Grado SR60e vs SR80e: Which is Better in 2024?

If you’re in the market for a high-quality pair of headphones, you’ve likely come across Grado headphones. This Brooklyn-based company is known for producing top-notch audio products that offer exceptional sound quality. Two of their most popular models are the Grado SR60e and the Grado SR80e. As an audiophile, I’ve had the chance to try both of these amazing sets of headphones, and I’m here to share my insights into their key differences and help you decide which one is right for you.

When it comes to choosing between the Grado SR60e and the SR80e, it’s essential to consider what matters most to you in headphones. Both models have a lot in common, such as their open-back design, which results in a spacious and open sound.

Additionally, the SR60e and SR80e utilize Grado’s proprietary driver technology, ensuring you experience the best sound quality for your music, podcasts, or movies. However, some slight differences between the two models can deliver a noticeable impact on your listening experience.

Grado SR60e vs SR80e: Comparison For Someone in a Hurry

PriceMore affordableSlightly higher price
Sound QualityGoodBetter
Build QualityStandardSlightly improved
Purchase LinkOfficial WebsiteAmazon Link

So how do these differences affect the overall user experience? Here are some crucial aspects that may influence your decision:

  • Sound Quality: If the sound quality is your main priority, the SR80e emerges as the winner. With better bass and improved resolution, they provide an enhanced listening experience over the SR60e.
  • Comfort: The SR80e features larger ear pad openings, which offer a more comfortable fit for extended listening sessions.
  • Budget: If you’re on a tight budget but still want quality headphones, the more affordable SR60e won’t disappoint. However, if you can spare the extra bucks, the SR80e provides noticeable improvements for a slightly higher price.

To sum up my experience with these Grado headphones:

  • The SR60e is a solid choice for those who want a balance of affordability and performance.
  • The SR80e is the better option for audiophiles who don’t mind spending a bit more for a higher-quality listening experience.

Grado SR60e: An Overview

Let’s dive right into the Grado SR60e, the entry-level model in the Prestige Series from Grado Labs. As an affordable yet high-quality pair of headphones, the SR60e promises excellent sound at a budget-friendly price. In this section, we’ll highlight some of the key features and technical specifications that have made the Grado SR60e stand out among audiophiles.

Firstly, the Grado SR60e uses a vented diaphragm design, which results in a more open and spacious soundstage. This design helps achieve a natural and well-balanced listening experience, free from the ‘closed-in’ feel that some closed-back cans produce. The diaphragm itself is made of a specially selected polyethylene material to deliver precise, fast, and accurate sound reproduction.

The Grado SR60e is renowned for its neutral sound signature with a slight emphasis on the mid-range. The bass on this headphone is tight and controlled, without overwhelming other frequency ranges. The mid-range is where the SR60e truly shines, providing crystal-clear vocals and instrumentals. The treble is smooth and well-extended, avoiding any harshness that might be associated with some entry-level headphones.

Here’s a quick overview of Grado SR60e’s technical specifications:

Driver TypeDynamic
Frequency Range20Hz-20kHz
Impedance32 Ohms
Sensitivity99.8 dB
Cable Length7 ft (2.1 m)

Some of its benefits include:

  • Remarkable sound quality at an affordable price
  • Comfortable and adjustable headband
  • Open and spacious soundstage for an enjoyable listening experience
  • Durable replaceable cable to extend the life of the headphones

As a result of its open-back design, the Grado SR60e offers a limited amount of passive noise isolation. This can be a positive or a negative depending on your listening environment. For a more immersive experience in noisy environments, closed-back alternatives like the SR80e might be better.

The build quality of the Grado SR60e is fairly basic, with a focus on functionality rather than aesthetics. However, the simplicity in design is also part of its charm, allowing for its excellent performance at an entry-level price point.

To sum things up, the Grado SR60e offers a solid introduction to the world of audiophile headphones by delivering great sound quality without breaking the bank. Its neutral sound signature, comfortable fit, and open soundstage make it suitable for various music genres and listening preferences. Just keep in mind its limited noise isolation and basic build materials when making your decision.

