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, which is not ideal for commuting.
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.
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.
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 are decent sounding pair of open-back on-ear headphones. They have a good bass, a nearly flawless mid-range, but a mediocre treble. Additionally, their bass lacks extension and rumble, and their treble is too piercing and sibilant. They also have noticeable distortion in the treble range which makes their sound harsh. On the positive side, they perform relatively consistently across multiple individuals and have a relatively open soundstage, both due to their open design
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.
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