Headphones have evolved a lot since they were first invented. In their early days, they were professional tools by people like pilots and for Sona in submarines. These gadgets would soon hit the market in a less serious, smaller, and lighter design. Although they would evolve more and give birth to what we refer to these days as earphones.

Traditional headphones still offer the best quality sound in your own headspace. If you are looking for the best possible sound in your own headspace. Then you can choose between the sr80e and the sr125e headphones. But these are two different versions. That is why we are here to help you choose the best gadget that meets your expectations. And to give you value for that dollar. Remember you only spend that dollar once hence the need to spend it well.


All Grado products are hand-built in Brooklyn. The fact that they are hand-built means they have great details. Looking at this version they operate though open air which means they don’t have 100% active noise cancelation. They have a 4-conductor cable which increases the operable bandwidth which is great. 


The embossed vinyl strap is nothing to be excited about but it is very comfortable. They have dampers to damp the resonant distortion in their plastic housing. They have a great fit but have cables coming out of both phones. That is a drawback because the cables make it difficult to find a comfortable position when you have them on.


The SR125e headphones are like the SR80e headphones as one would expect. They are from the same line. The SR125es also comes with the embossed vinyl strap and polymer damping. The SR125e does a somewhat better job in active noise canceling. Although they maintain that boring design of cables coming out of both the phones. 


The SR93es have a frequency response of 20 to 20 000 Hz. They produce better low frequency sounds which the SR83es were having trouble with. This is due to the 8-conductor cable which is superior to the 4-conductor cable in the SR80es. As stated above everything else is the same. That is they also have 32 Ohms nominal impedance, 99.8 SPL 1mW and an open air operating principle. In their box you will find the headphones, warranty, Grado story sheet, 6.5mm gold adapter nothing more like in the SR83e’s box.



The SR125es are slightly less heavier, in fact they are so light that only the cable reminded me that I had headphones on while playing games in a console, the SR80es are a little heavier compared to the SR125es such that when you move your head you feel the weight. I like this feature because it enables longer listening hours without feeling tired or irritated.


The cushions on these headphones really do a great job in delivering that much desired comfort, no wonder why they call them S-Cushions which I would like to think they mean special cushions but that’s a story for another day bottom line is these cushions are soft and very comfortable. The cushions don’t make you sweat as much hence allowing longer listening time especially for those producing in the studio and spend the whole day with headphones on.


Though I wasn’t very excited about that embossed vinyl strap it gets the job done, it is not heavy at all and is comfortable. What I like the most is the way these headphones are adjusted, the extension comes out on the side rather than going into the strap and I think this is great as it reduces the weight of the strap and makes the adjuster more durable while keeping the comfort for those people with the bigger heads.

Conductor Cable

The 8-conductor cable is one of the best features, it brings out all the harmonies of the sound, and a more pronounced base and more clear vocals with a great dynamic range, though this feature only comes with the SR125es it tops the list and makes these headphones worth owning.



As I mentioned earlier, the codes coming out of both the phones is not convenient as it limits you a lot, as soon as you put on your headphones there are tons of other things you can’t do, in summary I would say it reduces mobility. As a suggestion to the manufacturer, it would have been great if the code came out from one side rather than both.


Yes, lighter headphones are better than heavier ones but I think making these headphones entirely cordless would be great, the benefits outweigh what the consumer stands to lose, apart from becoming heavier there are very few to none the shortcomings to making the headphones entirely cordless. Making them cordless means the listener can be mobile and not worry about the cable getting in the way.


I understand that these are midrange headphones but surely it won’t hurt the manufacture to increase the noise cancelation just a bit, this is a feature that is very important in headphones because there is no point in producing cutting edge sound just so it can be diluted buy the surrounding and leave the listener with a poor sound.


Generally, the Grado SR80e and SR125e headphones have the same features with just a few minor differences though these minor differences might have a huge impact on the decision you will make at the end of the day.

For those on a tight budget and just want headphones for general use the SR80es are not such a bad pick, they have a lot to offer, coming with those polymer dampers which help deliver clearer sounds not to mention that they will only set you back a few dollars.

For those who are big on quality and play heavy console games, the SR125es are what you are looking for as they will produce more profound sounds with great dynamic range and the best base.

It all comes down to what you want and how much you are willing to pay for your entertainment, but in this case, I would advise that you go for the SR125es as they produce the best sound and the price difference is not that big however if you are strapped for funds and can’t afford the SR80es are still a great choice.

Rob is a musician and audiophile at heart. He plays 5 instruments. Besides music, Rob enjoys a good whiskey and the outdoors.
Robert S. Thompson
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