Loudness & Sibilance. From my perception, the Grado GS1000e’s sounded less sibilant overall. What does Sibilant mean? I don’t think the PS500e’s are sibilant, but at higher volumes they have the capacity to sound just a bit grating. It’s an extremely minor thing, and doesn’t actually bother me that much. Because I like my music loud, it’s pretty exhilarating. However, I can see how it would cause fatigue after awhile. While the PS500e’s are very loud (but still detailed), the GS1000e takes that sound and really tames it down. I actually believe that the GS1000e strikes an incredible balance between loudness, detail, and zing. You can plug these into a phone, jack up the volume, and they’re going to sound just about perfect. Grado really got it right here. The PS500e retains that same level of detail, but the overall sound is louder, intense, and in your face. Does that make them better? Not necessarily.
Ear-cushion & Fit. The GS1000e’s are Circumaural (Around the ear), and use the G-cushion, while the PS500e’s are Supra-aural (On-ear), and use the L-cushion. I like both, but if I had to choose I would select the G-cushion. It’s nice and spacious, and with the 1000e on I can barely tell I’m wearing anything! It’s like going commando but not. 😛
Materials & Color. The PS500e’s are made of polymer, plastic, and foam. The GS1000e’s are comprised of leather, mahogany, and foam. Because of that, the 500e’s are silver and black while the 1000e’s are wood colored and black.
Frequency Response. The GS1000e’s go from 8 – 35kHz, while the PS500e’s go from 14 – 29kHz.
If I had to choose between these two, I would go with the GS1000e, as it’s got a seemingly more spacious and open sound signature, while still retaining a lot of detail and clarity. It’s pretty much the perfect Grado headphone because it strikes an amazing balance between loudness, tone, clarity, soundstage, detail, and precision.
However, it may not be worth the asking price when you could get 90-95% of the Grado sound from the SR80e. It’s hard for me to say that because of how much I love the 1000e, but it’s the truth. You will likely be just as excited with the 80e’s sound signature, while paying a fraction of the price. Interested in learning more about my favorite headphone for rock and all things electric guitar?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.