Grado Prestige Series SR225i Headphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||—||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||4OurEars - The Official Grado Store||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Color||Black||Black||Black||Black and Silver||Black||Gray|
|Item Dimensions||0.98 x 1.28 x 0.16 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||6.69 x 3.15 x 7.48 in||5 x 10 x 8 in|
|Item Weight||0.84 lb||0.62 lb||0.51 lb||0.79 lb||7.76 ounces||1 lb|
|Additional Features||Dj-Style||Just released Grado "e" series headphones||Non-foldable||Just Released Grado "E" Series Headphones||foldable||noise-isolation|
Increased airflow by 50% which is achieved through an improved rear metal screen and closer matched drivers. Improved rear screen frees the headphone from colorations.
Top customer reviews
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Let's start with the good.
Sound Quality: First off, I'm not a hardcore audiophile, think of me as more of an intermediate. That said, these are the best sounding phones it's been my pleasure to listen to. Every spectrum of sound is wonderfully portrayed, and these headphones have a really wonderful way of making all my music sound very exciting and alive. This is partially due to what many people like to call the "Grado Sound," which comes down to a very healthy dose of mid. This is a point of contention with much of the audiophile community, people either loving or hating this sound. For my money, it's fantastic, and I swear by Grado as probably my favorite headphone maker. So naturally the mids are fantastic, very well rounded and full. In the SR80i's this came at a noticeable price, namely the lack of bass in the headphones. The 225's have a much-needed boost to the low registers which really fills out the sound compared to the 80's. You aren't going to get head-vibrating bass out of them or anything, but it no longer feels like there's a lack in the bass department. The high's are also very nice, extending very far into the upper ranges usually without being too piercing, though sometimes they can be a little tiresome in certain settings.
One of the biggest differences in these headphones compared to a lower-end Prestige Series can is the soundstage (the representation of the instruments spatially, as though you were sitting at a live performance). There is a noticeable improvement in the soundstage in these headphones, and I must say it's very nice. Many times I've closed my eyes and completely lost my sense of self in the spatial organization of the music, something I never experienced with my SR80's. In addition, because of the boost to the bass, these cans feel a lot more balanced than a lower Prestige Series model, coming closer to a more real sound. None of the registers feel like they overtake each other, for the most part. In some cases, especially low-guitar heavy music, the huge mids can overshadow the low end, and sometimes I struggle to pick out the bass from the other instruments, but for the most part these phones are dialed in pretty much perfect.
Now, the not-so-good.
The Design: I have no critiques for the aesthetics of the headphone, and honestly I really like the kind of retro look that Grado cans have, though I realize it won't be for everyone. But really these aren't something you can listen to properly in public anyway so who really cares? My main gripe is a couple of the choices Grado took with these phones, the biggest being the earpads. They are the most uncomfortable things ever. I saw a lot of reviews saying that these headphones were really uncomfortable, and I was kind of skeptical because the 80's are a little annoying but not awful, but the reviews are right. The stock earpads that come with the 225s are absolutely horrible. I strongly recommend that if you buy these headphones you get a pair of G-Cush earpads, the style that ships on the RS-1, they really work a lot better on the 225s. Grado's official pads are kind of spendy, so pick up some Ear Zonk ones instead and save yourself $30.
Second, the plug. The stereo plug is a 1/4'' connector. I realize the reason they did this is because the 225 is a higher-end headphone and people generally use them with amps that have 1/4'' inputs, but for those of us that don't have that kind of equipment, it leaves us high and dry. Make sure to pick up a 1/4'' to 1/8'' adapter if you want to use your 225's with anything that uses a conventional headphone jack. Grado sells them, Sennheiser sells them, just make sure to get a good quality one.
Even with these faults, I'd usually give the headphones a 5/5 rating. The reason I don't in this case is that I just don't feel that they're completely worth the $100 you pay over the SR80's. The Grado Prestige Series is very much guilty of diminishing rewards as you go up the line. The SR60 and SR80 are both 10/10 headphones for sure, because they're fantastic for the low price they charge. The SR225 is most definitely a better headphone than the SR80. It has a much better soundstage, better lows, better overall presentation, but these improvements aren't groundbreaking. When I went from a normal pair of headphones to my SR80's, the difference absolutely blew me away. Going from the 80's to the 225's, not as much. I strongly recommend these headphones, but only if you like the Grado sound and have enough money to get them. They're not as good of a deal as the cheaper models, though they are a bit better to be sure.
Finally, don't get these headphones unless you're dedicated to good sound. I see a lot of posts even on audiophile forums about people using 256kbps mp3 files with this kind of headphone, and honestly, if that's your primary form of music, don't waste your money with these. Get a cheaper pair like the SR60 or SR80. These headphones really shine with lossless audio like FLAC, and especially 24bit recordings, which you're gonna need an amp and/or DAC for. If you're not ready to put in the time and money to get the proper setup and proper recordings for a headphone like this, honestly it's not really worth it, since the differences between this and a lower end model aren't going to be apparent with lower quality music.
Tl;dr, these are a fantastic headphone, provided you know you like the sound, have enough money, and are dedicated enough to making the most of them.
Also, beware that these have no ability to block exterior sounds, or not bleed your listening material to the world around you -- to be sure, that's probably why they sound so great. Just don't plan on using them anywhere we you'd like privacy or don't wish to disturb others.
Construction-wise, they're well-made (cable included), and have sensibly-constructed joints. That said, I haven't tried any drop tests, so I can't speak to the impact properties of the plastic; for the vast majority of the time, these headphones stay on my desk.
The bass response is excellent compared to most other headphones I've owned/tried, which always seems to surprise me when I put them on after listening using desktop speaker systems. I've also found that I like the sound of the open earpiece design as things sound less muffled overall. On the other hand, these headphones don't isolate you from your surroundings in the same way that a closed earpiece design would, and do leak some sound at higher volumes, so plan accordingly.
The only complaint I can level against them is that the metal rods that connect the earpieces to the headband came loose from the plastic holes in the earpieces after about a year of use. Fortunately, superglue seems to permanently fix this problem.
But enough with that, on to the sound quality. Out of the box, the lows are lacking. Lots of highs and mids. Pretty harsh highs. As you continue to listen to them over the coarse of a week or so(24hours min). The sound will blow you away. It is just clear and super balanced.
These headphones do sound good on an mp3(phone/ipod) but are not at there top quality.
I am using a $400 headphone amp/dac by Emotiva. It makes these headphones sing. Listening to flac/wav through them is just a joy to listen to.
These headphones are NOT for bass heads. They are designed to be balanced and not colorize the sound with unnatural sound.
If you want head shaking bass and bad sound, then go buy some beats or something. just a heads up.
But overall, these are amazing headphones for $200.
A great buy for someone looking to improve there sound quality even from the highly praised M50's.