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Photo by: Robert Williams

The SR60 has gained "LEGENDARY" status.

The SR60 has received rave reviews from around the world and is the most commonly recommended headphone on the market today. The SR60 was awarded

in two categories,
"The Accessory of the Year"
and the prestigious
"Budget Component of Year"

Winner of the Best HiFi Headphone Award Grados SR60 No stranger to our Awards pages, these open-backed Grados have given you all the sound quality of a serious speaker set-up at pocket-money prices. Snap up a pair now, if you haven't done so already.

Grado seemed like headphones from a bygone age, but they sure as heck dont sound like it. Our 2007 award winners are classy affairs, able to deliver the full frequency spectrum with devistating ease. Base weight is great and for imaging quality, detail, delicacy and shear enjoyable musicality, the Grados are sensational.

More Reviews


Cult of
Grado's SR60i Sound Incredible, Aren't Great For Walking Around With
By Eli Milchman

As unusual as it is to find an electronic gadget manufactured in the U.S. these days, it's even more unusual for that gadget to hail from New York City — but that's exactly where Grado's SR60i is made. Appropriate, because just like the city, these cans have an unpolished-but-genuine persona that's a little off-putting at first, but incredibly charming once you get past the gritty exterior.

Grado practically defines the term "bang for buck" with the frill-free, pure-sounding SR60i

Cult of Mac rated 4.5 STARS

Cult of Mac Black Turtleneck rating system:
5: Insanely Great!
4: Steve Approves
3: Needs Work
2: Sugared Water
1: Dogsh*t frosting

Form Factor:

I recall tweeting about how carrying these cans around felt like having a dead squid in my bag because of the long cable and funky gasoline-like smell emanating from the unit's plastic bits when it was new (the smell has long since disappeared). The cable is ridiculously long and beefy; so much so it seriously hampers any attempt to become mobile while wearing the cans. I've tried stuffing the excess cable in my pocket, wrapping it around my neck and using it as a sort of belt, but nothing really seems to feel comfortable when moving about.

They're also not much to look at. In fact, they sorta look like a prop, liberated from the set of a 60's-era Doctor Who episode, that one of the prop monkeys had scraped together from some speaker cable, plastic model kits and a TV antenna. In other words, don't buy these to attract members of the opposite sex.

There's also no bag included, and the only concession to portability is that the cans themselves fold flat.

Finally, because they're open-backed, ambient noise tends to intrude annoyingly (and will likewise annoy any neighbors) if they're used anywhere even moderately noisy, like a coffee shop.

Simple solutions are often the best: Length adjustment is achieved through a sliding bar and a friction fit; headband is comfy, despite a lack of padding.


For such a no-frills set, they're surprisingly comfortable. The headband carries zero padding, the cans are surrounded by nothing but cheap foam and the fit system is very low-tech — one adjustment that can be made is to bend the metal strip in the headband to loosen or tighten it — but I found I could wear them for hours with no discomfort or feeling of pressure.

And because they're so stripped-down, they're also among the lightest set I've ever tried, which adds to their ability to be worn for longer periods.


Pop'em on your head and hit play though, and every possible drawback of the SR60i melts away in a wave of melodic happiness.

Sound is perfectly tuned — the smooth, creamy mids that Grado is known for are there, but they've tuned the SR60i to push the bass a little deeper than the older SR60 (without the "i"), and the effect is an extremely pleasing sound that works well with almost any kind of music — bass is never imposing, but never lacking either. And while highs could be a little clearer, they're still chirpy without sounding harsh.

What really impresses though, is how crisp and clean everything sounds, even with the sound cranked up; details like the use oxygen-free copper for the wiring — which ensures the sound remains free from oxidation, which can harm the sound's integrity — most likely take credit here.

It's no stretch to say these cans are at least a match, sound-wise, for sets costing double or even triple. And if I don't turn any heads because I'm walking around with a cable wrapped around my neck, that's ok — I'll be so lost in my music, I won't even care.



Vented diaphragm

Non Resonant air chamber

Standard copper voice coil wire

Standard copper connecting cord

mini plug with 1/4" adaptor

Buy Grado Direct from
Tranducer type
Operating principle
open air
Frequency Response
Normal Impedance
Driver matched db

What does the i stand for in the new SR60i from Grado? Improved, that's what! Yes, Grado has taken one of the world's most legendary headphones and taken it a few steps further. The new SR60i has an upgraded driver design, and they have enlarged and improved the mass distribution in the plastic housing. The way the SR60i's new driver and plastic housing move air and react to sound vibrations are now less affected by transient distortions. With the SR60i you will notice improved control of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum with both better supporting Grado's world renowned midrange. And The SR60i 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!

