Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › looking for advice for my grado 225i
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

looking for advice for my grado 225i

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

pardon me if i should have posted this in the amp section. I got the grado 225i recently and have been listening to mp3/flac straight out of the headphone jack of my '09 macbook pro.

it sounds great to me but i seriously can't hear any difference when playing 128/192kbs mp3 and flac of the same song, which leads me to think that maybe i am not realizing the true potential of the headphone.

 

will getting an external amp+dac combo improve the sound quality to a stage where i can differentiate the 2 formats? i have been searching the forums and there are people that swear by an amp+dac for the 225i, and some don't. rather confused.

 

for my current setup, what would be the next thing i can do to improve the sound quality? 

post #2 of 8

Hey there,

 

I use the 225's, and as far as being able to hear the difference, lots of people can't.  Sure, theoretically a FLAC file should be higher quality, but many people can't hear much of a difference between lossless files like that and a high quality (192-356) mp3.  

 

If you want to improve the sound, your only real step would be to get a DAC of some sort that will do a better job of the sound card built in to your computer, but even then, depending on how critically you are listening to the music, it might not be a big difference in sound.  I got a DAC for my 225's but only because there was too much noise/static coming out of the computer for me.

 

The 225's are very easy to drive, so a DAC/amp combo will help improve the sound, but unless you spend a whole lot more than what you spent on your phones, not that much.  I'd say if you want you can shoot for something in the $50-200 range and it should help some.  Lots of people think the fiio e7 does a pretty good job for the money, I use the Audinst HUD-MX1 and think it works well, but it's up to you and what you can afford.

 

Either way, if you don't hate what you're hearing now, don't expect anything to make a huge difference.  It will only be incremental improvements, nothing night and day.

post #3 of 8

The amps will fix it a bit, but getting music in 320kbps or higher will be even better!

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

Thank you for the valuable information.

i tried comparing again between 128bit and flac for some songs, the singer's voice seems to appear more "far off" as compared to flac. so there are very subtle differences. like you say, depends on how critically we listen to the music. i will most likely be getting an amp with a build in dac. 

 

If i get a usb amp+dac and direct the audio output of my macbook to usb, is it true that the audio signal will completely bypass the onboard soundcard on the macbook and instead processed by the external amp+dac? 

 

when people say that the source must be good, they mean both the quality of the sound file (flac or lossless) + the hardware playing the file right? if what i mentioned in the above paragraph is correct, does that mean that my source is now the external amp+dac combo?

 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hophilip View Post

Hey guys,

 

Thank you for the valuable information.

i tried comparing again between 128bit and flac for some songs, the singer's voice seems to appear more "far off" as compared to flac. so there are very subtle differences. like you say, depends on how critically we listen to the music. i will most likely be getting an amp with a build in dac. 

 

If i get a usb amp+dac and direct the audio output of my macbook to usb, is it true that the audio signal will completely bypass the onboard soundcard on the macbook and instead processed by the external amp+dac? 

 

when people say that the source must be good, they mean both the quality of the sound file (flac or lossless) + the hardware playing the file right? if what i mentioned in the above paragraph is correct, does that mean that my source is now the external amp+dac combo?

 




Correct, it should just take over as your number #1 sound output device, otherwise it may have to be set in

configuration manually. Sorry I'm a PC guy. This will now be your new source.

 

My advice would be to get your hands on a reference piece of music - whether that be something by

Chesky Records or something like Pink Floyd or Eric Clapton UnPlugged. Doesn't matter if you think

those artists suck - they will give you a good insight into discerning between 128kbps files and

FLAC files.

post #6 of 8

Heya,

 

Grados are pretty grainy as it is, I don't imagine you're going to hear a huge difference with the prestige series of Grados when using well compressed 192kbps and higher qualities, especially depending on what type of music it is (rock, electronic, hip hop, punk, etc comes to mind). Listening to pure vocals or classical might reveal a difference, but depends on the type yet again.

 

I would not go and spend a few hundred bucks on a new DAC/AMP at all if I were you to power some prestige Grados. I'd simply keep collecting highest quality music you can and enjoy your headphones. Or if you're worried, get different headphones. Grados really do not need an amp. If you want a better DAC, that's one thing, but the MacBookPro is actually not bat at all and even buying a roughly $100 DAC or so isn't going to make a big difference for you I wager.

 

Very best,

post #7 of 8

if ur looking for a portable setup on ur com, i strongly recommend the Centrance dacport! it has excellent extension both ways and is very clear and relatively neutral, though on the warm side.

post #8 of 8

@ Malveaux

 

You make a point about the Grados picking up graininess. I just critically listened to

 

Frank Sinatra + Count Basie Orchestra - Live at The Sands

 

Track - 'One one for my baby, one for the road'

 

You can definitely hear more grain on the 325i's than on the AKG K601's.

Still prefer the overall tone of the Grados and on-stage presence though.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › looking for advice for my grado 225i