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Photo by: Robert Williams

...these are truly wonderful hearphones, they've got the bass energy... ripping into heavy tracks with a gusto that eludes lesser rivals. With vocals they intoxicate with a natural feel and beautifully proportioned soundstage: few headphones can transport you as convincingly... The Grado SR80's are special. Buy'em, and Love'em.

- What Hi-Fi

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A whole new headphone world.
By Tim Bowen

Grado SR80 Headphones $95. For vivid detail and expansive presence. Against Don't feel as good as they sound. Verdict. There may be more comfortable 'phones around, but no others around the $100 provide such an enthralling private musical universe.

These are exceptional headphones, separated from many of their peers by sheer expression. While other 'phones can sound a tad flat and timid compared with loud speakers, the Grados' vivid delivery punches home every note with dynamic enthusiasm.

Creating a stereo image of excellent depth and clarity, they ensure every detail is heard, every strand separated. Bass hits hard and fast, with an impact that's rare in headphones even at this price, the mid and is open and impressively lucid, and all that's topped by a sweet and focused table.

And while they know how to kick, they manage to maintain an image that's perfectly proportioned and beautifully balanced. This Mortal Coil's Mr. Somewhere sounds clean and spacious, each delicate detail set in sharp relief. Rich, resonant cello is balanced to the right, plucked semi-acoustic guitar to the left, while keyboard chords roll around you and the bewitching voice of Caroline Crawley whispers inside your head. The intimacy intoxicates.

The only criticisms we can make are that the SR80's don't look or feel as good as they sound. They perch a tad precariously on your ears and comfort is not their strongest asset.

But John Grado says he strove for the best sounding 'phones possible for the money, and when you hear them it's hard to argue.

Though only second from the bottom in Grado's five-strong range of hand-built Prestige headphones, the SR80s are capable of transporting you to beautiful new musical worlds.

Headphone fans will love them, anti-phoners should swallow their pride and plug up a pair for audition.



Vented diaphragm

Non Resonant air chamber

Standard copper voice coil wire

Standard copper connecting cord

mini plug with 1/4" adaptor

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Tranducer type
Operating principle
open air
Frequency Response
Normal Impedance
Driver matched db

What does the i stand for in the new SR80i from Grado? Improved, that's what! Built on the same features as theSR60i, but SR80i utilizes a 4 conductor connecting cable and the diaphragms are put through a special 'de-stressing' process in order to enhance inner detail, the result of which gives a more open stage. The new SR80i has an upgraded driver design, and they have enlarged and improved the mass distribution in the plastic housing. The way the SR80i's new driver and plastic housing move air and react to sound vibrations are now less affected by transient distortions. The SR80 provides an improved bass resonance, which enhances the overall detail. With the SR80i you will notice improved control of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum with both better supporting Grado's world renowned midrange. The SR80i will produce a sound that is pure Grado, warm harmonic color, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics and an ultra smooth top end. Listen and Enjoy!

"If you are looking for a headphone to use as a reference, you may want to go up the line. To me, the SR80 is the price-performance winner."
— Pro Audio Review / Vol. 2, No. 5 / Tom Jung, DMP recordings
"It figures that these Brooklyn-made phones would kick some serious butt. These babies have a pretty big sound; a powerful, tight bottom end, very articulate midrange, and a good top end. They have an airy, open quality-less in your head then most phones near their price."
— Audio Video / Vol. 1, No. 4 / Steve Guttenberg
"In the recording studio or for the serious hobbyist, I can't think of a more versatile or dimensionally satisfying personal speaker system."
— Fi magazine / Vol. 2, No. 4 / Anthony Chiarella
"Winner of Audio Video's GRAND PRIX AWARD"
— Audio Video
"First Headphone ever awarded a GOLDEN NOTE AWARD"
— Presented by the Academy for the Advancement of High End Audio
"Creating a stereo image of excellent depth and clarity, they ensure every detail is heard, every strand separated."
"Slip on a pair of SR80s and listen to an LP, CD or MP3 title stored on an iPod and you will hear an expansive, vibrant sound and every bit of musical detail."
— / Jules Lund