My journey began with grado sr60i , totally amazing for the price, next step was the sr225i , shockingly loud but I found them piercing to the ears and a bit lacking in bass, although I'm sure after months of use they would have improved, After returning the 225s I finally took a giant leap to the ps500's
They are fantastic right out of the box, great bass and superb mids and highs, a fantastic match for electronic music like psytrance... Really shockingly loud when cranked up.. Every track I play on these headphones sounds amazing , you really do want to re listen to your whole music collection.
I honestly can't wait to get home after work and listen everyday. Buy them, you will absolutely not look back, let your non audiophile friends listen and watch their jaws drop in amazement!
These headphones have, within the few days that I've owned them, changed the way that I listen to music.
As a music lover and amateur musician, I have loved using headphones since my teenage years as I've always felt more able to discern details that were missed on speakers (unless they were very high end £1500+ speakers, attached to very high end players and amps, which I could only audition in a shop). I've owned and listened to a number of headphones through the years and I have never had an experience like listening to these.
On other headphones, such as the AT ATH-M50s, the Shure SRH-940s, the AKG K/Q-701/2s and the Senn HD650s (not to mention an old pair of Beyer DT931, which I thought were great), I could discern details in various sections of the frequency range depending on the headphones -- as they all had their strengths and weaknesses. I would usually find myself honing in on one part - the drums, the guitar, the vocals -- and skipping from track to track, seeing what the 'phones could do. I clearly felt like I was listening to headphones and the manufacturer's interpretation of what the instruments, or indeed the ensemble, sounded like.
The PS500s are an altogether different experience. First, I have never heard a more believable sound coming from headphones before. Drums and cymbals sound real, vocals sound real, guitars sound real. These headphones get timbre right and overtones, undertones and decay are spot on. When I purchased a pair of AKG K702s several years ago, the packaging stated something to the effect of 'Welcome to perfection' -- no way. Vocals sounded a bit 'plasticy' and drums sounded almost like caricatures of the real thing. Everything sounds very real on the PS500s and very balanced and cohesive.
Second, I have never been more engrossed in the music than when listening through these headphones. Since I've picked them up and I have not found myself (as I often do) skipping from track to track to see what they are capable of. I've enjoyed the music so much, I've stayed on the track each time to get the full experience. I've never enjoyed my music collection so much. The headphones get the pace and timing right and also magically transport me to the performance (especially on good recordings). The Buena Vista Social Club cd is masterfully recorded and the feeling/emotion of the musicians comes through on these headphones like I've never heard before. With spot on imaging and very good soundstage, I feel like I'm either at the recording venue or listening through very high end speakers, approximating the experience.
Lastly, they are very comfortable both physically and sonically. They are relatively light and the pads are comfortable (and I understand that they get more comfortable with use). Also, the sound signature to me, sounds balanced. 'Peaky', 'shrilly' recordings like the Arctic Monkeys Crying Lightning don't hurt my ears. Everything is very refined and I can hear everything on the recording.
I'm more than very impressed with these. I haven't heard the HD800s or the T1s, and after listening to these, I don't want to. I can imagine a slight amount of improved treble extension, bass extension and soundstage that the PS1000s are supposed to offer. And I can imagine that the PS1000 might be the absolute perfect headphones. But these to me are perfect enough.
One note about pairing these with an amp. I'm using a well run in Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear Diamond Edition, which was designed (according to the manufacturer) with Grados in mind (Grado uses this amp at their demos here in the UK), among other headphones. I have to say that I couldn't be happier with the result but I don't have anything else to compare it to.