Reviewed on May 30, 2016

Grado SR125e/SR125 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
5.0
Mixed Usage
6.9
Neutral Listening
4.1
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
4.5
Office
4.2
Wireless Gaming
6.0
Wired Gaming
1.5
Phone Call
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 5.8
Isolation 0.8
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.6
Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Above-average and open sound quality.
Cons
  • Easily fall off your head.
  • Flimsy, plasticky build.
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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5.8

Design

The Grado SR125e keep the same retro design as the SR60e and SR80e but with slightly larger ear cups. They are comfortable headphones for an on-ear model. Sadly, the lack of tension in the headband makes these headphones easily slip off your ears and their build quality feels cheap and not as durable as some other on-ear headphones.

Style

The Grado SR125e have the same retro appeal as the SR60e and SR80e. They share the same open-back design, but the SR125e have slightly larger ear cups. They have an all-black color scheme, and they look decent overall. However, the plastic used in their build looks a little cheap.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.32 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.55 lbs

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.

0 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
8.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 2 C
6.1 Portability
L : 7.09 "
W : 6.69 "
H : 1.97 "
Volume : 93.31 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
5.5 Build Quality

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.

5.5 Stability

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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

They have a good bass, a very good mid-range, but a poor treble. Additionally, their bass lacks extension and sub-bass, and their treble is noticeably harsh and sibilant. They also have elevated distortion in the treble range which makes their sound piercing. On the plus side, their performance doesn't vary much from person to person, and have a relatively open soundstage, both due to their open design.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
6.6
Bass-Heavy
:
2.8
Warm
:
2.6
Bright
:
8.8
6.9 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.14 db
Dips
:
1.21 db
7.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.46 dB
8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.17
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.66
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.98
6.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.31 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
0.64 dB
PRTF Distance
:
5.47 dB
Openness
:
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
9.0
7.9 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.100
WHD @ 100
:
0.273
0.8

Isolation

These headphones are not designed to isolate listeners. Their open-back ear cups do not block any noise, which is not ideal in loud environments. The leakage level is also very high. They will be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes even on a bus. They are best utilized in a quiet and isolated environment where you can enjoy their nice and open sound reproduction.

0.7 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-1.0 dB
Bass
:
-0.06 dB
Mid
:
1.03 dB
Treble
:
-3.77 dB

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.

1.0 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
65.83 dB

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.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

3.6

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : No
Length : 5.6 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

In the box

  • Grado SR125e Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

Grado SR80e/SR80
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

5.0 Mixed Usage

The SR125e are designed for critical listening. They're not versatile enough for everyday headphones.

6.9 Neutral Listening

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.

4.1 Commute/Travel

Not good for commuting. They're very open and don't block any noise which is not ideal for frequent commuters

5.4 Sports/Fitness

Not intended for sports. They're unstable and the thick cable is bothersome. They're also a little uncomfortable.

4.5 Office

Not designed for the office. They don't block any office chatter and also leak enough to be distracting.

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