Is there a step-up from the Sennheiser HD555 to Grado SR80s?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Springer, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Springer

    Springer Casual Listener

    Jun 21, 2010
    I currently use Sennheiser HD555 headphones, which I like a lot, but I was considering buying headphones that are a small step up sound-quality-wise from them. In the price range I was looking at, the Grado SR80s have excellent reviews. But I worry that the improvement will be too small to justify the cost of a new pair. So my question is: how noticeable, if at all, is the jump in the sound quality from the HD555 headphones to the SR80s or other headphones in the same price range?
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi Springer,

    These are two reasonably different sounding headphones. The Sennheiser HD555's are relaxed with a strong and chunky sound whereas the Grado SR80i's are a little cooler sounding - If you are looking to dig up a bit more detail this is definitely a good way to go. The SR80i's have a lush sound in comparison and a more "real" sense of space, this probably comes from a their more balanced response, a lighter more refined touch in the bass and mids and more "prettiness" and presence in the highs.

    I think this would be a great upgrade if the above is what you are looking for. Although this decision would see you travelling sideways I really think if you A/B the two you would definitely want to leave with the Grado.
  3. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Sennheiser HD555 v Grado SR80i

    Yep, as Robin says these two models have quite different sound signatures, but it's more of a sideways step than a significant upgrade (the RRP of the SR80i is £120 and the HD555 is £119). The SR80i has a really fun presentation of sound with lots of gorgeous detail, whereas the HD555 is more laid back and smooth.

    One other point worth mentioning is that the Grado SR80i sits on-ear, rather than over ear. If you are listening for very long periods then the HD555 will be more comfortable.

    I'm personally a big fan of the way Grados sound. You normally get a big smile out of people when you put a pair of Grados on their head for the first time.

Share This Page