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Grado SR325is Headphones

95% Positive Reviews
Rated #30 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Bright, lively, good separation of ranges.

Cons: Uncomfortable pads and headband, design flaw on cup holder, heavy.

When I first got these the sound was rather tinny, but over the initial 50 hours they really, really opened up and grew to have a very natural sound. I have them paired with an HRT MS2+ and a Schiit Asgard, which is apparently a good match for Grados. That sound became more warm and round when I switched out the normal pads for quarter-cut softies. I did lose some soundstage with that, but the tradeoff for a more natural and full sound is totally worth it and it also took some sibilance out of the highs so they are very sweet.

 

Overall, after doing this, I truly love the sound. Every now and then I want a bit more punch, a bit more depth, and a bit more clarity to the bass, but I realize then those are just moments when I'm in the mood for a closed can. I'm looking at some Denons for that and won't count it as a weakness for these. Everything they ought to be and are intended to be in terms of sound, they are. And that, if it were where things ended, would be a really good value for the price.

 

Unfortunately, that's not where it ends. There are some issues upfront and then down the road. First off, I tried getting used to the pads that come with them, but I just couldn't. They were rough and rested on my ear too hard and made them hurt, so I got some softies and quarter-cut them to not change the sound too dramatically. Secondly, the headband was kind of hard and would start to hurt the top of my head. My head is also not very big so the angle of the cans wasn't really flat. I remedied this by taking the headband pad off my Sennheiser 555s and sticking it right to the underside of these. It worked perfectly and made them comfy, but you shouldn't have to modify two things just to make them comfortable.

 

But then even after these modifications there are still problems. First off, they are just heavy. The pad took the strain off the top of my head, but it's still on my neck, and I'll really feel it if I am wearing them for a couple hours or so. If I'm playing videogames I don't even bother and just switch to a cheap, lightweight Sony pair. As someone who likes to listen to music for long periods of time while doing work or use quality headphones to watch movies, this is disappointing. Their weight also means that if you're compelled to rock out with your music and swing your head, they're likely to fly right off. It didn't happen to me, but it easily could if you didn't feel it coming.

 

The cords from the Y splitter to the cans don't seem properly aligned, so even if you try to make it as natural as possible, it still seems twisted. This may be different for each pair depending on how they attach them, but at least for my pair it means the cord is always trying to get twisted up, and doesn't naturally hang, but rather sometimes crosses under my chin. I'm not sure if this causes wear on the cord, but it might contribute to a much greater issue in how the headband attaches.

 

The metal cup has holes in the side where a plastic half-circle attaches so that it can have some tilting adjustment range, then this plastic band has a metal bar that is screwed into it, which can slide up and down through the headband piece for vertical adjustment. For some reason, the grooves on this metal bar aren't very horizontal, so it's not too inclined to stay in the plastic forever. Somehow, between the turning of the cans, the stress of the weight of the cans, the angle and pressure from taking them off and putting them on, this metal bar wiggles out and from then on it's very loose.

 

I got around it by using superglue before fitting it back in and letting that dry, but over time another expected issue came up... the plastic cracked. Even though I saw it coming and tried to always put them on by holding the L & R parts of the headband rather than the cups, just the strain of gripping my head or whatever else is involved with normal use led the plastic to crack. What else is expected when you put a thin metal bar through a small hole in a plastic frame? It doesn't even go all the way through, so any tension on that bar goes right to the tip and works like a crowbar.

 

I've looked around and this has happened to other people as well. I'm using superglue again to fill in the crack as well as to get the bar to stick back in, but I don't expect that to hold up forever so I'm considering possible ways I could lessen the pressure that occurs there or some permanent headband modification options. No matter what solution I end up with, this just isn't what you expect after you pay $300 for a product. The issue could have easily been avoided if they simply made the middle piece out of metal.

 

In conclusion, I really love their sound and would recommend hearing them or getting them for cheap, but I can't give a full endorsement because they need some "fixing" in terms of comfort and you'll have to be really, really careful with them if you want them to hold up.

Posted

Pros: Musicality, Emotion, Heart and Soul

Cons: Great with SOME types of music and mediocre with others , HEAVY and hardly portable, wire management is a dilemma

 

Hi everyone, Just wanted to give my two cents re: the Grado 325is!
 
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[b]AN INTRODUCTION[/b]
 
I was on a head-fi poison hiatus for a while because I thought I'd already spent too much on this hobby by acquiring a high end IEM (JH16 Pro) and a good PMP (Cowon J3 - which I unfortunately lost). In the case of IEMs, I think I already achieved audio nirvana, but then this itch of  wanting to try what full-sized cans could offer was always bothering me. 
 
