Grado SR80i - Treble so harsh my ears bleed

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi,

I bought the SR80i's on the back of the what hi-fi award to use in front of my pc as I am spending a lot of time there at the moment (im a techy). I only listen to flac (ie loseless music), and have a Xi-Fi Titanium HD which is supposed to be pretty good as far as PC sound cards go.

I used to have a pair of £50 Beyerdynamic DT235s that I bought many years ago, again off the back of what hi-fi recommendation. As I found them so good, I just assumed these grados would be that much better as they are also award winners, and "the best under" £150.

Unfortunately, I can't stand the things. The bass is punchy, the soundstage is good, seperation is very nice, and I don't care about the sound leakage as I work from home......but my good the treble!! At anything above very low volumes, it's like a harpy is screeching in my ears. I had to stop listening after about 20mins as I was getting a serious headache.

I guess the problem is exacerbated by the fact im using a purely digital music pathway, despite the source being bit for bit perfect compared to the cd (I rip all my music from my own cds).

I don't really know what to do now: as i just rushed into richer sounds, bought them without a listen based on the fact they were award winners, got them home, and ripped the box open, and away I went. I guess im pretty much stuck with them arent I? I doubt they are "faulty", I just don't like how they sound.

Can someone recommend me an alternative that wont cause me to lose my upper range of hearing before im 35? I can spend upto £150, but im not sure I want to after buying these! I dont want to be stuck with 2 pairs of headphones over £100 that I hate. I might just get me another set of £50 Beyerdynamic!

Thanks
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Oh....or tell me if i can stick an amp or something between whatever I plug the SR80s into to warm the sound up a bit and damp the damn treble down!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You need to let them burn in, after couple of hundred hours they will sound much different.

I also found my SR-60i's too trebly when I first got them but now I can't take them off my head. Another improvement can be found by changing the pads, flat pads improve the bass a lot.

I also listen to mine via my Creative X-Fi Titanium, I have changed the op-amps but that doesn't make a huge difference. Try lifting the bass via the EQ for a while and as they burn in I'm sure you will find yourself lowering it gradually.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
1
18,890
Sounds like you'd prefer Sennheisers - although the Grado are far more informative headphones with better detail and tighter bass performance. A faster, livelier sound will, to some people, come across as bright.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Burn in doesnt exist, don't bother with that idea. If you dont like them, take them back and see if you can exchange them for something with a sound signature you do like.

Go somewhere you can test the things out if you can - there's so much bollocks spouted on the net and in magazines, the only way to know is to hear with your ears.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Its entirely brain related. Auditory memory is impossibly fickle and if you trust yours, you need to think again.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Common bloody sense, that's what. Oh yeah, and science stuff that can actually prove things.

Do a Google on audio myths and burn in. It's pretty obvious really - if burn in actually made an audible difference for the better, why wouldnt manufacturers do it before selling you the kit? Reason why they say their headphones or amps or whatever will sound better after 100-200 hours is because by the time you've bought in to that concept and gone through the trouble of spending that long with their product, your ears and brain will have adjusted to the idea of liking it more than when you first bought it. And by then the chance of you asking for a refund will be massively diminished. Its a smokescreen designed to put the onus back on the purchaser.

Here's the simple truth - if you dont like it when you first listen to it, you actually dont like it. Give it a little while to make sure if you like, but dont believe the hype. Its not the machinery changing. its you.

As the Simon & Garfunkel song has it, "All lies and jest / still a man hears what he wants to hear / and disregards the rest"
 
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Anonymous

Guest
bennyboy71 said:
Burn in doesnt exist, don't bother with that idea. If you dont like them, take them back and see if you can exchange them for something with a sound signature you do like.

Can't say that I completely agree with that. Not saying that I've noticed so much on headphones, but burn-in definetly exsists on speakers.
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
453
12
18,895
bennyboy71 said:
Common bloody sense, that's what. Oh yeah, and science stuff that can actually prove things.
based on nothing then.

bennyboy71 said:
Do a Google on audio myths and burn in.
Nice reliable source of information then :)

bennyboy71 said:
It's pretty obvious really - if burn in actually made an audible difference for the better, why wouldnt manufacturers do it before selling you the kit?
err because of how long it takes and a difference for the better is going to be subjective.

bennyboy71 said:
Reason why they say their headphones or amps or whatever will sound better after 100-200 hours is because by the time you've bought in to that concept and gone through the trouble of spending that long with their product, your ears and brain will have adjusted to the idea of liking it more than when you first bought it. And by then the chance of you asking for a refund will be massively diminished. Its a smokescreen designed to put the onus back on the purchaser.
utter rubbish and speculation.

