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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2014
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert audiophile but i do know when something sounds good. The sound produced from these cans is outstanding for the price range. Every little detail is picked up. A good amount of bass but not overwhelming and highs stand out crystal clear. I'm enjoying my music all over again thanks to these. I've had various BOSE, Sennheiser and monster headphones, ranging from £80 - £360 and can honestly say that the Grado SR80i surpasses them all in regards to sound. The design may not appeal to some but i personally like the retro look, makes me feel like i'm back in the military lol. They are opened back which means that sounds leak like a sieve but as I only use them indoors that is not a problem and being opened back gives a far more realistic sound, like almost being there. The design is very simple and works great for me. They are a bit plasticy and no doubt in clumsy hands could break easily. I find them very comfortable to wear but did need about a week to get used to the feel on the ears but now I can wear them for hours with no fatigue whatsoever. If well looked after then I hope these will last me many many years. Only gripe i have is that they do not come shipped with a hard case, Grado are asking £25 for a case which is a rip off in my opinion.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2013
The SR80i are a very neutral headphone that will allow any system to give its best. The music produced by portable or moderate priced hi-fi systems may be a revelation. Those with expensive and dedicated Hi-Fi may uncover a couple of sonic limitations that may not suit specific tastes, but in most cases the minor sonic foibles will in no way detract from a wonderful musical performance. Ignore the retro looks, and endure the few hours to get them fully comfortable and enjoy the music! A stellar bargain, even at the full price! Highly recommended.

Pros
Build quality: They feel surprisingly light, but are well made. The only minor issue is the length of the cable, which may required the purchase of a good quality extension lead. They are also bulky and are not intended as portable headphones.
Fantastic sound: These headphones eagerly extract the musicality from any thing that they are plugged into. Portable MP3 based systems and moderate Hi-Fi will sound more relaxed and spacious, but with real drive and pace. The top end edginess and bottom end fuzziness of MP3 will be greatly reduced to produce a much more rounded, balanced and realistic sound. Nuances in the music will be uncovered that may have never been heard before. Those with higher end dedicated Hi-Fi systems using CD, vinyl or lossless files will experience a transparent presentation of the musical character of their system. However at this level a few sonic limitations may become evident. In general the imaging is good with good separation of instrumentation, but the overall image is not as expansive as some other and usually more expensive headphones, so if you like classical music then definitely try them first. The low frequency response seems to roll off rapidly, but this is only noticeable on seriously low toned instruments such as double base where one note will sound deep and controlled and the next will be faint and indistinct. The SR80i focus on the big picture and the overall balance and musicality, so they are not as detailed as some, therefore if you are an analytical listener then you may find them wanting.
Price: even at their full price I would consider them a bargain. Every professional review I have read marks them very highly, even when compared to much more expensive brands.

Cons (all minor)
The comfort issue: I do not consider them to be uncomfortable, but they do take a few hours to 'bed in'. This is due to the combination of firm foam on the ear pads and quite a lot of pressure applied by the headband. This makes for a good seal to the ear which improves sound, but it does feel a little uncomfortable for the first four or five hours whilst the foam ear pads soften.
Glasses may be a problem: The fit of the headphones may make them uncomfortable for those who wear glasses (I take mine off, because it's worth it).
Sound leakage: one of the reasons these headphones sound so good is that they are open backed, however this means that they do leak a lot of sound and may not be 'partner friendly'. However unless this is a major issue for you I urge you to try them.
Loudness: impedance matching means that when directly attached to some laptops and MP3 players the maximum loudness will be too low for some.
Retro looks: the looks may not the style conscious.

If you need to purchase a headphone amp for your system then I would suggest not skimping on quality; these headphones deserve more than that.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2012
I have to concur with what other reviewers have said. These headphones sound great but build quality is not as good as some other brands, certainly they are not as well built as my Sennheiser's. The main issue for me is the length of cable which is approximately 1.8m and not long enough to allow me to sit on my usual chair and listen. I was going to order the Grado extension cable but after doing a couple of hours research I ordered a cable of (supposed) equal quality, longer and half the price Fisual S-Flex 3.5mm Jack Headphone Extension Cable - White 2m

I have listened to a selection of CD's from the latest Aleksandra Kurzak opera arias CD - 'Gioia' to Velvet Revolver's 'Contraband' and found these headphones to be very capable of dealing with the complete range from Kurzak's high notes to Slash's rifts. The base is maybe a tiny bit weaker than my Sennheisers but not too much that you would notice if you didn't have other phones to compare with. The phones respond quickly to changes in level and tone and for phones under £200 I would think they would be hard to beat.

I cannot imagine wearing these for longer than a couple of hours as they don't fit as comfortably as would be wished. I am fortunate after reading other reviews that the headband isn't too much of an issue for me.

If you want a great sounding set of headphones under £200 then these will fit the bill nicely.
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on 15 July 2015
Been using them a while. My first "audiophile" headphones. I don't really claim to have an "audiophiles ear", but I do feel there is good imaging with the music I listen to, though of course HiFi components are all links on a chain, so you need a decent recording to appreciate the instrument spacing and imaging with out being crushed and bottle-necked.

