Grado SR80i

Tested at £110

Best home on-ears up to £150, Awards 2013. Not for public use, but for pure sound quality at this price, a superb buy


Awesome headphone, my wife ownes the B&W p5, no competition for the Grado. sr 80i is so much better then the overhyped B&W.

Absolutely brilliant headphones. the rods holding the speaker bits on need a bit of superglue, and I admit thay can feel a bit delicate,  and i might need to replace the pads at some point, and personally I would like a bit more bass, but THESE HEADPHONES SOUND AMAZING!!! If you need any convincing listen to some apple headphones  and then listen to these, and the difference  is amazing. These are about the same price as Beats solo heaphones, but about  a million times better. Don't let your kid get them! Buy these instead!!!!!!!!

Bought these about 2 years ago, I have them hooked up to my PC where they connect to Logitech Z10s.

I read many reviews before purchase and also followed advice to change the ear pads to Sennheiser (HD 414 - yellow pads).

The SR80s are excellent. The fit is super - No pressure on ears and can be worn for a long time, you forget they are on. The sound is open and warm. The balance is near perfect. Not for someone who likes a thumping base but more for broad tonal range with extreme clarity.

They aren't yearly award winners for nothing. Highly recommended



Just be careful of the wires that are connected to the 2 drivers. As you can see on the picture its connected on a rod, and the driver can rotate on the rod, and if the user wouldnt pay attention, it can twist so much as to produce a tiny dent on the wire.


And yeah, replace the S-cush with L-cush for a better SQ.

Iam loving it, great can!

nice full open and detailed sound.

I prefered it above the 60i, B&W can and Sennheisers.595/598

Hello Steve

i must say that i agree with you 100% and really should have taken the time to audition a pair before buying.The sound reproduction is as you say great but it is the foam that irritates, the wife puts it down to Hypoallergenic s but i say i am probably just a grumpy old curmudgeon.Love the magazine cheers guys

I bought a pair of these after reading the glowing review and whilst the audio quality is indeed good they have to be the most uncomfortable headphones ever made,the foam material makes you sweat but the real bummer is that it is like having sandpaper over the ears.Given the price of these things the build quality apart from the speaker parts is really quite pathetic.Just an opinion gained from using them but i would not recommend them to any one.


I have had the SR80's for a few years now and have found the sound to be rather good.  Comfort was an issue to begin with, but years of being clamped around various members of the family heads has gradually softened the headband to the point where they are fine providing you're not wearing them for hours at a time.  In this respect they are not unlike any other pair of headphones I have ever owned.  Build quality is a little disappointing though with various parts of the headband and metal rod attachments needing a spot of superglue.

In the interests of balance (and the wish to continue selling vast numbers of Grado headphones) I thought I ought to respond to the comments made by 'micky51'. So firstly, I have listened to a pair of SR80i headphones non-stop for just over 3 hours this morning and have found them to be perfectly comfortable to wear. Yes my ears did get a bit hot, but that's the same with every pair of headphones I have ever worn (except in-ear models) and I have been a regular headphone listener for nearly 40 years. I have certainly not found the foam ear pads to be hard on my ears. The main criticism (if it is one) is that the Grado, in common with other open-back designs, leak sound to the outside.

With regard to Grado's 'build quality', this is very easy to defend. They have sold millions of pairs worldwide and both reliability and longevity are excellent. It is important not to confuse the quality of parts and construction with 'finish'. It would be very easy to add gloss finishes or clad the headphones in thin brushed aluminium, but this would merely add weight and cost to the headphones.

To say the SR80i headphones aren't pretty is a matter of opinion, but I think most would say it's a fair cop. However, whereas 'micky51' is perfectly entitled to his opinion, I believe it is both unfair, and goes against the evidence, to deduce they are not well made, with all that implies.

In conclusion, I'm sure there is something on which 'micky51' and I would both agree. Which is, where posible, it is always best to get a comparative demonstration of your chosen product before handing over your hard earned cash.

Best regards,

Steve Reichert

PR Manager, Armour Home (Grado)

Bye the way, in fairness to micky51, I do agree that after a while these headphones are irritable on the ear. That said the sound is exellent.

I bought the Grado SR80's in New York in May 08'. Just wondering why there only available here now?

Brilliant pair of headphones, especially with the i-pod classic.

Have to agree with Steve. Let's not confuse build quality with ergonomics here. I have owned a pair of SR60s now for around 13 years. They still perform as well as the day they were bought, the pads have not decayed and the cables have not frayed or broken. I have owned many other headphones during this time which have come and gone and never generally last longer than a couple of years. The Grados by comparison seem indestructable.

I also find that I can wear these for longer periods than most. Unfortunately you can't have it all, as being open back and over the ear, they do leak a lot of sound. I would have loved to be able to use them for work but they would have just been too disruptive to others in the office. To this end I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro, which again, are great headphones, but to me they get too hot too quickly being closed back and my SR60s still beat them on sound quality.

Long may they live.

I have both the B&W P5s and the Grado SR80s ( 8 years old) and can honestly say that musically, the Grados absolutely outclass the P5s. Can partly understand ref comfort factor, and the Grados do get a bit fidgety but I cant believe the difference in sound considering they are half the price . On their own I think the P5s actually sound pretty lush and wouldn't discourage anyone from buying them ( esp. for iPod Mobile use) but when listening to the Grados straight after the P5s, there really is no contest in my opinion. At first I thought the P5s were simply well overpriced but having listened to other brands, I know this is not the case and they are fine headphones and totally agree with 4*rating here - simply that Grados seem to be amazing value for the sound they produce.

In the November issue of What Hi Fi magazine these were given a five star review, which is absolutely right. However, the text describes them as having a 'leather' headband. Er, that is complete twadle! I'm not sure what passes for leather these days under EU regulations but leather it ain't. I wouldn't even call it 'pleather' not only because I loathe that word but also because it is more like a hard vinyl than pleather, which tends to have a soft cheap feel rather than a hard cheap feel.

Let's have a bit more honesty and a lot more accuracy on the product descriptions please! Great sounding headphones with cheap plastic headband. FACT.  

My first pair of Grados was the SR 125s, which I loved for a few years before passing them on to somebody new. By then, I'd acquired a pair of SR 60s because I'd gone on a business trip, packed an inferior pair of earbuds and couldn't live the few days without. I found myself using the 60s more, simply because I was on the go and the cord was shorter. Their sound is warmer but far less detailed than the 125s, but both excellent headphones.

I've since sold both (close to full retail after many years of use, they really hold their value), and earlier today went to my local hifi dealer to audition the SR60i and SR80i. WOW. The 60i to me sound pretty much the same as the previous model, though this may be due to the demo pair not having been burned-in or broken-in, whatever the correct terminology is there.

The 80i sounded fantastic. They're totally worth the extra $20 in my opinion, because they've got a little better bass, but the detail and instrumental separation are closer to the 125i than the 60i. I popped in Tori Amos' "Cornflake Girl" (from the first CD i saw on their shelves that I've heard on just about every system I've listened to in the past 15 years) and the vocals, piano and percussion were sublime for cans of this price.

For those of you who have complaints about the comfort, I understand. I'd recommend spending a few bucks and upgrading the pads to the L cushions (the original SR80 and SR125 had them, now they're only on the SR225 and 325 in the prestige series). For the headband, try, as they make some reeeally nice looking lambskin bands to replace the vinyl one.

Yeah, I just about doubled the price of the headphones, but knowing that had I kept either of my original pairs they'd have lasted another 10 years, I would have surely upgraded either set, and will at some point with these.


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