- Amazing sound for the price
- Gorgeous balance between high, mid and low range
- Measured improvement over the last model (Grado SR 60i)
- Cool retro look
- Will leak what you’re listening to into the open air and let in sound from the environment
- Economy build and packaging
- If you like to pump up your bass, these are not the unit for you
- Retro look will not be pleasing to everyone
What are the Grado SR60e Headphones?
Grado Prestige Series SR 60e headphones are the famous Grado-brand headphone made affordable. With their classic, retro look and open-backed design, they may seem as unassuming as their packaging. However, these Grado SR60e headphones deliver more sound per dollar than any you’ve ever heard before.
Grado SR60e Design and Construction
The design of these Grado Prestige Series headphones is both retro and simple. Among other design elements, they feature a so-called open-back ear, which can be quite expensive ordinarily. This means, simply put, that a grill covers the back of the drivers, allowing you to see their insides and even watch them work. Fascinating!
The same reviewer that described watching the driver work through the grid—Trusted Reviews—did say that the on-ear headphones were constructed very simply of thin metal and faux leather. When prioritizing value for this particular set of headphones, Grado went for sound quality and did they ever—more on that later.
We would like to express our pleasure with the fact the classic-style headphones looked like they belong in a recording studio from the 1970’s. He also admitted that for some people the classic look might be a turn-off. There is no accounting for taste, after all.
We would also like to state that while the headphones seemed sturdy enough, they were never truly designed for portable listening, so care should be taken in transporting them. Evidently, they don’t give the impression of being invincible, but then, what does in this world?
How Do the Grado SR60e’s Compare To the SR60i’s?
A reviewer points out that the casing for the 60e driver is half again as big as the casing for the 60i, measuring an inch-and-a-half instead of a mere inch. Though this does not seem to add significant weight to the headphones, it does seem to have a positive effect on the sound.
You gain significant volume for your wattage, meaning that low-output devices like tablets and smartphones love these retro-on-the-outside puppies. They feature a brand-new driver design that the cable connects to directly, and are made of a polymer specially-advertised to dampen distortion. The cable is a full 80 inches, so you don’t feel tied to whatever your source is.
Even the sound is better than it used to be, so fans of the SR 60i should love the SR 60e.
The Grado SR 60e: Comfort
Grado themselves include a warning that their new-and-improved headphones may feel tight to some and encourage users to very cautiously tug on each side until they reach the desired level of looseness. The trusted reviewer said that he did not have to do this as his phones fit as they came. He also praised their high capacity for adjustability and said that this helped tremendously with the fit as well.
Another reliable reviewer said that apart from slight scratchiness in the SR60e’s ear pads, they were completely comfortable to wear. They cited the chunkiness of the cord as slightly inconvenient and pointed out that the phones were intended for use at home, not in public. We found this statement to be true in our tests as well.
Does Their Open Back Translate Into Sound Leakage?
Unfortunately, yes. We at Earbuds Addict observed that these open-backed headphones are, in fact, open to the world, as is any sound you run through them and any ambient noise that might come running back through them to you. Trusted Reviews considers this one of their greatest downsides, as you can’t use them out in the open without becoming a public nuisance or damaging your ears trying to drown out the world.
So, the open back on the Grado SR60e may be fascinating to watch for you. But not so much for the people around you. In fact, they may be annoyed by the sound leakage more than fascinated by the driver ticking away inside your cans.
The Grado SR60e: Sound
Now comes the most important section yet—how do they hold up sound-wise? And the answer is—astonishingly well for $79.00. Reference Home Theater says that these provide high-quality sound in the double-digit price range, and are one of the very few audio products that do so.
A trusted reviewer gave a very detailed analysis of the sound of the headphones, broken down into different pitch ranges. He also said that he used both mobile devices and a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 audio interface to test the headphones.
Of the lows, he was pleasantly surprised to hear that while the bass was audible, it was not overwhelming. Many headphones have a tendency to pump up the bass too far, and here the balance was delightful. He pointed out that the Grado PS SR60e were designed specifically for that balance, and succeeded beautifully.
Of the mids, he said that Grado has a right to speak of having a midrange known around the world. All Grados have beautiful midranges, and these are no exception. Here too is where the open-backed design came into play, making the reverberation sound super-realistic and open.
Of the highs, he said that they were bright and crisp and beautifully detailed, while never once becoming harsh.
He also praised the overall balance, what he called the soundstage, of the headphones. These retro-looking, entry-level headphones give more expensive and modern-looking headphones a clear run for their money when it comes to sound.
We would agrees with the caveat that overcharging the volume may lead to harshness. A highly trusted reviewer also agrees, without caveat. All seemed to think that the headphones’ sound is good for casual listeners and aspiring audiophiles alike.
Should You Buy the Grado SR60e Headphones?
If you would like to know what high-quality headphones sound like without anteing up your life savings, the Grado Prestige Series SR 60e’s are a great choice for you. They may have simple construction and packaging, but the sound they produce is complex and detailed and of a very high-quality. People looking to find their inner audiophiles should give these headphones a try, as they may just discover that they have higher standards for audio output than they realized.
Buy these headphones and treat yourself to your favorite song with more definition and detail than ever before. Just don’t do the latter part in a public library.
They come with a few inconveniences here and there, but the Grado SR 60e headphones more than make up for their imperfections with the famous Grado sound balance. Unless you are married to your bass overwhelming everything else, you’ll find these headphones to be a treat and one that’s easy on your wallet to boot.