I took a star off, because every now and then, hairs will penetrate the ears and it creates an awful crackling sound with some frequencies. You then have to use tweezers, or whatever to pick out all the hairs.
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on 15 February 2014
I bought these headphones based on the strength of numerous recommendations here and from other positive reviews. I have not been disappointed, they produce a great sound balanced and accurate listening experience. I have not extensively tested others but they certainly sound as good as if not better than others in this price range.
Negatives: it does come in rather cheap looking packaging, and seems a no frills type of product. Obviously the manufacturers think the buyer will gets this for the sound and not care about the extras, and they will be right for the most part. The plastics are a bit cheap looking, and only time will tell how robust they are. So far they've been fine and unless abused should stand up well to the rigours of daily use. They have a retro look which I like. It is true there is a price premium in the uk which makes them less of a bargain, but in conclusion I think these are the best sounding headphones I have used that cost less than £100
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on 17 November 2013
I have had these for about 6 months now and I have to say these are an incredible set of phones for home listening and are the best at this price point! The sound signature is extremely detailed, boasting a prominent midrange with a balanced but not overbearing bass. As a result, anything with a complex midrange will sound absolutely breathtaking through these. Play miles Davis kind of blue and you can hear every breath and note in detail, they also shine for rock and metal music as the guitars will be rendered crystal clear and the complex mix separates nicely.

I highly recommend these, they sound ace through portable devices through my Fiio e5 headphone amp but beware of what you play through them - low quality mp3s or poorly mastered CDs reveal all their blemishes. But that's the beauty of these cans, they are honest and show the detail in everything and for most of the music I have played through them that is a good thing.

As for build quality, admittedly some sacrifices have been made to reduce production costs, but if you look after them properly that should not be an issue and you can be assured the money has been spent on developing the SOUND instead.

Also, some say they are not bassy enough and if you are looking for heavy bass presence look elsewhere as any more than the ample bass these cans have would diminish the detail in mid frequencies. Ace headphones and superb value!
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on 6 March 2014
Pros:
The headphones are very good all around. They are lighter than I imagined them to be and exactly a clear and high quality sound I you would expect from Grado. For the price I feel like I got my money's worth. This is very key in a purchase to me. I don't mind sending more but I want more in return and a name is not enough. Although the design might seem a tad simple or boring... I actually like it. They look classic and I do get compliments at work about how they look and again if I let someone try them on.

Cons:
They are almost as loud for others as they are for you. I assumed reviews I had seen about them being unsuitable for public listening were from those guys on the tube that have their ear buds turned up so loud everyone else can hear them... but no... the are loud. My only regret is that I wanted these for listening at my desk and they are just not suitable for that. That is not Grado's fault but mine. Please don't buy these for listening to very loud music at work. Everyone will hate you. Also, there is a Grado case you can buy for around £25... it should come with the headphones.. they need a case,
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on 3 January 2013
These are absolutely incredible.

I've been looking for a good pair of headphones for months now and to start with all I was looking at were beats by dre, bose, sennheisers so basiclly all the mainstream brands. Then i came across a forum talking about grado, who i had never heard of before.
I spent a few hours researching them and decided to invest in them. They arrived a day early thanks to amazon for that.
Im a huge music fan and listen to pretty much every type of music. despite the shabby box they come in these are the best headphones ive ever had or experienced. after an hour of listening i now want to re-listen to my itunes libary of 5000 songs.

very comfortable with a chunky wire leading to your device, so id imagine it wont tangle much. ive been connecting my sr80i's to a macbook pro and an iphone 4s as well as and ipod classic and they all perform amazingly. i doubt they will work on any thing smaller as the headphones draw power from the device to sound the best as possible.

10/10 best money ive spent. will update in a few months.
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on 9 May 2010
Ive had so many headphones along the years but these are one of the few I kept and keep on coming back every time.

Ive lost a considerable amount of money until I found Grados, and these were my first ones. They were love on first sight, after burning in of course.

The sound is so different from any AKG/ Koss/ Senheisser/ Sony/ etc etc etc that I couldnt believe it. Everything is so much clearer and it just sounds like magic. But you will need good quality recordings, good losless files or audio CDs and a good source, like a Cowon player or a decent CD player. Skip one of these and you will lose the magic.

Right now I have some other Grado models and please believe Sr80 is still my favorite. I have modified it for more bass (driver vent mod, google it) and it sounds somewhat deeper now. It still hasnt lost any of its detail, just a little less piercing than what it was.

Yes all the other reviews are correct, build quality is poor, it looks retro, it leaks sound because of its open back design, it doesnt suit some types of music, depending on what you listen to it can be fatiguing. But what a small price to pay for what I consider to be the best sound EVER!

Too many times I have listened to Average Joe telling me his choice is the best ever, because of course it is his first, but now you dont have to. Im no Joe and I beg you get one of these
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on 25 October 2014
WOW, just wow. The sound quality just blew me away. I paired it with iBasso DX50, on low gain, and they play just perfectly. It's my favourite piece of hardware now. I also use AKG 550s, but Grados have a lot more power and the bass is a lot stronger. The sound can be easily heard outside, so they are not the best for listening on the go, unless you don't care. The build is very sturdy and they are surprisingly comfortable.
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