Grado SR80?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Victor ch, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Victor ch macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    San José, Costa Rica
    #1
    Well, after all I decided I might not get the Sennheiser HD280s, I liked them, but they missed the "musicality" [if it makes any sense] and even though were very precise they didn't quite amaze me.

    So I decided I might as well get an open-back headphone ('cause technically they perform better), and in this field Grado Labs, Inc. has some respect. My previous need for closed back headphones is technically no longer there (since I decided my B&O A8's can block out a tad of sound, hence the noise-isolation of closed back headphones isn't needed) so I want a pair of nice open-back cans that can also serve me as some sort of monitors.

    Now, the Grado SR80s have received several good reviews and Im kinda leaning towards them, they're reasonably priced [$95] and given the fact that I can't audition a series of headphones (try living in a country who gives crap about sound) I might as well go for a brand with a lot of respect.

    So the thing is, anyone here that have had an experience with Grado headphones? The SR80s specifically? Any Grado headphone? Any advices? Recommendations?

    Thanks,
    Victor
     
  2. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

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    Mar 24, 2007
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    Tampa Bay
    #2

    I have them and do not like them....The foam does not maintain itself so after a few minutes the actual plastic part of the headphones are pressing against your ear(s)...and it hurts. I would have returned them, but quite frankly I procrastinated too long..of course your mileage may vary..
     
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #3
    I have a pair and they are great.
    Sound quality is amazing, the downside is that the cable is as a regular guitar cable, so it's not really good for ipods etc, but great if you need a god pair home at your stereo
     
  4. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #4
    Hmmm, so they're uncomfortable? How about the sound quality?

    Regular 1/4" cable? Aren't the SR125 and up the ones that come with the 1/4" ones? Cause the webpage of the SR80 says they come with the adaptor for 1/4" meaning they're 1/8" (normal headphone jack) and they come with an included adaptor. Also, how about comfort, are they good for prolonged listening?

    thanks,
    Victor
     
  5. wal9000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    #5
    I've got SR-60s, which I love, and I think you're right about the cable. Has a normal headphone sized plug, but includes an adapter. My recollection is that it's a pretty similar product, but the ear pads are bigger on the SR-80s, and they have stronger bass.

    After a few hours, the 60s do get a bit uncomfortable, but I don't particularly mind it. Just take them off for a few minutes and it's fine. The performance you get for the price is amazing (at least to me, but they're my first pair of "real" headphones, so YMMV).
     
  6. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    Location:
    Europe
    #6
    Last spring I ordered the Audio Technica ATH-AD900's and am thrilled by their sound quality. The bass is certainly there, but nowhere near as (over)pronounced as with certain Sennheisers. The treble is just excellent, and the midrange is just as good. Musicality-wise, they're a treat. All combined, I don't think you can get any better headphones for the money. They're not cheap, mind you, but they're so good that they're more than worth their money. Highly recommended!

    Oh, and for headphone questions, definitely do join these forums. Good luck finding your headphones. By the way, it will take some phones to get to the one. These Audio Technica's are my third serious pair, and only now am I where I wanted to from the beginning. So be patient; your first pair will almost certainly not be your personal it. Sorry I can't be of help concerning Grado's. Never owned a Grado pair.

    By the way, I ordered my pair from AudioCubes, since Audio Technica doesn't offer their top models in Europe and the US.
     
  7. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

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    #7

    Sorry bout that.....The sound quality is great...If you can leave em on long enough to enjoy a whole album...err disc..(Im showing my age !!)
     
  8. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #8
    Hmm thanks :) Also, if you don't mind me asking, hows the noise blocking (if any) and leakage?. And yeah, the 80s are a mild step up from the 60s in terms of bass response and sound stage, Im sure both are fantastic sounding. Also, can they be folded flat? I want to take them to school so I must at least flat fold them, and my current crappy QC2's can do that; meaning the ear-cups can lay flat on a table or such. And again :p if you could please write some kind of a "mini-review" or something describing the overall product (sound, performance with certain kinds of music, comfort, product quality, cons and pros etc ehehe), that'll be great and I'll thank you a lot.

    thanks,
    Victor
     
  9. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #9
    Hmm thanks man, something like that (sub $500) will be my next purchase, for now a set of preferably under $150 will make do, like those Grados. And yeah, Im sure I won't stop buying audio equipment, its like a drug :p Thanks anyway bro.

