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Grado SR-325i Prestige Series Headphones

89% Positive Reviews
Rated #103 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Nice looking,solid construction,timeless styleing

Cons: sonics are bright and they are unforgiveing of poor recordings

Grado Labs SR325i 018.JPGhoowe 006.JPGGrado Labs SR325i 009.JPGSTEREO 009.JPGGrado Labs SR325i 015.JPGI may be off on the date but it should be close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SN#7405 :REVIEWED

 

 

After owning the SR80 for a few years I thought the Grado 325i would just give you more of the same sound as the loved 80,they do not.

What they do give you before break in with some source material is sonically smiler to diving naked into a 5 yard dumpster filled to the top with angry fire ants.

 

They are brighter than driving into the hot California desert sun with out sun glasses.

But to be fair after break in classical recordings from the 1960's and 70's from the London philharmonic on open reel tape was like a blessed event from heaven!

 

So without going to deep into detail source material is critical should you choose these headphones.

And they do mellow with break in but not as much as I would have liked.

They are loved by menny people for there forward presentation of detail in mids and highs and texture (loads of texture).More bass would go along way as an improvement.

But you just get overwhelmed by it all very quickly.

 

Sound stage is lacking,nuff said.

 

They are a little clunky to ware and the cord twists if your not careful as the ear pieces turn,but they feel nice on your head once you get them placed right.

I should also add that due to the extra weight of the metal housings I had to add some extra padding to the headband to make them tolerable.

The construction is timeless and solid.

 

They do look stunning,the black/gold really looks fantastic,they remind me of something from Flash Gordon.

 

If Classical,Jazz or Folk is your thing these might be your Huckel Berry.

If not move on to the RS2 or RS1.

 

Sorry,Jhon Grado but out of all the Grado's Ive heard(at least 6 pair come to mind) these are my least favorite with most types of music.  .

Posted

Pros: Unique sound signature that you don't really get with other offerings from other companies

Cons: Terribly uncomfortable. Ruined the experience.

I had these for a few months before I sold it because they became unbearable to use.
I tried the bowl pads and that helped with comfort but the sound became a nightmare for an audiophile so I will refrain from discussing that here.

Build quality:
Very solid headphones. The cable is nice and thick so I'm not scared of it breaking.
The solid metal earcups are a nice touch but are also a downside.
The headband is nice.

Design:
Cups are beautiful and shiny but paint comes off easily on the lettering.
The cups are too heavy.
I'm not a fan of the earcup swivel design but it works.

Comfort:
Horrendous.
Terrible.
0/10
The earcups are far too heavy for on ears and it ends up pressing a lot on your ears. The stiff pads and the grill of the drivers end up scratching and pressing even more with no cushioning.
Putting them on for an hour was torture for me.

Sound:
Now, you'd expect it to have amazing sound quality considering the downside of comfort right?
While the sound is good, it's not a natural sound.
It's very aggressive and emphasizes various frequencies. It's very energetic.

Bass:
Quite punchy if the song calls for it. The bass is not overwhelming in any way.

Mids:
Very forward and aggressive in an "in your face" sort of way. Not very smooth.

Treble:
Very harsh and bright headphones. Would probably be very fatiguing for people. I've never felt fatigue from any headphones so the bright treble isn't a turnoff for me.

Soundstage: very limited when compared to the AKG Q701 in the same price range.
Seperation: Again, not as good compared to the AKG Q701.

Overall:
If you can handle the comfort, maybe flat pads from the lower models? But from experimenting, it changes the sound a lot.
The sound signature is very much colored to make rock and similar genres energetic and aggressive but to me, this isn't exactly a great thing since I listen to classical and other genres as well.

Posted

Pros: Forward lively mids, gives that on stage presentation, Narrow sound stage

Cons: Can sound overly harsh, lacking in bass

I decided to write this review because I have done some research and it turns out there isn't that many reviews on this particular headphone.The majority of the music I listen to is alternative, rock, classic rock, Sinatra mostly mid centric music. Now this was my very first grado headphone that I have ever purchased. Note, if you are looking for a headphone that does great with every genre these grado's are certainly not it. These headphones are meant for a very specific taste/ears they excel with certain genres and lack in others, it is safe to assume that these headphones aren't for everyone.

 

Pros: I have to say there are some things that the grado's do very well and those are the mids. They sound forward and aggressive sometimes a bit too aggressive and you really feel like the singer is in front of you. Vocals sound clear and so do instruments though there isn't much instrument separation. The sound stage is really narrow which causes everything to sound really close together now depending on who you are you might like or hate this.

