Home Open Back Headphone Reviews Grado SR60e Review – Better Options In 2023?

Grado SR60e Review – Better Options In 2023?

The 60e was an immensely popular headphone a few years back, but has time passed it by?

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Grado SR60e Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Build
  4. Comfort
  5. Sound
  6. Pros
  7. Cons
  8. Video Comparison
  9. Amp/DAC requirements
  10. Who do these headphones benefit?
  11. Consensus/Conclusion
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Grado SR60e



  • Type: Open back.
  • Fit: Supra-Aural (On-Ear).
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 99.8 dB
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz.
  • Material: Plastic, foam.
  • Color: Black


Grado SR60e vs. 80e

As far as build quality is concerned, I’m a little bit disappointed in how cheap it feels, but they more than make up for it in sound.

Also, remember that this is a cheaper headphone and in fact their entry-level e-line model.

That said, I think the build could’ve been better.

These feel even cheaper than an AKG K240 studio, and that’s pretty bad.

The cable thankfully is much more manageable than some of their other top-of-the-line models, as it’s smaller, more compact, and not so darn thick!

It still splits off into a Y and is not detachable.


Comfort is pretty good, as these sport Grado’s S cushions.

They will start to make themselves known after about an hour, and slight adjustments become necessary.

Still, this is a pretty comfy headphone overall, and I didn’t have to take them off.

I could probably wear them for a few hours without an issue.


For starters, the bass hits harder than you would expect. This isn’t an HD558 type of bass.

It digs fairly deep for an open back, and never lacks articulation or clarity.

There’s a nice sense of rumble going on, with phenomenal impact.

I also noticed a lush overall atmosphere with these.

There’s plenty of air, and voices sound clear, distinct, and present.

Instrument separation is also excellent; On Foster the People’s “Sit Next To Me”, I heard little voices in the background (Children playing) that I had previously not heard with any of my other headphones.

Another big thing I noticed was that vocals become easier to understand.

No, you still won’t be able to discern every single one (unless the singer is very good at not mumbling), but there are certain passages that you’ll pick up.

I was able to hear more of what Chelsea Cutler was saying in her song “Glad I found You.”

On Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” I could hear him at the beginning making some weird sound before he began singing.

The Best Headphones for Classical

Brooklyn’s Finest?

This seems to be a running theme with the SR60e.

You start to notice all the little artifacts that the song possesses.

You begin to understand that there’s much more going on behind the scenes than you thought. It’s very subtle but adds to the experience immensely.

On Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” the guitars came across as extremely clear and articulate, which is undoubtedly due to the mid-range.

It’s wonderfully clear and present, but sometimes can be overdone due to that largely unnecessary 2k spike.

I kept the volume around 2 notches below maximum, and I felt that was a comfortable listening area.

You’re still getting the full breadth of the sound, but without the harshness that comes along with maxing these out.

On the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden,” I was able to hear the guitars before they started to play.

It’s hard to explain, but you know that small window of time when the artist is just about to strum or pluck the first chord/note?

That’s what I mean. The preparation is heard with the 60e.

I thought it was pretty cool, as I’ve heard the song a thousand times. I just had a huge grin on my face because of how slick Mick Jagger sounded.


  • Extremely articulate sound.
  • Fast and present bass with plenty of impact.
  • Good instrument separation.
  • Artifacts heard. The small stuff.


  • The build feels very cheap.
  • The 2kHz peak is ridiculous and takes away from the rest of the great sound signature.

Video Comparison

Here I did an in-depth A/B comparison of the Grado 60e vs. 80e. You’ll get a good sense of how both of these headphones sound in relation to one another as well as their overall build and comfort levels. Are they exactly the same? Click to learn more!!

Amp/DAC requirements

The 60e is a headphone that will sound great out of almost anything.

At 32 Ohm and 99.8dB Sensitivity, it’s pretty efficient and won’t resist the power fed to it should you use an amp.

Be careful though; you won’t have to turn the volume up much past 8-9 o’clock.

If you were to get an Amp/DAC for this, I’d go with something like an Audioquest DragonFly Red or a FiiO E10K.

The DragonFly is great for mobile and your laptop, while the E10K is a great budget desktop option.

Who do these headphones benefit?

I liked them with:

  • Hip-Hop
  • Indie
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Jazz
  • Classical

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

This is what I wrote down while I was listening.

  • Comfort is pretty good, but you will be making slight adjustments from time to time.
  • Nice rumble on bass, phenomenal impact.
  • Lush atmosphere.
  • Air. Voices sound clear and distinct.
  • Nice instrument separation.
  • Foster the People – Sit Next to Me (Voices in the background, children playing).
  • The separation of voices is good. This was another gem, as you could hear those layered voices that get stacked on top of each other with other headphones. With the 60e, they’re separated so that you get the full effect.
  • Live fast and die together. Lyrics heard on “Glad I found you” – Chelsea Cutler.
  • Purple Haze. Could hear Jimi at the beginning making a weird sound.
  • Artifacts.
  • Over the Hills guitars are very clear and articulate.
  • Beast of Burden can hear guitars before they begin to play.


The Best Headphones for MetalThe Grado SR60e is a decent entry into the e-line, with good clarity and instrument separation.

The bass digs deep while still not getting in the way, and voices not only become distinct, but you can hear more of them due to the proper placement of sounds from left to right.

Everything is given ample space to breathe, with an air of refreshment that sounds good at this price point.

But, the build is iffy, and that 2kHz peak really bothers me after a short time of listening.

Final Word

The 60e used to be part of my Budget Kings Series, but I think the 2kHz peak is too much

Aside from a couple of isolated use cases (Classical and perhaps some Rock/Metal), I would largely avoid these nowadays.

For the price, they aren’t terrible, but the build is suspect and the mid-range tends to get on my nerves more often than not.

It’s one of those things that you won’t be able to ignore after a while.

If you’re looking for the best headphones under $100, head on over to the Budget Kings series and have a gander at my top 6 options.

Learn More:


Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Grado SR60e Review.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Would YOU purchase a 60e? Do you have prior experience with these headphones? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!


Grado SR60e









  • Great Soundstage
  • Open Airy Sound
  • Intricate Details


  • Cable Too Big for Headphones
  • Mid-range around 2k too forward
  • Build is a tad flimsy

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