    Victor
     
  10. wal9000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    #10
    They're open-cup headphones, so if leakage and noise blocking are much of a concern I wouldn't recommend them. I wouldn't use them in a library or anywhere quiet, but at low volumes it's barely noticeable over the random noise that comes with living in a dorm. If I have the fan running, I can't hear it at all.

    As far as folding flat goes, here's a quick picture of them on my desk:
    [​IMG]

    Never having owned another pair of good headphones, I can't say a whole lot about quality. It's orders of magnitude better than iPod my earbuds for any style of music.

    For cons, the cord is over 6 feet long, which can be a bit annoying. I have to be careful that I don't accidentally get it caught on my chair leg or trip on it. Not something you'll want to listen to your MP3 player in your pocket with. Aside from that, I love 'em.
     
  11. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #11
    Perfect! For those super quiet places I'll use my Bang&Olufsen they won't leak any sound. Thanks a lot for the pic, thats exactly what I want 'em to do, they will fit the space between the computer and the side of my backpack. Hmm, so the length of the cable is tad long.... I'll see what I can do to use it with the iPod in the pocket or hand... Thanks a lot man. Also, (I know, Im a pain in the a$$ hehe) Can they handle extremely 'bassy' songs well? I want to listen to some bass-heavy electronic music with em. Thanks again,

    Victor
     
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #12
    Only repeating what I read in many reviews:

    1. If you want better sound than a Grado SR60 or SR80, you'll have to pay three times as much.

    2. Both are open. On the negative side, they don't keep noise out and they don't keep music in. On the positive side, you can hear what is going on around you.

    3. They look ugly / old fashioned / retro-chic depending on your point of view.

    4. They are not perfectly comfortable, but there are worse.

    5. The SR80 has better bass. It sounds better when connected to your HiFi equipment. On the other hand, the SR60 gets along with less power, so it can produce louder music with an iPod. The SR60 actually seems to be the set of headphones that gets the best music out of an iPod for _any_ money, because anything that is better needs more power than the iPod can supply.
     
  13. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #13
    1-Well, that's a good thing.

    2-Im aware of that, also, open-back headphones are supposed to sound better.

    3-Well yeah, they're ugly, but then again they sound fantastic. I might not like that WWII radio operator look, but hey, its old school looking.

    4-Meh, my Bose ones are stupidly comfortable but there's an ear fatigue after some time (sound induced OFC, kinda unavoidable) Im hoping the SR80's won't be so uncomfortable.

    5-Hmm, Im planning to hook them up to my NAD hi-fi amp for late night listening and such. Im guessing my MacBook would could provide enough power, I hope so :eek:

    thanks bro,

    Victor
     
  14. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #14
    It has a mini jack, but the cable is really almost as thick as a guitar cable, so I really dislike using them on my iPod nano :p They also use a bit oo much power for my nano. But home hooked to my amp, they are great.
    Could be changed tho, since mine are probabably 5-6 years old now.

    I find them comfortable, but i guess that's up to each to decide.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    Europe
    #15
    This is probably wasted advice, since you stated that the Grados will also be used at home, hooked to your amp, but I'll provide it anyway. As I stated earlier, I have the Audio-Technica pair, which I solely use for home listening, as they're way too big for mobile use. But a while after I bought those, I got addicted to really good sound. That, combined with the fact that I had already owned three different pairs of portable headphones for my iPod, got me to finally go ahead and look for a good pair for mobile use. After some research, I decided on getting these Shures.

    They're extremely comfortable and are the first in-ears I've owned that actually stay in their position perfectly. With the 'olives' they actually isolate sound better than many active sound cancelling phones. They're not suited for your use, as the cord is only 4,5 feet long. Excellent for an iPod, but certainly not for home listening sessions. That said, this was the first time I actually considered looking for (let alone buying) 'real' in-ear headphones. I had owned the Apple in-ear plugs, but those were awful. They wouldn't stay put, which caused the audio quality (especially the bass) to be extremely lacking. But man, am I glad I actually did buy them. I've never before heard my music this well while on the road. In the bus, I can only hear the sounds and voices around me very vaguely. This means you can listen to your music on a relatively low volume, and still hear it clearly. Very good for you ears.

    You might consider in-ears, but I won't expect you to. They never seemed worth their money to me, especially when compared to what you (size-wise) get with 'real' cans for a comparable amount of money. Therefore I was shocked to find that they actually sound nearly as good as my Audio-Technicas.
     
