Best Grado headphones for newbie
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:21 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

Galesden

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I've been looking into buying some new headphones recently, because im am tired of listening to music with $5 earbuds and other cheapie headphones. After reading many a review of headphones online i think i want to buy a set of grados. I am going to be listening to mostly rock, blues, old country, some hip hop but not much, and soul and r&b. I was wondering which headphones would be best for a first time listener like me, i am going to be listening to my music on my ipod and ill probably have up to about $250-300 to spend. Should i get the SR 225's,125's, 80's, 60's. I was also wondering about portable amps, like a cmoy or a commercial one; i am really interested in those cmoys, i enjoy the little novelty of the altoids tin amp. Will the amp really maximize the potential of the headphones or am i just wasting my money. Any help would be appreciated. Thnx
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:39 AM Post #3 of 25

Blackmore

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If you are going to use as portable then Grado isnt a good choice, imo. You may need some closed back headphones. If so, try Audio Technica ES7 first, otherwise SR80 would be a very nice start. Yes, they are cheap looking one, but soundwise they are very good. They do not cost that much, especially used one, so you will be having some cash back for possible upgrade, which I found quite fun, just do not push yourself to hard.
On the other hand you can jump directely to SR325i, but they may need some nice portable amp like Go vibe Petite with no DAC, which is good with Grado's and cost not much as well. One thing to know, they are quite heavy, but the sound wat is all about , inst
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But the most one that people will recommend are SR225 and I am not that different from them, so thats up to you what you actually want.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:48 AM Post #4 of 25

chops13

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Galesden /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've been looking into buying some new headphones recently, because im am tired of listening to music with $5 earbuds and other cheapie headphones. After reading many a review of headphones online i think i want to buy a set of grados. I am going to be listening to mostly rock, blues, old country, some hip hop but not much, and soul and r&b. I was wondering which headphones would be best for a first time listener like me, i am going to be listening to my music on my ipod and ill probably have up to about $250-300 to spend. Should i get the SR 225's,125's, 80's, 60's. I was also wondering about portable amps, like a cmoy or a commercial one; i am really interested in those cmoys, i enjoy the little novelty of the altoids tin amp. Will the amp really maximize the potential of the headphones or am i just wasting my money. Any help would be appreciated. Thnx


I just went throught the same scenario. Longtime audiophile, just not in the headset realm.

I tried m-audio, akg, audio technica, sennheiser, grado.

Honestly loved the Grado. I found it pretty close between the grado and maudio myself. But the comfort of m-audio wasn't up to snuff compared to grado. To much clamping power. I found myself thinking about that as opposed to the music.

As another poster said, if you are gonna be in public riding a bus or a non-quiet area Grado is not a good choice. They are very audible to others around you.

I demo'd the sr-60, 80, 125. I chose the 80's. love em.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:51 AM Post #6 of 25

Uncle Erik

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If you haven't heard one yet, best to start with the SR-60. Some of us love the sound but some don't. If you don't like them, you can always sell a SR-60 here for about what you paid for it within a few hours. Though if you really want to start out with a bang, there's a RS-2 going for $350 on Audiogon right now.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 7:14 AM Post #7 of 25

scytheavatar

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Have you tried listening to the Grados in the first place? People either love or hate the Grados, for various reasons (uncomfortable, too aggressive, too bright, no soundstage) and unless you listen only to rock I don't recommend them as a first audiophile can. The KSC-75, D1001 and ES7 would be better choices as they are more well-rounded.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 7:42 AM Post #8 of 25

Jaska

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I would agree with others saying that it may be wise to listen to some Grados before deciding to buy them. Depending on where you live, there may be a good chance you can audition them in a hi-fi shop.

The SR-225 would be what I'd recommend. I use mine amped as well as unamped, and appreciate them in different ways in each context. While the SR-225 is known to be a bit less bright than some other Grados, they are still bright, at least with hot recordings, when used with a detailed source and amp. When I plug the same headphones straight into my iPod, the harshness is gone and these recording actually sound great. For well recorded music, though, they do sound better with a "Gradocentric" amp (Gilmore Lite in my case--many people like certain tube amps with them, too). The bass is about as good as it gets in dynamic headphones when you find the right source and amp, and the difference (to me) is immediately appreciable.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 9:56 AM Post #9 of 25

Aimless1

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Welcome to head-fi. You can see that we're not shy about offering our opinions.

The first headphone (non IEM) I purchased after becoming a member was the Grado SR-225. This choice in the Grado lineup was an easy decision. Reviews told me it was great with classic rock which I thoroughly enjoy. They also told me this particular model is regarded by most as the sweet spot in that it has the best sound quality for the $$$ spent. I had been watching the for sale forums and noted that they are generally priced at $150 and ususally sell quite quickly. So even though I had not listened to it, if it didn't work out I would be able to sell it quickly and only lose my time and shipping costs. I had also noted that alot of head-fiers that had been here a long time have a Grado SR225. Didn't see many SR60/80/125s in the experienced member's signatures.

