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Are Grado headphones comfortable?

  1. goodsongs
    I want to buy sr125e but I see that it is on-ear which I worry might give too much pressure to the ears and hurt them on the long run. 
    I used to have a noise cancelling Bose (QuietComfort 15) and it was pretty comfortable to wear but it had a strange ear pressure (not on the ear itself but the inside of the ear some how) that made it uncomfortable to wear especially when turning on the noise cancelling feature. 
    I also used to have the cheaper Bose without the noise cancelling feature and it laid on top of the ear instead of around, which made the ears sweaty a little because it was squeezed by it.
  2. TheDreamthinker
    Grados are quite tricky in this regard.
    Generally speaking Grados can be comfortable, especially with the Comfy-Cushs you are talking about.
    Yet again, Boses are built for long haul flights therefore are very comfortable by design. Grados are not.
    Some people experience constant pressure when using Grados, others (myself included) do not mind. Do note that the pads need to be replaced regularly, as they wear out relatively quickly.
    For more information and questions, you may want to visit this thread here:
    ...where all of your questions should be answered rapidly.
  3. joeq70
    Grados are not comfortable. I'm sure there is some person out there that thinks Grados are the most comfy headphone they've tried; ignore this person. When I say all that, know that I'm speaking from the point of view of many people but not everyone. Grados are (in)famously uncomfortable. In my experience, however, the amount of discomfort is really not that bad...depending on the pads I use.

