Pros: Clarity is much better then the outgoing model, build quaility on my review unit seemed good, laid back (for a Grado) sound stage, bass
Cons: Lacks a little air, not transparent, bass can be a little much
I received my demo unit from TTVJ not long ago, again many thanks to Grado, and Todd for making this happen!
I have been a long time owner/lover of the PS500, they are my laid back can... easy to listen to on any device. Honestly, I believe these could be powered by a rock and fed by a brick based DAC and perform fine. The new PS500e is no exception, it again sound great from anything, my Lumia 1520, Galaxy S5, Glenn OTL, Little Dot MK1+, MK3, 11.32, literally everything. They are efficient, more so than the outgoing model and require a little less power to be loud as heck.
They sound like...
More extended then before but still polite, much less grainy.
Slightly more forward than the PS500, much better texture.
Same extension, slightly less impact (a good thing!) although it can lack detail. In terms of detail these new cans are better but not great vs other high end cans
These cans have what I'd call a medium sized sound stage, bigger then the RS1 and everything below it in Grado's line BUT smaller then the GS1000 and PS1000. Imaging seems decent, fairly clear in terms of location and separation of instruments on acoustic and mid tempo to slower tracks... although they can get a little congested on faster tracks. Dynamically its at a similar level as a well driven RS1, but with better bass impact.
That said, they share a lot with the outgoing cans... bassy, bouncy and energetic... dark and warm like a good wool coat, but more detailed with better treble, and better mids. Overall they still sound delicious with most music... they have much better genre bandwidth than any of the models below it, however they lack the energy and texture of the 325is below it and the magic of the RS1. At least we have choice, and based on this experience I've decided to sell my original PS500, and perhaps get a PS500e... but first I have to finish reviewing this GS1000e that showed up today..
PS500e... the "e" stands for... exactly what I expected, more of the same BUT better at everything then the previous version. Evolution is such a wonderful thing!