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First Look: Grado SR80e: Great-sounding headphones for under $100
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First Look: Grado SR80e: Great-sounding headphones for under $100

2:26 /

Grado's comfortable open-back, on-ear model delivers high-quality sound for an affordable price of $99.

This is the SR80E [UNKNOWN] next gen version of its SR80 Prestige series on ear open back headphone. It replaces the SR80I, and at $99, it's easily among the best sounding headphones you can get for under $100. Hi, I'm David Carnoy and welcome to another CNET headphone video review. As you can see, Grado has not changed the exterior design of the headphone. And like its SR80 predecessors, for an on-ear style headphone, it's quite comfortable and relatively lightweight. In fact, we found this model's black foam pads more comfortable. Then the $295 SR-325E's bold pads that apply more pressure to the outer edges of your ears. My only complaint about the design of this headphone is the plug. It's very sturdy, but with more people using their Smartphones as music playback devices. Grada would have ideally made it more case friendly. And instead you may have to take off your case to plug this headphone into your smartphone's headphone jack. Grada then totally changed the sound for the new E series but the SR80E is a definite upgrade from the previous I series sound. This model is more laid back and the base is fuller and deeper, that adds up to a smoother tonal balance before, so when we compare the S-R eighty E with the older but more expensive S-R two twenty five I headphones the S-R eighty E's sweeter sound had plenty of detail, along with the deeper and more powerful base. We also noted that we could listen to this head phone at very quiet volume levels without losing much detail. Audiotechnica's ATHS50X makes more base but thanks to the SR80E's open back design it's stereo imagining was more spacious and natural sounding than that Audiotechnica model which has a closed back design. The biggest downside to open back designs is they don't black external noise. So the S- R- A- D- E won't be ideal for travels or anyone listening in noisy environments. We've long been fans of Grado headphones and are really impressed by the quality of the sound you get from this new $99 model. If you don't need the isolation of a closed-back design or a built-in microphone for cell phone calls, it's a great headphone for the money. I'm David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.

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