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Grados SR80i's vs Grados SR225i's

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

Hey there head-fiers.  I know this question has been asked to death as I've spent the past week just looking at many many comparisons between the two set of cans but I have some questions that I feel can be answered best by those who own the headphones already since I don't really have the means to sample them beforehand.


As for some background, I wanted to get into the world of Grados for some time now and I finally decided to make the plunge.  I own a pair of Shure SRH840's and Etymotic HF5's and was looking for something more colorful and warm which is why I turned to Grados.


What I have read so far is that many think the 225i's blow the 80i's out of the water in terms of clarity, balance and bass.  Some have noticed no significant differences but this a minority opinion.  The problems I have with the Grados is issues with build quality.  Since I'm a college student I can't afford to buy another pair of 225i's if they break on me which is why I'm personally leaning towards the 80i's with some bowl/414 pads.  How is the build quality on the 225i's compared to the 80i's for those who own them?


Also I plan to drive these without an amp for the most part and I know that both are relatively easy to drive but I just don't know if I will ever splurge on a higher end amp.  Will I be missing out if I buy the 225i's and don't drive it with an amplifier?


Finally, I was planning on using these on the move meaning I would just put them in my bag whenever I plan to do work on campus so portability may or may not be an issue.  I wanted to know how much heavier the 225i's were in comparison to the 80i's.


I don't mind spending the money on the 225i's but once again I really can't afford to buy another pair if they break on me within the first 2 years.  I don't mistreat my headphones but I do use them very heavily on a daily basis.


You guys have always been awesome so thank you in advance!

post #2 of 60

The SR-80i and SR-225i are virtually the same headphones.  The 225 has the bowl pads which places emphasis in the treble while the SR-80i has the Comfy pads which filters the bass giving the headphone a bit more oomph.  I did not hear any major improvement until I went to the SR-325i and up, but the discomfort drove me crazy because they rest on your ears and the driver covers are hard plastic.  No headphone should cause you say ouch.


I suggest investing in a pair of V-Moda M80/V80 headphones.  They are on-ear just like the Grados, but they are so much more comfortable.  Here are the charts for the SR-225i and SR-80i overlapped as well as the charts for the V-Moda M80/V80.




See how there are hardly any differences in the frequency response.  Hard to believe that your ear will tell any difference either.




Much flatter frequency response and less wavy square wave response as well.  They are built like a tank too so you do not have to worry about tossing them into your bag.


Here is Tyll's review.  I highly recommend the M80/V80 over the Grado SR-80 and SR-225.


post #3 of 60

Here's another option / thought. Have a look at the Alessandro MS1i. You can order straight off the Alessandro website - price is around USD 100.00 delivered. Depends on who you talk to - some say they're the equivalent of the SR125i. All I know is that they are my favourite 'fun' headphone. Plenty of modding options. May look flimsy - but so far I've found them pretty hardy - and they're pretty easy to repair anyway.


Grado comfort is a hit or miss. I agree that they're not the best - but I wouldn't swap mine. I have found that bowls help - YMMV - and there are a few things you can do with the headband.


Best part is that they are easily moddable - and you can get quite a few improvements - for reasonably cheap.


Here's my review - in case you interested:



And this is how they actually look now - probably finished modding for the most part (I'm extremely happy with the sound) - only other change might be recable with single-sided cable eventually.


woody1.jpg woody2.jpg

post #4 of 60
Thread Starter 

@NA Blur


Thank you for the graphs, they seem really helpful and really support my choice of the SR80i's.  I just took a look at some reviews for the V-Modas and they look very solid.  However I can't really tell if they are open cans or not but judging from the pictures they don't seem to be?  I was looking for a pair of open cans since I already have SRH840's for my closed pair to obtain some more variety.




Thank you very much for your suggestion.  I know all about the Alessandro's and it most definitely would have been one of my top choices were it not for the fact that I am only limited to Amazon purchases due to having credit there to be able to pay for the headphones.

post #5 of 60

The 225i are s significant step up from the 80i, and worth every cent of the difference in price.


Though similar structurally on the outside, the two phones have different innards.

The 225i's also use super precise driver matching and other operations to improve

SQ which are not visually apparent.


While not the most comfortable headphone to wear for long periods, they're comfortable

enough - and in return provide a very unique listening experience:  very lively, dynamic,

present, and exciting.  No other headphone I've heard or heard of can effectively simulate

the Grado listening 'experience'. 


It's not for everyone, of course.  And it does better on some types of music than others.


