushion increases the brightness of the sound, which improves intimacy and tightens the bass (more defined); moving to the S-cushion decreases brightness, which reduces intimacy and loosens the bass (more boomy).
*No headphone amplifier was used for this experience. See section: The Case for a Headphone Amplifier.
The infamous drawback of the L-cushions is their comfort. When I used the L-cushions for the first time with the SR-225e, they were very uncomfortable to wear for more than 15 minutes. On some days it was not so bad, but repeated wearing made a bad situation worse. Even hours after I stopped listening, I would feel the pressure points on my ears. Below are tips on how to make them more comfortable.
- Rest the cushion on the upper tip of each ear. The biggest cause of my discomfort was caused by the upper tips of my ears rubbing against the driver. I discovered that the cushions became more comfortable when I rested them on the upper tip of each ear. This may change the sound. However, Grado has said that the best way to wear them is the most comfortable way. I also try to keep the headphone label buttons where my ear canal is so that the sound isn't affected too much.
- Loosen the headband. Loosening the headband will help by reducing the clamping force of these cushions on your ears. However, you will be shifting more weight of the phones to the headband. If it is not padded like the SR-325, the headband will become uncomfortable with too much weight.
- Don't move too much. Even with clamping force, these cushions do not have much grip on your ears, so they will shift easily when you tilt your head or widen facial expressions. The shifting increases discomfort. Try to use the headphones only while your body is in an upright position (ex: not lying down).
Using the the above tips, I can go 1 hour without needing to readjust the headphones. That's not as comfortable as the S-cushions, which I can wear for more than 2 hours without issue, but it is bearable.
The Case for a Headphone Amplifier
Headphone amplifiers built into devices such as iPods and computers are designed with power limitations driven by two goals: small footprint; safe universal operation. Unfortunately, high end headphones typically require lots of power to sound their best. They might sound OK without one, but they could sound much different when connected to a good headphone amplifier.
I was skeptical at first, until I bought Grado's GS-1000 and was disappointed by its bass performance. When I called Grado about this, they said that a headphone amplifier would help with bass performance. I picked one up and was blown away. Not only did the bass improve to a satisfactory level, but the soundstage completely transformed. It felt like another headphone. I was so impressed by the improvements that I had to try the amplifier with other headphones.
With the SR-325, the bass and soundstage was improved to satisfactory levels. The bass became louder, rounder, and smoother. The soundstage felt more spacious as instrument reverberations occupied more space, significantly improving the reproduction of ambience. The difference wasn't as dramatic as with the GS-1000, but the improvements are enough for me to justify making a headphone amplifier a requirement for the SR-325.
I no longer have an SR-225, but I expect improvements similar to the SR-325.
With the SR-125, the same improvements were noticed. The bass became slightly louder, rounder, and smoother. The soundstage became more spacious, mildly improving the reproduction of ambience. The difference is not as dramatic was with the SR-325. I would say that a headphone amplifier is not a requirement, but it would improve your experience with the SR-125.
With the SR-80, there were slight improvements, but not enough to justify buying a headphone amplifier.
*Note that headphones have to be broken-in to see the maximum benefit of a headphone amplifier.
Unfortunately, not all headphone amplifiers perform the same way. A headphone amplifier's job is not just to supply additional power, but also not imprint itself onto the audio signal while doing so. That's the challenge. The JDS Labs Objective2 is my reference headphone amplifier. I've compared it against the Fiio E12 and the Denon DA-10 and the Objective2 provided the best performance. You can check out my reviews for the E12 and DA-10 if you need more specifics.
*Note that a Gain of 1x (or 0dB) is perfect for Grado headphones and the Line Out of an iPod Classic (6G). However, this is different for Media Players without a line out, such as the iPod Touch (6G). In this case, I set the Headphone Out to 75% volume and use a Gain of 2.5x (or 7.5dB). With the efficient GR10e, a Gain of 2.5x gives me use of 50% of the headphone amplifier's volume knob for songs with a dynamic range of 14 dB. With the less efficient GS1000e, it gives me use of 75% of the volume knob.
