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Ultrasone HFI 780 vs. ATH-M50 vs. Grado SR 225i

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by coleb, Aug 17, 2011.
  1. Coleb
    Hey guys I'm new to this forum, and heard that it is the place to go, if interested in really quality headphones.  I've been doing a lot of research on here and narrowed down to a few pairs that I seem to hear good things about.  So I want to be sure that I am getting the best I can by asking this question.
    I mainly listen to techno and electronic, but I also really enjoy rock and indie music.  So I know that pretty much any of these headphones will be good for the electronic music, but I also want something that is good for listening to more mellow music too.
    So my first choice would be Ultrasone HFI 780's because I hear that they are a more toned, less bassy version of the 580's.  I also have seen a lot of people mentioning the ATH-M50's, but then I also see a lot of people saying the bass is muddy, and the headphones overall aren't very good.  And then the Grado SR 225i, which I haven't heard too much about, just the fact that Grado's seem to be good.
    So what do you guys think that I should get?  I would love to hear your input on each of these as well as if you had any other recommendations!
  2. crinacle
    Ultrasone for techno, definitely. If you want lesser bass, go for the HFI-680.
    M50 for an all-rounder, even though I have supposedly "upgraded", they still remain as one of my favourites.
    Grado for rock, no dispute. I've also heard very good things about the SR225i, but I only owned the SR60i so I can't tell you more about that.
  3. Gwarmi
    I found the 225i to be an in between'er my 80i and 325i.
    (225i was loaned from a friend who originally got me on the Grado bandwagon in exchange for a weekly listen of my 325i)
    More spacious than the 80i yet more forgiving and less bright than the 325i. It gives up a bit of detail to the 325i but I
    found that in terms of practicality & of portability and occasional source variation (eg, plugging them into
    another unfamiliar source other than your own) then they tended to be less fussy.
    I'm still looking for another phone to really make my electronica collection worthwhile. The M50 and 225i will
    give you some bass impact but for me there is still something amiss in terms of extension.
  4. yd2zhang
    Cant comment on the ultrasones, but between the grados and the m50's, I would recommend the m50's simply because the grados do not fair well with electronic music IMO. They are also a lot less portable than the M50's which can fold/does not leak sound.
  5. Clean
    The M50s should be better for you. They are great for electronic music, and pretty good for Rock.
  6. Coleb
    So the Ultrasone's are really good for electronic music? And the Grado's would be good for other types? While the M50's are all around?  So what about say the ATH-Pro700mk2's? Or if I went a step up with the Grado's and got a SR325is?
    I'm just so indecisive when it comes to this, because I really want good headphones and I've heard so many mixed opinions.  Thanks for all the help!
  7. yd2zhang
    i upgraded from the M50's to the 325i's, and felt the 325's were substantially better. Not sure if the 325's are worth getting brand new (I got mine for about half retail price, used). As I've stated before, the 325's dont really do it for electronic music (made for electric guitars). The bass is not very heavy hitting, and the highs are harsh for some ears. They are very detailed and will reveal any flaws in low quality tracks. I recommend finding a sound signature you like before buying 300-400 dollar headphones. The pro700mk2's from what I've read are similar to the m50's but much bassier, so if thats what you like then go for it. You can search up comparisons between the headphones in the search bar and the same questions you might have might already be answered in a different post
  8. MalVeauX
    If you want open headphones, get the Grado SR225i.
    If you want closed headphones, get the Ultrasone 780's.
    M50's are the most boring headphone. They're that flat. No sound stage. Clamp like crazy.
    Very best,
  9. Coleb
    So I think I've settled on the Ultrasone HFI 780's.  I know they will be good for electronic and all, but I just want to make sure that overall they are still a good headphone and I can listen to any genre with them.  Unless I should get the 680's or 580's, even though I haven't head good things about the 680's and the 580's are too lively.
  10. MalVeauX


    They are excellent headphones, and look great, and are comfortable and are built like a tank. If you wanted less, you'd get the 580. If you wanted more, you'd get the 900.
    Very best,
  11. 200poundsofamp
    I really like the 680s, they have enough bass to make electronic sound good and give kick drums some punch without dominating everything else. They have that sharp upper midrange too like Grados that make guitars sound really good.

    The 780s are supposed to be the 680 with more of a U curve as far as I can tell. I skipped it because even though it sounds better for electronic it seemed like you'd just get cymbals and drums dominating everything else, but I haven't actually heard one, so who knows. Personally for electronic I'd get the 580 over it because it's big drivers should lay down some nasty bass.
  12. Questhate

    I actually don't find the 780 an "upgrade" from a 580, just because the number is higher. The 580s just lean a bit more toward the lower frequencies, while the 780s skew a bit more toward the higher frequencies. The 680 slots in between as the most neutral of both (but given their higher impedence, probably not as good for portable un-amped use). I demo'd both the 580 and 780 and preferred the 580. 
  13. Coleb
    So I just need to make sure that the 780's are good all around headphones for all genres of music.  Unless anyone thinks I should get the 680's or a pair of grado's.
  14. Questhate


    At this price level, it's really hard to get a headphone that's good for every single genre. There's always going to be something lacking, which will lend itself to some genres more than others.
    In regards to the Ultrasones, the midrange is recessed, so vocals will seem really distant and buried by the instruments. I have a hard time listening to rock music on Ultrasones, especially because of their metallic timbre. I've not heard the 680s, though so I'm not sure if the same holds true for those. 
    In regards to Grados, I think they work well for rock and jazz, but they are missing the sub-bass reproduction that's necessary in EDM and hip-hop.
    My advice to you, look at your listening habits, and see which genres you spend the most time with -- and then pick headphones which suit those genres conceding that they may not work fantastic with genres you don't listen to as often. If you listen to equal parts rock and hip-hop, I'd personally take your $200 budget for the SR225i, and then buy a $80 SR60i and a $130 Ultrasone HFI-580. All bases covered. 
  15. NA Blur
    Do not go Grado for your listening prefererences.  They will be too bright and mid emphasized.  I do like, however, listening to the driver work the bass on the 225i's.  They are not a bass lovers can, but if you really listen to the driver, you enjoy the bass.
    I also own the ATH-M50's and I like them.  I think they are the most impressive entry level "upgrade" you will find out there.
    I hear too many good things about the HFI 780 for them not to be good.
    I vote HFI 780's.

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