 

Cons: There are a few things that the 325i's don't do as well such as the bass and micro details, and they can suffer from an overly harsh treble. Now I don't mind treble I actually feel like headphones today need more treble the hd-650 comes to mind. But I can say that the grado's took this to an extreme, this isn't a big deal on some recordings but when you hear something that has alot of treble and you are listening at semi to loud volumes the treble can be borderline painful. Grado's I feel encourage listening at loud volumes, because that is when the vocals are perfect, however when you hear the highs you have to immediately turn the volume down, I realized this when I was listening to a few tracks where the treble kicks in a little late into the song. The bass to me is really lacking, it isn't as pronounced as I would like to be. One of the 325i's weaknesses is the micro details, I tested this out by listening to various recordings that feature small little details that in some of the cheaper headphones you don't pick out as easily. I couldn't hear these on the grado's it might be because everything feels so aggressive and overwhelming at times.

 

Verdict: So are the 325i's for you? Well that depends if you are sensitive to treble I would say don't even consider these. However if you are someone who listens to a lot of rock and roll and you love treble and aren't very sensitive to it then I would recommend these specifically to you. These headphones are geared to the enthusiast who doesn't want anything toned down, basically someone who is looking to get the same sound signature you would get at a rock concert. You won't hear all the little details because it will be extremely loud but you will hear the vocals and mids extremely clear and treble will be just as lively and loud.

Posted

Pros: buttery mids, energetic highs, punchy bass

Cons: long-term comfort

My first set of "premium" cans were the Grado SR80's, driven from an old classic iPod. As you can expect, I was blown away by the sound quality compared to those little white earbuds.

I've tried other headphones in the $200 range including AKG K271's, UE triple.fi's universal IEM, and my latest set, the Beyerdynamic DT990-600.

To my ears, all non-Grado phones lack a certain warmth in the mids. The DT990's in particular, probably due to their strong treble and bass, seemed lacking in the midrange. Thanks to HF's classifieds I found a pair of Grado 325's for the right price and all I can say is that I forgot what I was missing.

For my money, you'll never find a closer, airier sound from acoustic recordings. Electric rock sounds incredible too, you'll hear every cymbal crash and fretboard whine.

Posted

Pros: detailed highs, people ask questions while wearing

Cons: BRIGHT, muddy, uncomfrtable

Was not happy with the 325i.  Very bright sounding through most of my musical catalog.  Sounded very detailed at low volume.  Bass response was surprisingly deep.  Very forward sound signature.  Good headphone for metal and very fast.  Comfort is terrible.  Only torrerable at low volumes for my ears, even tamming with soft tubes.  I traded these for AKG K 701's, which was my happiest audiophile moment to date  :)

Posted

Pros: Great treble, impactful, unique sounding bass, BEAUTIFUL mids, great construction and aesthetics, swivel cups

Cons: SOMETIMES can be uncomfortable, bass could go a little deeper at times

These were my third pair of headphones, after the AT ES7 and Shure SE 530.  I kept reading about how they had really hot treble, and sounded really unique and would be the opposite of the HD650( which would've been the logical upgrade from the 530 in terms of sound signature).  Something about having something almost opposite sounding was really appealing

 

Once I finally got these, WOW! I almost thought they had too much bass!  The bass for genres like rock and metal and jazz is perfect in my opinion.  It has just the right amount of bass for impact, but doesn't really capture too much low low end bass which leads to it sounding like a very fast headphone.  It picks up on bass licks, riffs, drums, but never makes these instruments the forefront of the music. 

 

The mids... guitars sound absolutely perfect, sweet, exquisite, heavenly!  You know its not natural sounding, but its almost the same with a drug- its not natural, but that doesn't mean the sound has any less integrity.

 

The treble is pretty elevated like a lot of people say, but I think you would need to be listening quite loud for a long period of time( at least enough time to damage your ears) to be an issue.  Its really the treble that gives the 325 this unique, energetic, quick sound its known for.   There is tons of detail and sometimes I even perceive this as bright, but when I allow myself to just listen( and deactivate my head-fi account like I had to do to finally appreciate them) you hear how detailed they are.  Out of all the headphones I've heard( Shure 530/840, AT ES7/M50, Beyer DT990, Senn HD650/ HD-25 II, AKG K240), these really are the best of them for rock and metal, and many genres in general.  Switching from K240 or HD650 makes you realize how much punch the bass really has to it, how energetic they really are, how much texture they have.  The sound blends SO well together.  Sometimes I absolutely do wish for a little bit more depth to the bass if I'm listening to a electronic genre, but otherwise I don't mind.  Sound stage isn't really huge, but I never switch from my HD650s and miss the soundstage.  Its just not neccessary, or at least, its adequete in that it doesn't take away from the headphones.  Sound separation is great.  The 325is never really sound congested unless its a garbage metal/hardcore punk recording

 

I've had some comfort issues- at first I thought they were very comfortable, then I messed the head band up and it took a while to finally remangle it back to a comfortable state.  They sit fairly lose on the head, jolting my head downquickly will throw them off.

