Grado SR60 headphones
Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of headphones, some which do their job very well and others not so well. I am just a sucker for getting the best I can from my various music sources, and it has cost me much coinage.
I recently bought two new sets of phones, a set of Shure E2's (see other review) and a pair of Grado SR60's.
Grado Labs are based in the US and have for a long time been a leading manufacturer of headphones, I had read rave reviews of all their models which range in price from around £90 upto £800 and decided to give their entry level phones a try.
The Grado's are boxed flat packed and come with a guarantee that looks like a 50m breast stroke certificate, but despite the fancy paperwork 12 months is all you get.
Now at this point you are looking at the SR60's and thinking they are a throwback to the 50s. They are very simple looking phones with a leather headband and foam earmuffs. The actual driver units are open style, which means they are not meant to keep any sound in or out, so you can't use them next to your missus whilst she is watching Corrie or you are in trouble. The style of the phones is something between what Troy Tempest and a 60s airline pilot might wear but don't let that put you off, the best is yet to come.
So what about the sound, well first make sure you are in a quiet environment, any external sound will leak through and spoil your listening, I set my iPod volume level nearly to maximum and listened to some Enya from her album Watermark. This is a standard test album for any of my phones or speakers because of the variation in vocals and instrumental content. The test is how well the lyrics shine through against the bassier sections, and I was not disappointed.
The vocals were crisp and clear, and the Grados drivers handled the bass exceptionally well not allowing it to overpower the lyrics or my ears.
Gerry Rafferty was next and the saxophone on his track Baker Street was beautifully singled out and redefined by the Grados.
They are not perfect by any means, volume is naturally set low and has to be controlled by the audio source of your choice. The cable is thick, heavy and over long at 2 metres, and you could never wear them outside.However these are small minus points to what is overall a competent headphone package.
So what about the price, well the standard price for the SR60's is around £90. I found them on the internet at £67.44 plus £4.99 P & P, and finally bartered Richer Sounds down from £79 to £72.
Be aware that these phones, like many of the higher spec models, need running in for at least 30 to 40 hours before you get the best out of them.
Better still go for the SR80's which retail at around £110, although I have tried a pair and there is not much in it.
Get a good price for the SR60's and you will be very satisfied with your purchase.
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