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Grado SR-80i vs. Bose Quiet Comfort 15?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My brother flew into town over the weekend and was showing me the headphones he just got off of craigslist for $200. I found it funny that we were both into the headphone thing at the same time, as I just ordered a new set of Grado SR-80i's and they should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

All of the guys at the house were trying them on, enjoying the noise canceling. I admit, they have great noise canceling, which would be great in a very noisy environment or on an airplane, but my Sennheiser HD-280 Pro's do just as much noise canceling once you starting listening to something!

 

I wasn't blown away by anything, the bass sounds about the same as my Sennheiser cans do, the mids and the highs didn't sound as nice on the Bose though. I have never been a fan of Bose products, however my dad has used it off an on since the mid 90s, and my brothers seem to just follow in his footsteps like lemmings, regardless of what I have to advise, explain or demonstrate with what I have. Bose has a big "fan base", which helps their marketing and sales of products, but from the Grado cans I have listened to in the past, why settle for sub-standard stuff with a bigger price tag?

 

My question is...How do the Grado SR-80i compare to the Quiet Comfort 15's? I know the SR-225i sound better, and they can be had for $200 (the same price my brother dropped on the used Bose headphones).

 

Also, how would the SR-80i modded with vented driver and wood cups compare to the Quiet Comfort 15?

 

The $200 he spent on the Bose is the most anyone in my family has ever spent on headphones, and he believes that it's top of the line and got more for what he paid for. I can't help but to feel he got cheated on the cans and should have done more research before the impulse purchase he made.

post #2 of 14

The Quiet Comfort 15 isn't all that bad, but I find the mids quite unnatural, with a sort of 'dark'/bland sound that wrecks female vocals etc. 

Comparing it to any Grado is a little unusual as they're basically headphone opposites: closed+noise cancellation VS. totally open.... still the SR80i (even un-modded) are better than the bose in almost every way apart from comfort and bass extension and volume. Therefore the bose will sound better for any type of electronic music or hip-hop etc. 

 

A good initial upgrade for the SR80 would be to get the bowl pads (same as 225i, 325i,RS2i, RS1i, PS500) - that makes a big difference to the soundstage and separation improves a little too - the only down side to this 'mod' is that the bass volume decreases , which is where venting comes in. The other added bonus is increased comfort (for most) and if you have small ears it should be a massive improvement in comfort.

 

Either way the Bose still has one of the best noise cancellation tech around, so it does what it was designed to... just not with all the shiniest whistles and bells. 

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PintoDave View Post

My question is...How do the Grado SR-80i compare to the Quiet Comfort 15's? I know the SR-225i sound better, and they can be had for $200 (the same price my brother dropped on the used Bose headphones).

 

Also, how would the SR-80i modded with vented driver and wood cups compare to the Quiet Comfort 15?

 

The $200 he spent on the Bose is the most anyone in my family has ever spent on headphones, and he believes that it's top of the line and got more for what he paid for. I can't help but to feel he got cheated on the cans and should have done more research before the impulse purchase he made.

 

Heya,

 

First, they do not compare in any way other than the simple similarity that they both are air pumps and produce audio. Also, the SR80i sounds great, no need to go to the SR225i or higher or anything. And I would not put G-cush pads on them, it destroys the sound completely unless you're willing to heavily equalize the frequencies to make up for the changes induced by the G-cush pads. The L-cush pads are the way to go for the Prestige line. Also, I have many of them and found the SR60i & SR80i to be virtually too similar to the higher SR325i and really felt like the best value was in the SR60i and SR80i for their price. They are excellent for entering the world of Hi-Fi with a classic signature sound. A SR80i with vented driver and wood cups again does not compare at all to the QC15. They're too different. Also, I would not bother investing in wood cups on the Grado unless you love it so much that you are willing to spend more money on the wood and the mod than the headphone itself and plan on keeping it pretty much forever.

 

Finally if your brother thinks the QC15 at $200 is a super deal and "top of the line" then I guess he thinks a used Ford Taurus or Focus is "top of the line" and probably thinks a pair of Sketchers are "top of the line" and probably thinks Oakley are the end all be all of sun-glasses and that Seiko probably makes the best watch in the world. If you love him let him enjoy living in a very small world. If you are feeling relatively cruel or realistic though, you could introduce him to this thing called Google.

 

Very best,

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

Finally if your brother thinks the QC15 at $200 is a super deal and "top of the line" then I guess he thinks a used Ford Taurus or Focus is "top of the line" and probably thinks a pair of Sketchers are "top of the line" and probably thinks Oakley are the end all be all of sun-glasses and that Seiko probably makes the best watch in the world. If you love him let him enjoy living in a very small world. If you are feeling relatively cruel or realistic though, you could introduce him to this thing called Google.

 

 

biggrin.gif This just made my day.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, he is close minded, but that's not the point. lol

 

I'm glad to get some input on this. Not just any input either, things that back up what you all state. Even have a bit of humar to boot! haha!  I think I'm going to enjoy my stay here at Head-Fi! :D

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

My brother flew into town over the weekend and was showing me the headphones he just got off of craigslist for $200. I found it funny that we were both into the headphone thing at the same time, as I just ordered a new set of Grado SR-80i's and they should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

All of the guys at the house were trying them on, enjoying the noise canceling. I admit, they have great noise canceling, which would be great in a very noisy environment or on an airplane, but my Sennheiser HD-280 Pro's do just as much noise canceling once you starting listening to something!

