Well..I've had my PS1000e headphones for a few days now and I was able to A-B them to my (now sold) PS1000s and here are some of my findings:
Not much to report here. The drivers are red and 50mm in the PS1000e and the cable is thicker (12 conductors vs. 8). Oh and the new models state "PS1000e" . Beyond that, I can't really find any differences. For a full listing of the changes, I'll simply refer you to the Grado website:
PS1000 on the left and PS1000e on the right
Now onto the important stuff...how do they compare sonically...
Well, the PS1000e's have retained the classic Grado sound and they just rock! As well, they are voiced very closely to each other. Right off the bat, you'll notice that the PS1000e are slightly more efficient (99.8dB vs 98dB), so you'll have to turn down your volume knob a wee bit with the newer Grados to volume match.
Some of my test tracks used:
Led Zeppelin I, II, III (new 2014 remasters)
Perfect Circle: Thirteenth Step
Pink Floyd DSoTM and WYWH (2011 remasters)
U2 Joshua Tree
CDs played through my Cambridge Audio CDP --> Bryston BDA-2 DAC --> GS-X Mk2
As I mentioned, both headphones sound like PS1000s, but the new "e" versions have bass that seems a bit more controlled and goes down a bit deeper. One thing that has limited Grados has been their sub-bass performance; especially when I compare them to the Audeze headphones I have on hand (LCD-X and LCD-XC), but the newer PS1000e's do an admirable job. Again, the differences between these and the original PS1000s are not night and day in this department, but during my frequency sweeps, I was happily surprised by the PS1000e's performance down low.
The mids are classic Grado, yes there's a bit of a "U" with these headphones (like the PS1000s and RS1/RS1is), but the music just flows from these headphones and I can't stop smiling.
The treble on both the PS1000 and PS1000e was very similarly voiced to my ears and sometimes very difficult to tell the differences. So it's very hard for me to comment further on these differences. But all I can say is that the treble can be a bit much if your amp/dac/source/music is tilted that way. It's kept me away from these headphones for quite some time. Then I got to hear them in my home on my setup and all I can say is that is definitely no longer the case.
One area that was a bit more of a profound change was the sound staging. I was surprised to immediately hear the very good imaging capabilities of the PS1000e's. They are very expansive when called for with some orchestral music I used, but when needed with some Zeppelin or Sabbath, they were still upfront and just rocked! The PS1000s offer a very good amount of sound staging, but the PS1000e's have kicked this up a notch and aren't too far behind my HD800s in that regard.
Both the PS1000 and PS1000e are fantastic headphones and worthy flagships for the company. I'm pleased to see Grado continue to improve their product offerings with the new "e"nhancements.
Edited by MacedonianHero - 6/21/14 at 6:49pm