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Grado SR325i Right for Me?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 



I've been lurking on these boards for a little while now, as I'm in the market for a set of cans. After a lot of reading I think I've decided which phones I want. Before I take the plunge though I'd thought I'd ask for a final decision. I currently own some IE8s.


As the title would suggest, I've settled for some Grado 325is (thats just a plural s, not the silver version). I live in the UK, so I'm planning to import them from the US. The total price I'd be paying is £205.


My music preference is mostly metal and heavy stuff. But I also listen to calmer music with a lot of instrumental layering. Some bands I like to help you get an idea: Deftones, RATM, System Of A Down, Reuben, Black Label Society, AV7X, Funeral For a Friend, Kyuss Hed Pe. But also, Brand New, Mogwai, As Tall as Lions, Mountain Goats, The Sound of Animals Fighting, etc.


Really my question is are these headphones suitable? Unfortunately there are no stores I can go to test them out, around here it's all Bose or Sony. There's a Denon dealer, but I don't really rate their sub £500 headphones.


From reading around, the only other choice that seems to crop up are the K701's.



post #2 of 13

Not that this helps because i am also on the search for the proper pair of grados for myself, but I feel your pain on the lack of dealers, though im in the US.

post #3 of 13

I have 325is's,not heard the Goldies.I have found mine to be a bit picky regarding source and amp.They are my favourite phones but not always the most listened to.Shame you can't hear some first.Its also a shame that i have never heard of any of the bands you mention.

PS watch out for the vatman .

Edited by wallace - 7/22/10 at 8:58am
post #4 of 13

I love my goldies.. They kick ass with metal, or really any guitar based music.  The mids are in your face, the guitars sing, the drums have authority and the cymabls are nice and crisp.  I amp mine using a PA2V2 with a Grado 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.  I have no complaints about my 325i's.  I've bent the headband as others have suggested, I've washed the bowl pads with shampoo as others have suggested, and I can wear them for hours.  I've even started wearing them to watch movies on my PC.  They even sound good out of the crappy HP out, although I do hear the hiss (not the headphones fault, it's the cheap built in headphone out).


On a different note, if you're expecting them to sound anything like the IE8's... look elsewhere!!!!  They don't have the 8's bass, they are not laid back like the 8's.  The highs are much brighter on the 325i's.  If you're allergic to crisp, sharp, detailed mids and highs, move up the Grado line or even down to the 225's.  I hear they aren't as bright.


If you're unsure if the Grado sound is for you, start with the SR80i's or even the 60i's.  You'll know within a few days (after burn in) if Grado's are for you. If they aren't for you, you can turn around and sell them here at a minimal loss and you'll have saved money in the long run.


Good luck with your search and Happy Listening..

post #5 of 13
K701s can be dull for metal. Grado sr325is are probably the most specific headphines that were invented on the face of earth. Frankly, the highs are incredibly sibilant depending how good your hearing is. If you play metal with these, lower the volume if u treasure your hearing. Denons and beyers or even lower range grados will b a better choice
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

@ Wallace:


I'd always read that they're easy to drive? If they needed heavy amplification it might change my mind. Realistically I wouldn't want to spend more than £75 for an amp on top of the phones.


@ Joey Ruso


I was actually hoping for something to contrast my IE8's. I'm just basically looking for something to rock the shit out of my music whilst I'm at home that resparks your interest in all your old music. Like the first time I switched from earbuds to iems and realised my ears are totally the wrong shape for earbuds.


I've gone through my collection with the IE8s warmer, bass ended sound. So the 325is reputation both intrigues yet worries me. If I was going Grado, I'd like to go all the way to 325is, otherwise I'd see my self constantly upgrading until I get there. I hear its quite a hate it or love it type sound. Are there any other phones you think may be worthy around the same price point?


@ wind016


Specific for Metal or? I tend to have my music pretty loud. Not dangerously so, just a little over comfort level. I tried out some Denon's, I wasn't majorly impressed. Without going above my price range I don't think I'd find love.


