Grado SR80i Review

Updated May 31, 2014
Grado SR80i
Bottom Line

The Grado SR80i headphones might not win any styling awards, but they score points in reviews where it counts -- sound quality, including detail and natural sound across all frequencies.


Excellent overall. The Grado SR80i's overall sound is described as lively and open, though some reviewers say the high ranges don't quite match up to the quality of the midranges. The bass response of the SR80i is excellent, reviewers write. Also be aware that these are open-style headphones, meaning sound leaks in and out.

ProsExcellent music quality, Very good value, Light, comfortableConsBulky, Old-fashioned styling, Ear pads may be uncomfortable after extended use


Bulky but light. We spotted relatively few complaints regarding comfort. Some don't like the retro styling of the Grado SR80i headphones, and others warn you might need to bend the headband to get a comfortable fit.


Nearly unbeatable. The Grado SR80i headphones are an update to Grado's SR80, a longtime favorite with audiophiles for excellent quality at a low price. The SR80i features interior improvements, such as a new driver, better cable and tweaked mass distribution, but appears almost identical to its predecessor.

Our Sources

1. What Hi-Fi?

Grado SR80i, Editors of What Hi-Fi?, Not Dated

British audiophile magazine What Hi-Fi? takes a brief look at the Grado SR80i headphones, giving them a maximum 5-star rating. They call the Grado SR80i's musical performance "sharply timed, awesomely detailed, musical, natural," but note that it leaks sound like mad and looks retro.


Headphones, Editors of, Not Dated tests and ranks a variety of stereo and noise-canceling headphones, including the Grado SR80i. Ratings evaluate sound quality, sensitivity and, in the case of noise-canceling models, isolation. However, discussion is brief and you need a subscription to read the site's conclusions.


Grado SR80i Dynamic Headphones Reviewed, Editors of, May 11, 2009 the Grado SR80i headphones 4.5 out of 5 stars in performance, value and overall categories. They have "extremely good dynamic range and presence," he writes, concluding "the SR80i delivers outstanding sound quality, not just for the price, but outstanding sound quality, period." He notes that the foam ear pads may be uncomfortable to some listeners.


Grado Prestige Series SR80i Stereo Headphone, Contributors to, As of May 2014

Grado's SR80i headphones get more than 650 customer reviews at, and an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5. More than 80 percent award these Grado headphones either 4- or 5-star ratings. Sound quality is praised across the board, though a few find quibbles with the SR80i's comfort and style.