A painting of me

Grado SR60 and AKG K26P headphones

   31 May 2007, early morning

I have two pairs of headphones that I am quite fond of: a pair of Grado SR60s, and a pair of AKG K26Ps. They are both nice headphones, each in their own way. I bought the Grado headphones first, and they definitely are the better of the two in terms of sound quality. The problem with the SR60s is that they are open-air headphones, which means they bleed a bit of noise when the volume is up. This doesn’t make them ideal for work, which is why I ultimately replaced them with the AKG headphones. The K26Ps are smaller, sealed, and sound pretty good for the price. I’ve been using the K26Ps for a long time now, and think they are definitely worth getting if you need something small and discreet to listen to music while at work. Krishna bought a pair and quite liked them — till he broke them anyway. They are a bit fragile. Shima is going to be borrowing my AKGs while she works for the summer, so maybe she will chime in with her opinions on them later this week. I’m back to listening to music on my SR60s. I had forgot how awesome these headphones are. I think my Shuffle doesn’t do them justice.

Some buying advice: don’t buy Grado headphones in Canada: they are sold at a ridiculous markup. Your best bet is to buy them in the US — especially since the Canadian dollar is so strong right now. I bought mine from Headroom, and shipped them to my cousin who was coming to visit us. The AKG K26P can be bought at most nice stereo shops in the city. I bought mine from Bay Bloor Radio. One of the ladies working their complimented me on my Dragon Beard shoes.



  1. Those AKGs look pretty sweet. I’d break the hell out of them though, I’m guessing. Do they really sound okay, compared to the Grados? I’ve got some SR-80s and they are so great sounding… but impractical, as you say.

  2. They have a very different sound to them. On the AKG headphones, the bass is more pronounced, and I would say the midrange and treble isn’t quite as sharp. The Grado headphones are clearer, I don’t think there is any doubt of that. The problem is at work I have to listen to them so quiet I don’t really get to enjoy how well they perform. I don’t think Grado headphones sound that hot till you start turning the volume up a bit, but then so much of your music bleeds out every which way. The AKGs are really ideal for work. Mind you, I just spent the past few minutes listening to the Smiths, the Sundays, and some Madonna dance track off my Shuffle to come to these conclusions. And i’m far from an audiophile.

  3. Do you have any other headphones I can steal? My busted up AKG’s are slowly getting annoying.

  4. White Apple ear buds? They aren’t anything to write home about.

  5. I was listening to music with those earbuds on the way to work. Holy crap they suck. I also feel like I should re-rip stuff in some lossless format.

  6. I like the AKGs and I don’t.

    I like them because, like you’ve mentioned, they don’t let any noise escape, but then that means that no matter how quiet I turn the volume I can’t hear anything anyone says to me. Which creates some what of a problem when you’re in an open concept office and people don’t necessarily get up to talk to you.

    I don’t like them because first of all they are too tight, and I’ve made them as loose as I can without them falling off my head, and still they are too tight. This creates a huge problem with my industrial. After using them for about an hour or so, I started getting an earache. I’ve taken them off and all is well again. I don’t think the AKGs or any other headphone that covers your whole ear are meant for people with strange ear piercing. So it’s probably safe to say that the AKGs can’t completely be blamed for my earache.

    I think I’ll return your AKGs and buy some cheap earphones that have a longer string —that’s all I really needed — than the ones that came with my ipod (which by the way I actually like.)

    Oh yeah, the other reason I don’t like the AKGs is that they aren’t discreet. Once I put them on, everyone can see I’m listening to music/podcasts (CBC has an awesome selection!) and perhaps not fully concentrating on the work at hand.

  7. Shima, that last comment was amusing to me. I only wear my headphones at work when I need to fully concentrate on the work at hand. Sitting in a cube, putting on my headphones is my equivalent of closing the office door. When I need to focus, I put on music to block out all of the other distractions around the office.

  8. I have both headphones, the Grado SR60 (I got 2) and the AKG K26P (I have 6 of these). I use the AKG for my studio headphone distribution amp while the Grado for my hi-fi system. I was experimenting on them once, lo and behold, the internal speakers look exactly the same!

    Not sure if anyone else has noticed this. Could it be that they come from the same OEM?

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