Since the headphones are open back, music can be easily heard by others and external sounds can be easily heard by you. External sounds will interfere with your perception of bass performance. This is typical of other sound sources open to the environment, such as car speakers.
The phone plug is 1/8" (fits in iPod) and comes with a 1/4" adapter.
The headphone cable is very thick, but sturdy. I feel like I need to be careful not to put too much stress on a 1/8" phone port. The 1/4" to 1/8" adapter from Grado may look like a solution to prevent stress on a 1/8" phone port, but the 1/4" adapter is thicker than it looks and makes the cord much heavier, making the situation worse.
Relaxed, intimate, and emotional songs sound better with more intimacy. Examples:
K's Choice - Not an Addict
Spandau Ballet - True
Spice Girls - 2 become 1
Sting - Fields of Gold
- Accurate - A more accurate sound means a better balance of all frequencies, resulting in conspicuous details.
- Brighter - A brighter sound is one with more treble.
- Intimate - A more intimate sound is one that sounds closer to your ears. This usually feels like the artist is playing for just you, rather than for an audience.
- Muddy - A muddy sound is one that does not have clarity. This can be caused by inaccurate sound reproduction or narrow soundstage.
- Soundstage - A soundstage is the amount of 3-dimensional space available for sound sources. A bigger soundstage will provide more separation between the track recordings of a song, which helps a listener to focus on each one individually. In addition, a bigger soundstage also increases the amount of perceived space around the listener.
- Soundstage Width - Imagine a sector of a circle whose central point is at the back of the listener's head and the arc length is at the front. This area illustrates the space for sources of sound. The central angle would determine the soundstage width.
- Soundstage Depth - This relates to Soundstage Width in that the radius of the sector would determine the soundstage depth. However, because of headphone design, the final shape may not resemble that of a sector.
- Warmer - A warmer sound is one with less treble and/or more bass. Warmer sound can be easily detected when listening to female vocals. Other sounds that are usually bright, such as cymbals are also a good point of detection.
I am the odd man out. Got the 325s yesterday, but also had the opportunity to compare them with the Sennheiser HD650. Of course, the HD650s have stellar reviews. The quintessential headphone. Been around for years. Yes, I used a Dragonfly red to power the 650s, and yes the sound was very clear and clean. Yet, it was as if I was listening to the music from a distance. Presence and intimacy just was not there for me. Clarity and clean sound yes. Separation and soundstage yes. Presence no. A pure but muted experience for me. Even tried them through my Yamaha receiver. Same impression. The 325s, on the other hand, are punchy, lively and fun. Clarity and cleanliness of the music is just as present, as was the soundstage. The difference for me was in the liveliness of the sound. It sparkles. So, going against the grain, I'm keeping the 325s and returning the 650s.
I must confess, I started with the SR80s (which I've had for a couple of years now), and then tried the 225s recently. Loved them. Figured you only go around once down here, so I opted for the 325s which are quite lovely. I also have to confess that I am a Brooklyn boy, so I have to tell you I very much enjoy the fact that these cans are hand made in my home town.
Anyway, these are a fabulous set of headphones, and I highly recommend them to you. Thanks Grado for a fun and satisfying music listening experience.
Update on 3/28/17: Gave the 650s another try. This time with the FX Audio DAC X6. Good smooth and laid back sound with excellent separation. Then, tried the 325s with the same DAC/Amp. So robust and present. Unbelievable sound. Grados win again for me. I can't help it. I just like the Grados better.
Update 3-17-19: Still a great set of cans!
Top international reviews
Some people have marked these Grado's down because of the sound leakage. They are open back headphones! If you buy them in that knowledge you won't be dissapointed. They aren't going to totally isolate your music from the world and they aren't going to totally isolate you from the noise of the world around you. Therefore they are most suited as an "at home" headphone.
Fashionistas may want to look elsewhere but if the music itself is the most important thing to you, these Grado's are the dogs dodahs. Highly recommend.