Also Check: Polk S50 vs S55 vs S60 – The Ultimate Comparison in 2024

Grado SR80e: A Closer Look

After extensively testing the Grado SR60e in the previous section, it’s time to delve into the next contender: the Grado SR80e. As part of Grado’s renowned Prestige Series, these headphones share many similarities with the SR60e. But there are key differences that set the SR80e apart, and in this section, I’ll dive into those qualities that make it stand out.

First and foremost, the most significant distinction between the SR60e and SR80e lies in their sonic performance. While both headphones possess Grado’s signature sound—offering a warm, detailed, and engaging listening experience— the SR80e takes it up a notch. With its enriched bass response, the SR80e delivers a more refined low-end punch, making it particularly suitable for those who crave that extra depth in their music. It also exhibits better instrument separation and more precise imaging, enabling the listener to easily discern each instrument’s position within the soundstage.

These enhancements in sound quality can be largely attributed to a few key upgrades in the SR80e’s design:

  • Upgraded driver: The SR80e employs an improved driver design which contributes to its more polished and extended frequency response.
  • Transformative venting: By adjusting the venting in the SR80e, Grado has managed to extract more nuance and detail from the audio, setting it apart from the SR60e.
  • Enhanced cable: Unlike the SR60e, the SR80e utilizes a 4-conductor cable that reduces signal transmission loss, resulting in clearer audio and an overall better listening experience.

While the SR80e’s advanced features lead to superior audio performance, they also bump up the price slightly. That being said, I still consider them a fantastic value for the money, as the improvements in sound are well worth the modest difference in price.

When it comes to comfort and design, both the SR60e and SR80e share the same lightweight, open-back build. The retro-inspired aesthetic might not appeal to everyone, but it stays true to Grado’s longstanding commitment to audio fidelity over flashy designs. As with the SR60e, I didn’t have any significant discomfort issues wearing the SR80e for extended periods. However, if you’re particularly sensitive to pressure or prefer more cushioning, aftermarket ear pads like the Grado G cush or L cush pads might prove beneficial.

In summary, the Grado SR80e shines as a fantastic upgrade from the SR60e, offering improvements in bass response, detail retrieval, and overall audio clarity. While slightly more expensive, the better sound quality is well worth the investment for any audiophile seeking a superb listening experience.

Comparing Sound Quality

When discussing the Grado SR60e and SR80e, sound quality plays a significant role in determining which headphones might be a better fit for you. In this section, I’ll provide an insightful comparison between these two models, focusing on key factors such as soundstage, bass, and treble performance.

Soundstage: The soundstage is crucial when evaluating headphones, as it refers to the perceived spatial positioning of audio elements. Both the SR60e and SR80e exhibit impressive soundstages for open-back headphones. However, the SR80e is known to have a slightly wider and more immersive soundstage, which can enhance the listening experience for different music genres or gaming.

Bass: Analyzing the bass response is essential when comparing the sound quality of headphones. I’ve found that the SR60e displays a punchy and controlled bass response sufficient for most users, without overpowering the other audio elements. On the other hand, the SR80e offers a more pronounced bass presence that remains tight, giving the low-end a bit more depth and impact.

Treble: When listening to the treble performance, I noticed that both models produce crisp and detailed highs. The SR60e delivers a natural and less aggressive treble, benefiting listeners who enjoy a balanced and smooth sound. Comparatively, the SR80e has a slightly brighter treble, providing better clarity and detail in the upper frequencies, particularly for listeners who appreciate more emphasis on the highs.

Below is a markdown table summarizing the sound quality comparison between the Grado SR60e and SR80e:

FactorGrado SR60eGrado SR80e
SoundstageWide and immersive, but slightly narrower than SR80eWider and more immersive than SR60e
BassPunchy and controlledMore pronounced, tight, and deep
TrebleNatural and less aggressiveBrighter with better clarity and detail

Some other considerations when comparing these two models:

  • Comfort: Both the SR60e and SR80e use Grado’s on-ear design, but some users might find the foam pads on the SR80e to be more comfortable than the ones on the SR60e.
  • Build Quality: While both models exhibit solid construction, the SR80e features thicker cables that can provide better durability and longevity.
  • Price: The Grado SR80e typically comes at a slightly higher price point than the SR60e, so budget-conscious buyers should take this into account.

