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Grado SR60x Review (on ear headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 129 57.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 61 27.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 24 10.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 4.0%

  • Total voters
    223

_theLaughingman

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Being a one trick pony that can't even perform for every song in a genre isn't a "good pairing." Also, the source meme lol.
Wow. The source meme is my reference to listening to classical music or jazz recording based on the medium ie: Vinyl, digital or cd. Yea they can be one trick ponies but there are many other headphones on the market like that.
 

USER

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I bought a pair of these when I was a teenager at the hifi store in Harvard Square. I remember being very taken by the sound - they sounded nothing like any headphone I owned! As it would happen, I already had one very good pair of headphones (HD 580, I don't know how I bought them or afforded them) but these sounded very alive and that was appealing to me, although I did find them somewhat fatiguing and uncomfortable. They got style points, for sure.

Years later I listened to a pair of the SR-80 or 200 or whatever the fancy wood ones are; I found them really uncomfortable and the sound was very colored.

I think when these first came out (late 90s?) there weren't as many headphones on the market, and you had to buy them in a store somewhere. Given those conditions, it is understandable that such an unrefined product could get a foothold - you listen to these next to your Koss or Sonys and I can see the appeal.

I got my pair of SR-80s from Audio Lab when I first started out as well!! (And some NAD components--and Audioquest cables too, lol.) I miss all those record stores once abundant in the area.
 

Robin L

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Sennheiser HD650 are my main headphones. I like my Etymotic ER4S, but they are too inconvenient and uncomfortable. I typically use AirPods Pro when I go outside, but sound quality isn't the main priority.
Drop 6XX are my main pair. But they weren't available in 1990 and when the Sennheisers did come out they cost five times as much, so not an apples to apples comparison. I was using both the Grado 60s and the Sony V-6s at the same time. Comparable cost but a huge difference as regards comfort and performance. Was recording classical concerts [mostly] at the time. Used Stax headphones as my monitors [these sorts of concert recordings did not allow for monitoring via speakers] when I could, but there were times when they weren't practical.
 

Jimbob54

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Sennheiser HD650 are my main headphones. I like my Etymotic ER4S, but they are too inconvenient and uncomfortable. I typically use AirPods Pro when I go outside, but sound quality isn't the main priority.

OG!
 

HRTF_Enthusiast

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Drop 6XX are my main pair. But they weren't available in 1990 and when the Sennheisers did come out they cost five times as much, so not an apples to apples comparison. I was using both the Grado 60s and the Sony V-6s at the same time. Comparable cost but a huge difference as regards comfort and performance. Was recording classical concerts [mostly] at the time. Used Stax headphones as my monitors [these sorts of concert recordings did not allow for monitoring via speakers] when I could, but there were times when they weren't practical.
Monitoring with STAX headphones? Damn, that's pretty badass. A non-ported STAX could be pretty fun to use as an EQ machine, but you would need a compliant head shape.
 

Robin L

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Monitoring with STAX headphones? Damn, that's pretty badass. A non-ported STAX could be pretty fun to use as an EQ machine, but you would need a compliant head shape.
Yes, but at the same time, the 6XXs are a more accurate reproducer. A lot of what gave the Stax 'phones their signature sound are the etched upper partials, coupled with a lame bottom 2 octaves. HD 650's/6XX's [eq-ed] are much more honest reproducers of music.
 

617

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I got my pair of SR-80s from Audio Lab when I first started out as well!! (And some NAD components--and Audioquest cables too, lol.) I miss all those record stores once abundant in the area.

Oh yeah the one under dolphin seafood and the one below four eyes optical were so good! And the one under Schoenhoff's foreign books! Not to mention newbury, tower, hmv etc. I can remember the store I bought half my records/cds at.
 

coolajami

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I'm wondering how many people buy the S60s for use and how many buy them for doing mods. On top of my head, I can recall at least two websites that are selling (pretty expensive) mod kits specifically for the s60 and the S80, like drivers, wooden cups, leather headbands etc.
 

Helicopter

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Thanks Amir. This nostalgic headphone is one I have awaited. I considered these back when I didn't know anything but subjective reviews. I ended up getting the Audeze LCD-X instead.

I would love to see some Koss on ear headphones reviewed. I use those for walking and cycling on the road so I can hear cars and stuff.
 

JohnBooty

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I think when these first came out (late 90s?) there weren't as many headphones on the market, and you had to buy them in a store somewhere. Given those conditions, it is understandable that such an unrefined product could get a foothold - you listen to these next to your Koss or Sonys and I can see the appeal.
My experience exactly. The original version of these (plain SR60; no suffix) were basically my introduction to "high fidelity" circa 2002 or so. Previously I'd never owned anything nicer than headphones that were sold in malls, like... $50 Sony headphones.

