This is a review of the Grado Prestige Series SR-60i Padded Headphones I recently bought from Amazon for $79.
What lead me to this product was an interview with a mastering engineer who stated he used the Grado PS1000 cans. At nearly $1,700 a pop I knew that wasn't going to happen for me.
I started reading the reviews of some of the other Grado products and almost all of them were extremely positive. They have a few models in between the SR-60s and the PS1000, but I'm watching my budget this year so I chose to go with the lowest price model that seemed to have the best reviews. The Grado SR80i model was only $20 more and supposedly has better bass response.
To start with, the product comes packaged very plainy in a simple box with foam cutout. They definitely to not appear to be "fancy" in any way. Even the style of them is somewhat generic.
After opening the box, the quality of the cable struck me as being very good and heavy duty. It comes with a 1/8 plug and 1/4 adapter.
I noticed that the ear cups were flat and that means they press the ear. I usually only buy headphones that cup or press around the ear or fit inside the ear (buds). This is vital to help prevent external ear fatigue when wearing them for long periods of time.
The Grados were not as uncomfortable as I thought they would be. After I had adjusted the struts - which look like little antennae - they seemed comfortable enough, but the real surprise was still to come. I plugged the headphones into my phone which is loaded with MP3s.
I first went to some classical music and it was an experience to behold. I can honestly say that I have never had better sound from a pair of headphones in my life and I own BeyerDynamics, Sennheiser, Bose, AKG, VModa and Skull Candy models.
I tried rock, metal, pop, rap and as many genres as I had available. All of them sounded extremely clear. So clear in fact that I started to feel envious that my car and home systems - including my studio monitors - don't sound this good.
I could hear details in the music that seemed to pop out at me like never before. I am telling you they are incredible. And I have read that after about 30 hours of use, they "burn-in" and sound even better.
The bass is not super heavy but it is pristine and distinguished from the other sounds on a way that made me wonder how they did that. Normally speakers have crossovers in them and you have woofers, tweeters and the like. It's a mystery to me.
When listening to some heavy rock music, I closed my eyes and could absolutely see the stage in my minds eye. The bass player was there to my right front and the guitarist to my left. I wish I had better words to describe the clarity and presence.
After listening to some of my own music, I could instantly hear problems that I don't think I noticed before. Little things like maybe not enough reverb, muddy bass or not using panning properly seemed to be so obvious. While mixing down with headphones is often discouraged, I think I will take a run at it this weekend. At the very least I'll get the initial mix done with the Grados and then finalize it with my monitors.
My guess is that these are bar none the best headphones you will find in the sub $80 range and if the SR80s are as good or better they are the best sub $100 deal you will get on headphones.
Pros: The absolute best headphones for the price. Super clear and clean sounds.
Cons: They press on the ear rather than cup around it and give you headphone hair.
I rate these a 10/10 for value and performance.
Click Here For A List of Grado Products at Amazon
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