So, my friend and I spent all day messing around with these three pairs of headphones because he was trying to decide between these pairs as well as the AKG K702
I figured I'd post how we both felt about them for anyone who was interested.
Firstly, I'll state the source we were using since so many times we will be reading reviews wondering what the hell they were driving the headphones with.
I have a Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1+ through USB to my Windows 7 laptop using Foobar2000 with the WASAPI addon.
We were using flac files in both CD and DVD-A quality
Secondly, I'll go ahead and apologize for grammar and/or spelling errors as it is nearing 2 a.m. and I'm getting tired.
I gathered up my HD 650s plus amp and went over to my friend's house after grabbing my dad's cans (hd598). Compared to the HD 650s the 598s lack sound stage and background detail, like a large amount. The 598s didn't sound bad, but the soundstage was very limiting. I compared the Grados and found they had the smallest soundstage of all 3. I got annoyed with the Grados at this point and hardly took them seriously. The Grados lacked in every department except for their fantastic tremble and highs.
We were curious how they would be driven without an amp and plugged them straight in to his on board motherboard (still using flac on foobar2000). The hd 650s soundstage lacked and it never really hit its highs very well without an amp, while the hd 598s and sr225i both sounded fine.
Comfort wise, the sennheisers both felt better than the grados. The hd 598s ear cup felt a little bit snugger than the 650s, but it shouldn't be a problem for most people. Now the Grados flat out suck. Using stock ear cups they felt like they were grinding against your ear and I know from experience that they aren't too great for long listening sessions.
Look wise, I know some people don't like how the hd 598s look, but I think they are the best designed of all three.
Random notes were that the sennheiser's ear cups and cords could be easily removed and replaced, while the Grado's cord can't be replaced (only the ear cups).
Overall I'd have to say get the 650s if you want to drop ~$750 on a headphone and amp, else get the hd 598s
Pass on the sr225i
I know Grado's sr80i are legendary for the price range, but their mid tier headphones just don't hold up
If you have other questions let me know