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How do the akg 550's compare to grado sr80i's?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by starset, Dec 15, 2012.
  1. Starset
    I bought a my first good headphones (grado sr80i) about 6 months ago and I love them. But I need a noise isolating pair of headphones and i was wondering if the akg 550s will sound better than my current headphones. I will be driving them primarily off of my ipod touch. I listen to a little bit of everything but mostly alternative and indie rock; some of my favorite artists are Jack
    Johnson, Radiohead, The Smiths, and the Electric Light Orchestra. Also I tried the hd 25's and I thought they sounded completely lifeless and terrible if that helps. Thanks!
  2. Mheat122134
    They'll sound better but for even better sound you'll need an amp.
  3. Lorspeaker
    Another terrific sounding closed can is the dt1350...
    It isolates v well, great bass...
    If u can tolerate hd25's headclamp, this is a piece of cake.:wink:
  4. Starset
    I have a big head :) so if it has a lot of clamping power Id probably stay away from it. That is why I was leaning towards the 550, also from what I have seen it has a similar sound signature to grados which I love.
  5. Starset
  6. zazex
    Those two headphones are different in so many ways it's difficult to know where to start the discussion.
    Having owned both...
    First - what are your sources? - meaning CD's, FLAC files (or other lossless files), 192's, 320's, ...
    i.e. what's on your iPod Touch/other music player(s)?
  7. Starset
    I use lossless files, I hAve some leftover mp3s but I am not buying anymore of them. I mostly use ripped CDs into lossless format, so I don't know the exact bit rate but it takes up a lot more space so it must be high.
  8. zazex
    OK, so that's good.
    For (easy) starters, the K550's will be more comfortable than the Grado's.
    They'll also Isolate more effectively, but not a whole lot more effectively -
    because even though they're 'closed', they clamp loosely.
    They won't have the zip and dynamic impact of the Grado's, but in
    return they will be smoother, and the treble will be slightly softer. 
    You'll get a bit more bass out of the K550's, but again not a whole
    lot more.
    The K550's require a precision fit on the ears to sound right, and
    getting that precision fit is a tricky thing to do.  (See the long
    K550 thread for more on the ear positioning issue.)
    And, though of course the Grado's are open and the AKG's closed,
    soundstage will be similar because the AKG's have about the biggest
    soundstage of any closed headhones while the Grado's aren't known
    for having a large soundstage.
    If you want isolating headphones, I'd steer you away from the K550's.
    And if you'll be driving them from the iPod Touch, you'll want some
    kind of amp.  Even a small inexpensive one would make a difference,
    something like a Fiio E6.  The Grado's are easier to drive.
    Got to run now but will post more later...
  9. Starset
    What exactly is "zip and dynamic impact"? I have felt that my grados have been a little bit too bright on some songs, it also seems like they get use a little bit more bass, but I am a defiantly not a basshead.
    Also I don't mind doing some modding to get the fit right and I saw the suggested mods they had for fit in the k550 thread. I do have a big head so it might not be a problem for me.
    And as far as amps go I can probably squeeze an e6 into my budget, maybe a little bit bigger but nothing more than 50$.
    Thanks for helping me out! I really appreciate it!
  10. cel4145
    Check out the ATH-A900X, too. They'll be a little less bright than the Grados, but with better bass extension and impact, yet not bass heavy. They will work very well for the music you have listed. I have a big head and they fit me just fine. However, if you were hoping to use them for portable use, not a good choice. 
  11. Starset
    I looked at the ath-a900x and I don't think they will work, I need a pair of headphones that is at least semi portable. The k550s are big but they fold flat and have a sturdy build. I might want to take them out and about every once in awhile.
    Also I should add that I can get the akg k550's for 180$

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