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New to Audio - Help with Grado SR225i

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I bought a pair of Grado SR225i's a few months back.

I listen to music using my Alienware M15x and Foobar2000 on Windows 7.


In Foobar2000 I had two choices for audio devices (besides null or primary).

1) Speakers / Headphones (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)

2) Independent (R.T.C) Headphones (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)


Audio sounded better out of the Independent drivers aka 2) through Foobar.

So I did some research and found out something called "ASIO4ALL" and decided to try that with Foobar2000's plugin support.

After setting up a virtual device in Foobar2000 I found it sounds better than 1) but I can't decide if it sounds better than 2).


I was wondering what drivers people would recommend.


Also, I've been wondering if there was a better way to really make these cans sing.

I have been looking at Schiit Audio's headphone amps, but don't know if they're any good (they certainly meet my price range).


Any tips / advice would be nice.

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Any help?

post #3 of 5

If you're using Windows 7, you might want to try the WASAPI plugin. I understand it's specifically designed for Windows Vista and 7. I think WASAPI and ASIO4ALL do essentially the same thing in that they bypass Windows and allow Foobar2000 to talk directly to your sound output hardware (i.e. sound card or DAC). ASIO4ALL was designed for XP.


Do you have a DAC? Is your music collection in lossless? These are two very important factors in quality music reproduction in my opinion.


The Nuforce uDac is an entry level DAC and headphone amp combined and is generally very popular, I have one but I haven't tried it with the 225s.


I recently purchased a pair of 225s myself. I've been driving them with my Meier Audio CORDA CONCERTO portable headphone amp, but I've just switched to my Little Dot I+, which was hitherto gathering dust - I'm tired of swapping out batteries on the Concerto!


The 225s sound great out of both amps, my source is a Little Dot DAC_I. The Little Dot I+ is very reasonably priced and a popular choice with Grados.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I upload everything using EAC into FLAC then convert it to ALAC using foobar2000 and iTunes encoder.


I don't own a DAC, but I have audio go straight to the headphones or to my receiver via HDMI.

It is just a standard receiver in my price range, the Denon AVR-391.

Which powers my stereo setup.

Sometimes I'll plug the Grado's straight into my Denon.



The reason I use ALAC is so I can play music with my iPod Touch 4G.

I'll use both my Grados and Klipsch on my iPod.

post #5 of 5

I do near enough the same thing so I can put my collection on my iphone smily_headphones1.gif


I think the primary reason I noticed such a boost in SQ when getting a DAC was because hitherto I was just using the output from my PCs on-board sound card, which was awful by comparison.


If you're driving your headphones from a receiver fed by a digital signal out from your computer, you've probably already got a setup not far off or equal to a dedicated amp and DAC. I don't believe the 225s represent an overly challenging load for an amplifier, so they're quite flexible in that regard.

Edited by jr41 - 4/30/11 at 3:26pm
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