Its founder, Joseph Grado, was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1982 for his innovation in headphone design. Since then the mantel has been passed to his nephew, John Grado, who is responsible for the Prestige, Reference and Statement ranges that stay true to Grado’s retro stylings yet feature the latest audio technology.
So is Grado still pumping out some of the best headphones on the market? Or did their legacy for quality disappear with Joseph Grado’s retirement? Lets find out by taking a look at the Grado SR325is Prestige headphones.
If you’re like me, the last thing you want is your headphones to look like Beats by Dr Dre. They might have looked cool when they came out, but do you really want to wear the same pair of cans as half of the people you see wearing headphones these days? Well, if you want something that looks completely different then you’ve come to the right place.
The Grado SR325is Prestige headphones look like the sort of headphones you’d see a radio operator wearing in a WW2 movie. They literally look as though the design hasn’t changed in the last 60 years – which, in fact, is probably the whole point. Grado’s headphones are handmade, and with that comes the reassurance you are buying a quality protect, and nothing something flimsy that’s mass produced for all and sundry.
These headphones make a statement. They say that you take your music seriously. You aren’t phased by the latest fashion trend in headphone design or what the kids are wearing these days. You stick with what you know to be the best headphones money can buy. Which for many people are those made by Grado.
Simply put, Grado headphones are like having a high end hifi set on your ears. You would literally have to spend $1000s to get the same performance from stereo speakers as you will hear on the Grado SR325is Prestige headphones.
Grado is renowned for its warm midrange, along with its transparent highs and strong bass. So as you’d expect, the performance of the Grado SR325is Prestige headphones is first class, as befitting the price tag. They have a bass that emphasizes higher tuned bass drums and bass guitars, making them among the best headphones for listening to blues, rock or jazz at home.
What people say
People who buy Grado headphones know their cans. So, as you’d expect, they are a tough audience to please. No Dr Dre Beats headphones newbies here. The Grado SR325is Prestige headphones earn a lot of praise for the brightness and warmth of the sound stage, which puts you on stage among the band or orchestra.
One reviewer felt the instruments were well separated but not as sharply as imagined on the Sennheiser HD650s, so you might want to check these out before putting any money down.
When to turn it up
The higher tuned bass response, warm midrange and crisp highs enables the Grado SR325is Prestige headphones to pour out jazz, blues or rock like a smooth 60 year old brandy.
When to take them off
The soundstage might be a touch on the small side for classical, in which case you should check out the Sennhesier HD650s or the AKG Q701 Quincy Jones Reference Class Premium headphones.