Grado SR60i - Retro styling

December 31, 2013

With the abundance of Beats, Monster and Bose headsets in the markets these days, it is no surprise that there are some solid cans that maintain a relatively low profile. The Grado SR60i is one of these. While it has won several awards within the audiophile community, somehow, shops are still plentiful with the mainstream brands. As 2013 comes to an end, let's look at the evergreen SR60i. 

I won't go into a comparison of the SR60i vs the SR60, though there some reviews detailing the aesthetic differences. The SR60i in itself is a retro looking device. It won't look out of place from a 1970s setting. The headphones sport a diameter housing of 65mm. They are fitted with foam pads, not unlike (but slightly higher grade than) those generic pads you find with your airplane headsets. The sufficiently thick cord has a length that extends to around 6 feet (1.8m or so), ideal for home setups. The feel of the headset is rather flimsy and plasticky though admittedly this is one of their entry grade units.

Unlike the mainstream brands which present a very elaborate packaging, Grado's box is very simple and reminiscent of the times prior to when Apple made all manufacturers take a closer look at packagings. There's just a simple cardboard box with the cans, a certificate of authenticity and that's basically it. Plain. Simple. Basically, nothing pretentious.

In terms of add ons, you can opt to replace the thrown-in cushions with a bowl pad for your ears.  The existing pads, when used, are placed flat against the ears and can get a little hot and uncomfortable with extended usage. While I have not tested the bowl pads, this would potentially be a great option to provide extended usage with greater ear comfort.

The performance is exactly why people buy this unit for. Listening to Armin Van Buuren's Save My Night pounding on my eardrums is an incredibly satisfying experience. The audio is well balanced. The bass is not over the top but delivers on the rhythmic thumping. At the same time, there is sufficient clarity in the detail to come through the beats.

Grado Labs clearly has a winner in its SR60i model. However, this has been said and done. What you need to do now is to get a pair yourself. Buy one or borrow one. Unless you have a top of the range set of headphones, this model will certainly allow you to re-experience your music collection. 

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