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magma90210
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If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s essentially the only game in town?

i've been doing some research and these seem to come up again and again...i def. don't want to spend very much on them, they are $70 and that's about my price range...so no other really good contenders huh? anyone here have the SR-60s, good stuff?

smejias
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es


Quote:
anyone here have the SR-60s, good stuff?

Our summer intern, Ariel Bitran, has enjoyed his SR60s.

bifcake
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

I like the SR60. It's a really good headphone. You may also want to check out Senn HD497, it's also a good contender for the price.

TACSTS
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

Are you looking for headphones only or are you considering earbud style as well? I got a set of Ultimate Ears earbuds for Christmas and I really like them, and they aren't too $$$.

BillB
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

when I was looking for headphones, good but cheap, I concluded that the SR-60's were the winner, so I bought them. Have been happy with them for a long time (7-8-9 years i think). This year I bought the iGrados for use with iPod, I think it's the same driver, and like those too, they go better with the ipod. Haven't heard them much since tho; my sons use them every day, and like them much better than the stock earbuds.

lionelag
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es


Quote:
i've been doing some research and these seem to come up again and again...i def. don't want to spend very much on them, they are $70 and that's about my price range...so no other really good contenders huh? anyone here have the SR-60s, good stuff?

The Grados are quite nice (One of the two pairs of "audiophile" headphones I have is the Grado SR125), but they're not the only game in town in that price range.

Take a look at headphone.com. While they're a headphone amp manufacturer, they have probably the best collection of data about headphones-- specs, reviews, etc. For personal reviews, check out head-fi.org.

One of the things you haven't told us is whether you're planning to use these headphones with an iPod (or other MP3 player), or a discman, or to plug into your stereo at night so that you don't wake people up. One of the big issues with the Grados, which may be good or bad, is that they're not very good at blocking outside noise. If, like me, you put them on to listen to music at night, but need to be distracted if the baby wakes up crying, that's good. If you're going to wear them on the subway, that's not so good.

I know very little about the in-ear earbuds, other than the reviews I've read in Stereophile and online. But as far as headphones go:

AKG-- makes extremely pleasant sounding headphones. Often very hard to drive with an iPod-- check the impedance specs before buying. For about the same price as the Grados, you could get the K81s, which are pretty nice headphones, not as detailed as the Grados, but with stronger bass and with sealed earpieces (so reasonably noise-blocking)

Sennheiser: Sennheiser is known for making extremely detailed-sounding headphones. Some people think they sound bland as a result. Often *extremely* hard to drive with an iPod. I'm listening (at work) to a pair of PKC-250s-- noise-cancelling 'phones-- as I type this. I picked them up reconditioned for about $80 from amazon.com, and they're quite nice, though I don't think I would have bought them for the full list of $140. (And they're a bear to drive, even with a dedicated headphone amp-- my Headroom Total Bithead is cranked to about 75% volume on the high-gain setting, with the computer's soundcard at max. I don't listen to music especially loudly, either.) The Sennheisers that are actually $70ish at list price are pretty decent phones, but not as revealing or pleasant as the Grado SR-60.

Sony: I had a pair of MDR-V6s for a while, which started as monitor headphones for my four-track and ended up with my portable CD player for a couple of years. They were very balanced sounding, not euphonic at all, and perfectly decent headphones. (The succeeding version, the 7506, has a following among sound engineers, including, IIRC, John Atkinson) I think you can get these for about $80 a pair these days. A reasonable alternative, if not the most flashy.

A lot of people swear by Beyerdynamic and Goldring, but I have no personal experience with either.

Hope this helps,

Lionel

Jeff Wong
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

Another consideration might be the Sennheiser 201. It can usually be had anywhere from $19.99 to $24.99 and is a no brainer when it come to price/performance ratio. Plugged into a good source, you might easily think they cost upwards of $100.00--I was impressed enough after briefly hearing them on the top of the line HeadRoom amp fed by a Wadia front end that I now own two pair (I plan on modifying one pair by recabling it; it is probably worth using some damping material like a Sorbothane patch inside the hard plastic housing, but, I digress). With long term listening you may discover that stock, these cans can be a little strident up top and don't offer the last word in the bottom end. But, I don't find them any more offensive than Grado headphones, perhaps, even less so. I own the limited edition Grado HF-1, which is sort of a wood version of their 225 and I can't bear to listen to them for any great length of time.

I'm looking forward to modding my 2nd pair of 201s and comparing them to the stock pair. I love the idea of taking a 20 dollar pair of cans and tricking them out for fun. I have some Cardas wire I might use, but, I think the sheathing might be PVC, which doesn't thrill me.

I own a very old pair of Sony MDR-V6s. The foam is crumbling and the inner foam lining has long since been replaced. They seem a bit bright and fatiguing to me, and don't offer the kind of spatial presentation you will get from a Sennheiser 650 or AKG K701 (and you probably shouldn't expect this kind of performance from them, but, it's worth noting in relative terms). I rarely use the MDR-V6s for listening pleasure.

rvance
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

I gave my two sons Grado 60's for Christamas 10 years ago. They still rave about them. I recently bought the iGrado, which have the 60's drivers for my iPod. What an improvement over the cheezy buds.

magma90210
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

thanks guys...yeah i should have said -- this is primarily for listening to my stereo at home after my wife has gone to bed, so the open design and leaking of sound isn't really an issue.

thanks for all the advice, i did end up going with the grados, since for all the stuff i read here and elsewhere there's remarkably little negative feedback about those headphone.

listened a bit last night, and they sort of blew me away -- keep in mind i've only really listened to music on cheap headphones....am definitely going to look into the Grados for my iPod as well, which I am currently using the stock earbuds, but these are way too bulky and the cord is too long for iPod use....

however, they did make my ipod sound at least tolerable which is more than i can say about it usually.

Elk
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

Excellent.

Have fun!

Ariel Bitran
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

Hey Magma,

Thats awesome! After some time, the earpads will go from being slightly itchy to incredibly soft. Uniformly flat fitting to molded perfectly for your golden deserving ears. My SR60s and I have developed an intimate relationship. You'll hopefully connect with these cans, cradle them, and sing them to sleep.

Have fun.

(I'm actually listening to them right now.)

bobb
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

My only addition to the responses you have already received is to make sure you buy the SR-60s with a return policy. I sold my SR-60s because after about 30 minutes I was ripping them off my ears. I did not find them comfortable. You may or may not have the same experience. Headphone comfort, which I think is every bit as important as sound quality, is very personal. That is why I recommend a "Plan B" with headphone purchases.

Bob

bifcake
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

If I'm not mistaken, Sr-60's can be outfitted with flat pads, rather than bowls that they come with. The pads are much more comfortable.

Ariel Bitran
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Re: If I want good headphones for cheap, are the Grado SR-60s es

mine came with the flat pads. They definitely take a couple weeks of break in, but they then get really comfortable. Especially those pads, they start to gently mold to your ear.

JoeE SP9
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Grado pads

I replaced the foam pads on my SR60i's with some yellow Sennheiser pads. The replacement Sennheiser HD414 pads are much more comfortable. I got them from Amazon for $12. They are an exact fit on the Grado's.

My only regret with my SR60i's is that I didn't spring the extra $20 for the SR80i's. 

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