The Grado SR225e/SR225 are good headphones for neutral sound, but their overall performance isn't really versatile enough for everyday use. Their open-back design leaks a lot of noise, which is distracting to people around you, even at moderate volumes. They also fall off your head quickly if used while running. On the upside, they're lightweight and not too tight.
The Grado 225e are designed for neutral sound. They're not versatile enough to be good everyday headphones.
The Grado 225e are good for neutral listening. They have a spacious soundstage and a good reproduction of instruments and vocals. They lack a little bass and may be slightly sharp at times, but they reproduce the detail in high-res audio with above-average accuracy.
The Grado SR225e aren't intended for commuting. Their open-back design doesn't block a lot of noise, so you still hear bus and plane engines while listening to music.
The Grado SR225e aren't designed for sports. They're unstable, and the thick cable is bothersome. They're also a little uncomfortable.
The Grado SR225e aren't intended for office use. They don't block office chatter, and they leak a lot, which will be audible even at lower volumes.
The Grado SR225e look similar to the previous models, including the Grado SR60e/SR60, the Grado SR80e/SR80, and the Grado SR125e/SR125. They have the same retro aesthetic and also come in an all-black color scheme. However, unlike the previous models, the padding used on the ear cups is thicker and has a hollow center so that the sound leaving the ear cups is unobstructed. This makes them look like an over-ear model, yet they're still an on-ear headphone with surprisingly large and open ear cups.
The Grado SR225e aren't as comfortable as the Grado SR60e/SR60 or the Grado SR80e/SR80. They changed the cushion-like padding design to a hybrid of over-ear and on-ear. This causes the ear cups to apply uneven pressure on the ears, which gets uncomfortable during long listening sessions. They also have the same cushion-like fabric for the padding that feels low quality and easy to tear. On the upside, they don't apply much pressure to your head, especially for an on-ear design.
The Grado 225e are moderately portable headphones. They don't have much bulk and have a thin headband. They'll easily fit in a bag and are lightweight enough to carry on your neck. Sadly, the ear cups are a little large for an on-ear design, and they don't fold up to take less space. The thick cable is also a bit bothersome and doesn't come with a carrying case or pouch, which is disappointing.
Build quality is subpar. The lightweight design and relatively dense ear cups can withstand a couple of falls without damage. Unfortunately, these headphones don't seem very solid, and the joints are plasticky and cheap-looking. The plastic used for the ear cups also has a few imperfections in the finish, which add to the cheapness of the build quality. The cushion-like material used for the padding is also susceptible to wear and tear. On the upside, the audio cable is thick and robust.
The Grado SR225e aren't very stable on your head. They quickly fall off during any physical activity and have a thick and non-detachable cable that can yank the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something. They're decently stable for casual listening sessions, and the ear pad design adds a little more stability, but they slip off your ears if you tilt your head too far.
Poor isolation. Due to the open-back design, the isolation is poor. They barely isolate any external sound, failing to achieve more than 7dB of isolation in the treble range.
Poor leakage. As open-back headphones, they leak a lot of sound. The majority of leakage is happening between 300Hz and 20kHz, which is a very broad range. The leakage on these headphones sounds loud, full, and intelligible.
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The Grado SR225e/SR225 are also almost identical to the budget Grado SR80e/SR80 but have slightly different pads. The different pads emulate an over-ear design, but it's not very large, which means they still sit on the ears like on-ear headphones. On the upside, the SR80 are a better value for your money since they sound basically identical to the SR225e, except for the slightly better distortion performance of the more premium model. The SR80e are also a bit less cumbersome to carry around since their cable is not as thick and bulky.