In summary, the Grado SR60e and SR80e each offer distinct sound quality attributes to cater to different preferences. The SR60e is well-suited for those who prefer a balanced and smooth listening experience, while the SR80e may appeal to users who enjoy a more immersive soundstage, pronounced bass, and brighter treble.

Design and Build Differences

When comparing the Grado SR60e and the Grado SR80e, it’s essential to dive into their design and build differences. Right off the bat, I noticed that both headphones share a strong resemblance, but there are subtle differences that set them apart.

The SR60e features a lightweight design with a soft foam on the earcups, making it comfortable for extended listening sessions. In contrast, the SR80e comes with slightly more premium materials and construction. These headphones have larger ear cushions made from a high-quality foam that enhances comfort and sound quality.

Another key difference I spotted was in the headband. The SR60e has a thinner headband while the SR80e sports a more robust, padded headband for increased comfort and durability.

Comfort and Fit

When it comes to comfort and fit, it’s crucial to compare the Grado SR60e and Grado SR80e headphones. Both models are designed for long listening sessions, ensuring user satisfaction. Here, I’ll share my experience with each headphone and how they measure up in terms of comfort and fit.

First and foremost, the Grado SR60e is well-known for its light weight and on-ear design. Weighing only 7.5 ounces, this headphone allows for extended periods of wear without any discomfort. Its foam ear pads are designed to sit comfortably on your ears, though they might initially feel a bit rough. However, I noticed that over time, the foam pads softened up and were more pleasant.

On the other hand, the Grado SR80e shares the same on-ear design as the SR60e, but it’s slightly heavier at 8.2 ounces. The weight difference is barely noticeable, and it doesn’t impact the overall comfort of the headphones. What sets the SR80e apart is the upgraded ear pads. These pads are made with a higher quality foam material, giving them a softer touch and a snugger fit around the ears.

Here’s a quick comparison of the weight and ear pad material for both models:

ModelWeightEar Pad Material
SR60e7.5 ozStandard Foam
SR80e8.2 ozUpgraded Foam

Now, let’s talk about the headband. Both the Grado SR60e and SR80e feature a simple headband design with no padding. Some users might find this uncomfortable for longer listening sessions, but I found that the snug fit and lightweight design compensate for the lack of padding. Additionally, the adjustable headband provides a secure fit, ensuring that the headphones won’t slip or cause discomfort.

To recap, both headphones have their own advantages when it comes to comfort and fit:

  • Grado SR60e: Lighter in weight and comfortable foam ear pads, which get softer over time.
  • Grado SR80e: Upgraded foam ear pads with a softer touch and snugger fit, contributing to increased comfort.

In conclusion, both the Grado SR60e and SR80e provide a comfortable experience, but the upgraded foam ear pads on the SR80e give it a slight edge in terms of overall comfort. Regardless, the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and comfort requirements.

Price and Value for Money

When it comes to the Grado SR60e and SR80e headphones, one of the main factors to consider is their price and the value for money they offer. I’ve had the chance to test both of these models extensively to give you an honest opinion on which set of headphones provides the best bang for your buck.

Let’s talk numbers. The Grado SR60e is priced at around $79, while the SR80e comes in slightly higher at $99. Is it worth spending the extra money on the SR80e, or will the SR60e suffice? Let’s compare their features in more detail:

SR60e$79Ventilated diaphragm, copper voice coil wire, copper connecting cord
SR80e$99Ventilated diaphragm, copper voice coil wire, copper connecting cord, improved bass response

The SR60e and SR80e share many characteristics, such as:

  • Open-back design: This allows for a more spacious soundstage and a natural listening experience.
  • Lightweight design: Both models are comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • On-ear fit: They don’t fully envelop the ear, making them ideal for listeners who prefer less heat accumulation.

However, there are some key differences that are worth evaluating:

  • Sound quality: The SR80e has a more refined and detailed sound, especially in the bass department. If you’re a fan of deep, powerful bass, you might find the extra investment worth it.
  • Build materials: The SR80e features a higher-quality cable than the SR60e, which can translate to improved durability and signal transmission.

