Earphones that sound like Grado headphones?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by alexando, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. alexando

    alexando Casual Listener

    Nov 17, 2008
    I'm looking for some advice about what pair of headphones I shall choose. I just found this forum and guess that I can probably get some of the best advice here.

    I have tried out the Grado SR80, and was stunned by the sound quality they produce. The only problem is that I use my headphones a lot when I am on the move, and that the Grado headphone is not really suited for use on public transport!

    Is there any way that I can get the same sound quality from an in ear headphone or what would you advise me to choose?

  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Good quality in-ear earphones

    Yes, the SR80's are excellent home listening headphones, but the open back design does leak the sound.

    In-ear headphones do have a different character to the sound than full size on-ear headphones, but can sound equally as good. I'm not sure what budget you have allocated, but below are some ideas:

    Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio - Single driver earphone. Good fit system with over ear loops. Good sound quality. Maybe a little lacking in bass response.
    Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro - Dual driver earphone. Good fit system with over ear loops. Good sound quality with improved bass response over Super.fi 3.
    Sleek Audio SA6 - Single wideband driver earphone. Very small design makes it comfortable in the ear. Excellent midrange response. Excellent sound stage, i.e. ability to hear instruments around you outside your head.
    Klipsch Image X10 - Single wideband driver earphone (same driver as SA6, but very different character to sound). Very small design makes it comfortable in the ear. Excellent bass response. Excellent sound stage (similar to SA6).
    Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro - Triple driver earphone. Good fit system with over ear loops. Excellent bass, mid and high treble response. Very well balanced sound.
  3. Musicman

    Musicman Well Balanced

    Nov 25, 2008

    I haven't heard the Grado's you mention, but I can testify to the quality of the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 PRO.

    I've had them for about 3 months and personally speaking I've not heard better either from either in-ear or over the ear phones. They are a bit pricey, but if you really want to hear the music I believe they are worth every penny. They are comfortable to wear, particularly with foam tips. I also bought a Graham Slee portable headphone amplifier too to play my iPod classic through and with the Ultimate in-ear phones the sound is sublime!

    If your music collection is compressed into mp3 files however I'm not sure these two pieces of kit are worth the extra cash. I use 160gb iPod classic and all music on it uncompressed wav files.
    Hope this is helpful.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  4. henders

    henders Dynamic Driver

    Sep 5, 2008
    UE Triple.fi 10 Pro

    I've been considering the UE Triple.fi 10 Pro's for some time as an earphone for my daily commute.

    The only thing that holds me back is the over ear wire loop thing. It looks pretty fiddly to fit.

    I believe your comments about sound. It's interesting the comment about Comply foam eartips as I've read that UE earphones don't fit everyone's ears perfectly.
  5. Musicman

    Musicman Well Balanced

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hi Alexando

    The cable used with the Ultimate’s is very malleable and they literally hook around your ears also making them very discrete. The only bit that may take a little bit of getting used to initially is the actual inserting into the ears, but soon becomes second nature.
    I personally find the foam ear tips ideal as they mold to the shape of your ear, but the phones come with a selection of different rubber tips to try which one best suits your ears.
    Unlike the cheap ear phones that come with iPods, the Ultimate do not leak sound (which is good for fellow commuters) but this also means they are not suitable for wondering about on busy roads or if you need to be alert to tanoy messages etc. It goes without saying that you should never use while driving, cycling etc. Hope this is helpful.
  6. Daveevo

    Daveevo Casual Listener

    Feb 6, 2009
    Ely, Cambs
    I sold my Grado SR60s - I hated them. Ever since I've tried to find 'phones that don't sound like them...!

    Having bought a set from HiFi Headphones last year I can vouch for the recommendation for Sleek SA6. Light, great sounding and some attempt at 3D sound stage. Only issue was a broken cable, replaced by Shaun & co quickly under warranty. Price can gone up considerably in recent weeks due to exchange rates though, so not the good value they once were. And they need to get an iPhone compatible cable on the market soon otherwise I'm going back to my SE530s + MPA!

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