I knew I didn't want "brand name" cans like Senns, AKGs or ATHs (though their cans are very good). I wanted to try something more alternative and "organic" and I found it in the Grados. Alternative because it isn't normally sold in outlets here (except 1), and organic because most of it is hand assembled.
 
[b]THE SOUND:[/b]
 
(note: fresh out of the box with only 4 hours burn-in)
 
I knew from the moment I got the 325is that they wouldn't be as detailed as the top-tier IEMs but this was one "risk" I was willing to take to scratch my headcan itch.
 
I was ALMOST right when I said that they wouldn't be as detailed. This is because I think, just as all the reviews say, that the 325is are a mid-focused can. To my ears the vocal qualities(mids) emerge beautifully while some instrumentation, particularly in rock, are sacrificed.
 
This headcan shines most when jazz, acapella, acoustic, and show tunes are played. Not to say that other genres don't play well with these cans, it's just that I think they pair better with mid focused recordings.
 
An example would be Queen's iconic We Will Rock You. 
Some details like the "ugh" word ( at 0:02) ,that you would normally hear quite clearly can't be heard on the 325is. A reason behind this might be that the bass drum and footsteps of the iconic beat mask that particular part of the song. 
 
My favorite tracks to listen to here are those by Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt. They are perfect vocal complements for this can. Their vocal styles and song arrangements are mid heavy, and the main feature of their recordings isn't on intricate arrangements or heavy background music, but their very own voices.
 
I wouldn't want to go on specifics about the highs (which some say are sibilant), or the bass (which some say are inadequate), but to make the long story short, to me they are adequate DEPENDING on the type of recording you are listening to. 
 
[b]CONCLUSION:[/b]
 
My first foray into the world of full-sized cans has been a good experience. The 325is though sacrificing a little detail has, dare I say, a distinct advantage over the JH16 pros in terms of SOUL and musicality.
 
I would use the IEMs for sound engineering but I would gladly use the 325is for audio bliss and enjoyment.
 
It provides soul food to ears that are starving for blissful music.
 
And it scratched my itch.

Posted

Pros: Perfect for rock and metal.

Cons: Too bright for long listening sessions

Introduction:

 

I listen to a lot of music.  Whether I’m working or relaxing I usually have some sort of music in the background.  It relaxes me before bed or keeps me pumped up while working.  It is essentially my mind altering drug of choice.  Different headphones with different presentations an affect my mood in different ways and I though a ‘phone with pumped up treble like the SR325is would be good to keep my energy up when I was stuck with boring tasks at work.  I was correct, but other drawbacks kept me from holding on to my pair.

 

Style and Build:

 

I love the look of the SR325is.  They’re slightly retro looking but the important parts are built very well.  The outer half of the cups or “air chambers” as Grado calls them are milled from solid aluminum and look very sharp but the inner half, hidden under the foam ear pad, where the driver is attached is made of the same plastic the lower end models are constructed from.  The simple sliders and gimbals which are shared among all Grado models connect the cups to the headband.  Its headband is a simple steel spring covered with small but nicely finished leather cover.  Cheaper Grado models use plastic or pleather.  The headband can also easily be bent looser or tighter to adjust the fit.  The Y cable is very thick and a bit unwieldy.  Since the ear cups can rotate freely it is prone to twisting if you aren’t careful in donning and removing them.

 

Overall, many aspects of the build quality may not inspire confidence but they make the headphone very easy to repair.  Parts are held together by friction fit and hot melt glue.  Some people may be taken aback by this at such a price point, though this construction makes it likely that any failure can easily be repaired.   I speak from experience as I have previously fixed up a pair of used SR80s for my brother.

 

Comfort:

 

This is another weakness for the Grados.  As supraural ‘phones they press on to your ear instead of around it and are inevitably less comfortable than circumaural ‘phones that rest around your ear.  Careful adjustment can drastically improve the comfort however.  I found them most comfortable with the cups worn slightly forward of the ear so the rear edge of the pads are even with the rear edge of your outer ear.  This also has the effect of improving the soundstage by slightly widening it at pushing it a bit forward.

 

In addition to the ‘bowl’ or “L-Cush” pads the SR325is come with there are others available from Grado which you can try as well as the pads for the Sennheiser 414 which happen to fit Grados too.  I didn’t get the chance to try out all the available options myself though.

 

Sound:

 

Since sound is the primary purpose of a pair of headphones I think its generally fair to forgive a ‘phones other sins if it sounds good.  In general the SR325is deliver in this area.  Grados have a distinct sound which is quite different from anything else on the market.  If you want it, you’ll have to get past their other shortcomings.  I think they make it worth the trade if you like the Grado ‘house sound’.

 

The SR325is, and Grados in general, are a strange balancing act of brightness and warmth with a small-ish soundstage which put you ‘on stage’ with the band.  The certainly aren’t closed in sounding as typical of ‘phones with smaller soundstages but they put everything relatively close together and put you in the middle of the action in a small and intimate setting.  Instruments are well separated but not as sharply imaged as some other ‘phones like my Sennheiser HD650s or Beyerdynamic DT770/600 ohm.

