Grado SR60 headphones review
Despite their near-medieval looks, these headphones are the business
Review by urban75 for Digital Lifestyles, 1 Dec 05
They may look like something a WW2 pilot would have strapped on to their heads before going off for a dogfight, but the Grado SR60s are, quite simply, the best headphones in their price bracket - and higher.
Created by a family business in Brooklyn, Grado's philosophy is to simply create the best sounding headphones they can.
Untroubled by the vagaries of fashion, Grado's hand-made SR60s have a refreshing no-nonsense look about them.
The open-back design comes with a flexible, vinyl-covered headband, with sliding vertical metal height adjusters connecting the earpieces to the headband.
Conveniently, these allow for 360 degree rotation so that the cans can be laid flat for packing.
The driver units are covered by black supra-aural foam ear pads, with an unusually thick cable coming from each earpiece, stethoscope-style.
The cable is a rather miserly 2m long (we immediately invested in an extension) and terminates in a 3.5mm jack. Thankfully, Grado also supply a 6.3mm adaptor.
Despite their antique looks, the easily adjusted Grados are remarkably comfortable to wear and feel very light on the bonce, with the 'breathable' foam pads letting you enjoy extended listening sessions.
Sonically, they're a revelation. The sound is full-bodied, fast and articulate with a solid bass performance creating an impressively spacious soundstage.
Plug these puppies into your MP3 player or - even better - your home hi-fi system and you'll be blown away by the quality: they sound superb.
A few hours spent with the Grados saw new life blown into old recordings, revealing hitherto-unheard subtleties and intricacies, while new CDs were silky smooth, natural-sounding, transparent and powerful.
The clarity and depth of these phones is unheard of at this price level - stick on a pair of trendy designer "DJ" headphones after a session on the Grados and it'll sound like listening to a transistor radio.
Hi-fi reviewers have been frothing about the Grados since they first appeared on the market over ten years ago and it's easy to see why - a few minutes with these headphones should be enough to get you reaching for your wallet.
Open-air dynamic stereo headphones.
Frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz.
Nominal impedance: 32 ohms.
Driver match: within 0.1dB.
Weight: 7 oz.
Price: £70 (~$120, ~€102)
« Back to tech homepage