Grado SR-325i Prestige Series Headphones

General Information

The top-of-the-range Grado Headphone model SR325i comes in a gold color, in honor of Grado's 50th anniversary. Grado has taken one of the worlds most acclaimed headphones, and pushed it a few steps further. The new SR325i has an upgraded Driver design, and an enlarged and improved mass distribution in the metal housing. The way the SR325is new driver and metal housing move air and react to Sound vibrations are now less affected by transient distortions.

Latest reviews

Pros: Elegant and detailed sound with syrupy mids and extended low, plenty of air and space in big soundstage, warm and inviting vocals
Cons: The cable will broke because of unstoppable twisting cups (predictable Grado downer), need amping for full spectrum result
AH! Grado. Sir John Grado.
How can we not love you? How can we not hate you?
You never sold your soul to the market and still construct your headphones in America, your quality is still the same as in 1990 when you begin to create your first marvelous headphones with your wife in a small workbench while the company was on the verge of bankrupcy. As a mad scientist and sound poet, you discover one of the more musical driver of all time and design open back cups that give fresh oxygene to the musicality of every frequency. We know you like to listen to your creation with  tube amp and surely prefer vinyl to CD or even SACD, you are from the old school for the better and the worst.
Now that your son begin to take your step, it could be for the better or the worst too, as from what I read he look like to be more a business man than an incurable audiophile.
Anyway, you create marvelous headphones with a unique soundsignature that fascinate today as much as 25 years ago.
For that, dear John Grado, you are a Jazzy God.
Yes, no need to read about you to know you LOVE Jazz, old smoky jazz, Duke and Lady Day, flying piano notes that decay in a dark room and doublebass that can be feel from the ears to the guts.
And as a Jazz aficionado, your headphones is a sent of God to me, the miracle I was waiting for without even knowing it.

I have had in my possession the Grado Alessandro, the Grado GS1000 too but the only one I kept is the Grado Sr325i wich I will review here.
-GRADO SR325i-
This headphones are something special, a little bit excentric in the appearance I can say, with their heavy metal construction and gold color, you will not pass unremarked in the crownd with them on the head. As their sound leakage is enormous, I doubt you will feel socialy acceptable with them on too, well, I know kids nowadays play their music out loud on their smartphone, but this headphones isn't meant for kids at all, not the one that listen only to Pop and rap and boomy entertainment.
Talking about construction, the headband is made of real leather, construction is all metal and plastic and gold earcups made of very heavy metal that look indestructible.
Unfortunately, it is not. Because of the turning earcups the cable begin to broke on one side and inner wire are now visible and dangerously loose on my Sr325i. This happen with my Grado GS1000 too and I have to sell them because it was too expensive to repair. Their you have the number one Grado issue. You can solve this with your own ingeniosity and I will for sure next time, but to avoid the constant swirling that fatigue the cable to the point of breaking it you will need to construct something that hold the metal branch so it doesn't constantly turn.
The Sr325i came with the L-cush, but I try it with the bowl cup and it is more comfortable and improve even more the soundstage, the L-cush can make your ear touch the scring and you must know that if a hair get in the way between your ear and sound scring it will cause GRATTLE SOUNDS with some frequencies, having a bald head is very usefull with Grado because this grattle sound can occur with ALL their headphones.