 

I wasn't blown away by anything, the bass sounds about the same as my Sennheiser cans do, the mids and the highs didn't sound as nice on the Bose though. I have never been a fan of Bose products, however my dad has used it off an on since the mid 90s, and my brothers seem to just follow in his footsteps like lemmings, regardless of what I have to advise, explain or demonstrate with what I have. Bose has a big "fan base", which helps their marketing and sales of products, but from the Grado cans I have listened to in the past, why settle for sub-standard stuff with a bigger price tag?

 

My question is...How do the Grado SR-80i compare to the Quiet Comfort 15's? I know the SR-225i sound better, and they can be had for $200 (the same price my brother dropped on the used Bose headphones).

 

Also, how would the SR-80i modded with vented driver and wood cups compare to the Quiet Comfort 15?

 

The $200 he spent on the Bose is the most anyone in my family has ever spent on headphones, and he believes that it's top of the line and got more for what he paid for. I can't help but to feel he got cheated on the cans and should have done more research before the impulse purchase he made.

 I purchased a pair of bose AE2's and thought they sounded great!!! UNTIL a friend of mine came over with a pair of older sr80's, I put them on for about twenty seconds or less and my reaction was exactly (WOW). So that being said I immediatly felt like I was robbed by paying 150$+, so I immediatly put the bose up on ebay and got 85$ for them and even though I lost money on the deal it was well, well, worth every penny to lose the difference in cost to purchase the 80i's. Since then I have purchased MS2i's wich IMO have a more well rounded sound than the 80i's with a little bit more bass (I am not a bass head at all!!!) they just sound a little bit fuller to me, and balanced better from left to right vise versa, probably due to the drivers being matched more closely and the 8 conductor (UHPLC) oxygen free cable and voice coil The 80's are definitly an awsome headphone!!! Cant beat the sound for the price, I didn't even care that in the end I lost 65$ it was still an excellent deal. The bose IMO don't even compare!!!

post #7 of 14

I have the QC15s as well as a couple Grado cans. I bought the QC15s for use on flights and on long train or bus journeys, and wouldn't think of using them in any other situation.  The active noise cancellation is excellent, and I'd heartily recommend them for that, but not much else.

post #8 of 14

Yes I have put them on my head in best buy were they have a simulated airplane cabin (A FAN)  and I definitly agree with you, it sounds like you are in a padded 5 by 5 room, or your listening to the insides of your body with a stethescope, but compared to the open back grado/alessandro's thats about it.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Finally if your brother thinks the QC15 at $200 is a super deal and "top of the line" then I guess he thinks a used Ford Taurus or Focus is "top of the line" and probably thinks a pair of Sketchers are "top of the line" and probably thinks Oakley are the end all be all of sun-glasses and that Seiko probably makes the best watch in the world. If you love him let him enjoy living in a very small world. If you are feeling relatively cruel or realistic though, you could introduce him to this thing called Google.

Translation: Bose headphones suck

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentCOPP1 View Post

Translation: Bose headphones suck

Wrong - they're grossly over-priced. 

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

Wrong - they're grossly over-priced. 

You don't think they suck? I had the QC15s and I ended up selling them because the sound quality was so awful.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentCOPP1 View Post

You don't think they suck? I had the QC15s and I ended up selling them because the sound quality was so awful.

The QC15 is still easily their best headphone and one could do A LOT worse for the same money. (by purchasing from a brand that may be 'endorsed' by a rapper for example).

Yes, the midrange is off, and the mid bass hump is distracting, but it offers one of the best noise cancelling headphones on the market - for a frequent flier this headphone could be their holy grail (for example).

Also 'suck' is not quantifiable unless we're talking about the power of vacuum cleaners.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Understandable, everyone.

 

Everything has a place, the QC series place is noisy environments, Grado and others and everything else! :) Personally, I would take my Sennheiser HD280's over the Bose, even in the noisy environment. I took them with me to training when I flew out of state, and once the music is playing I didn't notice any outside now, and I love the quality of them over the Bose my brother has, so it's the "best of both worlds" for myself, so to speak.

 

I just finished the significant modifications to my Grado SR-80i cans and they are a whole other world compared to my Sennheiser HD 280's.

 

I don't think my brother has ever listened to any high end or even mid-range headphones. As I have stated in another thread, my family has never been much for "striving for the best", or even perfecting or building upon things to achieve the best results possible withing reasonable means, with exception to myself. I say that because I prefer to get the most out of what I have, be it by modification or by use, or both (modification to get MORE use or, more importantly, quality)

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

First, they do not compare in any way other than the simple similarity that they both are air pumps and produce audio. Also, the SR80i sounds great, no need to go to the SR225i or higher or anything. And I would not put G-cush pads on them, it destroys the sound completely unless you're willing to heavily equalize the frequencies to make up for the changes induced by the G-cush pads. The L-cush pads are the way to go for the Prestige line. Also, I have many of them and found the SR60i & SR80i to be virtually too similar to the higher SR325i and really felt like the best value was in the SR60i and SR80i for their price. They are excellent for entering the world of Hi-Fi with a classic signature sound. A SR80i with vented driver and wood cups again does not compare at all to the QC15. They're too different. Also, I would not bother investing in wood cups on the Grado unless you love it so much that you are willing to spend more money on the wood and the mod than the headphone itself and plan on keeping it pretty much forever.

 

Finally if your brother thinks the QC15 at $200 is a super deal and "top of the line" then I guess he thinks a used Ford Taurus or Focus is "top of the line" and probably thinks a pair of Sketchers are "top of the line" and probably thinks Oakley are the end all be all of sun-glasses and that Seiko probably makes the best watch in the world. If you love him let him enjoy living in a very small world. If you are feeling relatively cruel or realistic though, you could introduce him to this thing called Google.

 

Very best,

And MalVeauX swoops downward for the kill.

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