Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado SR60i vs SR80i
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grado SR60i vs SR80i

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a new pair of headphones and I've read about the Grado SR60i's and SR80i's on Headroom and have heard some good things (not to mention the killer styling).  According to Headroom, the 60's sound really good without an amp, and don't improve much with one, while the 80's don't quite reach their potential without one (although I'm sure they'd sound better regardless).  I plan on using the headphones both from my ipod and laptop with and without an amp.

 

How will they sound comparably with and without an amp?

How is the bass response?

The price difference isn't a factor for me.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 14

The both have the same specs.  With that said however, the SR80i's do have a deeper and fuller bass response.  So if you drive them hard, an amp will help the SR80i's more than the SR60i's.

 

However, I ran the SR80i's at work with and without and amp, and I use tham at home without an amp, and there isn't that much of a difference.  In general, the Prestige series Grados just aren't that difficult to drive.

 

If price is not a concern, just get the 80's and be done with it.  To be honest, after I compared between the 60's and the 80's, I personally don't understand why anyone would buy the 60's, and I don't understand all the high praise the 60's get.  I think the 80i's are just a better sounding headphone.  The SR60i's just do not have enough bass IMO.  And I am not a basshead either.  But compared to the 80's, there is just something "missing" with the 60's.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

great answer, just what i was looking for!

 

anyone else have opinions on the matter?

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDrew View Post

great answer, just what i was looking for!

 

anyone else have opinions on the matter?


I got the 60's a while back and really enjoy them. I just test drove the SR225's and liked them a lot but decided I wanted to try something else, I think the higher up you climb the Grado ladder the better things get, so going with the 80's is probably a solid choice. The other phone you may want to consider is the Allesandro MS1. It's essentially a Grado and has by some accounts replaced the SR225 as the bang for your buck Grado can. That doesnt mean it's a better phone, the MS1 is just in some peoples opinions a better value.

 

There are plenty of threads on here if you do a search. Here's an outside review from Headphoneista...REVIEW

 

(Excerpt)

Right off the bat, the MS-1’s produce the best sound you can achieve in a headphone for under $100.  A pretty bold claim right?  Consider this… The MS-1’s have addressed the shortcomings found in the Grado SR-80’s, which was already a great sounding headphone and managed to improve the overall sound quality. The first thing I would like to address in terms of sound are the specific improvements I have noticed. The first being a more neutral and smoother sound. The Grado SR-80 was guilty of being overly bright, to the point of compromising any sense of neutrality. The MS-1 has managed to balance out this brightness a little more. I can conclude that the MS-1 has a little bit less sibilance and the resulting sound was less fatiguing (after extended hours of listening) than the SR-80. This correction, while subtle is very significant, as the main complaint I had with the SR-80 was the (at times) harsh sibilance and unnatural brightness.

 

Just some food for thought.


Edited by KneelJung - 8/22/10 at 4:21pm
post #5 of 14

I'll disagree a little here.  :-)  I had MS-1i's here.  I felt they sounded more like SR60i's with their lack of bass than any semblance of the SR80i or SR125i.  I was really surprised by the Alessandros in that I read all the positive comments here just like a lot of you have.  But what I heard didn't match that at all.  Here's how I break them out:

 

MS-1i's: same midrange and high frequency harshness as the 60's and the 80's, but with the lack of bass that the 60's have.

 

SR80i's: more bass, but still with that midrange harshness. 

 

SR125i's. Same great bass as the 80's, and a slight lessening of the midrange/HF harshness.

 

So I asked Grado about what I heard, and that they sounded more like the SR60i than any "refined" version of the SR80i or SR125i, and they said: NDA in place.  Can't talk about it.  No comment.

 

Also, btw, the MS-1i's have the same cheaper cable that the SR80i has, not the beefier cable the SR125i comes with.

 

One other comment is that it's quite possible something "changed" between the MS-1 and the MS-1i too.  I bought my MS-1i's direct from Alessandro less than 3 months ago.

 

fwiw ...

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

I'll disagree a little here.  :-)  I had MS-1i's here.  I felt they sounded more like SR60i's with their lack of bass than any semblance of the SR80i or SR125i.  I was really surprised by the Alessandros in that I read all the positive comments here just like a lot of you have.  But what I heard didn't match that at all.  Here's how I break them out:


Kevin, to tell you the truth I dont know because I have never heard them. I do listen to a pair of SR60's everyday though and I stayed at a Holiday Inn express last night. I just think for an extra $20 I'd probably get the MS1's knowing what I think I know now.

 

Just sayin.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneelJung View Post


Kevin, to tell you the truth I dont know because I have never heard them. I do listen to a pair of SR60's everyday though and I stayed at a Holiday Inn express last night. I just think for an extra $20 I'd probably get the MS1's knowing what I think I know now.

 

Just sayin.


I'd get the SR80i's knowing what I now know, and having previously owned the MS-1i's.  :-)

 

I know what the forum "consensus" is as far as what the MS-1i's sound like.  But that is not what I heard from the pair I had ...

post #8 of 14

I own the Grado SR-60i. I also auditioned the Grado SR-80i and the Alessandro MS-1. I still prefer the SR-60i because it is well balanced throughout the frequency spectra. They do sound much fuller and richer through my home audio system which is listed in my signature and community profile. I also listened to them through my new ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC and I am deeply satisfied with the sound quality. I returned both the SR-80i and I sold the MS-1 to a friend.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

i was doing some looking into the Alessandro's and i think i might go for those

 

@Welly - although i dont doubt your hands-on opinion, i have a hard time believing a cheaper product would be better than a more expensive model (for anything, not just headphones)

post #10 of 14

It sounds like you've made your decision so there's probably no harm in throwing you a comment from out in left field, which is where I spend a fair amount of my time.