So the Grados were a revelation. I was hearing details in the music I'd never heard before. It was like seeing an HD video signal for the first time after years of standard. Some of this was of course due to the excessive and wacky "sparkly" treble... and of course the lack of low bass helps clear up the midbass... but still it was a bit of a revelation.

But crucially, they are very accurate up until about 1.5khz. For most intents and purposes, that is where (most of) the fundamental frequencies of music live. Voices sound great on these.

There's not really a reason to recommend them today, but I think most would find these more enjoyable than the FR graph would lead one to believe.
 
Last edited:

Hifihedgehog

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Thanks for the review. That confirmed to me why I do not like Grado in general.
Grado=the AudioQuest of audiophile headphones. Grossly overrated.
 

thewas

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Hifihedgehog

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Funnily Audioquest also offered for a short time a couple of headphones which where the opposite though of Grado sound, namely ultra dark:
I am referring to primarily the cables side (and to an extent, their USB DACs too) of their “business” which is joke at best.
 

PeteL

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My experience exactly. The original version of these (plain SR60; no suffix) were basically my introduction to "high fidelity" circa 2002 or so. Previously I'd never owned anything nicer than headphones that were sold in malls, like... $50 Sony headphones.

So the Grados were a revelation. I was hearing details in the music I'd never heard before. It was like seeing an HD video signal for the first time after years of standard. Some of this was of course due to the excessive and wacky "sparkly" treble... and of course the lack of low bass helps clear up the midbass... but still it was a bit of a revelation.

But crucially, they are very accurate up until about 1.5khz. For most intents and purposes, that is where (most of) the fundamental frequencies of music live. Voices sound great on these.

There's not really a reason to recommend them today, but I think most would find these more enjoyable than the FR graph would lead one to believe.
I partly (mostly) agree, I had SR60 way back too. Me I ended up giving them away, they are cheap and it's simply better than what my friends had at the time, I was not gonna try to get 40 bucks back by selling them, but in the end as you say, it was above what was around but wasn't great once you know better.

Now, It's an interesting thread, I feel some genuine hate about the company itself and really I would bet some coins that many here that dismiss Grado as whole haven't heard a tenth of their offering and it's based on this review, and a couple of tryouts of their cheap models, and go around and make blanket statements judgements.

They do, yes to my ears, make a few very great sounding sets of headphones. The RS2E is particularly good, The 325E is good too for the price (never heard the X series). I wish I had some around here, yes it's from memory.

Now, for fun, it's interesting how an Idea grow that Grado are literally overly bright, always,but today I just for fun and compared my GR10e's IEMs to all the headset I have around, Elex, TH-X00, M50X, MSR7, ATH-ANC900... And interestingly the GR10 was clearly the warmest listen of the bunch and really giving me a smile about those mids presentation. I know it's an IEM, but there is something Grado to it, something seductive... Even Amir on this quite bad basic set seamed to have detected some of that in listening tests.

Grado's great, yep they don't follow harman, yes the SR60 is bad, and beer money cheap.
 

617

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I partly (mostly) agree, I had SR60 way back too. Me I ended up giving them away, they are cheap and it's simply better than what my friends had at the time, I was not gonna try to get 40 bucks back by selling them, but in the end as you say, it was above what was around but wasn't great once you know better.

Now, It's an interesting thread, I feel some genuine hate about the company itself and really I would bet some coins that many here that dismiss Grado as whole haven't heard a tenth of their offering and it's based on this review, and a couple of tryouts of their cheap models, and go around and make blanket statements judgements.

They do, yes to my ears, make a few very great sounding sets of headphones. The RS2E is particularly good, The 325E is good too for the price (never heard the X series). I wish I had some around here, yes it's from memory.

Now, for fun, it's interesting how an Idea grow that Grado are literally overly bright, always,but today I just for fun and compared my GR10e's IEMs to all the headset I have around, Elex, TH-X00, M50X, MSR7, ATH-ANC900... And interestingly the GR10 was clearly the warmest listen of the bunch and really giving me a smile about those mids presentation. I know it's an IEM, but there is something Grado to it, something seductive... Even Amir on this quite bad basic set seamed to have detected some of that in listening tests.

Grado's great, yep they don't follow harman, yes the SR60 is bad, and beer money cheap.
I've heard some of the expensive ones, they still sound like Grados. I owned one of their turntable cartridges and it had a similar sound. On vinyl though I don't go for accuracy, and I actually loved that cart.
 
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