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Grado RS1i Reference Series Headphones Reviews

MickeyVee

Grado RS1i [versus the Sennheiser HD800]

Posted

Pros: - easily driven out of any type of source from iPhone 5 to a dedicated DAC/HP amplifier system

Cons: - can be a little shouty/shrilly at times

Grado RS1i versus the Sennheiser HD800   I rarely decide how I feel about a headphone without owning them for a month or two but in the case of the RS1i, it was pretty much love at first listen.  Some have taken month to grow into and some have impressed me in the first week and dropped off pretty quickly.  I've gone through way too many HPs in the last two years and finally I think I've settled on the HD800 and RS1i with the possibility of adding a Audeze or HiFiMAN orthos in the future but I digress.  Now that I have about 100+ hours on the RS1i, I'm ready to share some of my initial impressions.   Setup: Dragonfly ⇒ Schiit Vali ⇒ Grado...
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Olias of Sunhillow

A Grado Lover's Paradise

Posted

Pros: The prototypical Grado matter-of-factness with none of the harsh qualities found in other models

Cons: Some folks just don't like Grados

(Note: this review is for the generation of headphones immediately preceding the current RS1i.)   Grados are the headphone equivalent of old British sitcoms – you either get them, or you don’t. Fortunately, I get them… and my favorites so far are the Grado RS1.   I own what are known in these parts as “Buttonless RS1s.” These headphones are sort of an intermediate step between the classic RS1s with buttons on the grills and today’s RS1i model. They have beautiful dark wood cups and appear to suffer from none of the casualness of build that some Grado products exhibit. These are distinctive, attention-getting headphones – nearly every visitor to my headphone room comments on...
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JoeDoe

Makes Me Forget I'm Wearing Headphones

Posted

Pros: Sound quality, Aesthetics, Craftsmanship, Low Impedance

Cons: Not super-comfortable, Pricey

A few days ago, I posted in the Grado Fan Club an idea that sums up these cans as succinctly as possible: "Grados are the only cans I've ever heard that seem like they are designed to make you forget you're wearing headphones. Everything else I've ever listened to has some sort of coloration in a way that sounds unnatural or reminds me that it's been digitally enhanced through bass boost or treble peak. My RS1s are a perfect example. First cans out of 50 or 60 that to me sound exactly like sitting in a jazz club. Positioning, timbre, separation, balance. It's all there. Are Grados the most comfortable? No. Most aesthetically pleasing? No. Although the RS1s are damn sexy. But...
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Zuqi

An Old School Classic

Posted

Pros: Good sound quality: a combination of warmth and resolution

Cons: Crappy build quality; not the perfect cans in terms of tonal balance.

Back in year 2008, when I saw the picture of rs1(buttoned) on a website for the first time, I said to myself “darn these cans are expensive, I wish I could have mine one day". A few years later, I finally hold these baby in my hands. The build quality of these cans are as bad as I expected since I have already owned several grados. But what I care about is the sound quality, and its just BEAUTIFUL!   I love the treble sparkle and intimate sound of my sr325is, but they are too bright for some genres and could be hurtful to my ears in long term listening. I also love the bass texture of  my mspro, but they are a bit too...
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Textfeud

Makes music fun again

Posted

Pros: Fun, Detailed, Engaging, Easy to drive

Cons: Shouty at times, Comfort

Let's keep this short. There are better headphones out there without any cons. The Grado RS1i can get shouty at times or give a bit of weird bass. The comfort isn't great either although I changed the L-cushions to the G-cushions which changes the comfort to a point where these are the most comfortable headphones I've had. I had better headphones, but none was as fun as this one. They keep you focussed on the music and you can't help but tapping your feet.    These aren't for everyone but if you want a fun headphone and don't mind shrilly highs from time to time, these are great. They will impress you even though there are more resolving headphones out there. You need to try...
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daerron

A Grado classic

Posted

Pros: Wonderful musical sound, lovely detail and involvement, nice sturdy cable, mahogany cups are beautiful

Cons: Build quality, sound can be fatiguing, foam pads not overly comfortable

A lovely refined headphone in the shape of the Grado house sound. Lovely mahogany earcups add fantastic warmth and detail to stringed instruments. The RS1i give you a lot of insight into hidden details into your music and will get you toe tapping. The RS1is have really opened my world into headphone listening like no other headphone.   For the price of these I would expect the build quality to be higher. You have to handle these with care. The metallic gimbal is nice and sturdy compared to Grado headphones lower in the range. Whilst the RS1is do sound fantastic and are hand built, I think these would be more popular at a lower price point. I suspect that I'm quite lucky with my...
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kite7

A different grado approach

Posted

Pros: Looks great, good PRaT and somewhat engaging sound

Cons: Not the grado house sound, side step

I have owned 3 RS1i, yes 3 because they sounded so different from a SR60i that I had to be sure I didn't get odd balls. I've come to the conclusion it's just the way it is. It has a serious level of warmth that prevents any harshness, only smoothness. Poor recordings won't sound so bad on the RS1i unlike all the other grados.   My first listening impression was,   "...err what the heck is this??"   I'm a huge fan of the bright grado house sound and I cannot deny that I was disappointed in hearing the RS1i. Any non ""i models possess that bright grado house sound if you want to know what I mean.   The RS1i strays away from the house sound found on the...
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