The RS1 (buttonless) I have tend to be my most engaging headphones, insofar as emotional involvement in music is concerned. I find this to be true with any source material with a prominent electric guitar. No one else comes close to involving the listener with this instrument the way RS1s can do.. Likewise, woodwinds sound like woodwinds. The RS1s have a good sense of PRAT. They do not sound harsh through the upper-mids and treble, as the wooden cup seems to subdue the upper midrange.
I can get more ultimate resolution with my HD 800s. Vocals display more resolution, as do most instruments. However, I wind up feeling that while I can hear more levels or layers with the HD 800s, I am not getting as emotionally involved with the music, except to note to myself how clean individual voices and instrumentation can sound. In short, while the HD 800s can definitely extract more detail from the music, they do not involve me in the music emotionally the same way the Grado RS 1s do.
So, bottom line, in terns of being involved/iimmersed within the music, the RS1s win the battle, most of the time
That's not to say that I might not get more from the HD800s with some source and amplification upgrades. I am running a Cal Audio Labs Aria Mk. III as my cd source, and an Imod, both connected with Morrow Audio cables into a McIntosh preamp connected by Morrow cables into a Singlepower PPX3 Slam. I realize this equipment is older stuff; however, it seems to have a very synergistic effect on the quality of sound delivered to the headphone amplifier output.
One of these days I may attend a meet and have my priorities turned upside down within a price range I can afford. Until then, I'm a happy camper.