Pros: Mid-range detail, very engaging front-to-center soundstage, excellent low-to moderate volume cans
Cons: Comfort if not worn correctly, bass could extend fuller
I bought these over a year ago, and then for some strange reason bought a pair of Hifiman HE-5LE's about two weeks later. I of course went nuts over the 5LE's, and set these aside for many months. Fast-forward to now, and I barely take the 5LE's out of their case, as these have become my favorite all around can, with the 5LE's being reserved for high-rez and well-mastered material.
I understand that Grado are a polarizing headphone, and I believe I understand why. Most headphones that I am familiar with require a lot of power, and fairly high volume to sound their best. In my experience, that method of listening to headphones ruins the Grado experience. They do have a significant treble bump, and they do sound harsh on a lot of material. However, I find that when I listen to a them at low volume, the harshness disappears, the bass seems more full, and the overall presentation is pretty good. To get the most out of my ortho's, I need significantly more volume. With the 225i, just about a hair above speaking volume, and I'm set with no need to boost bass or treble.
I cannot say that these are neutral, or even accurate headphones. But I can say that detail retrieval is excellent, and they are very revealing of the quality of source material. Not to the point of the 5LE's, but they are still impressive, to me, for a $200 purchase. That being said, I don't see myself buying Grado's for family during Christmas or birthdays. I really don't think these are for everyone. But if you like low-volume listening with a good amount of presence and detail, these are exceptional headphones. They definitely make me want to try other Grado's, especially the GS1000.