I just received a brand new RS1i today. I’ve had a bunch of Grados (including an older buttoned RS1 which I sold to try Stax gear a couple years ago) and currently own an SR225 and SR60i. I’ve also tried both the GS1000 and PS1000 but those are not my favourite Grados. I decided last week I needed to upgrade my Grado experience.
I’m so glad I got the RS1i. They are fantastic. They are sweeter and smoother in the highs than other Grados I remember (PS500 excepted) and the mids are beautiful and vibrant but without the level of shout that can make some other Grados a little piercing to my ears with female vocals.
For example, I need to listen to my SR225 with flat pads as I find them slightly thin and a little too trebly with bowls. That switch ends up collapsing a lot of the soundstage. But the RS1i has more bass impact and sweeter mids/highs with bowls, giving me a slightly larger soundstage and better imaging.
I vaguely remember the old RS1 being like this but it was much too long ago since I last heard it to offer any valuable comparison. I do remember a bit more of the PS500 and while the PS500 is pretty great, it has a bit more glare to upper mids (treble is not an issue) and thicker lower mids. I know I prefer the smoother upper mids on the RS1i and might prefer the thinner lower mids, as well. (not 100% about that one as those thick PS500 mids are really fun)
The main reason I decided to go back to high end Grado is that I find that any overhear headphone - no matter how light and comfortable - makes my head and ears sweat after 30 minutes. The light foam pads on Grados keep air circulating on my ears and I can wear them for longer and be comfortable.
Anyway, enjoying these immensely right now. I’ll probably do some 225 and rs1i comparisons later this week
edit: Should mention that I’m running them off a Burson HA160D. I’m considering getting a MAD Ear+HD down the line.
Congrats on your RS1i purchase...a great headphone, indeed.