Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Impedance: 32 Ohms
In much the same way as some producers favour a more clinical sound from their monitors and some prioritise vibe and energy, the choice of headphones can ultimately come down to personal taste. The hi-fi sound of most consumer headphones isn’t always an obvious choice, but Grado’s much-loved SR80s are a great example of a hi-fi headphone done the right way. They might be a fairly cheap model by audiophile standards, but these are headphones which really demonstrate the benefits of entry-level hi-fi gear.
The most important difference between hi-fi headphones and more studio-focused models is similar to the difference between hi-fi speakers and studio monitors: the hi-fi products are more flattering to the material, designed to make your music sound good. And while that may mean they’re less detailed than your typical studio headphones, they’re still revealing enough to make critical decisions.
The slightly warmer, smoother sound of the SR80s may be poles apart from a clinical studio model like the Sennheiser HD25s, but if you want a pair of headphones that work well for general listening and can handle the odd production task, they’re worth adding to your shortlist.