As to build quality - though they may look rickety, they're in fact pretty solidly made.

But I would not consider them to be portable by any means, and I don't ever wear mine outside.

I'm also careful with them because the earpads spin on their posts, and after a time the cords

leading from the "Y" can become twisted. 


I've owned the 80, 125, 225, 325is, and now the 225i which is my favorite of them all.

I don't wear them all the time, but for certain albums & songs

nothing compares. 

post #6 of 60

SR225i vs SR80i... A lot of opinions... Personally, I owned both. Bought the SR80i just to try it out and after I listened to the SR225i. Returned the SR80i immediately and got the SR225i. I felt there was a little more bass quantity and bass quality and I felt the mids and highs were improved as well. The comfort issue is really simple to fix. Just flip the pads around to make it feel more comfortable and "improved" sonic signature; shown on innerfidelity. I personally think the SR225is are the "better" product here but for Performance to Price ratio... The SR80is are pretty unbeatable..

post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 




Alot of people seem to have that opinion which is why I'm so torn.  Do you guys have any additional info about the build quality of the phones?  Are the 80i's the same quality of build as the 225i's?  I know the wire is upgraded but what about the casing etc etc.

post #8 of 60



I had the same question. So I bought the SR60i's and the SR325i's to see the prestige line's range. I found little difference between the two headphones honestly. I also got all three ear-pad types. I found the L-cush pads to be best. Build quality, well, they're the same. The only difference is that the SR325 was metal and the SR60 was plastic in terms of the driver housing. Regardless of which you get, the places headphones get damaged are still there, the housing doesn't matter. You'll see scratched grills, and the real damage comes from when you jerk a cord from the headphone on accident. This happens no matter what model you get.


So I would just get the SR60i with some L-cush pads. Save your money. If you absolutely love the Grado sound and can actually wear them for long periods of time, then save up for a real Grado and leave the Prestige line and go to their upper tier later on.


Very best,

post #9 of 60
Originally Posted by SashimiWu View Post




Alot of people seem to have that opinion which is why I'm so torn.  Do you guys have any additional info about the build quality of the phones?  Are the 80i's the same quality of build as the 225i's?  I know the wire is upgraded but what about the casing etc etc.

I'm not saying the 80 and 225 are miles apart. I find minor details to be different that's all. And so far build quality is pretty good.. no problems so far

post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 




Thank you guys so much for your input.  I think I'm set on either the Alessandro's MS1i's or the SR80i's now that my Amazon credit didn't fall through.

post #11 of 60
Originally Posted by SashimiWu View Post




Thank you guys so much for your input.  I think I'm set on either the Alessandro's MS1i's or the SR80i's now that my Amazon credit didn't fall through.

Starting with the 80i's (rather than the 225i's) is probably a good idea - if you decide you like the Grado sound, you can always sell them and move up to the 225's or an even higher model.


post #12 of 60



I recently purchased the Grado sr80 along with a pair of Grado Alessandro MS1 headphones.
The sr80's I purchased on ebay sounded great right out of the box, had already been burned in. I don't think the Grado Alessandro MS1 have enough hours on them yet because they sound a bit more harsh when compared to the sr80's I have. 
I will be getting the Grado sr225 soon ... have to share my thoughts once I get to audition them. 
Also I am looking for info on reasonable priced headphone amp.  I am new to headphone amps. 


I need a budget priced headphone distribution amp, and I read that the PreSonus HP4 - 4-Channel Headphone Distribution Amplifier Priced at around $150.00 was a good choice for monitoring voice over recordings and the like.


My question is: can this amp work for everyday listening with my Grado sr225 headphones?

or do I need to get something more suited to and dedicated to audiophile use?


Just thought I might be able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.


Any help is appreciated.

post #13 of 60
My son and I demo'd the SR60, 80, 125, 225 and 325 at a local retailer using a variety of Apple lossless quality files. All are good and the sound is similar but there is definitely a difference as you step up the line. Only took a few seconds each time to notice. Detail and instrument separation increases as does the realism of the vocals which is what I love most about the Grados.
The difference is not huge and is incremental. We decided the 225 was the "sweet spot" in the line but honestly had we only heard the 80 or 125 we would have been totally satisfied. For portable use I think the lower cost models make sense. I would be more comfortable myself with the 60 or 80.
post #14 of 60

Any experience with headphone amps?


Can a headphone distribution amp work also for just every day listening?



post #15 of 60
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the information and help guys.


I wound up getting a pair of SR80i's from Amazon with the L-Cups.  Super excited to get them.

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