Whom to Believe - Stereophile or HeadRoom - about Grado SR125's?
Jan 25, 2006 at 10:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 67
Jul 29, 2005
I am confused by different opinions about the Grado SR 125's
by HeadRoom and Stereophile respectively.
HeadRoom's rating: 2.5 (out 5).

Stereophile Recommended Components (2004):
"Class B :
'The SR125 is a natural, detailed, and warm sounding headphone,
with extended frequency extremes, wide dynamic range, and
the ability to sound natural at a wide range of volume levels.'

It was in their use as playback monitors that BJR found how truly
special they could be:

'Not for one instant were they aurally or physically fatiguing. They
were simultaneously musical and revealing of every nuance I recorded,
but were amazingly comfortable on my head - more so than any
headphone I've ever used.'

In BJR's opinion the highest bang for the buck in the Grado line."

Whom to believe? Flip a coin, or what?

See you on the 'Flipped Coin'
Side of the Moon

Jan 25, 2006 at 10:57 PM Post #2 of 67
Personally I side with Headroom on this one (the 2.5 may be overly generous IMO). The 125s were to me very bright, harsh and fatiguing. I preferred the 60,80 and 225s by a fair margin. To each their own though.

Jan 25, 2006 at 10:59 PM Post #3 of 67
Buy em and decide for yourself. Trust thine own ears.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:00 PM Post #4 of 67
I was just listening to my sr125's and I love 'em. I really enjoy their clarity and transparency. It seems that a lot of people on this forum (Senn fans) tend to think that they are too "in your face", "bright", "harsh", etc. It gives me great satisfaction to not just hear the violin but also the fingers tapping on the string. Too revealing? To each his own.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:00 PM Post #5 of 67
The SR125 is the worst bang for buck Grado headphone (espeically if you take into account the superior MS1 for $25 cheaper, but also its spot between the SR80 and SR225). Thus the Headroom rating. It's still a very good phone (thus the Stereophile rating). No disconnect there.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:02 PM Post #7 of 67
Believe your ears. Buy from a place with a return policy. If they're for you, great ,if not great. Reviews are only useful if you know how your taste compares to the reviewer's.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:05 PM Post #8 of 67
you guys speak the truth. who cares what anyone thinks. just try them and see for yourself.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:08 PM Post #9 of 67
Whether you find the SR-125s shrill and sibiliant, or warm and detailed - I am pretty confident that the SR-225s are worth the extra money. I've owned both, and the HF-1 for that matter (which wasn't a massively great improvement over the 225s).
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:15 PM Post #10 of 67
I used to have a pair of the SR 125 headphones and I listened to them very carefully for years.

Initially I compared them to the Sony V600 and I thought the Sony headphones sounded too colored and didn't like them.

I also compared them to the Senn. HD 580 which I preferred, but back in those days they were selling for $259, which was out of my budget.

The SR 125 sound good for around the $100 price group, but ultimately I felt the mid-range had a lower decibel level than the high and low frequency range.

Yes, the Senn. HD 580 is cheaper now, I would definitely prefer those.
Yes, the Senns do have a foggy midrange but I feel it is definitely more balanced then the Grados.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:25 PM Post #11 of 67
125's have long been held as one of the best bang-for-the-buck buys in high-end audio, not just in headphones and not just by Stereophile. It's only been in the last few years that headphones rivaling the 125's in terms of cost vs performance have come around, though the 125's are still an excellent deal.

Also, "Streophile says . . ." doesn't mean squat. Certain reviewers are better than others but beware, Streophile reviews are inconsistent and can be heavily influenced by market trends and advertisers. Headroom is a FAR better reference for headphones, though, in my mind, the absolute best reference anywhere is the advice pooled in a single Head-Fi thread combined, in equal proportion, with personal experience. And my two cents- the Ksc-35 and HD-280
are the best value cans ever, no contest.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:44 PM Post #13 of 67
Is there a little inconsistency in posting "don't listen to anyone, trust yourself" expecting them to listen to your advice?

I mean that's why we're all here right - to give and solicited advice? Reviews are a part of that.
Jan 25, 2006 at 11:50 PM Post #15 of 67
Trust your ears, but in this particular case I would rather trust Stereophile instead of Headroom. For one thing, headroom rating is for "value", not overall sound quality. Also, as pointed out already, Headroom in general seems not to like Grado's to much (maybe because Grados can sound pretty impressively nice without an amp?). But what is more, even Headroom's "value" ratings are themselves rather questionable. In my opinion giving the Sennheiser HD201 a 4.5 value rating is absurd, particularly without mentioning its extremely low sensitivity.

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