 

The treble is very emphasized and relatively clear, making these bright headphones.  It’s well extended and fairly detailed, but not the most accurate in its price bracket.  It has a ‘fun’ coloration which is hard to describe.  Cymbals and high-hats stand out from the mix and have an extra shimmer.  This can pleasing in rock or metal but becomes overactive in pop mixes which are already very bright.  This brightness synergizes especially well with heavy and dark doom, sludge, or thrash metal.

 

The mids are what make these both warm and bright at the same time.  They are slightly forward, with an almost magical coloration that enhances vocals and guitars.  Its not the most accurate, but once again its very fun.  The mids are also the most detailed part of these ‘phones spectrum.  They lend a slight advantage in intelligibility of death metal growls that my HD650s and DT770/600s lack.

 

There is a slight hump in the mid to upper bass which emphasizes higher tuned bass drums and bass guitars.  The bass response trails off after this hump and only goes moderately deep.  For most rock and metal it goes deep enough and the particular emphasis is often quite pleasing.  If you listen to electronic music with very deep synthesized bass you may want to look elsewhere.  I found it lacking with my trance/electronic/techno collection.  The bass is also a bit loose as well.  Not to a large degree, but the deeper it goes the less controlled it is.

 

Conclusion:

 

As you may have guessed, I think the ‘phones work best with various types of rock and metal.  I especially enjoyed them on my death/black metal Pandora station.  I think that’s their preferred genre.  Of course I could be biased since that’s my preferred genre, but I listen to just about everything but country and rap.  The bass doesn’t go low enough for electronic (and probably rap and hip-hop),  they’re too bright for most modern pop, and I find the soundstage too small for classical.  They do pretty well for jazz though.

 

The Grados specialize in rock and metal though.  This prowess also extends to most anything with guitars as well.  Acoustic singer/songwriter, bluegrass, and probably a good deal of country too.  If you like a forward presentation and primarily listen to any of those genres, then the SR325is are worth a look.

 

I need to say a word of caution about the treble though.  Though Grados as a whole are bright headphones, the SR325is are regarded as among the brightest and if you can’t try before you buy or aren’t the kind of listener who’s always cranking the treble dial you may find them to be too much.  I loved the sound of my SR325is but my ears just couldn’t take them for more than an hour or so.  If you’re unsure about the SR325is you may want to try the less expensive and less bright SR225i or the simillaly priced Grado/Alessandro MS2i.

Posted

Pros: Better than anything else for the money, well built

Cons: I now realize how many low quality recordings there are!

Long story short, they're fantastic.  I bought my headphones from a display/test setup at a Magnolia hi-fi, I didn't want to wait and I got a great discount on them.  I'm sure the salesman still turned a profit of course. (I work retail, I have an idea of the markup levels.)  They're comfortable to me, and I don't intend to own many other headphones.

 

Only other minor issue is the reduced bass, but the clarity was the greatest on this model, short of spending another $600+ on some headphones.  The other models that had less clarity had a lot more bass, but were fatiguing and disproportionate.  And all the others were too tight for my head.  These were actually the most comfortable headphones I've had.  I do see how they could be more comfortable.  The sennheiser HD800's that I tried on were more comfortable, and did sound more open, just as clear and had more base, but I wasn't in the market for those.  Only improvement, would be some sort of actual bass speaker on the floor.

 

They are expensive headphones compared to other items I have purchased, but they are quality, so I can justify it.  I can hear everything around the room 90% as well with them on as compared to off, which is what I wanted.  Bad part is, I now search for better quality sound, I had no idea what lousy recordings there are out there, and of new music to boot!  I guess if most people aren't going to have good cans, why bother making things sound best...

Posted

Pros: Better Resolution

Cons: Heavy

After 4 years of regular use, my cables were looking a little rugged, the plastic cover over the cables that split to each ear were cracking at the Y splitter . I called Grado and they quoted me $45 (includes return shipping)for a new cable plus an additional $15 to upgrade to the newest 8 conductor UHPLC copper connecting cord. The new cable is stout and heavy, with 8 conductors its my guess grado is using varied size cables to better handle the full spectrum with as little loss as possible, similar to Audioquests Spread Spectrum Technology. http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/aq_cable_theory.pdf

The new cable is more revealing, digging deeper into the finer details, removing congestion from busy layered passages, it allows you to hear details otherwise buried in the background. I use the larger G pads for comfort and even though Grado doesn't recommend them,(but I do :) ) I think it improves the sound, giving  you a little wider soundstage, now I can listen for extended periods with no dis-comfort.

