Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado Ps500 vs more popular headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grado Ps500 vs more popular headphones?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Wondering how the PS500s stack up against other, more popular buys in the $500-700 region, HE-500s, Beyer T90, Sennheiser HD650/HD700, Denon D5000. And to some extent slightly higher priced headphones like the T1 and HD800 (T1 you can get for almost $700 used).

 

Just curious as I'm thinking of grabbing them but don't want to go with the wrong purchase, and opinions are mixed and few and far between, seems like everyone is buying Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic and the HiFiMAN planars are getting a lot of head time these days, especially the HE-400s and 500s which people are raving about all the time, noone ever talks about these Grados cept a few recent threads. I enjoy the look of the PS500s but worried I'll get inferior sound to a more bought brand.

post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 

bump

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

No love for PS500s.

post #4 of 37

check out the Grado Fan Club thread if that's not the thread you're referring to in your first post.

 

For what it's worth, I've got the PS500s and love them, and they've proven to be very popular among Grado aficionados. At the same time, the Grado sound is unique in the headphone world, so if you're not familiar with it, I'd recommend you try the PS500s- as well as any other headphones you're considering - before you buy. Or, at least pick a place with a generous return policy. As much fun as the research here can be, five minutes spent listening to any headphone can be much more valuable in helping you decide if it's right for you. 

 

I owned the SR60s and had heard the 225s a few times so I had a pretty good sense of what I was getting myself in to with the PS500. I won't compare to any of the other brands you've mentioned, but I love the Grado sound. If you find that you do, too, I can tell you that, to me, PS500 seemed to occupy a sweet spot in the lineup of value for money, so I made the leap and haven't looked back. I also preferred the aesthetic of the PS500 over the RS1, which is in the same price bracket, though I may be in the minority there.

 

In comparison to other brands in general, while these things may or may not matter to you, I liked the fact that Grados are a small family business, that their customer service goes above and beyond expectations, and that they don't require a massive investment in amplification. I can listen to mine happily out of my iPhone or MacBook, and do so daily, though they sound even more full and juicy out of my vintage Yamaha CR2020 receiver. When you consider the  total cost of headphones + the amp "required" to drive them properly, the PS500s represent, in my opinion, a terrific value, especially when combined with the aforementioned intangibles.

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thankyou for the reply Matro5, unfortunately I can't buy locally as they simply don't sell them in this country, and would have to import, my main concern is the PS500s being less clear and having worse spatial sound than other headphones in the same price, they are very small and don't look to cover your ears like other headphones in the price range which makes me think they'll sound worse/cheaper than others. Also doesn't a headphone not needing amplification or a good source mean it's less detailed or veiled than other headphones that do? Surely a headphone that sounds better listening to a rubbish file or from no amplification would be more 'blurry' than one that is analytical and clear and would need a good source file to let it shine?


Edited by Mgear - 10/27/12 at 3:57pm
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hm, I'm curious how Ps500s sound compared to HE-500s as they're the same price in my country, Ps500s more clear but worse bass?

post #7 of 37

Don't worry about Grados beeing veiled,they're known for beeing detailed,low impedence has noting to do with this.


Edited by stacker45 - 10/27/12 at 8:28pm
post #8 of 37

Hey Mgear,

 

I tested out the HE-500's for a few hours used the EF-5 amp and was considering them as an upgrade to my HE-4's.  They sounded pretty amazing with sweet sounding mids which were almost "holographic".  I wouldn't consider the headphones neutral at all with this midrange characteristic I was hearing but it was nice sounding for sure.  The HE-500's were a much better headphone and the more forward mids were much appreciated over the HE-4's and they also had more bass impact which was nice.  I've heard some of the higher end headphones(HE-6's, HD800's, HD650/600's, T1's, LCD-2's, PS1000's, GS1000's, D7000,  and D5000's)  I've owned RS1's, modded D2000's, HD580's, HE-4's, and HD-555's.  So I have a bit of perspective of the sound signature from these headphones when compared against one another.  

 

After I heard the HE-500's I wanted to test them out against the Grado's, because ever since I sold my RS1's I've been searching for something that would give me that kind of emotion I got while listening to those.  It's the combination of PRaT, upfront vocals, and resonance from wood chamber that made everything sound alive with the RS-1's.  I found them very special headphones while driven out of an RA-1, so I started auditioning the top-tier Grado's(minus the PS-1000's-too expensive!).  I auditioned the RS-1's, GS-1000's, and PS-500's.  I started with the RS-1's and PS-500's.  I soley used my 4th gen Ipod classic and my Hifiman HM-601 which were both using flac or Lossless files.  From my ears I thought the RS-1's were better with vocals, but only slightly and only on well recorded albums.  On a poorly mastered or, slightly bright album the RS-1's were a bit too bright for me.  The PS-500's from album to album were more consistent and seemed a bit easier to drive as well and just the right amount of brightness if any.  From the HM-601 on low gain I was getting some pretty loud volumes at 40%.  The bass also hit deeper on the PS-500's.  The RS-1's were slightly more open, but way too treble heavy for my tastes.  I went back and forth between these two for about an hour before deciding the PS-500's were the winner.