I think the Grado Sr325i are the more ''bassy'' one of the SR serie. Compared to the Alessandro or Sr60 the extension in the low end is bigger and fuller. It is still punchy tough, but with more weight and realism, toms hit sound more natural and listening to doublebass or cello is a real treat. The bass is very addictive and accurate if not extremely fast, it flow in they air with confident and is a delight when the source is acoustic, a little less when it's from electronic music because grado have what I will call a Vintage sound that beg to be amped by a tube amplifier. For Classical, Jazz, Worldmusic and any instrumental based music it is eargasms, for modern rap, D&B, IDM and boomy pop it is not always a good combination.
Grado medium frequencies are the most important part of the Grado sound. From the Sr60 to the GS1000 you can't be indifferent about them. Their elegant and warm presentation is nothing short of mesmerising, you are drown in the vocals like in a pool of good champagne and can float on your back for hours listening to the fascinating bubbles (sorry for the strange metaphor!). The SR325i is no exception to the rule, I have goosebumps everytime im listening to female signers like Arianna Savall, Mazzy Star, Agnes Obel, Julia Holter or Billie Holiday...the medium range is foward but in a vast way and have good texture to it, instruments like violin and saxophone sound superb on the SR 325i. The overall sound is sometime enveloping and intimate concert-hall-style.
I read some reviews that said the treble is kind of bright with these Grado, I do not think that at all but I guess every ears are differently sensible to high frequencies. I don't find harsh or agressive the highs even if the details are very present and treble sparkle alot, for exemple the cymbals extend vastely wich I find very enjoyable, it had too to the full spectrum texture but never feel over forced, in fact, for my hardbeaten ears it sound relaxed and gentle. Harshness is more present when the Grado are not enough amped, it can sound okay with a low source but will GREATLY benifit of more amping, this way the sound doesn't struggle to get free and musicality is at his fullest. Any Grado will sound better if correctly amped I think.
This delactable Grado SR325i have a very impressive soundstage with incredible instruments separation, listening to Linda Perhacs right now I can picks all instruments and the voice shine in the middle of this beautifull musicality. The sound is unforgiving too with low quality music or overcompressed tracks. As it's sound signature can be detremental for some style of music I will not consider it as a all-arounder. Anyway it excell in beauty when the moment come and their a plenty of magical ones.
I never found a headphones that can sound good with all the style of music I listen too so I do not ask that to a headphones and what the Grado SR325i deliver me is over what I wish, I highly recommend these headphones and will refrain from given it 5 stars because of the swirling cable and earcups problem that can be very very frustrating.
Anyway, nothing import more than the sound and
Pros: Unique sound signature that you don't really get with other offerings from other companies
Cons: Terribly uncomfortable. Ruined the experience.
I had these for a few months before I sold it because they became unbearable to use.
I tried the bowl pads and that helped with comfort but the sound became a nightmare for an audiophile so I will refrain from discussing that here.