In terms of value for money, I believe both models represent a solid investment for entry-level audiophiles, given that they provide an excellent listening experience for their respective price points. The SR60e offers decent audio quality, while the SR80e goes a step further with an enhanced bass response and better build materials.

The bottom line is that it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and budget. If you want to save a bit of cash and don’t mind compromising on some aspects like bass response, then the SR60e is a fantastic choice. However, the SR80e is an excellent option for those who seek the best audio quality and durability in this price range.

Cable and Connectivity

When comparing the Grado SR60e and SR80e headphones, it’s essential to examine their cable and connectivity features. Both headphones share a similar design, but there are some subtle differences worth pointing out.

Firstly, both the SR60e and SR80e come with a standard 3.5mm audio jack. This makes them compatible with most smartphones, tablets, laptops, or any device with a 3.5mm input. It’s a versatile option, ensuring you won’t have trouble connecting to your favorite devices.

As for cable length, the SR60e and SR80e have a 6.5-foot long cable. This gives you ample room to move around while listening, whether you’re at home, the office, or on the go. In addition, both cables are durable and made from high-quality materials, providing a sturdy and reliable connection.

Now let’s discuss some differences between these two headphones:

  • Y-connector: The SR60e features a simple plastic Y-connector, whereas the SR80e has a more robust, metal Y-connector. This slight difference may provide increased durability and cable management for SR80e users.
  • Cable thickness: The SR80e boasts a thicker cable compared to the SR60e. This can be an important factor if you’re looking for long-lasting headphones, since thicker cables generally have increased durability and resistance to wear and tear.

In conclusion, both the Grado SR60e and SR80e offer dependable cable and connectivity options. Here’s a quick summary of their similarities and differences:

Audio jack3.5mm3.5mm
Cable length6.5 feet6.5 feet
Cable thicknessStandardThicker

While both headphones deliver a great user experience, you might prefer the SR80e if you’re looking for extra durability in your cables. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and needs.

Accessories and Packaging

When comparing the accessories and packaging of the Grado SR60e and SR80e, I noticed some similarities and differences between the two models. In this section, I’ll discuss the various aspects that set them apart and what you can expect to find in the box when you purchase one of these headphones.

Contents of the Box:
Both the Grado SR60e and SR80e come with a simple and straightforward packaging. Inside the box, you’ll find the following items:

  1. The headphones (either SR60e or SR80e)
  2. A 6.3mm (1/4-inch) stereo plug adapter
  3. Grado’s warranty card
  4. A product brochure

The SR60e and SR80e don’t include any additional extras, such as a carrying case or extra ear pads. Grado has a minimalistic approach to packaging, focusing more on the quality of the headphones themselves.

The packaging of both models is quite similar, using a black cardboard box displaying the headphone model and Grado logo on the front. A clear plastic display window allows you to see the headphones inside the box, showcasing their design.

Upon opening the box, I found the headphones laying on a cardboard insert, secured with a plastic tie. The 6.3mm adapter and documentation were beneath the insert. The presentation is simple and functional, reflecting Grado’s no-fuss approach.

Ear Pads:
Grado’s SR60e and SR80e both use the same foam ear pads, known as the “S-cush.” These ear pads are replaceable, and Grado offers various cushion options, such as the more comfortable L-cush pads. However, these must be purchased separately, as they’re not included with either the SR60e or SR80e. The ear pads can wear down after extended use, but they’re easily replaceable, ensuring your headphones stay comfortable.

Cable and Connectors:
The cable on both the SR60e and SR80e is quite thick and durable, ensuring a long-lasting connection, avoiding dreaded cable damage. The cable ends in a standard 3.5mm plug, which easily connects to most audio devices, and the 6.3mm adapter included is useful for use with pro audio equipment.

In summary, the accessories and packaging of the Grado SR60e and SR80e are similar, with both models focusing on the essential components and minimal extras. The headphones come with a standard 6.3mm adapter and use the same foam ear pads. Although a bit minimalistic, it emphasizes Grado’s focus on high-quality audio performance over flashy packaging and additional accessories.

Who Should Choose the SR60e?