 

Now for the PS-500 vs. GS1000's...  I listened to the same albums I listened to when AB'ing the RS-1's and PS-500's(Adele, Arcade Fire, Tool, Ratatat, Sublime, The Cranberries, Eric Clapton Unplugged, Incubus, John Mellencamp, Metallica S&M, as well as others).  I found the GS1000's very dry in the vocals.  They were not nearly as liquid as the PS-500's or RS-1's.  Maybe it was the source I was using as I heard they can be very amp and source dependant, but I knew which headphone was coming home with me.  Though I wouldn't call the PS-500's neutral in anyway, they bring out the best in music with PRaT, vocals, and very convincing string instruments.  The HE-500's(not neutral to my ears either) had amazing vocals and a thicker more full sound than the HE-4's but knew it was going to be more annoying with amp choice, and source etc. and didn't have the PRaT of the Grado's.  A little too laid back for my tastes though a great headphone.  I would have chosen the HE-500 over the RS-1's and GS1000's if their wasn't a PS-500!!  The PS-500 has smoother highs then the rest of the Grado lineup and it's easier to drive so for me, it's that much easier to live with.  For convenience alone, I would have chose the PS-500s.  The fact that, to my ears they sounded better than all the headphones I auditioned and were the cheapest of the bunch was icing on the cake!  

 

Having said all this though, it's really up to the listener to decided what he/she likes best.  Some like a neutral headphone, some like a bigger soundstage etc.  I just wanted to simplify everything and love music again, and that's why I chose the PS-500's.  Hopefully you found this info useful.  If you have any questions at all, feel free to pm me.


Dustin

post #9 of 37

Great post, Dustin. Well said. 

post #10 of 37
Thank you Dustin!
Excellent post that covered all the headphones I am considering.
Much appreciated. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by PeterK53 - 10/28/12 at 6:36pm
post #11 of 37

Great post Dustin,altough you didn't specify,i'm assuming that the RS1s and the GS1000s were the ''i''model,i too have compared these headphones and came to the same conclusions,and bought the PS500s,but after about two weeks i traded them in for a pair of PS1000 and never looked back,that beeing said,i still think that the PS500s are one of the two best buys in the Grado line.

post #12 of 37

Yep, they were the RS1i and GS1000i models.  I had the buttoned version of the RS1 non-vintage model before and don't remember it being quite as bright as the RS1i, but I've owned headphones since so maybe I became more accustomed to a more "neutral" sound signature.  Or maybe they weren't fully burned in yet, I'm not quite sure.  Anyways, the PS500 is a non-offensive Grado model with less peaky treble but still has the Grado sound signature that only Grados have.  How did you find the PS500 compared to the HP2's stacker?  I heard the HP-1000 series are quite neutral, and some are saying the PS500's are neutral, though I'd never put them in that category.  

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by deej View Post

Yep, they were the RS1i and GS1000i models.  I had the buttoned version of the RS1 non-vintage model before and don't remember it being quite as bright as the RS1i, but I've owned headphones since so maybe I became more accustomed to a more "neutral" sound signature.  Or maybe they weren't fully burned in yet, I'm not quite sure.  Anyways, the PS500 is a non-offensive Grado model with less peaky treble but still has the Grado sound signature that only Grados have.  How did you find the PS500 compared to the HP2's stacker?  I heard the HP-1000 series are quite neutral, and some are saying the PS500's are neutral, though I'd never put them in that category.  

 

First let say that up until recently i was listening to my HP2 with Lcush,a few weeks ago i ordered flats from TTVJ,so i'm still getting used to the sound with the new pads.

 

The PS500s have a little more bass extensio, probably have half an octave or so,but the HP2's bass is better controlled and hits harder,the HP2 have more neutral mids voices sound very natural,the PS500 have a midbass oriented sound that sometimes tends to make women voices sound a bit a chesty,as for the highs,the HP1000s have better treble extension,but the PS500 have a slightly wider soudstage.

 

Overall i prefer the more neutral sound of the HP1000s,now,i know some peoples think that the HP1000s are among the best headphones ever produced,but please don't flame me for saying this,after all it's just my humble opinion,but i believe can give the PS1000 a run for it's money,as much as i like my HP2s i still like my PS1000 even more.

post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the replies, I still dont know if the ps500s can compete against he-300 or srh1840 for example because grado seems to be a bit overhyped sometimes so i dont really know still, i want to get the best sound and it worries me.

post #15 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgear View Post

I appreciate the replies, I still dont know if the ps500s can compete against he-300 or srh1840 for example because grado seems to be a bit overhyped sometimes so i dont really know still, i want to get the best sound and it worries me.

 

Deej thought the HE-500 were "pretty amazing" in his excellent post above, but still preferred the PS-500, so I would guess that they can "compete" against the HE-300. What does the "best sound" mean to you? How will you know it when you hear it? 

 

Good luck! 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado Ps500 vs more popular headphones?