Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones
Updated April 1, 2019 | by Hollagully
Grado is a Brooklyn-based family-owned and operated boutique headphone manufacturer that has earned its rankings among the largest brands on the market, with an enthusiastic fanbase of audiophiles and professionals singing their praises for many years.
Grado SR80e Prestige
- Transducer Type: Dynamic
- Operating Principle: Open Air
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 hz
- SPL 1mW: 99.8 dB
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Driver Matched dB: .1 dB
- Incredible value for the price
- Impressive detail and sound stage
- Low distortion
- Detailed mids
- Replaceable ear cushions included
- Feel a bit fragile
- Low impedance
The company was founded by Joseph Grado in 1953 in Brooklyn, NY, and has ever since established a profound and timeless aesthetic and a renowned reputation for their “magical mids” and distortion-free playback.
Something we love about the Grado SR80e being on our list of best studio headphones is that they are not in fact marketed or branded as studio headphones. Many mix engineers work on a collection of playback devices, some engineers going as far as not doing more than 40% of the work on a given set of speakers. To each their own.
What we love about the Grado SR80e is their fantastic soundstage, an immense level of detail, and embody a kind of hybrid between a flat studio reference monitor headphone and consumer grade headphones. The results translate well across listening devices and they are a fun and interesting tool for playback in the studio.
The Grado SR80e are on-ear, open-back, dynamic headphones that are lightweight and easy to adjust. Large, non-resonant plastic housing offer a clean distortion-free transient response and a very open, spacious sound. The foam speaker pads are large and soft while the vinyl band applies just enough pressure for a firm hold offering hours of comfortable use.
The SR80e offer warm harmonic colour with excellent dynamics and an overall smooth sound. A firm bottom free from hype, a signature midrange perfect for fine-tuning crucial frequencies and a sparkling top end.
As with all open-back headphones, sound does leak out into your environment. Take note of this if you’re recording in the same room as your microphones or if you’re cranking tunes out in public. They feature a 6’ long 4-conductor connecting cable that offer enhanced signal flow and bass control, and of course, plenty of room to move around your workstation. The cable is constructed into the headphones and is not detachable, but extensions come cheap.
Many people claim that the Grado SR80e offer more energy, clarity, and responsiveness that can be missing in far more expensive studio headphones and (depending on which they’re referring to) we tend to agree. They are like a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of product in that they allow the engineer a crystal clear, flat playback while still suiting the consumer market with a hearty, but non-biased bass response. These are an excellent addition to your collection of playback devices at a competitive price that won’t break the bank.
To help you out on your quest for the right set of cans, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that feature similar characteristics to the Grado SR80e.
We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Studio Headphones for Music Production that will teach you about different types of headphones, the applications they serve best, and a long list of great candidates for your home studio.
Sennheiser HD 650, AKG K702, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, AKG Q 701