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Upgrade from SR80i to SR225 or SR325 worth it?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by argote, Jul 17, 2012.
  1. Argote
    I currently have the SR80i plugged into an Audioengine D1 DAC/Amp at my home computer which is a pretty good combo. I was wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade higher up in the Grado product line or if it will be "more of the same".
    I'm also considering the AKG Q701 or K702, however I was deeply disappointed by the AKG k240 so I'm not so sure about that.
    Any other good pair on the $200 - $300 range which could work with my setup?
    EDIT: I also own the Sony MDR-V6 which I use on the go and in my TV at night, the Sennheiser HD-280 which I use at work and the AKG-K240 which mostly sits on a shelf. Overall, I'd say SR80i > V6 > HD280 > K240.
  2. Focker
    Wow, that's two people in the last two days I've seen using the D1...great little piece! It seems like nobody knows about it, so glad you're enjoying yours. It has a DAC that has often been used in much more high end gear and the little headamp built in works great with Grados, as you've pointed out. 
    The 80s are fantastic. If you like the sonics of the 80s, the higher end Grados in the SR series will be "more of the same", with the key word being "more". When I jumped to the 325s, I did think they were a noticeable upgrade from my 80s, but it's not "night and day". You'll get a bit more refinement, a tad more low end, a slightly larger sound stage, etc. 
    Hopefully others will chime in on the AKGs you're considering. 
    Good luck! 
  3. tme110
    I have the 80's and don't listen to them much.  I love the 325's.  If you like the sound it could be good to move up.  But if you want to try something different...then that would answer your question.  Plus with the 325 you could upgrade to the 325 Magnum which is still my favorite HP of all time.  ( though Ithink I've heard rumors of the magum upgrade going away).  Never been an akg fan myself and I've always been surprised they're that popular.
  4. eucariote
    I found that sr225 was slightly better than sr80, but the difference is subtle and not worth the price premium imo.  Not until moving to wooden cups (RS-1, HF-1) do the flaws nearly disappear- the soft bass is much improved and treble is smoother.
  5. Argote
    I see, I'm also considering some Sennheiser options now, the HD 598 would be ideal if they didn't have such a horrendous color scheme, the HD 558 looks like a significant step down from the 598 though, and the 600 & 650 are more than I am looking to spend right now. Thoughts?
  6. KG Jag
    Since you asked, you sound like you are all over the place with SR Grados, AKG Q/K 70x and Senn HD 598/558.  Each has a sound signature that is very different than the other two.  They are all good cans but very different flavors of ice cream.
    BTW--I don't know your equipment but the AKG's is considerably more difficult to drive than the other two.
  7. Argote
    I have tried the AKG's with the Audioengine D1 and the FiiO E6 (as well as non-amped, but that was pretty bad).
    And yeah, I'm having a hard time deciding...
  8. obobskivich

    The SR-225 will improve everything good about the SR-80, and remove some of the flaws. But the fundamental Prestige Series issues remain - lack of 3D soundstage, lack of weight. The SR-325 is much brighter, and I don't much care them (they also weigh more = less comfy), I would get the 225 (unless you can afford an RS) if you like that.

    The K701 (and its kin) will have a similar treble presentation to the Grados - it's bright without being harsh or clashy - but a much different soundstage. Very wide, relatively deep, etc. Much less emotional/visceral. The SR-225 give them a fair run for their money in terms of details and speed, but the 701s are no slouch compared to much more expensive cans. K240 is nothing like them (none of the closed AKGs compare).

    The Sennheisers will contrast most noticably - I found the 5x series to be quite boring and dull (and that's about all I can say), the 580/600 (580 is NOT related to 55x or 59x) are very musical and laid-back headphones, they're quite smooth, but compared to the Grados very "dead" (they're somewhat dark by contrast). Soundstaging is somewhere in-between the 225 and the K701. Speed is to par, details perhaps less-so (nothing will sound "bad" through them, but they can make good recordings sound spectacular). They are probably the most comfortable of the three, but none are bad.

    Amping wise, none are overly challenging - the 701s are less sensitive than the Sennheiser or Grado, but your Fiio/etc equipment will drive them all fine (the AKGs want around 1.5 mW/90 dB - that isn't "insane" or "a lot" for modern amps, despite this, there's A LOT of mythology surrounding the power demands of the AKG 70x series).

    If you like the Grado sound, get the 225. They change to bowl pads, they are more refined, etc - they're better. And they're the cheapest of the lot. :)
  9. roBernd
    Could you please enlighten us how you came to this conclusion? This order puzzles me quite a bit. 
    First of all WHICH K240 model? (ohm, model, color) and what, in your opinion, was the main flaw of the K240 (K240s I assume) ?
  10. Argote
    My K240's are the following: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001ARCFA/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 55 ohm, K240 Studio, bought directly from Amazon (so they're not knockoffs), I have the version made in China.
    Now, I initially tested them un-amped where they were not loud at all, in response to that I got an entry level FiiO E6 amp "just to fix it", while it was significantly louder I found the sound to be muddy in comparison to the V6's or SR80i's. I eventually gave up on them until I got my AudioEngine D1 DAC/Amp and gave them another shot, still muddy, underwhelming sound.
    When I say muddy I don't mean $20 KOSS headphones muddy, they were actually OK, however I could think of no reason to use them when I could be using the V6 or SR80is instead. Maybe the fact that they are exceedingly comfortable and don't fatigue me (though neither do the other ones).
    The HD280s were provided by my office as part of my workstation, they're pretty good for an office environment.
  11. obobskivich
    There's nothing wrong with disliking them - it sounds like that's just the case of it here. I'd try the SR-225 and see what you think. :)

    Also, my $5 Koss toolbox headphones resent being erroneously called muddy. :p

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