"These 'phones are so good for their price that I wouldn't be surprised if Grado has trouble keeping dealers stocked."
— Stereophile / Barry Willis Vol.17, No.5
"The greatest bargain in all of portable audio-dom are the Grado SR60 headphones. They manifest a terrifically involving, rich sound which can civilize even a cheap portable CD player."
— FI magazine / Andrew Keen Vol.1, No.7
"The SR60 is an exceptional value with no peers in its price range."
— Radio World / Bruce Bartlett Vol.20, No.9
"The SR60 headphones sound impressively warm, lively and detailed. For the money, there is nothing quite like them."
— Time magazine / Fred Kaplan Vol.149, Vol.19
"Superb musical performance; free from the in-head lateralisation that plagues headphones."
— HI-FI Chioce
"The Budget Grados stand comparison with Audiophile headphones costing many times their prices. Way Recommended!!!"
— Corey Greenberg - STEREOPHILE Vol.17, No.6
"I love my iPod but hate its wimpy, tinny earbuds. So I replaced them with a pair of Grado SR60s. They look like AV lab equipment circa 1981 yet cater to audio snobs, packing high-end quality into lightweight plastic ant foam. These can give vibrant fidelity, even at low volume. "
— Stuart Luman, WIRED Magazine
"Headphones are a very personal choice, but the SR60s have amassed a cult following among iPod users for exceptional audio quality and comfortable design. The SR60s feature a vented diaphragm design with a non-resonant air chamber resulting in a deeper and cleaner bass than other phones."
— Marc Saltzman, Feature Magazine
"The SR60 has won numerous product of the year honors from a variety of respected audiophile magazines and reviewers continually vote the SR60 at the top of what is a very lively pack of products. There has to be a reason for all this acclaim, and in the case of the SR60s, it's the sound, pure and simple."
— Leo Laporte, 2005 Gadget Guide
"They're made in Brooklyn, and they look as if they stepped out of a '60s music studio, with their black plastic backs and retro styling. But make no mistake; these are modern phones with the best sound of the phones we tested. Audio is lifelike and balanced, with a nice open quality to the highs and good bass. Great for iPods! For their price, they're an absolute steal."
— Mark McClusky, Mobile PC
"Recently I purchased an MP3 player and after seeing reviews on your SR60s, I had to try a pair. Yikes!! I thought hi-fidelity was dead as a result of digital. But not so! Your excellent phones have re-kindled my love of music. Thank you! The only downside is I had to order pair of 325is!"
— Chris Neuman
"BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! The SR60 offers near-studio-grade sound for a fraction of competitor's prices. In our test, these headphones unearthed previously unheard layers of sound, thanks to the low distortion and high accuracy typically available only in pricey phones you see cupping the ears of audio engineers."
— CARGO magazine
"...the Grado SR60s may just be the greatest audiophile value in the world"
— Ed Kobesky / Positive Feedback
"Frequently described as the gateway to audiophile sound, the Grado SR60 headphones hold the title of best full-size open headphones for less than $100 - many models that cost twice as much don't sound as good. The retro-looking SR60 headphones have punchy but natural sound and will floor most first-time listeners."
— Macworld
"You'll be hard pressed to find a better pair of headphones for the money than the Grado SR60. The upper mids/highs reveal excellent detail, and the bass is solid too. I bought a pair about 8 years ago and I swear the price was the same as it is today. Good price, simple looks, practical and sophisticated where it counts: in the sound."
— Chris Jones / The Perfect Vision magazine
"Grado practically defines the term bang for buck with the frill-free, pure-sounding SR60i"
— Cult of Mac / Eli Milchman
" my opinion, the SR60i is better than the original, and remains one of audio's great bargains."
— Stereophile / Jim Austin
"The SR60i is thrillingly impartial. Low frequencies punch heftily, yet stop punctually, while voices in the midrange are as loaded with character and expression as you're likely to hear. Treble, likewise, is deft and rapid"
— What HiFi / England
"The most varied group to be voted on, there was very little spread in the balloting with one exception: Grado's remarkable SR60 headphones. Both Corey Grrenberg and Sam Tellig raved about the SR60s in print. Pretty much every other writer who tried them voted for them."
— Stereophile / John Atkinson Vol.17, No.12