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Grado SR-60 Stereo Headphone Review

Whoa! These Grado SR-60 headphones are great!

I got them to help with Mixdown tasks when using my Yamaha AW-16G DAW and they are better than the old stand-by Beyer Dynamic DT-550s I’ve been using, well, it seems like forever! Don’t get me wrong, the Beyers are still a great set of headphones after at least 15 years of use and I think it is cool that there are still parts available for the Beyers. I bought a new set of the foam ear covers that had worn out over the years only last year! But the need for a second set of phones, as well as a set I could use with my 60Gig iPod, sent me on a hunt for a new set. Older phones like the DT-550s just don’t work well with the iPod unless you have a headphone amp and that is kind of defeating the purpose.

Anyway on with the SR60s. What amazes me is the quality vs price value these headphones offer. The Grado SR60s are (for you techies) a vented diaphragm, non-resonant air chamber design with a standard copper voice coil wire and copper connecting cord mini plug and an included 1/4″ adaptor. What ever all that means. To me it means a great sounding set of headphones. Stereo separation is great and they seem to be pretty flat; not coloring any of my music unduly. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music and the Grado SR60s pass all the tests my listening preferences can throw at them. From the Blind Boys of Alabama’s Amazing Grace to Audioslave’s Getaway Car to 8mm’s Give it Up to Kitaro’s Tenku and anything else, these are simply, as so many others have said “the best headphones under $100.”

I’ve read a few other reviews that note that others can hear your music while using these headphones. All I can say is that you are doing yourself more harm than you are doing those around you! If others can hear these phones, unless it is really quiet in the room, you are working on damaging you ears. One of the beauty things about these Grados is that the clarity and quality actually promote a lower listening volume. After 30-plus years of working around sound environments, bands and studios, I value my hearing and try to keep in mind that I’ll need my ears for many more years, I hope!

One downside I’ve noticed when using the SR60s with the 60Gig Video iPod is that the Grado’s are almost too good! I notice distortion on older mp3 conversions especially. I will have to go back and re import some of my favorite at a better quality. Setting the EQ to Flat works well with the Grados while I still use the Bass Booster setting with the Sony ony Earbud MDR-EX81LPs I normally use with the iPod.

For portable use the cord of the Grados is also pretty long and it is not the most flexible material in the world but it is nice and strong plus I don’t notice any cord induced noise like I do with the Sonys..

In the end I use these mostly at home while working, mixing down audio on the AW-16G and only rarely on the road. I still prefer the Sonys for the size, inconspicuousness, and ability to block out sound when out with the iPod.

Over the years I’ve had many headphones from Sennheiser, Bose, Koss, Sony and more. the only set I felt compared to keep was the Beyer Dynamic DT-55s but I not have a new favorite! The Grado SR-60s!

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