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Grado love

A Review On: Grado SR60i Headphones

Grado SR60i Headphones

Rated # 30 in Over-Ear
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Audio Quality
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Price paid: $80.00
Blue Boat
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Pros: rock and metal sounds great, quite affordable, can be modified easily

Cons: comfort - may not be for everyone

My set-up consists of my laptop running Windows 7, Fiio E7 and my SR60s. 


Sound quality


I never thought I'd ever get an eargasm. That changed when I got my Grado SR60. Out of the box, they sounded slightly too cold for my taste. I played some of my favourite tracks through them and I realised that the SR60's strengths lie in it's ability to reproduce electric guitar solos. The intro of Throes of Perdition by Trivium really brings out the monster in these cans. The Pixies' Where Is My Mind is also very well reproduced by these cans. 


Crazy as this may sound, I felt that the SR60 lacks sparkle in the higher frequencies. They respond well to equalisation, so I decided to sparkle up the highs by pushing the 4-10kHz bands up a few decibels. This also makes the headphones sound brighter at lower volume. The SR60 is also quite detailed, but it is not analytical. I would describe the whole sound signature as one that would make you headbang/toe-tap a lot.


Straight out of the box, the bass was slightly disappointing. The Grados definitely thump in bassier songs but the bass didn't linger around, making them unsuitable for genres like dubstep where you want to experience that cavernous drop. The musical presentation of the SR60 is very upfront and personal. They don't do 3D imaging very well, even with the Dolby headphone plugin. Not necessarily a bad thing, as I prefer an in-your-face presentation with most songs.


In a rather short side by side comparison with the SR225, the SR60 loses in terms of detail presentation. The SR225 has a slightly more airy sound to me, while the SR60 is a little more congested. The details are quite apparently if you focus on the music, otherwise they both sound really similar. Replacing my quarter modded yellow ear pads with L-Cush bowls made the SR60 sound a lot more like the SR225. With the bowls, I'd say the SR60s are 90% of the way there. 




Out of the box, the comfort was... not there. The standard comfies Grado supplies you with are made of a really rough foam material and that was the main reason I got the yellow ear pads from Sennheiser. Clamping force hasn't changed much over 2 months but the metal piece under the vinyl head band can be easily shaped to make it less clampy. The SR60 is rather light, so weight is not an issue. The supra-aural design also prevents the heaty sensation you get from wearing closed circumaural headphones for too long.




The design of the lower end Grados on the Prestige line is quite similar, apart from the circular button on the mesh and the cable. I like the retro/vintage-hip look of the Grados. I think the older non-i cups are better looking though. 


On the SR60 and other lower end Grados, the head band is made of vinyl. This isn't a big problem as the weight of these headphones are still relatively low. If I ever shaved my head, I would get a leather head band from jmoney or jinteddy. But vinyl's fine at the moment.


Driving them with Clip+


Not advisable. The SR60 is quite sensitive and can reach very high volume on a small portable mp3 player like the Clip+ but the audio quality is not as good as plugging it into a PC. The SR60 also does well when paired with an amplifier or a better DAC - less hiss, cleaner presentation.



For those looking for a good headphone within a $100 budget, I would definitely recommend the SR60. You can even upgrade your Grados bit by bit, part by part as you go along. Wood shells, alu-shells, Magnum drivers, custom head bands, etc. 






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