bennyboy71 said:
Here's the simple truth - if you dont like it when you first listen to it, you actually dont like it.
This is the only sensible part of your post which I agree with, providing you listen for long enough.

bennyboy71 said:
Give it a little while to make sure if you like, but dont believe the hype. Its not the machinery changing. its you.
You do need to give yourself a little time to adjust. Speaker burn in does exist it is just less noticable in headphones.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
1. Go to Youtube

2. Type in 'audio myths workshop'

3. Watch and listen

1. go to Youtube

2. Type in 'headphone burn in test'

3. Watch and listen
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Let your own ears be the judge and not some speculative video or post on Google trying to tell you what you are, or are not hearing
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What the hell are you on about? Seems to me you havent even watched the videos if thats the stupid approach you're taking.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I haven't and don't intend to. I have set up an new thread for this as I didn't want the OP to think we were hijacking his thread and taking it to a new topic.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Floydian said:
I haven't and don't intend to. I have set up an new thread for this as I didn't want the OP to think we were hijacking his thread and taking it to a new topic.

Then we can discuss the fallacy of burn in and auditory memory here without any worries?

Kewl.

Look - you can't trust your ears, that much is clear from even a little open minded reading and knowledge on the science behind psychoacoustics. And you can't trust the snake oil salesmen in the audio industry either, who all have a bottom line to feed.

Let the only blindness you have come from the double testing to prove the idiocy of the argument. The facts speak for themselves.
 

dalethorn

New member
Dec 7, 2011
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Burn in does exist and you can read the actual stats and measurements at Innerfidelity dot com, an arm of Stereophile. That said, just how audible the effects are depends partly on how sensitive you are to the changes, and partly how the headphones are made and whether the manufacturer(s) run them for any number of hours before shipping them.

You can find articles in much of the hi-fi press going back a few years about manufacturers running gear for hours before shipping it, not for burn-in per se, but for QA purposes, to make sure the stuff will continue to play. So when you look at Tyll's tests at Innerfidelity, consider that we don't really know if those items were played by the manufacturer to any extent before Tyll got them. Since those were high quality items, I lean in the direction that they were pre-burnt so to speak, for more reasons than one.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
dalethorn said:
Burn in does exist and you can read the actual stats and measurements at Innerfidelity dot com, an arm of Stereophile. That said, just how audible the effects are depends partly on how sensitive you are to the changes, and partly how the headphones are made and whether the manufacturer(s) run them for any number of hours before shipping them.

You can find articles in much of the hi-fi press going back a few years about manufacturers running gear for hours before shipping it, not for burn-in per se, but for QA purposes, to make sure the stuff will continue to play. So when you look at Tyll's tests at Innerfidelity, consider that we don't really know if those items were played by the manufacturer to any extent before Tyll got them. Since those were high quality items, I lean in the direction that they were pre-burnt so to speak, for more reasons than one.

Yeah, fair enough mechanical equipment might flex and change a bit during use, but not to the point that there will be qualitative differences in performance - unless the kit is so old it's not functioning properly, of course. Anything noted as 'burn in' is entirely human perception changing according to mood, time of day, biochemistry in the body, mental expectation etc. Of course, most people dont like to believe their fallibility or changeability, as we are conditioned to think our opinions and senses are rock solid. But just do even a tiny bit of research and you'll rapidly realise there's a whole heap of nonsense spouted in the name of selling stuff. Pseudo science wrapped in jargon runs through the audio landscape like a river of poo, constantly replenished in the name of the P&L sheet.
 

dalethorn

New member
Dec 7, 2011
2,222
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bennyboy71 said:
Yeah, fair enough mechanical equipment might flex and change a bit during use, but not to the point that there will be qualitative differences in performance - unless the kit is so old it's not functioning properly, of course. Anything noted as 'burn in' is entirely human perception changing according to mood, time of day, biochemistry in the body, mental expectation etc. Of course, most people dont like to believe their fallibility or changeability, as we are conditioned to think our opinions and senses are rock solid. But just do even a tiny bit of research and you'll rapidly realise there's a whole heap of nonsense spouted in the name of selling stuff. Pseudo science wrapped in jargon runs through the audio landscape like a river of poo, constantly replenished in the name of the P&L sheet.

See, the thing I find interesting here (and I agree that burn-in is not very significant or shouldn't be with good equipment) is that much of the descriptions of differences in equipment (particularly amplifiers) in the audio press and audio forums is about differences as small as burn-in differences. I'm aware of very significant differences in headphones and speakers, but with amplifiers and cables etc., most of the significant differences are probably due to impedance mismatches, phase changes due to wrong connections or just too many connections, and other electrical anomalies that can be mostly resolved by addressing the actual problems.
 

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