This is a pair of 4th generation of Grado tuned 44mm drivers, easy to drive 38ohm, brand new and original product of Grado Labs. This driver has been applied in SR225x and Hemp Headphone Limited Edition. This new driver design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for the 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Unlike the previous 32-ohm/99.8dB drivers from the ‘e’ series, the new models is an updated 38-ohm/98dB driver, which suggests a prelude of sorts to test Grado’s new driver technology ahead of a whole line-up overhaul.
Worries about how to reproduce original Grado SR225x and Hemp Headphones sound character? See the DIY suggestions for simple and ensured fine tuning instructions! Or select the Fine Tune option to let our professionals do it for you, totally free!
We recommend them for DIY with our PS1000e, GS2000e, GS3000e kits, or as replacement for hemp headphone drivers, or upgrade Grado mid/low-end headphones for premium sound quality. Following are compatible series:
- Grado SR80, SR80e
- Grado SR225
- Grado M1
- Grado SR60, SR60e
- EDL GS2000e, GS3000e
- EDL PS1000e
Know About Grado Hemp Headphone, Limited Edition
The first of its kind, hemp finds yet another purpose in The Hemp Headphone. A brilliant, warm, and precise sound rolled into a Limited Edition Grado.
Sound Impressions from Headfonics
Grado isn’t really known for excessive oomph down yonder, but shockingly, this Hemp responds very well to EQ and DSP alteration. The stock sound signature is typical Grado, fairly bass light. However, crank up the bass to a +6dB and see what happens. The low-end body blossoms and the entire experience fills out, thickens up, and becomes livelier.
I love my PS500. But, I like this Hemp more. This headphone is warmer, cleaner, and responds better to some bass boost. This is less neutral, more musical in tonality on the bass side and that becomes apparent only when you boost a little, as the stock bass experience is right in the middle somewhere.
Same song and source, the same EQ set to +dB of bass via realbassexciter (a Foobar2000 DSP), and attempting to parallel the volume levels of each headphone, results in the Hemp retaining control much better than the PS500.
Bass Fidelity and Tonality
As mentioned, the fidelity of the bass experience is excellent for this price. I think this is the best Grado has offered in terms of price to performance. Don’t let the pot jokes fool you, or the branding.
This is a serious product at the end of the day and it absolutely sounds fantastic. I can’t name any other $450 and under headphones that check-marked this many boxes for me.
In raw purity, the headphone is not going to please the accurate and neutral, or clinical enthusiasts. Again, that is because the headphone is on the warm and musical side of the spectrum.
Now, that is not to say that it is “very” warm and thus ruining any potential for accurate experiences in your sources. That isn’t the case. It is a step or two into warm sounding and with boosting, as well as proper DSP usage, the Hemp can be vividly musical and warm. But, the stock sound is not more than a step or two into warmth tonal offering on the low end.
Know About Grado SR225x
The SR225x utilizes the new F cushion to open up the sound to more textured tones. The clarity and range of Grado headphones can reveal new notes and details in songs heard hundreds of times. The driver and housing working in tandem react to sound vibrations and virtually eliminate transient distortions. With warm harmonic colors, smooth top-end, excellent dynamics, and a world renowned mid-range, the SR225x produces a sound that’s pure Grado.
Sound Impressions from Major HiFi
Grado’s open back headphones have consistently wide soundstages, though the specific level of width and sound separation varies from model to model of course. The soundstages of the 225 and 325 definitely feel very close in width, but the 325 seems to slightly outdo the 225 at times in terms of its size and overall separation. Still, I found the respective stereo fields of both headphones were largely on the same page, creating a satisfying, holographic feel.
The low end of both the 225 and 325 are deep and attack-heavy. Both represent bass, kicks, and any other low end elements very well, boosting them enough to make a gratifying, cinematic feel. However, the cinematic feel is further conveyed by the 325 than it is by the 225. The 325 has slightly more sub range, with an overall fuller, wider-set bass response. For some listeners, the 325’s boosted bass may be just what they’re looking for, while the slightly more controlled bass on the 225 may feel more comfortable for others. There’s not a stark contrast between the low end responses of these, it’s a nuanced difference, but a difference nonetheless.
Both headphones have the signature midrange Grado prides itself on. On the 225 and 325, this midrange is a bit less forward in the high-mid area than it is on other models, like the SR80x, giving them a heightened sense of warmth. The high-mid seems slightly more pronounced on the 225 than it does the 325, but only by a couple decibels at most. The mid-range on these is not what I’d use to pick between them, as this may be where they were most similar. If you’ve ever listened to a Grado headphone, you’ll know what you’re getting into with the midrange on these. If you haven’t, expect colorful, detailed, organic sounding mids with a light bite.
The high end may be where the 225 and 325 part ways the most. The 325 has a noticeably brighter, shinier high-end than the 225. While once again, this difference is not intense, it is one of the first things I noticed when comparing them. Mostly in the highest audible frequencies (8kHz+) is where the 325 seems to get an extra boost that is not present on the 225, leading to a breathier, more airy sound. The differing high end between these two is, unsurprisingly, more present on brighter songs, so pop, electronic, hip-hop, etc. will all reveal it the most. More acoustic performances, like jazz, rock, or folk may not sound as obviously different in their highs between the 225 and 325.
The SR225x and SR325x are definitely close in their sound signature, feeling more like siblings than cousins. If you know that brightness and bass are areas where you have very particular preferences, the choice may be more obvious, but for those with less picky ears, price could be a bigger factor in deciding than sonic differences. To put it in the most general terms possible, both provide a captivating, reliable sound signature, but the 225 will be a bit warmer and tighter while the 325 will be a bit more sparkly and loose.
See below for the frequency response of original SR225x. See more detailed measurements at Grado SR225e/SR225 Review – RTINGS.com
DIY suggestions (Sound fine tune)
Headphone drivers need to be fine tuned based on the acoustic structure of the headphone shells, etc. Normally it requires special expertise and professional instruments.
Grado headphone shell is fully open and makes the tuning very easy and straightforward. Simply cover the 2 holes as shown below you will get 100% Hemp sound reproduced! Note you may use double-sided tapes or other tapes. The key is fully blocking the air flow. And if you prefer more bass or highs than original, you can unblock or block 1 more hole.
Note: the dynamic drivers have been paired to ensure sound and quality fully balanced between right and left channels. Therefore we don’t offer single unit.
Soldering: overheated (>250 degree C) soldering iron or overtime soldering (>2s) may permanently damage the driver. Please managed down both in your DIY.
- Installation: the driver has Sintered NdFeB Magnetic inside with extremely strong attraction power. Damage may caused by attracting anything hitting the fragile diaphragm.
- Others: applying high-voltage, storing in high temperature/humidity environment… all may cause unrecoverable damage.
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