GRADO SR125i REVIEW


Once again, I have been given the chance to review another model of the GRADO series Headphones, the Grado SR125i unit by the guys over at “LOUD + CLEAR” in Glasgow who specialise in Hi-Fi, Cinema and Home Automation solutions.

Grado SR125i Features

  • Adjustable headband and cushioned earpads for comfort
  • Vented diaphragm and non-resonant air chamber for great detail and clarity
  • Drivers are matched to 0.1dB
  • Ultra-high purity, long crystal copper wire voice coil and copper connecting cord
  • Standard stereo 6.35mm (1/4″) full size jack plug

Grado SR125i Specification

  • Type: Open-Air Dynamic Supra-Aural
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Connectors: 6.35mm stereo full size jack plug

The shape and design of these headphone’s are the same as the GRADO SR80i unit, with the ear pads being slightly larger, and recessed slightly more to allow a bit of space between your ear and the speakers themselves. You will still look like “Biggles” but this time around… well… read on!

What a difference it makes to have that larger pad against your ear! The pressure problem that I had with the 80i’s almost disappeared, there was some sensation of pressure but negligible this time and it was only after many solid hours of use that the pressure became noticeable,

As you can see by visiting the unboxing video I made, the packaging is the same as the 80i as well, but with these units coming in at the £160.00 mark, the difference has to be something else… and I have to say, that difference is absolutely incredible.

In testing the headphones out I used a wide and varied range of tracks that cover subtle sound, through Rock and the obscure, and as you can see below, I have tried to cover a varied range of tracks to prove my point. The hardware used was an i7 iMac, with my audio linked in via the Behringer Xenyx 802 Mixer, with the audio played via iTunes.

Velvet Revolver: She Builds Quick Machines – Standard Rock music that you would expect from Slash & Co. I have listened to this track so many times, and now with the SR125i’s I am left thinking what the hell I have been missing! The start of this track is quiet and hits you full on with guitar work, with cheaper headphones just collapsing and distorting, and then the audio kicks in with next to no clarity in the backing guitar work. This time, I’m left almost speechless as there is now a whole new range of guitar work that I have never heard before, and subtle backing audio that again I have not heard before, all just hammering out perfectly clear with zero distortion. I had to stop and restart this track 5 times to just take in what I have been missing on my Sennheiser HD595’s that I regard as being the best headphones I have used!!!

Velvet Revolver: The Last Fight – Ballad style track with plenty of guitar work in it. I’m left stunned again… Lyrics and audio that I have never heard before, it’s just pumping out of these headphones and I’m now becoming quite worried that what I considered to be quality has in fact been… well…. junk!

Santa Hates You: Domina Mors – Electronic/synth with choir style backing, and increasing heavy synth bass. With these headphones I was hearing extra layers of vocals that I have never heard before, sweeping left/right mixing that again I have never experienced before… Stunned to say the least! The bass increasing in volume was handled with impunity with the vocals remaining clear, and the bass handled as if by a true master… there was no way these headphone’s would be dominated by this track, it took it and controlled it beautifully.

Aqua: My Mamma Said – Pop Music as you would expect! Right… I just have to accept that these headphone’s are pulling out tracks hidden from me for all these years… This track has so many backing layers that I’m feeling like I am listening to a brand new mix once again!!

Rob Dougan: Furious Angels – Dramatic track that I really love but now love even more as once again I feel like I am listening to a new mix of it. The headphones handle it all with complete ease, zero distortion and all the levels coming through ultra clear….

Ok, I give up… You can guess that I like these headphones….

I am genuinely humbled by these headphone’s, more so after I reviewed the previous model and felt that while they produced good sound… they did not do anything else that my current headphone could not do. So for an extra £60 or less, the difference to me is just not worth debating. If you want to buy a Grado branded set of headphone’s then I’d say you buy these over the 80i’s as these are in a league of their own.

PRO’s: Need I even bother writing anything else?

CON’s: After a few hours the ear pieces do start to press into your ears, but that may just be me, you may have a better shaped head than I!! From what I have experienced in listening to my music through these headphone’s the slight pressure is worth experiencing.

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Posted on March 31, 2012, in Audio, Hardware, HiFi, Opinion, Review, Wittering and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. These headphones sound awesome. I wish I could afford a pair! There’s some music I always like to listen to when I’m testing new speakers or whatever (Jewel’s version of “Foolish Games” from the “Batman & Robin Soundtrack” comes to mind). I have a Plantronics headset that I use for my personal music listening, but these sound like they’d be a nice improvement.

  2. How would this piece compare with my old MB Quart Phone 240 ?

  3. great review …i cant wait to try them!!

  4. these ‘phones have been reviewed using digital gear and modern music, where acoustics are often vague and stereo artificial. How would these (or other phones) compare when used on an analogue system using analogue souces, or even radio (3 only)?

    • When listening to music using HiFi equipment from Audio Origami, the whole sound changes as you would expect, as audio being experienced through an amp, and also from Vinyl, via a PU7 arm, is just so different from digital music, that you cannot explain it, but have to experience it yourself to really appreciate it.

      The thing about audio is that it’s one of those things you can discuss, and seek perfection with, but it will never be the same thing to other people as we all hear and experience emotions to music so differently.

      As it is, these headphone’s have just moved my music into a new phase of being fresh again, and for that, I’d say that has to be a good thing.

      Nice site you have, and I really can relate to the whole concept of what you are trying to achieve yourself, I wish you every success!

  5. hi cat

    when gordon wants to listen to some good old black vinyl …. he pops round to mine :)

  6. Hi Gordon,
    I can appreciate what you are saying about peoples’ hearing and perception of music, but surely there must be general concensus, or else reviews would be pointless.

    I’m sure most audiophiles and music lovers would appreciate the offerings from one of j7’s arms over a lesser model, not sure about the rubber band driven deck, though !

    Hi j7,
    I would have thought that you would have a very deep and wide path to your door, made by those wanting to listen………

    • The majority of people I interact with are not using anything other than Window’s PC’s, Apple equipment etc, and the HiFi purists are in the minority and would probably have no interest in what I have to say about audio quality anyway!
      My reference point for audio, is what my ears pick up, and what I consider to be good, bad, natural etc… getting an agreed status on what good audio is… well…. that in itself I feel is always an issue!
      What is the point of a review then if it’s really pointless? Well, some people appreciate what someone else experiences, and they trust that the information given out is in fact honest, and not just something thrown together to sell a product (I would never lower myself to saying crap is good). In turn that gives them a starting point for experiencing what the consider to be good or bad, and the cycle carries on……

      If you speak to J7, he will tell you how critical I am on things, and when I managed to point out a 1 micron difference in a weight he had made… and he checked the thing and huffed in disgust… (I was right) well… that’s the level we are talking about when I look or listen to something… I have to be genuinely impressed to give a glowing ANYTHING!

      But bottom line, you either agree with a reviews or not, and that’s what makes life interesting. As for me, I do the same and then just move on, as life is too short to worry about what someone thinks really! Enjoy what you have, for as long as you have it.

  7. but the point of a review is for someone to test/listen to a product, and to inform others. If people disagreed with reviews, they would quickly put magazines out of business.

    I must have read thousands of reviews and never disagreed about any, mostly because I didn’tr hear the kit for myself, but when I have bought products on the strength of reviews, I have agreed with the reviews, so it can work.

    Enjoy.

  1. Pingback: GRADO SR325i REVIEW « Gordon's Tech Talk!

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