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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest listening!, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Grado SR225is Prestige Headphones (Electronics)
I'm glad I spent some time researching various headphones, and reading reviews of these - they sounded rough out of the box, brash harsh and bloated in the bass department. Listening to Itunes from my laptop through the Fiio E7/E9 combo I decided to try the burn in test, listening to a few favourite tunes when unboxed then playing the 'phones in 8 hour bursts at slowly increasing volumes so as not to damage them.
Apart from a few seconds of curiosity I didn't listen to them through this process - some people think burn in is nonsense and is simply a case of psychological adjustment to what you're listening to. For me this doesn't seem like the case. They sounded so different after 50 hours of use - the harshness was gone, the treble had become extremely detailed and spacious. The bass had appeared, and was deep and precise, perhaps not for bass heads but very natural. Massive Attack's Mezzanine seemed 'real' like the gig I saw 15 years ago, and not full of wicked bass but little clarity as in some hifi set-ups. Soundstage was far more 3 dimensional, even for headphones. Perhaps the most obvious physical difference was being able to listen to them at 11 o'clock on the headphone amp volume dial instead of 9. 9 was unbearable before. Without listening in the interim they must be burning in...?
Perhaps these 'phones are a bit more suited to rock than 'electronica' in some instances as they are very revealing of production values - that said stick some Shpongle on or any well produced electronic driven music, ambient, dance or otherwise, and the simple set up of the Fiio and headphones seems superior in many ways to speakers and CD of much greater value.
If you're in the market for personal listening, have the budget, want pure clarity over emphasis of certain musical content these headphones are a real bargain - read other reviews about their sound leak and initial harshness etc, then try them. They do look a little retro and even cheap, and may not be mega comfortable, but as is often the case in the hifi world looks mean nothing. Enjoy!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Feb 2015 20:28:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2015 20:46:15 GMT
Mr says:
Good honest review. I'll paste in below the reply I gave someone who was asking about the SR125i. It discusses the run-in or burn-in you talk about. I go on to talk about the SR225i. I edited this in from another post someone was asking about the 125/225 comparison.

Grados straight out the box are most definitely harsh. I have never heard anything like it. They sound flat, undetailed, coarse, and with no musicality whatsoever. A bit like an old qualityless portable tranny radio, with a vague stereo soundstage.

However let them run in and all aspects of change take place. I say they need three solid days to settle. That's seventy-two hours. (Leave them on sound source over-night.) They will refine after that but three days to me is when they really feel their legs. During the first three days the sound softens, becomes accurate, and the soundstage gets its spacing worked out.

The first couple of hours changes are subtle but tonality starts becoming apparent. After that and as time goes by the timbre of the music improves. Until eventually you are in an emotional relationship with the headphones, after somewhere between three days and a week's time.

Personally, I recently bought SR125i which have an exceptional quality, that went faulty after about three weeks. Amazon had no more so I returned them. I ended up with SR225i. The 125i have a slightly more floaty sound, with lots of details, and luscious timbres. The 225's are the clearer "repristinate". Slightly like someone has removed a thin sheet of felt from between you and the music. They have an awesome depth of spatial. I mean sounds come from so far around, not in the head, if your sound source is so geared. I.E. SR225i are less floaty, just as soft, solid, representative, and more agile and dynamic.

The main complaint of the 225 up to 500 is physical comfort. I listen to them for hours often leaving them on after the music stops. I discovered the following specific to the L-cushion pads that nearly everyone complains about. First time I put them I had them on minimum length pulled out on the earphone legs. They fit perfectly. For some reason I slid the earphones down the bracket legs a little. (I.E. Making the headphones longer from top to bottom, and the earphone lower down my ear.) After a while I got uncomfortable and moved them more. Uncomfortable moved them more. Pain and ready to stop wearing them at this point. Then I remembered I liked them at first for comfort and pushed the earphones back up the legs. Perfect! You just have to find your right place.
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Location: Stroud, UK

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