What's the difference between the models of Grado's then. I mean frequency response and everything is for the majority over my head. Obviously you have different price points, which one would assume means different target audiences. But is the sound signature that different?

post #7 of 13

When I used to listen to more rock and heavy metal, I had Grado SR325is. They were my prized most expensive headphones that I EVER had. God I hated them.  I did so much EQ to try to tame the highs but it was simply ridiculous. All the EQing kills the rest of the music...

I must say, what got me to buy the Grados were my previous lower range Grados. I thought I had a hearing problem because the SR325is are supposed to be an upgrade. The fact is, they have very very VERY uncomfortable highs....

post #8 of 13

Amplification isn't about power, it's about control. With greater control, comes greater refinement.  The bass will be tighter and less bloated, the treble will be smoother and less harsh.  As I discovered the very first time I tried very bright headphones, they are unpleasant with poor quality amplification. Now I have insanely expensive amplification and whatnot, the situation is completely the opposite.  This is why department store or Apple Store headphones tend to be relatively dull-sounding (Bose etc.) because it's easier to sell headphones with a strong bass than a strong treble.

post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

When I used to listen to more rock and heavy metal, I had Grado SR325is. They were my prized most expensive headphones that I EVER had. God I hated them.  I did so much EQ to try to tame the highs but it was simply ridiculous. All the EQing kills the rest of the music...

I must say, what got me to buy the Grados were my previous lower range Grados. I thought I had a hearing problem because the SR325is are supposed to be an upgrade. The fact is, they have very very VERY uncomfortable highs....

Wind, I have read a few complaints like yours in other posts, and I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with them, but I have no such issues with mine.  I have a variety of pads/bowls that I play with and the only time they get even remotely close to uncomfortable for me is when I use the jumbo bowls with them.  After listening to the rolled off highs of the IE8's and the IE7's, hearing my music through the SR60i's revealed what I was missing.  Within two weeks, I had my 325i's, and I'll never regret that trade (IE8's for 325i's).   They may not be for everyone (325i's) but if you're not sensitive to highs, you'll love them.  It was like a veil was lifted off of my music.  As they say, your mileage may vary...


Kilgore, stroll through the official 325i appreciation thread for more opinions as well.




If you're still worried about the highs, you might look into the 225i's.  They are supposed to be very well rounded and I read that they still retain the Grado mids that make them ideal for metal/rock.  Or better yet, go to Grado's website and see if there's a dealer close by where you can go and listen for yourself.  Happy reading and listening.

post #10 of 13

325's will make everything on the treble side for sure. You will need a tube amp to calm them down. :)

post #11 of 13

I have had my SR325is's for about 4 months now, and I have to say, I am really liking these headphones. As others have said these headhpones are pretty much tailored to rock-style music. Thats not to say that they are bad at other types of music as well, they just sound great with rock. I listen to everything from techno / house to classical with my 325is and everything sounds absolutely amazing. They have very pronounced mids and highs, while still having clean bass with a good about of punch without being muddy. 


As for needing an amp to drive these, I have found that you don't NEED an amp. You can get plenty of volume from them without an amp, but one would help out. Even if it was a simple cmoy amp it would be an improvement. Now some of my friends who like to kill their ears with 120db music would say these headphones can't go loud enough without an amp, but inside the comfort range of sound these headphones get plenty loud without amplification. Add to that the fact these are low impedance cans so they are relatively easy to amp.


As far as being right for you, like others, I would recommend getting a pair of SR60/80's first to see if the distinct "Grado" sound is for you. If you do like the sound, you will probably find yourself selling the SR60/80 and getting the 325is's or even higher up Grado's.

post #12 of 13

I was going to listen out of my ipod at work and found them to be very treble oriented. they changed the sound of all my music.I returned mine and got 225's. 

post #13 of 13

I guess SR325i is a great can just like Aless MS2i, but you need the right amp to tame the sharpness while still offering the good detail and transparation.


from what I've tried for Linearossa K3 is really really suitable for MS2i.

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