Pros Clarity, Sound Stage, Bass, Accurate Reproduction, Well Made, Can be used without an amp
Cons Comfort, but fixable
Summary I caught the headphone bug a couple of years back. These Ultrasones are my best. They are INTENSE, especially after about 25 hours and the highs mellow out. Its hard to find where anyone that knows headphones says something negative about the sound. The have a rich bass and incredible detail, things I haven't heard on songs with my Grados, Panasonic or Audio-Technica. The one complaint is they fit very tight and have pleather ear cushions. That can be fixed pretty easy though. I found out through Twitter that there is a bendable metal strip inside the headband. This is bendable per Ultrasone. The other upgrade is to use Beyerdynamic EDT 200 Velour Padded Earcushions instead of the originals. I have heard this described as the best headphones under $300. I believe it!
Pros Big soundstage, not headphone more speaker like sound due special technology Ultrasone is using. Exceptional tonal accuracy, deep bass, very detailed.
Cons I would give them 8 out 10 for comfort, but way more comfortable that sennhaiser for example
Summary I was a little bit nervous buying these because I was pretty confident that Grado SR 225 that I own are the best out there for the money. I still love my Grado but I have to say that I like Ultrasone's soundstage is better, I also like the bass better. They sound very differently. Grado may have a bit more natural sound, but overall Ultrasone seems to be better value, they are closed, the design is way better than Grado, enormous extension cord(probably 7 meters) and adapter coming with them are nice bonuses. Also because of my hemi sync hobby low frequencies very important for me and Ultrasone's range starts from 10 Hz while Grado SR 225 starts from 20 Hz. That said I still have huge respect for Grado and the fact is that even $50 iGrado sound better than $300 Bose or 200$ Bang and Olufsen. But in this case its not that Grado is bad, its just Ultrasone seem marginally better overall.After I wrote all the above about 5 hours ago I had a chance to listen a bit more to both of them and I will make a correction. For Jazz and heavy metal Grado still sound better even though the difference is marginal. I think Grado's are a bit more accurate and a bit more efficient. However for electronic music Ultrasone's are much more fun. If bass is important for you definitely go with Ultrasone. Grado's also have nice bass but its not as pronounced. I think they had to sacrifice some bass for the sake of better tonal accuracy to avoid bass distorting the rest of the frequency response. From what I read open headphones like Grado always sound a bit better compared to closed. Ultrasone are closed, so for close headphones they are exceptionally good. If magnetic field shielding in Ultrasone really works that would be very important as well, cause Grados make your ears tired after a while. But I wouldn't say that I don't get tired listening to Ultrasone as well. So tough choice :)
Updated on Nov 13, 2010