• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Grado SR60x Review (on ear headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 128 57.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 61 27.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 24 10.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 8 3.6%

  • Total voters
    221

Yevhen

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
152
Likes
61
Location
Netherlands
I don't understand why people here are so negative about these Grados. The positives that I see:
- linear response up to 1.5 kHz
- easily adjustable treble peaks (I use the equalizer in the Foobar and Deezer apps on Android)
- THD is high only because of the relatively harmless second harmonic and 3rd remains very low
- lightweight
- and the main point for me that was not discussed here is the temperature rise. It's only 2 degC. I think Dan Clarke Stealth will give at least 3x more and are unusable in summer.
1637252938132.png


I have an SR60 and a Sony WH-1000XM3 and I use the SR60 95% of the time.
 

xema

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
82
Likes
71
Could you try to retest it without the pads? I found if I dont use the pads, the grado rs2e will sound better, could be the same to sr60x maybe.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
2,017
Likes
1,994
Could you try to retest it without the pads? I found if I dont use the pads, the grado rs2e will sound better, could be the same to sr60x maybe.
Ouch, using them pad less really? A bit masochist? Wow people go lengths for good sound but that's other level dedication.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
2,017
Likes
1,994
I don't understand why people here are so negative about these Grados. The positives that I see:
- linear response up to 1.5 kHz
- easily adjustable treble peaks (I use the equalizer in the Foobar and Deezer apps on Android)
- THD is high only because of the relatively harmless second harmonic and 3rd remains very low
- lightweight
- and the main point for me that was not discussed here is the temperature rise. It's only 2 degC. I think Dan Clarke Stealth will give at least 3x more and are unusable in summer.
View attachment 166429

I have an SR60 and a Sony WH-1000XM3 and I use the SR60 95% of the time.
Yes, my headshape don't really agree with the confort general gripe neither. They are so light, I remember kinda forgetting I had headphones on.
 

vlad335

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 19, 2020
Messages
76
Likes
58
I bought the 80x and then the 125x to see what the Grado thing was all about. Hated both of them and returned both. IMO the much cheaper Koss Kph30i and Portapro's are far better than these.
 

Shike

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
61
Likes
109
I have the original SR-60 still with some aftermarket pads. I remember disliking them due to treble at one point but after some new pads that are thicker the treble seemed tamed (enough) in comparison to the bass. For me the good aspects are comfort (XXL head so easy bending bands are good) and Grado still has good CS (rod blocks broke and they sent me new ones a decade over purchase).

Would I buy the higher-end? No. But if someone has a large head and needs something they can bend to fit like me (XXL) I can understand why they'd grab a set. I've effectively had to bend the headband on every set of headphones I got. In ears get hot and itchy fast to me (within ten minutes or so) so it's not like I get a lot of choice either . . .
 

Astrozombie

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
297
Likes
107
Location
Los Angeles
THey were all hype back in the day on HeadFi, i liked them at first but it was probably because I had never tried open headphones before, the treble made my ears bleed over time and I sold um. The design looks cool but it's pretty flimsy in practice.

I remember people going through the trouble of recabling these.......well a bunch of headphones too.
 

MRC01

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
2,437
Likes
2,663
Location
Pacific Northwest
When I first heard the SR60 back in the 90s I thought they sounded terrible. Tinny and distorted. Most headphones sound excessively bright to me, but the Grados took that to a whole 'nuther level. It was almost painful even at low volumes. I thought, why do so many people like this? Is there something wrong with my ears?
A year or two later I heard the Sennheiser HD-580 and it made me realize that at least somebody made a decent sounding headphone.
 

xema

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
82
Likes
71
Ouch, using them pad less really? A bit masochist? Wow people go lengths for good sound but that's other level dedication.
Well, no so uncomfortable, because the pressure is not very high, and the wood barrel is small enough to just put into my ear auricle.‍‍
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,822
Likes
5,896
Location
Singapore
I don't like Grado personally, I find them uncomfortable and I am not such a fan of their tuning. However they have their own ideas on tuning which they have been consistent with over many years and I think the world of headphones would be poorer without them.
 

Hifihedgehog

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
160
Likes
170
Location
Station Square
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 have heard all of the modern John Grado line on multiple occasions (including "kilobuck" models like the PS-1000 and GS-1000 ) and while the measurements differ slightly from model to model, the high distortion, bass dropoff, and treble peak of death in the lower treble is a signature characteristic of the John Grado-tuned headphones, so I stand by negative assessment. You can observe Grado’s notorious treble boosting in InnerFidelity’s measurements as well that correlate well with @amirm’s findings in this regard and verify that there is quite a bit of treble peakiness, not to mention bass rolloff, and high distortion. However, I have been told that Joseph Grado (founder of the company who had been inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame and was an accomplished tenor opera singer) and his special edition headphones were significantly better and may lack the treble boosting though I strongly suspect the bass and distortion issues are still present given the inherent weakness of the Grado cup design.
 