    Grados do not cause me particular discomfort if I use HD 414 pads. Bowl pads are okay for about two hours before they hurt my ears a little.
  4. adtrance
    I recently picked up a pair of Grados that use the L cushions (325e) and I find that for about an hour or so, it's perfectly comfortable for me.  Any longer than that, I can feel that the pressure of the pads against my ears building up and generally need to put it away after a good couple of hours. 
    When I swap out for the G cushions, I can have them on pretty much all day (studying) without any comfort issues.
  5. kramer5150
    I have never liked active noise canceling it makes me feel claustrophobic (for lack of a better term), dizzy maybe a little and psychological discomfort.  It makes me feel like I am in a pitch dark closet and I can just sense a closed in space around me even though I can't actually see it.  Kind of the same thing.  You definitely won't have this problem with any Grado.
    Sweat sensation is from the pleather memory foam.  All Bose cans do this to some degree.  I really like my bose AE2, one of my most comfy cans by far but they do make me a little warm/sweaty after a while.  You definitely won't have this problem with any Grado.
    I too find Grado L-cush pads uncomfortable.  The foam is just too firm and abrasive against my outer ear area, "hot spots" result.  It doesn't help any that I wear glasses and the ear hooks further accentuate the problem.  Without glasses Grado L-cush pads are a little more comfortable.  I prefer the Ear Zonk L-cush pads slightly.  IMHO they are a little softer and the foam is not as abrasive against the skin.  I use the Zonk L-cush pads on my original RS1... very happy.
    For my HF1 and SennGrado... without a doubt the Zonk G-cush pads are my favorite.  Both of these "Grados" have a warmer signature and the Zonk-G pads work well for sonics and comfort.  Although with the SennGrado I have to cut 30~100Hz by a good 3db on the iTunes EQ... too much bass for my taste.  One thing about G-cush pads is they are HUGE, I mean they cover half my face.  So I have to take them off like every other hour... let my head take a breather if you will.
    I also have the ear Zonk S-cush pads... the cheapie ones for ~$4-5.  These are also very comfortable.  I just have to make sure I position them a little forward and down a bit to alleviate the compression pressure from the ear-hook part of my eye-glasses.  I can wear them all day.  To my surprise I find the Zonk-S brighter sounding than the Zonk L or G pads.  I bounce back and forth between the Zonk S and G on my SennGrado and HF1... they both sound very good.
  6. goodsongs
    Can you use the G cushions on a Grado that came with L cushion?
  7. joeq70
    You certainly can but whether you like the change in sound is another matter. Some like it and some don't.
  8. adtrance
    I prefer the G cushions in the long run.  There is a little difference in sound but not by some life changing amount.  They both have their sound advantages, tho for me the comfort wins out.
  9. TheDreamthinker
    To me, it mainly depends on the model.
    I currently use L-Cush a lot - but i am probably going to try some G-Cush, just to see how they effect the sound of the cheaper Grados.
    Find the Cushs very overpriced though, which makes me reluctant to buy them (if the current ones aren't worn out).
  10. cyberridz
    I have been a Grado user for 2 years now, and I find that they are perfectly comfortable. It's not a headphone that you can use continuously for hours on end, but then again, you need to take a break from any headphone after a certain amount of time anyway. I have never been happier with my Grado SR80i. They are awesome.
  11. goodsongs
    Does sr125e come with L or G cushion? What kind of change in sound does the G cushion bring about?
  12. TheDreamthinker
    All lower end Grados come either with the comfy cushions or the L cushions. The G cushions are only part of the GS1000 and the PS1000 packages.
    This being said the G cushions are quite expensive when bought separately.
    To my knowledge, the SR125 come with comfy cushions.
    G-cushs generally increase the soundstage, reduce the overall warmth and reveal more treble (due to increased distance to ear).
    I personally have liked the L cushions for on all Grados i have tried. I have only tried the G cushions with the GS1000 (awesome btw).
    If the SR125 comes with the C-cushions, buy the L cushions as well. This will give you a general idea of how the increasing cup size changes the experience for you. Some people also prefer the Cs due to the added comfort.
    G cushions are generally also rather comfortable because they distribute the pressure more evenly than the L cushions.
    my 2ct.
  13. goodsongs
    I got it and I don't like how it's shrill and hurts my ears. 
  14. tomb
    Well, there are two issues at play here: 1) Grado cushions and outer ear physical comfort, and 2) Grado accentuated highs with a "sizzle" that can cause hearing discomfort.
    For 1), all I can say is that everyone is different.  I know from personal experience that some people's ears are simply sensitive to the raw foam interface to the ear that Grado cushions cause.  It doesn't affect me, but I know enough people I trust to accept that it's extremely, almost torture-like irritation that's caused by the raw foam against the ear.  (I don't think clamping force has anything to do with it.  New headphones clamp; old, worn-in headphones don't.)  It doesn't affect me that way, and neither does it affect many others.  Otherwise, Grado wouldn't remain in business.  So, I'm saddened about those with this sensitivity and wish there was something that could be done about it, but I don't know what.
    For 2), a great amp pairing can solve this - typically, a tube-output-transformer-coupled amp is best.  Short of that, Grado tizziness and sizzle decreases the further you go up in the line.  That may seem detrimental to Grado's business model: IOW, cheaper models cause enough irritation that people are swayed from every buying Grados again.  Again, maybe it simply doesn't work this way with the majority of people.  Otherwise, they'd be out of business.  This time, I count myself in the camp as one who can't stand the basic Grado response (the hot tizziness hurts) and it's probably why I searched for the right tube amp and went for the HF-2 (PS-500) as my favorite Grado.  It also happens to be my favorite, No. 1, go-to headphone.
  15. cyberridz
    In my opinion, they are pretty comfortable. I use them for hours on end and they feel absolutely fine. They just need a bit more care than most headphones. If you treat them nicely, they'll reward you with a sound experience that you won't get with any other type of headphone. They are usually my everyday pair for chilling or relaxing.
    As in musicality, I guess it also depends on what kind of music you listen to. I mainly listen to my SR80i's with classical, jazz, rock and pop. They really excel on stuff like classical, live concerts, jazz - especially stuff like Diana Krall, especially the live albums. For bass-heads or people who listen to electronic or studio type music, best look for something like a Hifiman or a Sennheiser HD650, or maybe even an Audio-Technica ATHM50.
    Bottom line is that the Grado's represents a niche market where people want the retro styling and the classic, bright/warm sounding type of sound signature. If that's what you are looking for, you can't go wrong with the Grados.
    If I could do everything all over again, I would still buy a pair. They are one of my most prized possessions in my headphone collection.
    Hope that helps.

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