I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD660s headphones in the summer of 2018, just before E.I.S.A gave them 'Headphones of the year' award, I had a credit note left with a dealer so I gave them a try, was I very disappointed in them, they were going to go back but I gave them 50 hours use and found they were good with classical music and live concerts, they are so laid back they make heavy rock sound slow, big band sound they are perfect, brass sections as with other parts of the band are placed perfectly into a pin point stereo image but with such a high impedance of 150 ohms a fair bit of power was needed to get them going, my Marantz's headphone output just wouldn't drive them.
It was with the reasurance of good sound quality i ordered a pair of Grado SR325e headphones in July 2019 for use with my Marantz SA11s3 player.
They are heavier than the SR60i headphones but have the alluminium headpieces and a heavier gauge cable. They are slightly less comfortable also but not intrusive as to make them uncomfortable, I did find the cable shorter than I would like.
Sound quality, this to me is the most important thing, i do not care what they look like as long as the sound quality and the build quality is good then i am happy.
The first disc i played 'The Beatles' 1967-1970 Disc One (1995 issue) It took a bit of time for the headphones to settle in but by the end of the disc i can honestly say i have heard things from this recording i have never heard before, the sound was neither forward or set back, you are inside the recording or actually on the stage during the performance unlike my Sennheiser HD660s headphones which place the recording so far back that you would have thought the harmonies and multi-tracked instrument drops were just not there.
The next disc i played amazed me, it's a recording i have played hundreds of times since i bought it 4 years ago, it sounds stunning via my Musical Fidelity NU-Vista 600 amplifier and Bowers & Wilkins 805D3 speakers 'The Girl In The Other Room' (SACD) by Diana Krall, these headphones showed clearly every nuance of Diana Krall's stunning gravel vocal and stunning piano playing every foot movement on the piano foot pedals, every smack of her lips, every instrument that was recorded was there, everything had that 'magic' and it's only the second disc these headphones have had anything played through them and they improve up to 50 hours of use upon where they settle down fully and you are left with that rich, detailed stunning Grado sound quality.
I payed £269.00 for these from HiFiHut/Amazon, i was hoping to get a price reduction during the 'Prime Day' offers but alas 'No'
I tried them on my Computer using the 'Loxjie' valve headphone amp via the 'Balanced' output from the 'Korg DS-100 DAC' but they sounded rather 'spitty' and as they are reserved for my Marantz SA11s3 direct using the onboard Class A headphone amplifier I will be happy using the Grado SR60i and the Sennheiser HD660s in 'Balanced and Single ended' modes respectively with the computer.
Without a doubt these are the best headphones from my collection of the three, anyone looking at these as a upgrade please be in no doubt there really are amazing.
As a footnote.
Anyone who is not happy with the sound from their pair of 'Sennhhiser HD660s' try removing the ear pads and taking the thin foam pad out then replace the ear pads, they come alive instead of sleeping in the background, big improvement but still not a patch on the Grado SR325e, i wonder just how good the reference series of Grado's headphones are ??
Grados have their own sound signature which to me sound natural with added magic but not too much. I suppose everyone has their own taste and if you are a D Beats fan, they probably will not have enough Bass. I listen to natural flat response headphones which I like, but sometimes I feel are a bit boring. These headphones have an altogether full bodied great lively sound without being way too over the top. For the money, I totally agree that they are amongst the best sounding headphones for the price! Remember just to put sound first. Open back means no sound isolation which means everyone can hear you and you can hear all that is Going On around you. Turn the music up however and you will hear a wider soundstage than in closed back headphones.
Upon first use I noticed that some reviewers on here have found the headphones uncomfortable to use, especially after extended periods. However I haven't had that problem, and actually find them to be more comfortable than most I've tried.
As a benchmark test for their first tryout, I listened to three albums from different genres.
Firstly I listened to Pink Floyd's Pulse album streaming from Amazon Music. The Grado's performed very well, picking out sounds I hadn't noticed before. Although occasionally the mid-treble can be a bit harsh (which may be down to the format), overall I found it to be clear, bright, and punchy in the right places.
Next up was Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds but on vinyl this time. Such a difference to my old Sennheiser cans! The Grado's brought the album to life again and blew me away! Brilliant performance from the headphones, again they were clear, bright, and very dynamic.
