Grado Labs is an all American audio manufacturing company. It is known for designing top of the range open-back headphones in Brooklyn, New York. Grado Labs was established in 1953, by the famous watchmaker Joseph Grado. The Company is currently headed by President and CEO John Grado, who acquired the company back in 1990. He had been running the day-to-day operations since the 70s.

John’s son, Jonathan Grado, also joined the company making him the third generation to be a part of Grado. Grado’s main focus is in vibrant open-air, supra-aural, high-fidelity headphones. Almost all of Grado’s products are custom hand-crafted. In June 2020, the Grado Labs presented a limited edition model set of headphones that use hemp. It’s a fibre that is used in conjunction with maple. It is believed to produce a damping effect. Talk about experimenting and getting it right the first time around.

Music lovers always find a way to get a good pair of headphones. Product comparison is very important before you purchase a gadget. You need to consider the major features and specifications that come with both the devices as they play a major role in sound production. These include fit style, noise cancellation, connectivity, specs (frequency response, sensitivity, impedance, weight, cord length), durability, ear cup type and design.

The main difference between Grado sr325e and sr225e is that sr325e brings some of the extra features that you find on the sr225e can be preferred by people who are not that selective when it comes to music. They deliver a wide range of quality sound no matter where the music is coming from.

SR325e

Grado SR325e

Features

The metal ear cups add a more premium appeal to the headphones. They come with a thick, black leather coating on the headband. The headphones look better than the previous model of the same series. The prestigious series headphones, the SR325e comes with a new driver plus cable design.

The additional mass from the metal housing reduces the transient alterations. The new 8 conductor cable design, the headphones’ superb control and stability of the upper as long as the lower range of the frequency spectrum. The SR325e can produce a sound that is so pure Grado, they come with warm colours fused with rich full-bodied vocals that will blow your mind, let’s not forget the excellent dynamics, and lastly the ultra-smooth top end.

 Specifications

The powder-coated aluminium housing for the headphones was the best option they ever made as they added mass, meaning a smoother transition from the lowest frequency range to the highest. Another spec you might enjoy is the authentic 60‘s style, it definitely goes perfectly with the skinny ties plus sullen glances.

Imagine the authentic leather padded head-strap is actually Brylcreem resilient. The SR325e can be considered as above-average headphones when it comes to neutral listening. They actually have a perfect reproduction of the instruments and vocals plus a spacious soundstage because of their open-back design. They, however, lack a little bass but are able to reproduce the exact detail in high-resolution audio with impeccable accuracy.

 Pros

  • Great plus open sound imitation.
  • Reasonably built quality.

 Cons

  • The headphones are subpar, therefore not ideal for everyday use.
  • They leak so much that it can be distracting to anyone around you regardless of how much you lower the volume.
  • The headphones fall easily off your head even from the slightest physical activity.
  • The headphones won’t do their job right within loud environments as they don’t block out any noise.

SR225e

Grado SR225e

 Features

The most noteworthy change that has been done to the headphones is to fine tune the magnetic field of the headphone. The changes include transformation to the motor and the voice coils of the drivers as well as, paying attention to the general equilibrium of the headphone. This at first may sound a bit strange but headphones should naturally be symmetrical. 

This however also extends to the location of the mounts as well as fittings so as to ensure that this genuinely is the case. The process of the general fine tuning has seen the SR225e go through a number of changes that to an individual might only be a tiny difference in terms of performance. The changing of glue used to pull together the housings is one example however they do add up to creating a new headphone well almost new.

Regardless of all the new additions when it comes to the headphones, the SR225e is still considered as a Grado in terms of design. The style still remains the same. This might be good or bad news depending on how you are going to take it. You have to love the way Grado headphones are styled. They may have been basing their original design with a touch of the 40s but looking at it, eventually Grado was going to jump onto the retro bandwagon regardless of the pressure or not.

 Specifications

Grado’s generosity with the SR225e includes a 3.5mm to quarter inch jack adapter. Besides that, you just get a pair of headphones and that’s it. You are actually left with an underwhelming feeling at the end of it all. So basically this then classifies the 225e headphones as home headphones, the idea of travelling with them is out of the question. the fixed cable which lacks a microphone or even an inline remote, are more on the stingy side but a bit more logical when you really think about it

 Pros

  • The simplicity of the headphone design.
  • The fitment of the Grado of the headphones is perfect
  • The earpads and speaker housing, both are connected to the headband by just one pin. This permits both earpads to be able to find their level autonomously of one another and to be able to rotate on the head nicely.

