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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Review: Grado SR 80 Headphones


That's what I call Old School packaging.. especially in the 2008. hahah

To my suprise, I received the headphones I've been contemplating over in mail today via Amazon [email said it would arrive on Monday.. shrug].  Anyways, I've been researching for some good high quality headphones that are 1) good quality with a good name attached and 2) not over $100.

Remembered my friend mentioned the Grados and gee whiz the other models are about $500 and up to $1000 for the studio ones.  There are the known SR 60s headphones which are about $69 which provide beginner audiophiles a good option to get into high quality phones and then there's this model--the SR 80 ($95) which is in between the SR 60 and SR 125. Price wise it's up there still but I decided if I was going to get a high quality item, might as well step it up a bit.

And speaking of audiophiles, I'm getting into appreciating music by really listening to them.  Call it boo sh*t but I find enjoyment really listening to the different sounds, backup vocals, and all the ranges and tones of music. [For example, listen to Usher's "Something Special" with a good pair of phones during the chorus.. just friggin hear the back up vocals and it really is impressive].
As of now, I'm listening to Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak with them. Volume is about 2/3s up and I'm finding it comfortable to wear: they're lightweight and the headband sits comfortably on my head--not too tight or loose. They are open-eared so music does leak outside [for sure this isn't a Bose noise-cancelling set].  

Do listen to  "Paranoid" feat. Mr. Hudson from his album.
I'm finding the sounds are crisp, clean, and bass tones are just right. I was at Best Buy the other week and put on Beats by  Dr. Dre ($349) and they really packed that thing with sound so the bass is just thumping so loud you'd probably have a headache after a minute or go deaf by then.. whichever comes first.
Will an ordinary person who just bought an ipod appreciate these 'phones over the iconic white buds? Well, there are pros and cons:

Pros
  • Honestly, any headset is better than the white buds--trust me.
  • Comfortable to wear over a period of time
  • Sounds are full and rich--music sounds "close" to you
  • Bass tones are just right
  • These phones have been described as "neutral" so don't expect deep bass [ I find it just right though]
Cons
  • Pricier than what already comes with your ipod
  • They dont fold: you either wear em over your head or your neck or set it aside and hope no one crushes it by sitting on em
  • Cord is long [can be a pro if you're listening over a home stereo but I don't know anyone yet who listens to their home stereo].. but yea I already rubberbanded them so it doesn't drag on the floor
Conclusion:

If it's for enjoyment of really listening to everything that makes music well music... a good pair of headphones is required. The white buds don't cut it here. Do you need to spend a fortune on them? If you have the money well why not. But if you're looking for something very good for just right of a price.  Also, if you want to appreciate these headphones you have to listen to music [which is most likely around 2/3's of an iPod's volume capacity] alone. These headphones aren't closed so people around you [on bus, office, library, etc] will hear. So leave them alone and keep music to yourself.

Plus, it's good to spend time alone. I call that my-time and I spend mine with music. Try it.

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