Last was Miles Davis Kind of Blue, again on vinyl. WhatHifi said that these headphones were well suited to jazz and they weren't wrong. Awesome perfomance and made me feel Miles was in the room with me. Such depth and range, and very clean too. Brilliant!
Across all three albums the performance was very impressive. And I didn't have to turn the volume up anywhere near as much as my old headphones to get the same impact.
So to sum up, I love these! Beautifully presented, comfortable, and very impressive. What more could you ask for? Also worth saying, I suffer from tinnitus and after using these for a few hours they didn't aggrevate my symptoms like other headphones do. Probably because of the open back design, but another bonus point from me!
However; if you are someone that enjoys listening to music for prolonged periods of time, or even someone that simply enjoys sitting and listening through an album rather than just playing a few odd songs, you may find issue with these headphones. They're extremely uncomfortable, at least on my ears. After a very short time, my ears become hot and uncomfortable due to the pressure around the ears. As you may expect from the photos, they don't cover your ears, rather they sit on them.
Of course, my criticism of these headphones is entirely subjective. We all have different ears and different ideas of comfort. Although, most would agree sitting in a recliner is nicer than sitting on a wooden bench. The discomfort I'm receiving from this headphones I'm sure most will understand if they tried them on.
Give them a go if you're brave or you don't intend to sit with them for long. They're incredible for that.
They're fairly comfortable given their very lightweight, but that's primarily due to the build quality as a whole being pretty dreadful. It's entirely made out of cheap plastic, and the cups are foam.
After returning a set for a replacement to confirm that the awful sound wasn't just due to a faulty unit, it became clear that it's just a property of the headphones.
Not recommended unless you ONLY listen to light female vocals and violins. They were both very enjoyable to listen to.
I've used these headphones for years, and am very happy with them. I use them on my computer, on my Yamaha Clavinova, or anything else with sound output. This is my third pair.
My only criticism is that over time, the individual earphone cables tend to get all twisted and snarled up. Some headphones have a single cable connecting to one side instead of wires coming from each earphone joining with a "Y" connector over your chest. There is something about the cable sleeving these Grado headphones use that makes them tangle, so in that respect, they could be better. My first pair of these eventually died because of this cabling arrangement. If it wasn't for this, I'd give them five stars.
If you take great care of these you can stop them tangling to some extent, but not completely.
There is no comparison.
These are the most revealing.
Some say that they sound harsh?, give them some time to burn in?,
then they do not...the upper register calms down.
I listen to all genres of music and these play all genres of music excellently.
Some say that they lack bass extension?,
well if you find that the case with them?, then that could mean that you only find bass interesting to listen to over all the other frequencies.........maybe best to buy something else then.
They lack any kind of sound insulation......when you wear them?,
all around you will hear what you are listening to and also you will hear sounds around you.
They are best when you are isolated in your own private listening space.
These are not for being out and about whilst travelling on public transport.
You can use them with the average smart phone and it will drive them well.
Your best use of them that way though?, would be to buy a plug DAC for your phone and listen via that,
something like an audioquest Dragonfly Red, then you will hear them exploited to the best.
Use them with any "home" hi fi system and unless it is a very cheap and harsh sounding system?,
then they will enhance your listening experience.
+I liked the style, they look and feel good.
+Light and sleek design, comfortable too.
However for the price I paid, I was dissatisfied in a few ways:
-Extremely bad sound leakage, I wouldn't want to wear them in public as other people can clearly hear what you are listening to, can be annoying.
-Poor sound quality, the bass was pretty poor and the mids were virtually non-existent. Sure, they're better than the previous in-ears I had been using but for the price paid the change in quality simply isn't worth it.
The fact I can't really use them in public and that the sound quality just doesn't match the pricetag led me to returning the headphones. If you have the money, I'd strongly recommend going for a pair in the £100-£200 range as I now have done, such as the sennheiser HD25s.
I'm sure real HiFi buffs could find niggles but if you're a non-expert just looking to enjoy your favourite music then these will make you really happy. I suppose the only exception is the regular comment that these don't work quite so well for bass heavy music. That didn't worry me as I don't listen to bass heavy music very often but if that's what you mainly listen to might be worth doing further research.