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My first set of hi-quality headphones; or, from "meh" to "wow!"

A Review On: Grado SR60i Headphones

Grado SR60i Headphones

Rated # 30 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $79.99
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Pros: Awesome sound, vintage look, don't require an amp, ability to upgrade

Cons: Uncomfortable until worn in, leak lots of sound

When my 3rd set of Bose noise-canceling ear buds broke, I decided to look into a different type of headphone. The first site I stumbled upon was CNET, and for a couple of hours I poured over their headphone reviews. I eventually decided on the Grado SR60i because of their low price and the high regard that everyone held for them. I drove to the nearest audio store knowing which pair I was going to purchase, however I also tried a couple other Grado models that were on display (mostly the 80 and 225). In all honesty, aside from the sound difference over-ear headphones provide, I couldn't really tell a difference from the ear buds I had been using for years and years. Despite my initial reaction, I still bought the 60's, and headed home.

My first listen with my new 60's was even more of a let down as I realized just how much the sound leaked. With my girlfriend across the room, I couldn't turn the volume up beyond 2 or 3 levels on my Macbook Pro. I was dismayed; not only was the sound not mind blowing, but I had to be in a room alone to be able to listen to the phones at a reasonable volume. Instead of giving up on the Grados however, I again ignored my initial reaction and kept the phones. 

Let me fast forward to June 21. I was sitting on my couch after work, zoning out on the internet, with my Grados on and my itunes blaring away. By this time, the 60's were more comfortable, but I had still yet to fall in love with the sound they produced. Then, all of a sudden,it happened: The song Hold My Finger by Sikth came on, and I had to stop reading whatever I was skimming on the internets because of what was going on in my ears. As the guitars switched back and forth between the left and right side and the bass noodled in the background and the cymbals crashed, I realized that I could hear it all, and not only could I hear everything but it was clear and warm and bright and a million other descriptions.

I have no idea if this sudden epiphany of sound was the result of burning the phones in, or of my ears getting used to the open-on-ear design, or what, but whatever the case, I definitely love these headphones now. People on this site and others love to use hyperbole to describe certain headphones, and I think I am getting a little bit closer to speaking hyperbolically about these 60s.

Despite the leaking sound, these headphones are the s*** (in a good way). Oh, and I also found out that they are easily modded...as if I needed another reason to like them!


Also, on a side and closing note, Sikth is an incredible band and really showcases the ability of these headphones, check em out if you have any affinity for rock that dabbles in metal and weirdness.


I don't have the SR60i, but my very first Grado was the SR80i. Unlike you, I instantly liked the sound. The Grado is my third my headphone, after the Audio-Technica A700 (thumping bass) and the AD1000 (zero bass). My jaw literally dropped to the floor....I couldn't believe how "right" the Grado sounded. For $138 AUD, the Grado blows the other two more expensive headphones right out of the water. The sound was full, wholesome, rich, sweet, liquid, warm, detailed....I'm out of words :)
Perhaps your ears were more used to listening to quality headphones; mine had been relegated to either apple's earbuds or bose's
My first pair of high quality headphones were SR60s(I am now using the SR80s which I find very slightly better for soundstage and base) It is possible you didn't notice it first because Grado phones can be sort of particular about the type of music you use them for and you need a nice quiet place(imho) because of zero sound isolation. I will have to check out Sikth, thanks for that tip!
Yeah I should of mentioned that I bought them because I read about how great they are with rock, I listen mainly to metal music so they seemed like a great fit. No prob with the Sikth recc, really an amazing band if you can handle your metal/rock with weirdness (they have 2 singers who sing in really weird ways, its strange at first but really unique)
I'm sorry, I had to join to just say, **** YES KVELERTAK. That is all.
Wow, great review. Whenever a story is applied to a review, it makes everything oh-so-much more meaningful. Looking into getting a pair of Grado's one day as my first open-back headphones. After this review, I am considering the 60i's.
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