Last edited:

Hifihedgehog

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
160
Likes
170
Location
Station Square
this is a classic case of just nonsense being produced here.
I could have said it better myself. Grados are the epitome of the classic audiophile mindset: it is good if it sounds good to me and it is the best if it is steeped in a history of mystique and an exorbitant price tag. The perplexing part to me is how many otherwise objectively minded college professors and other high brows buy Grado Labs products. I live within close proximity of a top ranked university and a Hi-Fi audio speciality store next to it, known for decades to proudly sell Grado Labs products. There the sheer number of Ivy League college professors who I have seen buy Grado Labs over the years is mind-boggling.
 

Hifihedgehog

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
160
Likes
170
Location
Station Square
I don't like Grado personally, I find them uncomfortable and I am not such a fan of their tuning. However they have their own ideas on tuning which they have been consistent with over many years and I think the world of headphones would be poorer without them.
The last thing any of us is wishing for them is to close down but I do think it is a disingenuous to the audio world as a whole for them to claim as a company that they offer world-class fidelity when they follow none of the prerequisites (objectively verified research and development) and the objective data here indicates the expected outcome. They claim the audio quality is the reason they keep employing the current design that they do yet the data shows that sound quality is lacking and so I find it misleading for them to claim what they do. They are the polar opposite of the Bose “better sound through research“ tagline and employ a “better sound through listening” mindset together with all the flaws and foibles that technique employs. I believe they will survive for many decades to come but only because their design’s appearance elicits the same response of a classic car—nostalgia—and there will always be a market and a demand for that product category.
 
Last edited:

don'ttrustauthority

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
517
Likes
267
Disappointing. I was really hoping that the new X line would be an improvement over the old lines. I like the Hemp and assumed this was a similar driver. When this comes home we'll give a listen.

Thanks for the test!
 

don'ttrustauthority

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
517
Likes
267
I live within close proximity of a top ranked university and a Hi-Fi audio speciality store next to it, known for decades to proudly sell Grado Labs products. There the sheer number of Ivy League college professors who I have seen buy Grado Labs over the years is mind-boggling.
Why is that mind boggling? You think being an Ivy League college professor are more informed consumers than the average citizen? That you seem to be perpetrating this myth is what I find mind-boggling.
 

Dana reed

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
237
Likes
229
Well, no so uncomfortable, because the pressure is not very high, and the wood barrel is small enough to just put into my ear auricle.‍‍
I like the L pads better on all Grados, and the G pads are the most comofortable, and work well for larger driver models
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
2,017
Likes
1,994
I have heard all of the modern John Grado line on multiple occasions (including "kilobuck" models like the PS-1000 and GS-1000 ) and while the measurements differ slightly from model to model, the high distortion, bass dropoff, and treble peak of death in the lower treble is a signature characteristic of the John Grado-tuned headphones, so I stand by negative assessment. You can observe Grado’s notorious treble boosting in InnerFidelity’s measurements as well that correlate well with @amirm’s findings in this regard and verify that there is quite a bit of treble peakiness, not to mention bass rolloff, and high distortion. However, I have been told that Joseph Grado (founder of the company who had been inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame and was an accomplished tenor opera singer) and his special edition headphones were significantly better and may lack the treble boosting though I strongly suspect the bass and distortion issues are still present given the inherent weakness of the Grado cup design.
Yep most of them have a bright signature, However, as I demonstrated earlier, most of their reference class and up Roll off a bit lower in the bass than most open backs, which i like, lower than HD650 for example. Again, maybe I am old and those treble peaks don't affect me as much, possible, but here is an example that has decent measurments, there are others, and sure, I'm not saying that's the saint graal, there is better and the model reviewed here is horrible. I'm saying some of them can be likable to some.
 

JohnBooty

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
536
Likes
1,231
Location
Philadelphia area
I like the Harman curve, which Bose more or less tunes for as well, and earlier in the thread I posted that there are better options than the SR60 today.

With that in mind...

I do think it is a disingenuous to the audio world as a whole for them to claim as a company that they offer world-class fidelity when they follow none of the prerequisites (objectively verified research and development) and the objective data here indicates the expected outcome. They are the polar opposite of the Bose “better sound through research“ tagline

Harman's research and the resulting Harman Curve is an aggregate average of subjective preferences across a variety of listeners and listening material. An objective look at subjective preference, if you will.

It is valuable and important research into subjective listener preference but we should not confuse this with what is objectively correct, or the subjective preferences of any particular listener for any particular choice of listening material. Hell, the Harman curve itself is a deviation from what is literally objectively correct which would be razor flat FR.
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,440
Likes
1,604
Clearly you think real instruments and voices don't sound right....
 
Top Bottom