Headphone Review: Grado SR60i

[IMG]For the past 60 years, Grado has been producing headphones that stand out to an extremely high quality standpoint. Mention the name Grado to any audio enthusiast, they will instantly picture a classic headset. Although the designs may not have evolved past the classic design, their audio has. For this reason, Grados are regarded as being legendary.  Read on for the full review:

Specifications

  • Driver: dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB
  • Impedance: 32 ohms

In the Box

  • Grado SR60i
  • ¼” adapter
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Included with the Grados aren’t much, the adapter is a nice addition, but it could come with a few more things.

Design

Keeping with the typical design of the entire Grado line, Grado did decide to give it more of an edge. The sharp, quick-cutting lines that shape the SR60s isn’t unique to Grado, as their Prestige Series headphones, from the 60is to the 325s, all have this similar body design. The main difference, however, is material. Plastic is the material of choice for the SR60s, being the lower-end model, it does make sense. It is still aesthetically pleasing however, keeping the classic design, but giving a quick sharp cut really brings things out.

The Grado name is placed throughout the headphones, on the housings themselves, but also located on the headphone jack, the Grado name is imprinted on the large jack. The cable, is a tad bit large however, especially for mobile use. I’m about five feet tall, and I must say, I’m not too tall, but this cable is just way too long… If I reach as high as I can with the headphones, the headphone jack will still be touching the ground with a big of cable contacting it as well. Measuring it out, the cable is 6 and a half feet long.

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Like the rest of the Prestige Set, the design of the SR60s is hard cut and classic.

Design: ★★★★½

Audio

Grado has 60 years of experience with headphones. The pure technical abilities of these headphones show it. With a well balanced signature at hear, the Grados offer a really slight V in the signature and are extremely lively and fun. Although there are some problematic parts, they are still a great headset overall. The bass is quick and punchy and able to reveal the delicate textures in the song. It doesn’t quite go deep enough though for impact and full texture. Mids do hold energy and good detailing. Above all though, clarity is quite good. Highs are fun, but can be a bit overdone.

Bass

These are not bass-monsters, and they should not be regarded as such, but the bass is above neutral. Quick and punchy is really the profile to be used with the bass. It has good accuracy, but doesn’t dig as deep as it needs to entirely. There is small embodiment that creates a more open sound, but is just enough to not become a negative. While the punch follows through nicely, there is missing impact in the punch. Deeper textures are also missing from the bass. As stated before, subtle textures are still detectable.

Bass: ★★★★

Mids

The midrange holds a good amount of energy and detailing which makes them my favorite part of these headphones. The vocal power is exposed well and never will be boring. Detailing is really nice, but definitely has some slight work ahead of it. Clarity is beautiful on these which really help bring the whole thing home. The sound stage is nice and grand, but smaller for headphones as they can compare to some IEM’s sound stage. Overall, the warmed-up mids offer great quality and energy.

Mids: ★★★★½

Highs

Coming on slightly aggressive with plenty of sparkle and smack, the highs do shine somewhat. The aggressiveness does lead to some sibilance and fatigue, but everything else is good. As stated, these bring great energy in their sparkle and offer ample separation. Details, unlike in the mids, are all there and present as is the clarity.

Highs: ★★★★½

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

By no means are these headphones cheaply built. However, material selection may not have been the best. Being plastic headphones, Grado could have included a case with these, although they were intended for home use, mobile users may be able to break these quite easily through everyday use.

Plastic housings may seem problematic on paper. However, build is deeper than just what meets the eye. The plastic is strong and can hold up through much punishment. They can hold up to some torture, despite many moving parts, being plastic like the swivel joints. A metal joint, that allows the cups to rotate, called the gimbal, seems stronger than is needed, if it snaps, Grado will replace it at no charge.

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The housings on the SR60s are made of plastic.

The headband is padded lightly with a vinyl exterior. Within this vinyl is one single, metal bar, which makes the headband extremely durable. I don’t see the metal headband snapping, nor do I see the leather tearing. This is definitely something Grado did great with.

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The headband is built with quality in mind.

Going out of the housings is the SR60’s six and a half foot cable. Like most cables made for non-portable use, it is nice and thick. It isn’t tangle prone, which proves to be a big positive. The headphone jack is thicker than many of my IEMs, and I’m not comparing headphone jacks. It may be straight, but it isn’t going to cause any problems.

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Strong, taught, and thick… That’s all you really need to know about the cable.

Build: ★★★★★

Comfort

Foam pads feel like clouds for my ears to rest on. It’s really nice, although they can heat up pretty quickly. This may not be a problem during the winter months when this heating is helpful, but in the summer, sweat and discomfort may arise. Although the headband’s bar may create discomfort for the first day or two, it goes away quickly as your head adjusts to the new headphones. Swiveling and rotating cups allows for the perfect fit though. The comfort is really a mixed bag of marbles, most of it being good.

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The foam pads are extremely comfortable, but can heat up.

Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

At around 80 dollars from various venders online, the Grado SR60s prove to be a really good value overall. The audio they provide is superb, price considered. The comfort issues may be the main reasons why some may turn them down. However, for mobile use, the gigantic cable is enough for me to avoid them; this is an iPod, iPhone, and mobile device blog after all.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Legendary, historic, and well known, Grado comes out to provide a nice headphone at an affordable price with their lower-tiered SR60is. However, an extra-long cable turns me away from them from a mobile standpoint. Heating during the summer months may prove uncomfortable. However, you really can’t pass up the classic, cutting-edge design. On top of that, the sound that these Grados give is, well… legendary.

I’d like to thank John for the review sample.

Overall Score
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Grado SR60i

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks John for the product sample.
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