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SR325is HeadphonesVIEW THE  SR325is

Hi-Fi Choice
GRADO SR325 headphones
By Malcolm Stewart

The SR325 is the top model in Grado's Prestige series. Open-backed and priced at $295, it looks ideal for the earnest headphone listener who doesn't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a pair of cans. Its styling is dated but my reasons for not being a headphone fan are more serious than any lack of cute looks. Most phones simply don't sound convincing enough to substitute for loudspeakers, and the majority refuse to stay perched firmly without crushing my cranium or making me sweat. The SR325 manages to meet both those demands. It also has a sensible lead that's not cumbersome but sufficiently robust to avoid tangling, which is a rare and welcome attribute in headphone leads.

The SR325 is the top model in Grado's Prestige series. Open-backed and priced at $295, it looks ideal for the earnest headphone listener who doesn't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a pair of cans. Its styling is dated but my reasons for not being a headphone fan are more serious than any lack of cute looks. Most phones simply don't sound convincing enough to substitute for loudspeakers, and the majority refuse to stay perched firmly without crushing my cranium or making me sweat. The SR325 manages to meet both those demands. It also has a sensible lead that's not cumbersome but sufficiently robust to avoid tangling, which is a rare and welcome attribute in headphone leads.

It articulated spirited bass guitar lines cleanly and fleshed them out fully when appropriate. It also maintained their presence in the mix, even when the other instruments were giving it plenty.

The Grado's top end seemed equally well judged. Picking out detail without making it unnaturally dominant made its portrayal of drum kits and percussion instruments informative and natural. The mid-band integrated perfectly with the upper and lower extremes, conferring a pleasing, coherence and unity on the SR325's presentation.

Choosing headphones is very much a personal matter but I'd encourage anyone who wants to escape the typical, in-yer-face, cheap can sound to listen to these Grados. Their warm tonal balance won't be to everyone's taste but the unexaggerated dynamics and vigorous bass might just sway your choice regardless.

Hi-Fi Choice / By Malcolm Stewart