The Grado SR125e are subpar headphones for everyday casual use but have an above-average and open sound reproduction. They are comfortable and lightweight but will easily fall off your head. Their open-back design also does not block much noise and leaks a lot, which is distracting to the people around you even at moderate volumes.
The SR125e are designed for critical listening. They're not versatile enough for everyday headphones.
The SR125e deliver a decent sound quality a wide, open soundstage that's great for neutral listening. They lack a little bass and sound slightly sharp at times, but they reproduce the detail in high-res audio with above-average accuracy.See our Neutral Sound recommendations
The Grado SR125e are comfortable for an on-ear design. They are lightweight and don't apply too much pressure on the ears. They lack padding on the headband although it's not too noticeable because of the lightweight design. Unfortunately, the padding used on the ear cups is a cushion-like material that's susceptible to wear and tear and doesn't feel as good on the skin like a faux leather padding would.
The Grado SR125e are moderately portable headphones. Like the SR80e, They will easily fit in a backpack and the ear cups that lay flat to take up less space. Unfortunately, they don't fold up into a more compact format and the thick cable is also a bit cumbersome. They also don't come with a carrying case or pouch, which is disappointing.
Build quality is subpar. The SR125e are lightweight, and their ear cups are dense enough, no to get damaged by a few falls. However, these headphones feel cheaply built and not as durable as some other on-ear models. Sadly, the plastic used for the ear cups and joints feels cheap. The joints, especially, look poorly glued together and very susceptible to moderate physical stress. The cushion-like padding on the ear cups is prone to wear and tear.
These headphones like the SR60e and the SR80e do not have enough tension in the headband to provide a tight, stable fit. They will quickly fall off your head while jogging and the thick, and long cable can easily get hooked on something, yanking the headphones off your head. They are somewhat stable during casual listening sessions but leaning or tilting your head while listening will make these headphones slide and potentially slip off your ears.
Poor isolation. Due to the open-back design of these headphones, the isolation is poor. These headphones do not isolate below 1KHz, and the isolation provided above 1KHz is negligible.
Poor leakage. Being open, these headphones are loud and leak a lot of sound. The significant portion of leakage is between 100Hz and 20KHz which is a very broad range. The leakage on these headphones sounds loud, full and present, and therefore could bother the people around you.
No compatible app.
The Grado SR80e are pretty much identical to the Grado SR125e. The SR125e have slightly thicker and more durable cables, but have the same design and build quality as the rest of the budget Grado line up. The SR80 are, therefore, a better value for your money since they have the same performance at a cheaper price point. They also do a bit better in the treble range, although both headphones are a bit too sharp and may sound piercing on already bright tracks. Also, the difference in the treble is within the margin of error for our sound test, since its consistency varies from person to person.