Grado SR325i Headphones

Grado SR325i Headphones

Very detailed presentation that puts you in the front row. Great quality and durability. Very dynamic presentation. Can be used with portable players. Construction allows you to lay them down flat for travel.

Detailed presentation may be too much for some listeners. Forward-sounding balance might put some closer to the action than they are used to. Expensive. Need a good headphone amplifier to really be worth it.

The top model in the Grado Prestige line is capable of serious jaw-dropping sonics, and they are built to last forever. If you can deal with a slightly hot top end and presentation that puts you right there, these may be your ideal headphones.

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Grado SR325i Headphones: Detail Galore!

One of the detail champions of the headphone world, the SR325i open up the door to sounds on recordings you've never heard..

Grado Labs’ headphones have a distinct flavor to them. Some people love the Grado sound. Some folks do not. Having owned a pair of Grado headphones for more than ten years, I certainly fall into the “love” category. Manufactured in Brooklyn, the SR325i are built with an attention to detail that has made them legendary when it comes to durability. Ten years for a $60 pair of headphones that have more miles on them then most human beings, is impressive in my book. I have a hard time believing that the more expensive 325i would not last just as long as my SR60’s.

The construction quality of these is really quite superb. The drivers are matched to 0.5 dB, and the voice coils are from Grado’s oxygen-free copper. The cable is made from the same copper and attaches to both earpieces. The Grado headband is a love/hate thing with many people. It is a simple piece of metal covered with leather that is quite flexible, but also somewhat uncomfortable unless you gently bend the headband to get it to conform to your noggin. The height adjusters swivel which is a great feature because you can turn the aluminum alloy-covered earcups a full 360 degrees and lay them down flat in a bag.

The SR325i’s cable is terminated with a full-size ¼” stereo plug, which means that you cannot plug these into the iPod unless you order the optional 1/8” mini-jack plug from Grado or one of their supporting retailers. It really should come as part of the package considering the cost.

On some models, such as the SR325i (the “i” stands for “improved”), the Grado sound is taken to another level with more detail, greater bass extension, and an enhanced sense of clarity across the midrange that does not sacrifice the tonal beauty that Grado headphones are known for. The SR325i are a tad too forward sounding for my liking, but I can understand why detail monsters love these headphones. If it is on the recording, you will hear it through the 325i. The bass extension is very solid; resolute, taut, and extended. If you favor vocals, the midrange of the Grado headphones is not going to disappoint you. Grado headphones remind me a great deal of their place of birth. Brooklyn. Many interesting people reside in Brooklyn. Colorful folks with something to say. Always. The best pizza in New York is in Brooklyn, so these earn an extra point just for that association. DiFarra cannot be touched.

One area where the SR325i are a tad too revealing is in the top end. There is so much detail coming out of these drivers that it can become fatiguing after awhile at higher listening levels. At lower levels, it does not bother me as much, but I do know that it exists. Bright sounding recordings might become less popular in your rotation if you crank these too loudly.

While they are certainly easy enough to drive with an iPod, I would highly recommend a good headphone amplifier with these. Look for something with a firm grasp of the midrange and sweetened top end. The combination might be utterly fantastic.

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Technical Info

Brand: Ultrasone
Model: HFI-700
Impedance: 75 ohms
Frequency response: 10 Hz – 25,000 Hz
Sound Pressure Level: 96 dB
Coupler Size: Large
Cord Type: Straight Left-Side
Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
Acoustic Seal: Sealed
Connector Type: 1/8" with 1/4" adaptor
Detachable Cable: No
Driver Type: Dynamic
Cord Length: 12 ft.
Weight: 12.3 oz
Price: $249.00

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