I hate it when people talk about “headphones for audiophiles”. Usually, I just picture a very exclusive group of people who listen to music on expensive headphones, and I’m off to the side somewhere with my multitude of crappy equipment. But if you’re looking to get into that exclusive group and don’t have the money for expensive headphones, you’re in luck. The Grado SR60e offers even sound, fantastic resonance, and possibly just the slightest tinge of bass. All for $79. Spend a little extra on a decent Digital to Analog Converter, and BAM, you’re in Audiophile Town.
Why the SR60e?
The SR60e is just a great price point for beginners. And it allows those beginners to dedicate a little more money to good music recordings, or to their player setup. Is a DAC necessary to enjoy these babies? Hell no. In fact, they sound just fine with an iPhone. But if you wanted the full gamut of sound, it wouldn’t hurt to check out a converter and see if they shine for you.
Really, though, it’s not necessarily the SR60e that I want you to be impressed with so much as the quality of Grado in general, which is American-made in Brooklyn, of all places. In a townhouse. By members of the Grado family. Are their headphones expensive? Sure, but that’s what you should expect when it’s an American-made product. Do they feel high-quality? Oh yes, but that’s what you should expect when it’s a family-owned business.
You won’t find a remote or mic on the cord, and they don’t come with a spiffy case you can wag in your friends’ faces. They don’t even have a closed-back design, so commuting with them may be a no-go. But whatever these headphones lack in consumer-ish features, they make up for in quality and performance. Indeed, the sound wafting out of these headphones is enough reason alone to pick up a pair, but in a day and age where shitty headphones abound, you want to make sure they won’t break the minute you get home.
A thick, no-nonsense cord engenders confidence, and the metal-and-plastic cup design is more functional than stylish, yet it’s easy on the eyes. Quality is a tactile feature with these headphones. The headband itself may be a tad too tight – something Grado will willingly admit to. Their advice? Hold the band apart for a while, until it stretches out.
Taking all of this into consideration, just how balls-to-the-wall awesome are these headphones?
There are higher price-points you could venture to, with specifications to match the hikes. But for beginners on a budget, the Grado SR60e headphones are the ideal starting point.