If you’re in the market for an affordable pair of headphones that still offer a great listening experience, the Grado SR60e might be the perfect choice for you. These headphones are designed to cater to a wide range of listeners, from casual music enthusiasts to audiophiles on a budget. I’ve personally experienced the benefits of using the SR60e and would like to share some reasons why you might want to consider them.

Firstly, the SR60e is a particularly solid option if you’re looking for a relatively low-cost, yet high-quality pair of headphones. Retailing at around $79, they won’t break the bank compared to many other high-end options out there. This makes them accessible to a wider audience and more suitable for those who may be hesitant to invest in more expensive headphones.

Secondly, the Grado SR60e delivers excellent sound quality for the price. I found that the headphones offer a well-balanced sound profile with crisp, clear highs, and detailed mids. While the bass may not be as deep or powerful as the SR80e, it’s still remarkably satisfying for those interested in rock, pop, or other genres that don’t rely heavily on low frequencies.

Some key features of the Grado SR60e include:

  • Open-back design for a more natural soundstage
  • Lightweight construction for comfort during long listening sessions
  • Durable materials for longevity

These features contribute to the overall appeal of the SR60e and make them an attractive option for the following types of listeners:

  • Beginner audiophiles: If you’re just starting to explore the world of high-quality audio, the SR60e is a fantastic entry point. Their open-back design introduces you to the wider soundstage often preferred by audiophiles, without a high price tag.
  • Budget-conscious listeners: If you want a good pair of headphones but can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars, the SR60e provides quality sound at a more accessible price.
  • Home listeners: Due to their open-back design, these headphones are best suited for home use, where outside noise won’t be an issue. This makes them ideal for those who prefer to listen to their favorite tracks in the comfort of their own home.

To sum up, the Grado SR60e might be the right choice for you if you’re a budget-conscious listener or someone venturing into the world of high-quality audio for the first time. Although the SR80e does offer some advantages, such as a more extended bass response, the SR60e still holds its own when it comes to sound quality, comfort, and overall value for the price.

Who Should Opt for the SR80e?

If you’re trying to decide between the Grado SR60e and the SR80e, it’s important to consider who might benefit most from the SR80e. Based on my experience with both headphones, I’d recommend the SR80e for those who are looking for a more refined audio experience and are willing to invest a bit more for better sound quality.

One of the key differences between these two models is the SR80e’s enhanced bass response. If you enjoy listening to music with a full, rich bass, the SR80e might be your better option. The boosted low end gives the SR80e a warmer and fuller sound overall, providing a more immersive experience for music enthusiasts.

Additionally, the SR80e offers an improved soundstage compared to its younger sibling. This means that you’ll perceive the audio to have a greater sense of spatial depth, allowing you to pinpoint individual instruments more clearly. It’s an excellent choice for those who value the ability to accurately recreate a live music experience or truly immerse themselves in their favorite recordings.

Here are some key reasons why someone might choose the SR80e:

  • Greater bass response
  • Improved soundstage
  • Enhanced overall sound quality

While the SR80e is an excellent step up from the SR60e, it’s worth noting that it’s still part of Grado’s Prestige Series – meaning that it remains an entry-level option for those exploring the world of audiophile headphones. If you’re an individual who’s just starting to experiment with high-quality audio equipment, the SR80e is a fantastic choice that offers excellent value for money.

In conclusion, the SR80e is well-suited to those who appreciate a fuller, more immersive sound and are willing to pay a bit more for that upgrade in audio quality. Whether you’re a newfound music lover or a seasoned audiophile looking for an affordable entry-level option, the Grado SR80e offers an excellent balance of price and performance.

Final Verdict: SR60e vs SR80e

When choosing between Grado SR60e and SR80e headphones, it’s essential to consider the specific aspect you’re most concerned with in a pair of headphones. I’ve had the chance to experience both models and collected my thoughts on their performance, build quality, comfort, and overall value.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your individual preferences and budget. Both models offer impressive sound quality and build, but the SR80e has a slight edge in overall performance. And while it’s true that you can’t go wrong with either model, I’d recommend the SR80e as the better investment if you’re passionate about your music and seek a truly immersive experience.

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