Grado SR325X VS Sennheiser HD600 using a SN2

I will be receiving this week a brand new pair of Grado SR325X and Sennheiser HD600. I will be comparing them using the headphone output on my SN2.

I am curious if anyone is using one of these headphones, with a SN2 or SN3. Thoughts and impressions welcome.

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I have a Uniti Star, and use 325X phones, and am enjoying plenty of detail and information. Instrument characteristics are clearly evident. The bass is, for me, just right, not overly emphasised, but not light. I find a good sound stage, but that depends on the recording. I found that percussive instruments particularly, sound very accurate and precise, particularly since I got my Star, and this also applies to music of all genres. I can’t speak for streamed music, only vinyl and CD.
The cables are thick and quite stiff, but not uncomfortable, and the phones themselves I find comfortable for a couple of hours listening. My ears are getting on now, and the detail is welcome, but you could find them a bit bright, but time will tell. Also, musical emotion is presented extremely well, and I’m looking forward to another upgrade, so you should have some enjoyable listening in the offing with your setup.

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Thanks Geoff. I just received the Grado 325X headphones. I will be trying them later today.

I suspect they will be very different, and you are unlikely to love both equally.

I love the characteristic Grado sound; fast, lively and energetic. Not always technically perfect, and others may suit if you like a lot of bass but always enjoyable to my ears. I haven’t heard the Sennheiser HD600 but I found the 800 and 820 to be in many ways the opposite of the Grado GS modeI I was demoing at the same time. My experience of those Sennheisers was a very technically impressive sound, amazing soundstage but for me a less musically enjoyable experience. Others disagree!

Let us know your thoughts. Be aware that brand new headphones do need running in, they may be a bit harsh or thin to start with in my experience.


Same here with my trusted SR225i Grados, which improved considerably with the latest F cushions. To my ears they were the sweet spot of the SR range at the time.
The newer x- models and the various cushions change the sound and the 325x is different from the very bright i-version before, more v-shaped now. Love the RS2x most I think.

Did audition other headphones, Sennheiser of course, the Focal Elear and several other “best buy” models. That price range is perhaps the sensible best level for the XS3 headphone amp (which is surprisingly good but no Atom HE or Nait 50 or Headline/Napsc).

I just received the HD600s! I will try both headphones out tonight after work.

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I bought the Focal Clears without listening to them, a few years ago. I thought they were nothing special. They were ok, but not great. My brother has the Verum 1 and I liked them much more than the Focal Clear.

The showdown begins! In Canadian dollars the Grado is 430$ and the Sennheisers 400$.

The packaging is nothing fancy, but adequate for this price.

The build quality is very nice for the price on both. They both feel sufficiently solid. I love the Grado’s retro look, better than the Sennheiser’s more minimalist modern look.

I have been listening to both for a few hours now. I am not sure if I believe in burn in. Both sounded very good out of the box. But, to my ears, the Sennheiser was much better.
The HD600 sound wonderfully balanced. Everything is there in just the right amount. On the Grados, the bass sounds boosted and a bit muddled. The highs also sound augmented. The result is that the midrange is lacking. The extra bass and highs squeeze out some of the midrange in the Grados.
Switching back and forth I easily preferred the Senns. The midrange on the Senns is to die for! Voices and guitars just sound wonderful.
I actually like the Sennheisers much more than my former Focal Clear. I never liked the Clear that much. It was 5 times the price of the Sennheiser HD600!
I will be keeping the HD600 :slight_smile:


Headphones are also mechanical transducers and the diaphragms will wear in…

I’ve experienced more burn-in on headphones than any other HiFi equipment. Possibly even more than with full sized loudspeakers. To be expected, I would have thought.


I have the Grado limited edition Hemp 'phones, which sound fantastic from the headphone jack of my NAIT50.

The packaging is indeed nothing special, but that doesn’t matter one bit when you’ve taken the 'phones out of the box!


I’ve owned several Grado 'phones. All gone. Love the industrial look, hate their on-ear pads (tried several, donuts etc)…just a royal pain. Only a few minutes and my ears are in agony. Shame, because their looks are lovely.

Give me circumaural any day.

Yes I don’t understand the thinking behind squashing your ear lobes however light might be the fit. And surely not so easy to get a good seal. Circumnaural might also have a chance of working with over/behind-ear hearing aids, which may be worth bearing in mind as you get older.

I find on ear hurt pretty quickly too so I’d definitely rather try the hd600’s

Each to his own. I find circumaural can feel sweaty and also not great as a spectacle wearer.

The Grado on-ear pads may feel odd at first, but I get used to them after a short while. I think the newer versions have a bit larger and squishier pads too.



Comparing Grado to Sennheiser is like comparing chalk to cheese.

When I was big into phones a had a pair of both Grado and Sennheiser. Some material played to the Grado’s strengths and others to the Sennheiser’s strengths.


Ive just been given a pair of NOS HD600s. 23 years old, never used. And yes, the headband foams are shot. Running them in, initial impression is great mids, minimal bass. So driving them quite hard 24/7. But the volume pot is turned up more compared to my Clears and HD25s. These 600s take some driving. Luckily i have a good can amp. But so far, the Clears are way, way ahead. Lets see what running them in brings.

That is why I always thought headphones were like a piece of clothing. You prefer the Clear to the HD600. For myself, I much prefer the HD600 over the Clear.
It varies from one person to another. The shape of our ears probably has an effect on how we hear headphones. You can get a replacement headband from Geekria for not much money.

I had a pair of the grados and really liked the sound. But after about 15mins they hurt my ears. Got a pair of Bayerdynamics Amiron and they are so comfortable you dont know you have them on. Sound very nice aswell.

I bought my HD600s at the same time my mate bought his. Just he never used his ! I remember them being bass light, but I’ll run them in and see what gives. New headband foam thingy was on order before i picked them up. Easy to change.