Build quality:
Very solid headphones. The cable is nice and thick so I'm not scared of it breaking.
The solid metal earcups are a nice touch but are also a downside.
The headband is nice.

Cups are beautiful and shiny but paint comes off easily on the lettering.
The cups are too heavy.
I'm not a fan of the earcup swivel design but it works.

The earcups are far too heavy for on ears and it ends up pressing a lot on your ears. The stiff pads and the grill of the drivers end up scratching and pressing even more with no cushioning.
Putting them on for an hour was torture for me.

Now, you'd expect it to have amazing sound quality considering the downside of comfort right?
While the sound is good, it's not a natural sound.
It's very aggressive and emphasizes various frequencies. It's very energetic.

Quite punchy if the song calls for it. The bass is not overwhelming in any way.

Very forward and aggressive in an "in your face" sort of way. Not very smooth.

Very harsh and bright headphones. Would probably be very fatiguing for people. I've never felt fatigue from any headphones so the bright treble isn't a turnoff for me.

Soundstage: very limited when compared to the AKG Q701 in the same price range.
Seperation: Again, not as good compared to the AKG Q701.

If you can handle the comfort, maybe flat pads from the lower models? But from experimenting, it changes the sound a lot.
The sound signature is very much colored to make rock and similar genres energetic and aggressive but to me, this isn't exactly a great thing since I listen to classical and other genres as well.
 I would agree with almost everything the review says about these uncomfortable heavy and coloured headphones. I was very disappointed with the comfort out of the box.
However I followed the recommendations on the forums and did the following.
1. Added G cups and a sennheiser padded headband.
2. Opened up the phones and punched all the holes and added dampening as prescribed.
3. remove the plastic "coin".
4  rolled my valves on my AUNE T1 to the current seimens e188cc.
5. Burn them is for at least 100hrs.
Note this invalidates your warrenty.
now they are comfortable (I often fall asleep with them on), neutral with a pinpoint and broad sound stage and high resolution. On recordings I'm not used to I often turn my head because I think the person or noise is in the's so real.
Pity they are so bad out of the box but for another £90 and some work they are difficult to beat at the price.
I now love them and will never part with them.
I got the G pads but the sound was just horrendous. I never did any of the other mods, I just decided to move on after.
As for burn-in, pretty sure that wasn't an issue. They were in use at least 100hrs if not more before I sold them.
Hello.  I am new to the site and am looking to upgrade my entry-level cans.  I was thinking of pairing these Grado SR325i's with an Asgard 2, but it looks like I may have to consider alternatives.  I have trouble finding x-large hat sizes and any discomfort caused by head clamping, weight, etc. would be a deal breaker.  The mods do sound promising though.
Pros: Forward lively mids, gives that on stage presentation, Narrow sound stage
Cons: Can sound overly harsh, lacking in bass
I decided to write this review because I have done some research and it turns out there isn't that many reviews on this particular headphone.The majority of the music I listen to is alternative, rock, classic rock, Sinatra mostly mid centric music. Now this was my very first grado headphone that I have ever purchased. Note, if you are looking for a headphone that does great with every genre these grado's are certainly not it. These headphones are meant for a very specific taste/ears they excel with certain genres and lack in others, it is safe to assume that these headphones aren't for everyone.
Pros: I have to say there are some things that the grado's do very well and those are the mids. They sound forward and aggressive sometimes a bit too aggressive and you really feel like the singer is in front of you. Vocals sound clear and so do instruments though there isn't much instrument separation. The sound stage is really narrow which causes everything to sound really close together now depending on who you are you might like or hate this.
Cons: There are a few things that the 325i's don't do as well such as the bass and micro details, and they can suffer from an overly harsh treble. Now I don't mind treble I actually feel like headphones today need more treble the hd-650 comes to mind. But I can say that the grado's took this to an extreme, this isn't a big deal on some recordings but when you hear something that has alot of treble and you are listening at semi to loud volumes the treble can be borderline painful. Grado's I feel encourage listening at loud volumes, because that is when the vocals are perfect, however when you hear the highs you have to immediately turn the volume down, I realized this when I was listening to a few tracks where the treble kicks in a little late into the song. The bass to me is really lacking, it isn't as pronounced as I would like to be. One of the 325i's weaknesses is the micro details, I tested this out by listening to various recordings that feature small little details that in some of the cheaper headphones you don't pick out as easily. I couldn't hear these on the grado's it might be because everything feels so aggressive and overwhelming at times.
Verdict: So are the 325i's for you? Well that depends if you are sensitive to treble I would say don't even consider these. However if you are someone who listens to a lot of rock and roll and you love treble and aren't very sensitive to it then I would recommend these specifically to you. These headphones are geared to the enthusiast who doesn't want anything toned down, basically someone who is looking to get the same sound signature you would get at a rock concert. You won't hear all the little details because it will be extremely loud but you will hear the vocals and mids extremely clear and treble will be just as lively and loud.
I own the 325is and hear the total opposite of what you commented on. I find the 325is to be fine with all genres of music at normal listening levels. I also don't find the bass lacking in any way what so ever, I feel it is exceptionally fast and tight, and also I don't find the highs to be harsh or hurt my ears either. And as far as the midrange goes, I can hear every micro detail perfectly. Also I don't find the soundstage to be as narrow as you are explaining, I find it to be more than sufficient (actually nice). There is a lot of talk about non-consistancey in the higher end Grados where as some people agree with what you are saying and others disagree. I'm not in any way saying that this is not what you are hearing, but I definitely know what I'm hearing from my 325is's, and it is none of what you mentioned above.
How long have you had your 325is's?
What is your power source?
All in all, my 325is's sound exceptional!!! And I'm not saying this because I own them, because if this was the case with my 325is, I wouldn't own them.
Maybe you received a 325is that is not right?
Thanks for the review, Spiderman. At the bottom it says you bought them earlier this month. My experience has been that they take a rather long time to mature, and then they are quite capable in most formats. Please consider updating your review later if you find the same or


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