So what happened? I loved the SR-225. It was a great decision for me and a gateway purchase to other cans. Just recently I upgraded to the RS-1. So take some time to search the headphone forums and make your own decision.

I haven't addressed the amp because the Grados are so easy to drive you really don't need to begin with an amp. My suggestion is to choose your pair, try them and use them for awhile. This will give you more time to research for an amp for your particular needs and also give you an opportunity to participate more in the forum. When you get that amp make sure to get enough amp to do drive your headphones properly. The amp purchase, if done correctly, will make your SR-225 sound like a new headphone as the sound will change ... for the better.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 11:18 AM Post #10 of 25

majkel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you haven't heard one yet, best to start with the SR-60. Some of us love the sound but some don't. If you don't like them, you can always sell a SR-60 here for about what you paid for it within a few hours. Though if you really want to start out with a bang, there's a RS-2 going for $350 on Audiogon right now.


A I agree in full extent. Either SR60, or SR325i/RS2, while the latter are much lighter which allows you to use them in different positions without causing the headphones to fall off your head. The SR325i will teach you to preserve the upright position.
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However, with a decent mp3 player they sound great and don't need a portable amp at all. Of course, you can buy one to spice up the DAP's flavor and current efficiency.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 12:40 PM Post #11 of 25

Shoreman

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I agree with what everyone above has said.

Only kidding...
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But seriously, I do agree that you should make sure that the Grado sound is right for you before you jump in with both feet. It is for me and, obviously, a lot of others as well. I just wanted to add that part of the fun, at least for me, is starting small and moving up the ladder. I started with the 60s (when I first heard them I swore nothing could ever sound better) and then moved up to the 325is. You live (listen) and you learn. And you always look forward to something better. To me, that's just part of the fun of living life.

So...moral of the story. I would recommend you start small (60s or 80s), get an inexpensive amp if you can swing it, and start having fun. And then, as you will surely do, gradually make your way up the ladder and increase your listening enjoyment.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 12:46 PM Post #12 of 25

moogoob

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoreman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I agree with what everyone above has said.

Only kidding...
bigsmile_face.gif


But seriously, I do agree that you should make sure that the Grado sound is right for you before you jump in with both feet. It is for me and, obviously, a lot of others as well. I just wanted to add that part of the fun, at least for me, is starting small and moving up the ladder. I started with the 60s (when I first heard them I swore nothing could ever sound better) and then moved up to the 325is. You live (listen) and you learn. And you always look forward to something better. To me, that's just part of the fun of living life.

So...moral of the story. I would recommend you start small (60s or 80s), get an inexpensive amp if you can swing it, and start having fun. And then, as you will surely do, gradually make your way up the ladder and increase your listening enjoyment.



Agreed. I started with the SR80s as an upgrade from Senn HD280s. The 80s sound great out of an iPod, and only improve marginally with an amp.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 2:33 PM Post #13 of 25

bce22

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First of all, you need to make sure on open can is right for you no matter how great the phone is if your in an environment where sound leakage or isolation are problems you will not enjoy them. Secondly grados are awesome IMHO if you listen to a wide variety of music because they definitelydrive a wide range of music well, but not all. If your a bass head and listen primarily to hip hop for example then you may not like them. Lastly grados play great without an amp however a decent portable amp and LOD definitely bring out the best in them.

I mention these things threw experience I bought a pair of sr-325i and then the RS-1. They are my favorite cans BUT not my only ones for reasons mentioned above.

Good Luck and happy listening.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 2:45 PM Post #14 of 25

pataburd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you haven't heard one yet, best to start with the SR-60. Some of us love the sound but some don't. If you don't like them, you can always sell a SR-60 here for about what you paid for it within a few hours. Though if you really want to start out with a bang, there's a RS-2 going for $350 on Audiogon right now.


x2. The SR-60 are very affordable, are a worthy introduction to the "Grado" sound, and retain their resale value fairly well. I'm with the Unk on this one: start with the SR-60, and see where it goes from there. : )

BTW, I've tried them all, from the SR-60 to the SR-325i--except for the SR-80, which I am expecting in the mail shortly--and they all sound good, although I think the SR-125 are superfluous. After auditioning the SR-125, I bought the SR-225, then the MS-2, then the SR-325i, then the SR-60 and, as mentioned earlier, am expecting the SR-80 shortly.

Personally, I liked the SR-60 better than the SR-125, and for the money [i.e. the SR-60] maybe even better than the SR-225. The 325i really shine with a good amp and source, but they leave a treble-dominant signature which may not suit everyone. If the SR-80 are a audible step up from the SR-60, then, for the money and the usage I intend for them, they'll be my ultimate Grado "keepers"; if the SR-80 do not prove to be a perceptible step forward from the SR-60, then the SR-60 will be my Grado "keepers."
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 2:54 PM Post #15 of 25

philodox

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Closed headphones are much more practical for a portable setup, but if you insist on going with a Grado, save up some more money and get an older RS-1.
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