Cons

  • The little pressure on the head at any point can never be comfortable in the way that some designs are like.
  • To be honest, there isn’t enough padding on the earpieces plus there is a gap between the ear and the grill of the driver housing.
  • Take note that wearing headphones day in and day out may not be a good idea as the Grado is comfortable for an hour or so.-         
  • The cord is a bit on the short side so as to be completely ideal for sitting on a sofa with some space from a stack of electronics.

Sound quality

You can hardly tell the difference between a grado sr325e and a sr225e model. They both have the same sensitivity capacity of 99.8fB and impedance. However, the differences cannot be ignored as they can be of much importance to users. A grado sr225e attracts people who listen to any type of music. A grado sr225e produces true and detailed sound as well as a wide range of quality frequencies.

A Grado sr225e presents each track in its own volume of air so that the character of the volume instrument remains instinct. It gives accuracy as it balances well bass and treble. Some headphones such as the Beyerdynamic DT 990pro have a tendency of heightening bass when playing music.  

When you have a grado sr225e you do not have to worry about accuracy because it delivers a well balanced sound. The sound quality of grado sr325e is considered to be too pure to play on a source material that is poor. It is a bit conditional or rather selective because it gives more sound quality to music played on good quality phones and laptops.

Its sound quality is also determined by the type of music one listens to. Grado sr325e is more ideal for jazz, classical and folk music rather than dubstep, hip hop and electronic. It is now your choice as a user to choose between a Grado sr325e which produces better sound on a selected playlist or a  Grado sr225e that gives a true and detailed sound regardless of the type of music playing.

Durability

Grado sr225e has a headband with housing that is plastic-like which might make you doubt their durability. A device made of plastic looks might look fragile to some people. The code is however of good quality. It lasts longer. However, it is now a matter of priority if you are going to choose headphones based on their sound quality or the quality of the build.  Grado sr325e headphones are regarded as more flashy or stylish due to the fact that they have 1960s look, metal housing and padded leather headband.

However, the metal housing makes them look like they are a bit heavier. When you get to try them on, you might not feel the heaviness unless you really pay attention to the other set of Grado sr225e. I believe everyone wants to spend on devices that last longer no matter how good it looks. You cannot afford to throw it away after some time. Headphones usually bring out that kind of attachment as it is the only device between you and adventurous, fun experience in music.

Noise canceling

Both headphones have an open-back. You might be wondering the significance of such a feature. It actually makes the music you are listening to leak. Open-backed headphones leak too much sound to the extent that music that comes in and out makes you increase the volume and might damage your hearing. It gives room for outside music to meddle with the music being played.

For critical listeners, this might be a disadvantage. You might not enjoy the sound of cars hooting or your dog barking when you are listening to good music. Have you ever been to the library, in your house or on the bus and you could hear the music being played by the next person? That is quite disturbing, right?

However, it has come to my attention that music producers, engineers and editors prefer headphones with an open-back because it gives them a balanced sound quality. If these headphones are for personal use rather than professional use, you might not be irritated if you hear your baby crying or your friend ringing your doorbell. Noise can be distracting or can be helpful at the same time. Ever came across a driver using the wrong lane or making away on a red robot? If your headphones allow you to pay attention to that will it help you?

Comfort

Both headphones have well-padded headbands which give them great comfort. Grado sr325e headphones are made up of metal housing that makes them look like they are a bit heavier. When you get to try them on, you might not feel the heaviness. You need to pay more attention when you try both headphones so that you may take note if there is a difference in weight at all. 

Grado sr325e headphones do not deliver a stable fit because the headband does not have enough tension. If you are not used to them, you might play them in fear thinking that they can come off anytime. Grado sr325e and sr225e do not come with a microphone and no Bluetooth. This means that you cannot take calls when you are using both.

Code length

Grado sr325e headphones have a thick audio cable that is not detachable which might not be safe or rather secure. They are not ideal for gym and jogging. Both headphones come with the same code length.

Paying particular attention to sensitivity, impedance, frequency response, comfort, portability and code length, there are hardly any differences between Grado sr325e and sr225e. However, it needs a close analysis of sound quality, design and durability so that you take what serves best your preferences.

Verdict

To be honest, both sets of headphones leave a lot to be desired, they don’t really offer anything that is breathtaking. Regardless of the minute changes that might have been made, I am a bit underwhelmed, to say the least. Both sets need further improving

Rob is a musician and audiophile at heart. He plays 5 instruments. Besides music, Rob enjoys a good whiskey and the outdoors.
Robert S. Thompson
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