I recently picked up this set because I love the sound and fit of my Grado SR125s so much, I wanted to upgrade to the top of Grado's Prestige line and recently bit the proverbial bullet. For me, $300 is a lot of money to spend for nearly anything, ... Read full review
I recently picked up this set because I love the sound and fit of my Grado SR125s so much, I wanted to upgrade to the top of Grado's Prestige line and recently bit the proverbial bullet. For me, $300 is a lot of money to spend for nearly anything, but I truly believe that this set of headphones was an excellent investment.
If you are reading this review, you probably already are aware that speakers and headphones are an often overlooked aspect of a sound system. Many people I know spend small fortunes on every other component of their sound systems, and leave a disproportionately meager amount of money for the devices that actually produce the sound! (Sorry Dad, Brothers, Sister, Best Bud... you know it is the truth). On that note (pardon the pun), I believe that high quality headphones present are even more "valuable" than a comparable speaker systems. I do not have to run and hide wires around the room, or worry about finding and maintaining perfect placement to get the best sound from my headphones. For that matter, I am not anchored to the key chair in a particular a room for an optimal listening session when I use my headphones. I do not have to turn down the volume to accommodate my honey when she is sleeping, or the grumpy neighbors who apparently despise music. Indeed, I did not have to empty my bank accounts to procure these headphones - which would have been the case if I purchased a set of speakers with comparable sound quality. Suffice it to say, I truly believe that headphones present a great value proposition in general, and the Grado SR-325s in particular.
These headphones are a bit bigger and heavier than the SR-125s, but not uncomfortable. They work well with my eyeglasses, but I suspected they would because the 125s already provided me with a nice fit. While you need a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to connect either of these headphones to a portable music player, it works. I think it really shines, however, if you use a headphone amplifier between the player and your headphones. My PA2v2 not only boosts the volume a lot, but enriches the music with a nice warmth. I have eclectic musical tastes, and find the Grado's especially well suited to classical, jazz, blues, folk, rock, reggae - but can only wonder about other types of music.
I hear even more balance and detail with the 325s than the 125s, but the sound is otherwise very much the same. The bass is clear and tight - but not overly pronounced, which may be a "con" for some listeners who prefer thumping bass. The mid tones are excellent. Vocals are crystal clear. The highs are tight, but not painfully bright. I know that there are already tons of reviews eloquently describing the technical excellence of the frequency response, harmonic distortion, dynamic range and sizable sound stage that IS the classic "Grado Sound," so I recommend you check them out to see whether it suits you. I know that it is a great fit for me.
Which headphone is a better value proposition - the 325s or the 125s? Well, it depends on your budget. I believe that every set of "cans" in the Grado Prestige line up presents the best quality sound per dollar of ANY headphones in my relatively small collection (I also use Koss, Shure, Panasonic, Sony....).
Is the extra cost for the 325s over the 125s worth it? I think so...better balance and detail is worth it.
Is it having both sets? No. The sound from both is excellent, but they are too closely matched to justify holding onto both in my opinion. I plan to "gift" my 125s to a needy relative and keep the 325s.
If you are new to the world of high quality headphones, consider a set of Grado's.