The Grado SR60i is another old school classic favourite that’s remained unchanged over the years with the exception of upgraded dynamic drivers and cable wiring.
While the cable wiring or drivers have not been specified, we can see that the driver now needs more power, due to the number of conductors.
The impedance stands and 32 ohms, quite standard for most headphones developed in the past few years, showing that Grado labs have also kept up with technology and improved on it.
The sensitivity stands at 98dB/mW, making it consume slightly more power if you want to push up the volume, however, you won’t need to, because the sound quality is par excellence.
The cable is made of copper, 99.99% oxygen free for great signal transmission, and as a result is much thicker, and the length of said cable is quite long. The plastic low mass polymer, serves to lower their amplitude by broadening resonant modes.
This helps to allow a lower frequency resonance that prevents breakup at lower frequencies such as bass, and enhances overall performance by ensuring that the sound frequency transmission is constant and not irregular.
The look of the Grado SR60i, can best be described as utilitarian. To call it minimalistic would not be accurate, since it does’nt look very sleek or shiny. The entire model does not have any bells or whistles, and barely has any padding except for the soft foam on the earcups, a bit of vinyl padding for the headband, and an open back, on-ear design.
Despite that, due to the simple design and unpretentious approach to comfort, it sits very comfortably on any heads, with not too much tension on your temples or ears. However, due to the type of material used on the earcup padding, they wear out over time and need to be replaced. The outer shell also has holes due to the design concept.
Another point to note is that due to this design, sound tends to bleed out and noise isolation isn’t the Grado SR60i’s strong point. The Y- shaped cable configuration also means that it may not be very handy, and this is a minor inconvenience, as newer models of headphones mostly only have the cable at one side.
The cable, being as thick as it is, is also un-detachable, and at the length it is which although isn’t specified by Grado Labs, is definitely longer than needed for outdoor use makes it quite inconvenient to keep and stash at times. A silver lining though, is that such length and thickness lets you use it with freedom of movement if connected to a home stereo at home, and tangles occur less frequently due to the sheer thickness of the cable.
The best and brightest part of the Grado SR60i’s however, is its excellent sound quality. It must be applauded that this model has been around for so long, and at its price range you’d get way more bang for your buck then you would normally get if you bought a pair of headphones for serious audio enjoyment.
The bass of the Grado SR60i’s are extremely responsive and detailed at 20Hz-20Khz. While not as meaty or punchy as modern headphones, they definitely match up in clarity. The difference in the Grado SR60i’s is that in a sample track, you can hear the bass from the different sources, and distinguish them with ease. It is this detail and clarity that makes them stand apart.
It is also the vast vibrance that their drivers give; each detail seems to pop out at you, even the smallest cymbal shear and even minor background ambient music can be heard. All the words and enunciations of singers can be heard and each singer’s individual voice can be heard for itself in accapella tracks can be distinguished, with ease.
It is this great combination of clarity of bass, which is rare these days, and the very warm mids and clear highs that give the Grado Prestige Series SR-60i Padded Headphones such a loyal fan following over the years since its first manufacturing run.
However, some work could be done on the cable to make it more portable, and the look of this model still hasn’t changed in ages, making it not something you’d want to carry out and always be seen in, unless you really don’t care about the look.
Also, the sound bleeding out and almost non-existent noise isolation mean that it’s not very feasible for outdoor usage or travel. Almost any kind of audio will bleed out and may cause a minor annoyance to people adjacent to you and any environmental noises nearby will disrupt your listening experience too.