Posted

Pros: Best sound and definitely worth upgrading from the 225is

Cons: slight slippage in the fit when I wear them for an extended period

The Grado SR-225i was my first real pair of "audiophile" headphones and I loved them to death. In a foolish fit last month, I traded them away. After trader's regret set in I found a pair of goldie 325is that had been modded with detachable cables and screw fasteners to keep the headphones from sliding down. I must say the goldie 325is are heavier but not in an obtrusive way, this sounds cliche but you can "feel the quality" as opposed to their little plastic brother the 225i. I loved the 225is but I'm really blown away by the difference between the two models. The 325i goldies are really remarkable with a better low end, more brilliant/clear highs and, in my opinion, the best sound signature. These only confirm I've got to keep working to get those GS1000s--they're the most beautiful looking headphones available. A+ Joe Grado, as always. One of these days maybe I'll be able to afford your top end!

Posted

Pros: Phenomenal SQ, like no other headphones I have heard

Cons: For me personally, a bit heavy and uncomfortable in long listening sessions

I had the pleasure of living in Toronto for 4 years and bought these at the excellent Bay Bloor Radio. BBR have a wall of headphones all fed by the same source, so I spent a few happy hours there on a quiet Monday night armed with a few favourite CDs.

 

I listened to AGK701s, a variety of Senns and all the Grados head to head. For me, the 325is (the Gold edition) were the best of the bunch, even versus the reference series models.

 

18 months and plenty of listening later (Arcam CD73T via a Little Dot mkIII) these still give me tons of listening pleasure. Some users report quality issues but I handle mine carefully, keep them on a stand etc and haven't had any issues.

 

I also read - before hearing them for myself - a lot about "unberarable" highs, but I don't find this at all - just a real warmth, immediacy and excitement in the sound.

 

After these, switching to other 'phones makes me feel like a layer has been placed between me and the music.

 

Haven't heard the "s" improved version yet but looking forward to an audition...

Posted

Pros: Punchy bass, sparkling treble and very forward mids. Crystal clear sounding headhones appealing to those who love a very "in-your-face" sounding can..

Cons: Grado wearing comfort. Heavy and clunky. Cables could be better and more sturdy.

I can not find any headphone similar to the SR-325. They are very different from all other headphones I have heard and also from the rest of the Grado line. You either love them or hate them. I can say for myself that these through the years have become my reference and no other Grado headphone have been able to take their place for me - even though HF2 was pretty close. 

 

The SR325 has a very forward, in-your-face sound. It offers a detail level on par with the rest of the top of the line Grados and it has crystal clear mids wich gives them a unique and intimate presentation of vocal recordings. They are very punchy and fast - some say they are metallic sounding and that might be a good way to describe the 325's. 

 

The treble is too much for most people so do not buy them without having heard these first! For me the treble and upper mids is the very unique part of the sound and something I haven't heard in any other headphone. Even when listening at low levels they are able to bring out very small details and they are high fidelity for sure. 

 

I think the SR325's are great for jazz - vocal jazz in particular. They might also be for headphones what the Lagavulin is for single malt whiskeys - a very refined but powerful peat-smokey aroma - you have to learn how to enjoy it. But once you "break the code" they will reward the listener with new ways to hear some recordings. 

 

Pure musical enjoyment for my part.

Grado SR-325i Prestige Series Headphones
Description:

The top-of-the-range Grado Headphone model SR325i comes in a gold color, in honor of Grado's 50th anniversary. Grado has taken one of the worlds most acclaimed headphones, and pushed it a few steps further. The new SR325i has an upgraded Driver design, and an enlarged and improved mass distribution in the metal housing. The way the SR325is new driver and metal housing move air and react to Sound vibrations are now less affected by transient distortions.

Details:
DetailValue
Cord TypeDual-Sided Lead
MicrophoneNo
Cord Length>132 cm
IsolationOpen
Ear Coupler TypeFull-size
Noise CancellingNo
Driver TypeDynamic
Connector Type1/4"
Coupler SizeLarge
Impedance32 ohms
Sound Pressure Level98 dB
Additional InformationFrequency Response: 18 Hz-24 kHz
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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