 Overall I love my 325i's, I listen to mostly rock music, acoustic music sounds simply amazing. I am also using the RSA Predator USB/DAC Amp in both portable and home listening. The Grado / Predator combo sings, Highly recommended !

Posted

Pros: Great sound, very clear bass, mids, and highs

Cons: Slightly fatiguing, uncomfortable if not properly adjusted

A great set of 'phones for general music listening. Not terribly portable without a case, and can cause fatigue when listening to treble-heavy music due to very crisp reproduction.

 

You could use the cable on these babies to tow a car. Kind of impossible to deal with for on-the-go use, very oriented to seated listening.

 

I love my 325s!

Posted

Pros: With high quality music files can sound like live performance, Energetic, Fast Attacking, Warm mid-section

Cons: Very bright headphone, Does not dig very deep, Smaller soundstage than most @ Price range, COMFORT BLO

I own

 

 

-HD 600

-ATH M50

-Sennhieser HD 558 (Modded)

-Skullcandy Aviators

 

 

Of all, IMHO I find them the MOST detailed.I feel like i'm in a live performance in the front row seat especailly with .dsf or flac files. They are bright but after about a month of listening you do get used to it (I don't believe in burn in).

 

I would give this a 5 if it didnt torture me everytime i wear it xD... and if the bass would dig a little deeper. 

 

Overall these are beautiful sounding and i personally enjoy bright headphones more than dark ones. (But that's just "ME",)

Posted

Pros: Everything (see below)

Cons: None that I can think of

Ok, this is my first review. However, I feel that my opinion matters as much as anyone elses. I'll start from the beginning. I have been creeping in here for quite a while and soaking up as much info as I can. I am not an audiophile, really just a person that enjoys music a lot and its a part of me. I decided a while back that I wanted to roll with Grado because the genre of music I prefer, old metal head with some punk and classic rock thrown in.

 

Road block one, I am currently deployed USAF. Not a lot of companies will ship to an APO and where I am at, to include 4OurEar's. I e-mailed them and started a on-going dialog with Richard Grado. Great guy! Even though they do not ship to APO addresses, he worked with me and placed my order over the phone. What a class act! 

 

I will be honest, thats a lot of jack to sling without listening to them first. My mind set was, nothing can butcher Van Halen 1 like Dre Beats did. They sell them by the truck loads here. Just not my thing. 

 

They finally arrived, after a about a week and a half. The first chance I got, I popped the jack into my iPod Classic. Holy Smokes!!!! These are exactly what I was after. I scrolled through a few tracks, Nothingface Lipsdick, AC/DC TnT, Perfect Circle Passive....etc. I would have to say that everything is very clean sounding and extremely detailed. The kick drums were clean and tight, great mids and highs. All of this with meh quality music. I have a X3 on the way for my FLAC. This will be strictly for home use when I rotate back to the US.

 

For the money, I am very happy with my purchase. The design, very retro but cool at the same time. Sound...best things I have ever strapped to my nugget. 

 

I wanted to go into comfort a bit and why I rated it so high. I have worn David Clark headsets for hours on end during aircraft engine runs. Those are considered GOLD if you have them. At the same time I have worn Crapco headsets. I never put any thought into comfort. It was more about protecting my hearing and communicating with run personnel or the tower. I popped my 325's on and barely notice they are there. To me they are light and comfortable. The cord is thick but I am fine with that.

 

I cant wait to hear them with high quality music. 

Grado SR325is Headphones
Description:

What does the i stand for in the new SR325is from Grado? Improved, that`s what! Yes, Grado has taken one of the world`s most acclaimed headphones and taken it a few steps further. The new SR325is has an upgraded driver design, and they have enlarged and improved the 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. With the SR325is you will notice improved control of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum with both better supporting Grado`s world renowned midrange. And why the Gold color? The new SR325is is in honor of their 50th anniversary celebrated recently. The SR325is will produce a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic color, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics and an ultra smooth top end. Listen and Enjoy!

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandGrado
EAN0182092000059
FeatureTranducer type: dynamic
Height0.16 inches
Length1.28 inches
Weight3 pounds
Width0.98 inches
LabelGrado
List Price$295.00
ManufacturerGrado
ModelSR325I
MPNSR325I
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameMICROPHONE
PublisherGrado
StudioGrado
TitleGrado Prestige Series SR325is Headphones
UPC182092000059
Special FeaturesWhat does the i stand for in the new SR325is from Grado? Improved, that's what! Yes, Grado has taken one of the worlds most acclaimed headphones and taken it a few steps further. The new SR325is has an upgraded driver and cable design. The way the SR325is' driver, cable and metal housing move air and react to sound vibrations are now less affected by transient distortions. With the new 8 conductor cable design you will notice improved control and stability of the upper and lower range of the fr
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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