Yeah, the gr09 is darker with flatter and tighter low end and somewhat more focused sound overall. I got the plastic version of gr09 though - it's sort of a middle ground between the ceramic gr09 and the 37th Anniversary edition. The ceramic version is a bit brighter and clearer than the plastic one, while the anniversary edition is slightly less clear and controlled than it. In comparison the n3 sounds more neutral and spacious due to its more present and extended treble. It's a bit looser but this allows its natural timbre to stand out more. Personally, I would pick the sony over the gr09 any day of the week.