My mini PS500e review,
I purchased a pair of PS500’s in March of this year serial # 3737 and like the rest of you didn’t know Grado was releasing a new series in a few months. So I would say I’ve logged approximately 50 hours on them and feel I have a good feel for their sound. Also it should be noted that prior to owning the PS500 I owned the RS1i for 59 days before returning them in favor of the PS500. I liked the RS1i but compared to the PS500 they sounded thin and (don’t hate me for saying this) a little boring. The PS500 didn’t bring out the same level of detail but the bass added some weight to the instruments and were so much fun to listen to.
The PS500e, when they arrived I gave them a very thorough inspection and compared the build and other aesthetics to my PS500’s and found them to be equally as impressive, meaning no scuffs on the cups, no pinched cables and no excessive glue around the drivers; very nice attention to detail. From here I plugged them into my Asgard 2 and gave them a long listening session of maybe 4 hours and having the PS500’s fresh in my mind the difference stood out immediately.
First I was surprised to hear that the bass had changed with more control and better definition but with still a lot of impact, and this was with a few hours of use I can’t wait to hear how it changes with 100 hours. Also the level of detail I was hearing was better it’s like they (with my non audiophile terms) turned up the gain by a few decibels. For a-b testing I plugged both pairs in with my Grado Y adapter and went back and forth and noticed the e version sounded louder and more forward in the mids while the PS500’s sounded more congested and laid back in comparison. To simplify, it sounds like the SR325is and the PS500 had a baby which for me is a good thing because the PS500e is replacing my SR325is for use while I’m traveling.
The only real negative thing I can find with these is the 1/8 inch cable end and how the 1/4 inch adapter they supplied comes off pretty easily and I wonder why they didn’t go with the screw on kind. Also it would have been nice to get detachable cables, but maybe next series.
To conclude, I think Grado has achieved what they set out to do by taking an already great headphone and “e”nhancing it. These are my early findings and I will follow up when I put some more hours on them. If you already own the PS500 I wouldn’t suggest running out and selling them but rather give the e series a try and see if the changes warrant an upgrade for you. If you’re buying new I would definitely suggest the PS500e over the PS500 just so long as the new 1/8 inch cable end isn’t a deal breaker for you.
Thanks for reading,
Edited by Oracle - 6/16/14 at 4:09pm