One of the things that, it seems to me, separates headphone enthusiasts from traditional audiophiles is an interest in good inexpensive stuff, or devices with unusual utility. Think Koss Porta Pros or the Riva Turbo X. The Porta Pro has been delivering excellent sound quality for its very low $49 price for decades and for decades headphone enthusiasts have been praising their worth. And when the Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker showed up at CanJam a year or so ago, headphone hobbyists embraced it immediately as a great sounding portable speaker. These are cool little gadgets, and it seems to me headphone enthusiasts are more than willing to have a good hard look at them....no matter the cost.
My first post was an exercise in getting all the bits-and-pieces together to create content. In many ways this is my first real post here ... and I want to keep a promise. For years I've said I would measure the effects of the various headphone pads on Grado headphones; well, I am very glad to say finally: here it is.
Some modified Grado cans have shown up in the lab. I don't know what my problem was getting to them in a timely manner, maybe it's my dislike in general for Grado cans, maybe it was the trouble I was having getting my corporate shipping set up, but I've finally managed to get around to listening and writing this post.
Here's a question for a Stereophile.com poll: What's the best hi-fi value of the last 15 years? I'd bet that, 16 years after its introduction, Grado Laboratories' SR60 headphones would get more than a few votes.
Tap your cheek bones, and you'll hear it plain as day. The sound's not coming through your ear canals ... it's just rattling the bones in your ear, and you can hear it. But is this a good way to get your tunes?
For many years I have used three sets of headphones, all from Grado Laboratories: the Reference RS-1 ($695), the SR-125 ($125), and the SR-60 ($60). I've always favored Grado headphones because the minimal-resonance design philosophy that I feel is responsible for the uncolored midrange of their moving-iron cartridges extends throughout their headphone range as well. Recently, however, I've achieved a new perspective regarding the SR-125 'phones that I felt would be of interest to Stereophile readers.
Long before I became professionally involved with headphones, the Koss Porta Pro was a great little portable headphone. In fact, it was one of the first headphones designed particularly for portable applications. It has remained relatively unchanged to this day ...