Grado SR225X Review and Measurements (Stream of Consciousness))

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Dec 5, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Will do this stream of consciousness style...

    Given the all this talk of RS1x and RS2X (I do have RS1x incoming), I figured it would be nice to do a review of the SR225x. The SR225x is a nice complement to the metal cup SR325x reviewed here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/grado-sr325x-review-and-measurements.11120/

    LIke the others in the SR line, the latest x iteration comes with the F cushions, similar to the the TTVJ Deluxe Pads discussed here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...rs2-ttvj-deluxe-pad-appreciation-thread.8952/

    5F4A0058 (Medium).JPG

    I feel the F cushions could be slightly better than the TTVJ pads because they seem to provide lower bass extension while sounding less dark and more open. The foam appears to be less dense. Lots of factors here which really belong in another discussion when it comes to pads. Later in this thread, perhaps we'll examine the differences with other Grados such as the RS2e. We are going to discuss the SR225x for now.

    Grado SR225X
    Frequency Response
    FPC Compensated
    upload_2021-12-5_15-11-55.png

    The SR225 in the Grado lineup has always be thought to be the high-value model. That is the price point knee where very good performance is obtained before serious things start to get very expensive. The SR225X is no different, although the SR325X is very compelling as well for not that much more. I think it's best that I cover the differences:

    The SR225X is the more neutral sounding of the two. It's less outright bassy and not as dark as the SR325X. The SR325X is just very slightly more muted in the highs and stronger in the bass with lower extension. The SR325 with its metal outer shell does exhibit more focused, sharper, harder-hitting transients; and this tends to make up for its darker signature. (Again, the SR325X is nothing like the older SR325s that came with the bowl pads where many folks screamed bloody murder of them being too bright and aggressive).

    Below are the differences between SR225X and SR325X. The differences are quite small. A few db drop in the lows and highs on the SR225X. It's not much, but it's enough to give it a noticeably less dark sound.

    SR225X (BLU/RED) vs SR325X (GRY)
    Frequency Response (Y-axis zoomed in)
    FPC Compensated
    upload_2021-12-5_15-18-47.png

    Finally, what's not indicated above are the "technicalities". The SR325 driver does sound like it's another class with respect to "plankton", capturing the nuances and expressiveness of recordings. Grado has always been good at this with higher models having higher resolution. Contrary of what some people suspect, an SR125 in a RS2 cup does not give you RS2 sound! It will be interesting to look at distortion or other measurements.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 15
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  2. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Grado SR225X
    CSDs
    FPC Grado SR225X L.jpg
    FPC Grado SR225X R.jpg

    Compared to SR325x CSDs, the SR225x definitely more ringy at 4k-5kHz with sharper and longer lived ridges. However, I can't say if I really hear more edge or bite, which is usually what this translates. I'm convinced I have some hearing damage that results in a dip around 4.5kHz. No, I ain't gonna bullshit you guys and claim that I have perfect hearing. Be wary of those who do, especially if they are up there in years.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 14
    • List
  3. BarnBurner

    BarnBurner Acquaintance

    Joined:
    May 24, 2021
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New England, USA
    I really like my 225e, my go-to cans.
     
    • Dislike / Shitpost Dislike / Shitpost x 1
    • List
  4. Philimon

    Philimon A Distasteful, Sad Person

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    225e vs 225x when using same pads?
     
  5. BarnBurner

    BarnBurner Acquaintance

    Joined:
    May 24, 2021
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New England, USA
    I haven't gotten the x yet.
     
    • Dislike / Shitpost Dislike / Shitpost x 1
    • List
  6. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Here is some old data from Grado SR225E compared. Keep in mind the SR225E were taken more than 3 years ago, although on the same rig. Differences are small but discernable.

    YEL = SR225E w/ stock bowl pads
    WHT = SR225X w/ with bowl pads
    GRN = SR225X w/ TTVJ DLX pads
    VIO = SR225X w/ stock F pads
    upload_2021-12-8_10-51-0.png

    The SR225X as it is (stock VIO) sounds the most neutral to me. The SR225X with the TTVJ DLX pads (GRN) is a bit darker and fuller sounding.

    The prevailing that thought that the SR225E, that is before the introduction of the F pad for the X series, was the most neutral (that is less bright) among the small Grados would seem to be true as the SR225E (stock bowls YEL) is less peaky at 2kHz, 4kHz, and 10kHz compared to the X. With the F pads on the SR225X, I think Grado had to raise the peaks a bit back up,
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
  7. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Here is Grado RS2e with the F cushion vs the TTVJ DLX pads.
    upload_2021-12-8_10-38-1.png

    I believe that in the RS2e review, @Hands commented that the RS2e with these pads were a bit dark and HD650 like (other than the mid-treble peak). I actually agree. The F pads in lieu of the TTVJ dials back that the "HD650" fullness. I was hoping to better bass extension with the F pads, but maybe we will have to wait for the RS2x!

    Here is the above compared with SR225X (WHT). The X iteration would seem to have lower bass extension than the prior Grados. There's definitely a reformulation of the drivers that go well with the new F pads. We've seen this with both SR225X and SR325X (reviewed a few months back).
    upload_2021-12-8_10-43-12.png
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 6
    • List
  8. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Grado SR225X
    Distortion (H2,H3,H4 at various SPL)
    upload_2021-12-8_11-17-53.png

    Compared to SR325X, the biggest difference is higher third order in the lows by about 10db at the almost all volume levels. See SR325X distortion below for comparison. SR325 does have higher second order around 100Hz, but lower second order at 250Hz. We can perhaps call it a wash for second order.

    upload_2021-12-8_11-19-43.png
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • Epic Epic x 2
    • List
  9. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Grado SR225X
    Envelope for Attack and Decay of 10 Cycle Burst
    B1696 SR225X.wav_burst.jpg

    OK guys, did we expect differently from a Grado. This falls in line with the SR325X and RS2E. The main difference is that as we move up the the line, the excitement of the first transient isn't as severe.

    The 4.8kHz attack has similar characteristics to that of the LCD-2C and Koss ESP95X headphones. Gives it that fast transient edge. The good this is that we don't see rise or dump at the second wave - which tends to be bad and exhibits itself as grainy, sandy, or glarey highs. The 4.8kHz decay doesn't quite totally die even after 5 cycles - this a classic Grado trait - love it or hate it. Does wonders for rock guitar.

    RS2E (TTVJ pads) for comparison below to illustrate how the driver is more controlled as move up the Grado line.
    B1696 Grado RS2.wav.jpg
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 8
    • Epic Epic x 4
    • List
  10. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    78,154
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Grado SR225X
    Impedance and electrical phase (GRY)
    Free air (YEL) and On-ear (GRN)
    upload_2021-12-19_12-0-34.png
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  11. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    9,665
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Any chance we can get some loaners from Grado? It would be interesting to hear the differences between, say the 80x, 325x and RS1x.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List

Share This Page