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Grado SR225 vs. SR225i - Initial Impressions

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
I’ll admit that one of these will be staying and the other up for sale. This, of course, poses a conflict of interest but I’ll tell you up front I don’t care. I’ve been well fed here at Head-Fi and if take a few dollar hit for my honest impressions then so be it.

I’ve owned two pairs of SR-60s, MS-1s, and now three pairs of 225s with numberless pad configurations. I’m using an Ipod 5.5G, ALO Bling Bling Line Out, Corda 2Move, with a variety of Apple Lossless and FLAC (via desktop USB to the 2Move DAC) files.

Appearance/Ergonomics

The 225i’s are bigger, slightly bulbous and quite frankly not as good looking. Fit and finish on the 225i is excellent. The cord is massively thick, I’d say nearly twice as large. This could be good (less prone to kinks) and bad (it’s heavier more bulky). The cord is also a good foot shorter than the older (vintage) 225. Comfort is similar, except the 225i seems a bit heavier and the cord tends to get hung up on things.

Sound - initial impressions (only 3-4 hours break in)

The differences, as might be expected, are subtle. The 225i retains almost the same sonic signature with a couple of notable differences. First thing I notice is that there is slightly, and I mean slightly, more bass and it appears to be tighter and more defined. Without running some test tracks I'd say it might extend a little deeper. Second the soundstage appears to be a bit wider on the 225i. Vocals seem to “float” just a bit more with a tad more separation between instruments. The 225i’s might be a touch more harsh in the upper frequencies – too early to tell.

Nothing earth shattering here, but there are some differences.

These differences are, of course what I perceive – your mileage may vary. Also there is very little break in (and listening time) these are just initial impressions….I’ll update as I have more listening time.


Sound (24 hours break in)

Not much change over time. I will say that my initial impressions are confirmed. There seems to be slightly more weight & tighter bass in the lower registers (although I can't consistently tell on every track) and the soundstage is improved. As for the harshness in the upper frequencies, I really don't think there is any difference between the two.

Although I'll keep listening, I'm confident that both are excellent headphones that sound very similar. If you are in the market for a 225 then you can weigh the ergonomic factors vs. the slight improvements in sound quality and decide which is for you. If you have a 225 and are contemplating an upgrade I wouldn't feel the need to run out and buy the 225i. It's a nice product line evolution on a great headphone but not a "revolution". Overall a thumbs up.

Now if I can just find an RS-1 to listen to.....


Regards,

Rich
LL
post #2 of 108
Interesting if not wholly unexpected.

Thanks for the impressions
post #3 of 108
SR225i's on the bottom of the picture?
post #4 of 108
Thread Starter 

Yes...

Yes, 225i on the bottom. It's not a great angle to show the housing height difference but you can get a feel for how much thicker the cord is. Also the camera on my iPhone is not stellar....at least in this light.

Rich
post #5 of 108
I dunno...at this rate I'm thinking the majority of this may be placebo, because of all the minor things mentioned here and there seem to be on the "ehhh" side.

Perhaps the questionable "burn-in" time will settle this.
post #6 of 108
At long last finally!
Thanks, richsto!

Keep us updated throughout the burn-in process, please..
post #7 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
I dunno...at this rate I'm thinking the majority of this may be placebo, because of all the minor things mentioned here and there seem to be on the "ehhh" side.

Perhaps the questionable "burn-in" time will settle this.
Most definetely agree. The changes are minor and I should have waited a bit - but I do like to see what if any differences there are out of the box. I'll follow up in a day or two after some more run-in time. More listening time will help as well.

I will say that I listened to the same tracks over and over again with constant (and immediate) switching between phones. I am using a RadioShack Gold Series splitter which is questionable but it gives each phone a fair shot and allows immediate changes. As for placebo, I really don't care which one sounds better....

Hopefully others can post their findings in this thread as well, I'll follow up later.
post #8 of 108
Yes please, do keep us updated. I wonder how it sounds in 2-3 weeks time.
post #9 of 108
Nice to see a side by side comparison between the newer and older models.

I'm also wondering how they compare after burn-in.
post #10 of 108
From my experience with Grados, there was such a large difference in bass quality after about the 80 hour burn in mark, that if the new SR225i's are even close now, let alone better, I'd guess they'll blow them away once fully burnt in.
post #11 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjrabon View Post
From my experience with Grados, there was such a large difference in bass quality after about the 80 hour burn in mark, that if the new SR225i's are even close now, let alone better, I'd guess they'll blow them away once fully burnt in.
Maybe not "blow them away", but the differences could be considerable.
post #12 of 108
Going from gold to 325i to silver 325is I noticed significantly more bass and just a tad more sibilance. I used comfies all the time on the goldies to get the bass I wanted, but don't feel the need to use them in the slightest on the silvers, the bass is already there.
post #13 of 108
Seems like the effect of larger cups. Had similar experiences going from 225s to woody deep cup 225s.
post #14 of 108
Were you powering both phones at once with a splitter? That may not be the best idea, especially with a portable amp.
post #15 of 108
Interesting. I wonder how this will turn out? Maybe it'll be worth upgrading...
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