The Grado SR80e are mediocre headphones for casual use but deliver an above-average and open sound for critical listening. Unfortunately, they leak a lot and would be distracting to people around you even at lower volumes. They also don't block noise from entering your audio.
- Lightweight, comfortable on-ear design.
- Above-average, open sound reproduction.
- Very high leakage.
- No isolation from ambient noise.
- No audio controls.
The SR80e like the SR60e have a nice retro appeal that will work for some. They're lightweight and relatively comfortable for on-ear headphones. Sadly, they are not stable and will fall off your head quite easily. They also feel cheaply built and don't have any audio controls, which is slightly disappointing.
The Grado SR80e don't change much visually from the SR60e. They have the same distinct retro aesthetic. With an all-black color scheme, that's subtle and understated. Their style may not be for everyone, but they do stand out from other on-ear headphones. Unfortunately, the plastic used for the ear cups looks a little cheap.
The SR80e deliver a decent comfort level. They are lightweight and do not feel too tight on your head for an on-ear design. Unfortunately, the cushion-like cover on the ear pads does not feel good on the skin and is very susceptible to wear and tear.
These headphones are not designed for sports use. They have a long, thick and non-detachable cable that easily gets tangled or hooked on something, which yanks the headphones off your head. They also have large ear cups and don't apply much pressure to the ears for the sake of comfort which makes these headphones sway during any physical activity. They will quickly fall off your head while running and barely stay in place during casual listening sessions.
The Grado SR80e share the same design as the SR60e. They are moderately portable and have a thin headband that's not too bulky. The ear cups lay flat to take up less space, and they will easily fit in a backpack. Sadly, they don't fold up into a more compact format, and the thick cable is a bit bothersome.
These headphones like the SR60e are poorly built. They are lightweight and sufficiently dense to handle a few drops without damage but unfortunately the cheap, and plastic joints do not feel durable. They look poorly glued together, and the cushion-like material used for the padding is very susceptible to wear and tear. On the upside, they have few moving parts that are likely to become loose over time and the thick audio cable looks tough.
The Grado SR80e have an above-average and open audio reproduction. Instruments and vocals sound good and are at the forefront of the mix on most tracks. Sadly, the high frequencies are a little too sharp for some, and the bass is a little lacking for fans of bass-heavy music. On the upside, they have minimal harmonic distortion and the open-back design gives them a decent soundstage.
Average performance. Low-bass is not extended very well, which is due to the on-ear, open-back design of these headphones. The rest of the bass response is quite flat, which results in an even bass that lacks thump and low-end rumble.
Very good performance. The response is flat up to 1.75KHz, however the 5dB bump at 2KHz could make the sound a little harsh by adding to the intensity and projection of leads/vocals.
Average performance. There entire treble range is rather overemphasized, which combined with the light bass, makes these headphones noticeably bright. They may also sound sibilant and piercing, due to the 5dB bump surrounding 8KHz.
Decent soundstage. Because of the relatively small ear cups and the on-ear design, the sound may be perceived to be coming from the inside of your head rather than the front. However, these are one the most open sounding headphones we have measured which improves the soundstage.
Average distortion results. The amount of harmonic distortion at 90dB SPL is quite low in the mid-range. However, the performance in bass and treble ranges are below average. At 100dB SPL, there is a general rise in harmonic distortion reaching 8% of the input at 4KHz, which is poor.
These headphones are not designed to isolate listeners. The open-back ear cups encourage leakage to improve the overall sound quality. Unfortunately, this means that they will be distracting to people around you at moderate volumes, even on a bus. Their lack of passive or active isolation means, they don't block much noise and makes them unideal for commuting or traveling.
Poor isolation. Due to the open back of these headphones, the isolation is poor by design. They barely isolate any external sound, failing to achieve more than 4dB of isolation in the treble range.
Poor leakage. Being open headphones, these headphones leak a lot of sound. The majority of leakage is happening between 200Hz and 20KHz which is a very broad range. The leakage on these headphones sounds loud, full and intelligible.
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Grado SR80e Headphones
- 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
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