  16. tsd macrumors regular

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    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #16
    I've got the SR-60 model because it doesn't need a separate headphone amp, so it's perfect straight out of a MacBook Pro when recording mobile. If I were using it chiefly here at home, I'd have opted for the SR-80 with one of HeadRoom's amps. http://www.headphone.com/ is an invaluable resource when you're looking into HiFi headphones.

    So, if you can afford an extra couple of hundred dollars, go with the SR-80 and a good-but-cheap headphone amp from HeadRoom. If you don't want the extra equipment and the extra cost, go for the SR-60, but make sure you get the L-Cush upgraded earpads from Amazon.com! That will solve the discomfort issue. I think the SR-80 comes with the L-CUSH pads, but I'm not sure. I know the SR-60 does not.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that Grado's are the DEAL! There is none higher. A random tip: when you receive your cans (assuming you purchase new ones), put them under a pillow and crank some loud music through them for two days straight. That will burn in the drivers and significantly soften the treble output. If you get used cans, they'll already be burned in.
     
  17. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #17
    Hmmm niice, thanks for the pic. Im gonna use it mostly with my computer, and in some occasions with the iPod. They're mainly for late-night listening or doing something else either at home or elsewhere in class (with the MB that was much more output).

    Thanks, but yeah, for small and portable use I have a pair of Bang&Olufsen A8s that sound absolutely fantastic, but thanks anyway bro.

    Thanks man, I rather go for the 80s, they're just 30$ more and can sound better with an amp (I will use my current hi-fi amp). Also, Its also for when in school, when Im in programming, math, spanish, or likewise were Im allowed to use my computer that has more overall output power than an iPod, and eventhough people are concentrated (hence not that much sound) they won't bother with the little leakage present in open cans, so they can be used then.

    Ahh darn, like real speakers I have to burn-in them, lol thats ok I guess, thanks for the advice :).

    Victor
     
  18. Hates macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    I love my Grado SR-80s. A lot of people complain that they are uncomfortable, but I must have odd ears as they don't bother me at all. I can wear them for hours at a time without feeling any discomfort. Soundwise they are absolutly brilliant, and top my Etymotics ER-4ps by miles.

    I do however run mine through a headphone amp. I have a Corda 2Move which has it's own build in DAC and a crossfeed. The Grado's really sparkled after adding the amp. Even with a cheap CMoy amp, there was a good difference between that and my iMacs' headphone output.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is a lot of leakage, unless you like to listen to your music at horribly quiet volumes. Don't forget the open backs work both ways. A lot of noise escapes and a lot of noise comes in through them. Maybe something like some Etymotic ER-6s or ER-4ps would be better.
     
  19. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #19
    :D Nice pics man, thanks a lot. Im also considering a headphone amp and that one looks just awesome (Corta 2 Move) Im gonna look into it. For now the NAD hi-fi one or the one in the M-Audios will do :)

    Im aware of the leakage, a friend of mine has a pair of Sennheiser PX100's that are open-back and there's a a lot of incoming sound but I didin't notice that much leakage.

    Thanks again to all, Im quite sure Im getting the SR80s in a couple of weeks or so.

    Victor
     
  20. Luis macrumors 65816

    Luis

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    #20
    I love my PX100's, but they sure can give a concert in a quiet class :cool:
     
  21. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #21
    Did they? I could barely hear them during the physics test, which BTW I totally flunked.

    Victor
     
  22. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I've owned the Sr-225(structurally the same as the SR-80 I think). I loved the Grado sound, but I didn't care for the comfort. You'll just have to see if you can live with it, it certainly did not fit me. Also, will these be for home use only? You certainly won't want to use these on the streets or on the go. These block out absolutely no sound(open ears), so not only can you hear everything around you, but everything around you can hear your headphones.
     
  23. duffer macrumors regular

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #23
    +1 for the Grados

    The SR 80s are a great set of cans. The comfort level can be dramatically increased by swapping the ear pads with the Sennheiser HD414 pads. I bought two pair on ebay for about $13 shipped.
     
  24. Victor ch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

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    #24
    They will be for home/school use, where niether leaking the or non-blocking of sound are a problem.

    Hmm interesting, I'll see if I want the extra-comfort.

    Thanks,
    Victor
     
  25. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I think you'll love the Grados, especially since you'll be using them at home, and if the stock pads are uncomfortable(my ears got itchy), just buy the Sennheiser pads. Grado also make a different pad for their headphones as well, at least they did.
     

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