 

I don't think there's much difference between the SR60 and the SR80.  Classically, one came with comfies while the other came with pads.  Not surprisingly, it was the SR60 which had the better bass while the SR80 was more open.  Now that both come sporting comfies, that tonal difference comes down to some tweak of the driver, with the 80s having the slightly brighter presentation.  If it's the kind of decision that will haunt you, spend the extra $20 and forget about it.  Or by the MS1, which has the same feature set as the SR125, though its fans obviously think it sounds better.

 

If it were me, I'd buy the SR60 and take that $20 and use it toward a cable upgrade - not a commercial cable but a four-wire braid of 24 AWG 99.99% silver.  Get at least two colors the same so you can run separate ground wires, then solder one end to your Grados and the other end to a gold-plated connector ($4 at Radio Shack).  Four feet of wire (enough for an iPod) will cost you just under $50 plus shipping.  After laughing at the cable freaks, I was surprised at how much better things sounded in silver.  I tip my hat to the silver wire, though I still laugh at those jerked-up prices for commercial cables.

 

If you want more bass, open up the shells and vent 1 to 10 of the little holes that surround the driver back.  The holes are covered with a thin paper/cloth designed to allow in a certain amount of "bass reflex."  The big Grados have between 2 and 4 of these holes popped.  I went whole hog and popped all 10 on mine.  As a result, I don't have any problems with bass.  I get so much bass, I'm often tempted to switch to the jumbo pads on my PS1000.  I just don't like the clumsiness of those big jumbo pads (plus my ears get hot and sweaty inside those big muffs).

 

You can also damp the interior chamber using Dynamat.  I use adhesive felt.  Either way, it cuts down on the HF spikes.  For less than the price of an SR125, you can have an SR60 that beats everything short of an SR325.  But that's if you want to get your hands dirty.  The nice thing about just making a choice and running with it is that you get your feet wet.  Only after you've gotten some experience with these cans will you really know what you want.  If upgraditis hits you, sell what you have and put the money toward your next object of desire.

post #11 of 14

 

 

Quote:
I don't think there's much difference between the SR60 and the SR80.  Classically, one came with comfies while the other came with pads.

Yup, which is exactly why I bought an 80 back in the day; it was practically as expensive to buy a 60 plus bowls. If my 80 broke now and I wanted to replace it, I'd get a 60i and put bowls on it, since the 80i also comes with the crappy comfies.

 

I think it was pretty cheesy of Grado to put bowls only on the 225i and up in the revamped line. I have a hard time believing that penny-pinching isn't the explanation for this. It certainly makes the 80 a poorer buy than it used to be.

 

(Can't comment on the rest- don't believe in the cable fairies and am not into mods.)

post #12 of 14

BigDrew:

 

I respect your opinion. If you can find a local authorized Grado dealer in your local area, then I would urge you to audition them before making your decision. I used to work for Audio Connection in Verona, NJ and they are a high end audio dealer plus an authorized Grado Labs dealer too. So, I got to try the SR-80i first, but I thought that the cans were too bass heavy for my tastes. Later, I got to try the SR-60i and it just sounded so much more well balanced and right to my ears. I had the more expensive AKG K 701 headphones and I am one of the few that truly believes the Grado SR-60i sounds superior to the AKG K 701 headphones by a good margin. They are definitely keepers for me. Playing music directly out of the headphone jack from my new laptop sounds full and rich with authoritative bass that is not boomy and clear trebles. The SR-60i have a wonderful mid range that is warm, full, rich and liquid smooth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDrew View Post

i was doing some looking into the Alessandro's and i think i might go for those

 

@Welly - although i dont doubt your hands-on opinion, i have a hard time believing a cheaper product would be better than a more expensive model (for anything, not just headphones)

post #13 of 14

 

Quote:
Or by the MS1, which has the same feature set as the SR125, though its fans obviously think it sounds better.

 

No, they don't.  I mentioned before that the MS-1i's have the same cheaper cable that the SR80i's have, and not the beefier cable that the SR125i's have.

 

I keep seeing people wanting to put the MS-1i's up against the SR125i's or even the SR225i's, and I just plain wonder if they've listened to all of them and compared back to back.  It's not about the cost.  It's about the listening.  And in spite of the MS-1i's costing as much as the SR80i's, to these ears, they sounded more like the SR60i's with their associated lack of bass vs the SR80i's.

 

Yes, we all have different ears, and how we ear different headphones can certainly be different, but the differences I heard were not subtle.

 

BigDrew- I heavily suggest, and I don't think anyone would disagree with this, no matter what pair you get, try as much as you can to compare them to competing headphones.  One nice thing about the For Sale/Trade forum here, and eBay, and Amazon's Marketplace, is that you can buy a set of headphones, try them out for a bit, and then turn them over for not much if any money lost.  Very easy way to assure yourself that you're getting the best phones for how and what you listen to.  :-)

post #14 of 14

I totally agree.. Just modded my 80i, followed your instruction. I opened the can, damped and popped 6 holes for venting, removed the buttons, and replaced L-cush then whalla! gone are those harsh HF, sounded more open and bass has more detail and sure deep enough for my liking..

I definitely agree on getting your hands dirty! Highly recommended indeed!

THANKS a MiL - Bilavideo for sharing....!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado SR60i vs SR80i