Pros: Retro Design, Sound Quality
Cons: Comfort might be an issue, Construction might appear flimsy
As stated in the titled, I'm not a fully fledged audiophile yet as all my previous purchases were of the $100-$200 range. The Grado SR80i's are also my first venture into the world of open back headphones. I previously owned IEMs only (CX300, CX880 and the UE600 being the most recent)
The Grado Sound Signature has always intrigued me, reading up on its reviews up all over the internet, I was curious as to how good these pair of cans can actually get, seeing as to how it has been given great ratings almost where ever website/forum I visit. What I read up was that Grado is famous for its sound signature, which is the ideal when playing rock music.
Moving on to the product review proper, I would like to say that these cans do not disappoint in the sound department. The bass on these cans although not boomy, but rather punchy. The bass produced by these are not for the Bass Heads as the bass is not over emphasized, but very accurate.
The Mids & Highs are what Grado is known for. Ever since I bought them, I have been constantly listening to them for hours on end. I did not find the SR80i's to be sibilant, but rather, I found the headphones to be rather warm sounding and yet "in your face" and not confined in your head. The instrument separation of these are good.
My music collection varies from Folk Singers, Indie, Rock, Alternative and R&B and I found that these work well for me. Vocals, as a result of the Grado Sound, were made more enjoyable to me whilst listening to songs with female vocals. But Grado headphones are home to the rock genre, with the fast dynamics as well as the attack of these headphones. I also found while listening to "unplugged" sets, these cans do a great job at reproducing the sound such that you can hear a lot of details in the smallest things to make it seem as if you are there live.
Moving on to the cons, I found these headphones to be rather uncomfortable. They felt scratchy at first and were too thin after washing them with warm water. The clamping force however could be adjusted by bending the headband to accomodate for larger heads.
Overall, I believe that these headphones are one of the best in terms of price and quality as what you will get from the grados is an immersive sound unlike any other.