The HE-5LE can be quite a cliff hanger of a headphone. You can get so close to perfection ... yet, then question yourself if there's something else out there that could give just a little more. After going through 9 HifiMan changes, I realized not just one would make me happy. I'd need about 3 of the models to do so. That is when I said I'm heading back to Grado for a bit. The RS1i is quite the dreamy sound. In fact, the sound is nothing like I thought it was going to be ... but, it is 10 times better to my ears and what I hear so I can enjoy.
Thanks for explaining your experience with them. It really makes no sense in a way, as the 5LE is such a great headphone. I'm not sure how the 225i manages to edge it out in my weekly listening, but it does.
I went through a similar process with my main speakers. It was an intense three years of listening, auditioning, and reading. I went through Definitive Technologies, Sunfire, Magnepan, Martin Logan, B&W, and Tannoy. I eventually tried a pair only available on line that came with a whopping 120-day home audition. Ironically, they are hand-built in Brooklyn, they don't publish specs, and the owner of the company tunes them by ear. The company is Ohm acoustics, and they build omni-polar speakers that have to be heard to be believed. Mine cost $1200 a pair, and I have yet to hear anything that outright beats them
I guess what I'm really looking for is the 'Ohm' of headphones, and I'm hoping Grado is it.