Before we get into the Grado SR80e vs. SR125e, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
For this article, I will do a quick and dirty comparison, and then link to my official reviews towards the end! 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I really love both of these headphones. The strange thing is that I actually enjoyed the SR80e’s more, and thought they were more resolving, detailed, and crisp like a spring morning. 🙂 I’m telling you right now, the detail and accuracy found in the 80e’s is second to none. It’s pretty much my favorite headphone right now. When I first tried the Sony MDR 7506’s, and the Audio Technica ATH M50’s, it was like a revelation in what I had been missing. I hadn’t really been blown away like that until I tried the Sennheiser HD600’s and Sennheiser HD25’s, which both brought a level of clarity that simply must be heard to believe.
Believe it or not, the Grado SR80e is even more detailed than the HD25, and arguably more detailed than the HD600. The 600’s have some of the most phenomenal instrument separation that you can achieve from a mid-tier headphone, but the 80e’s are right there. I was astonished at some of the things I started to hear, especially in genres like Rock/Prog/Metal, etc.
Sound. I have had both, and I could tell no discernible differences at all. In fact, I much prefer the SR80e’s, which are more affordable. The 125’s seemed a little flat and lifeless to me. It’s weird to say, but the 80e’s were really exciting and I started to hear even more detail in them than pretty much any other headphone I’ve tried.
Both have the same annoying bulky cable. 😉 Not a deal breaker, but irritating nonetheless. So what’s annoying about the cable? Well it’s much too heavy for the headphones. The cans are super light, and then you have a heavy cable which kind of puts the two out of balance. Think of anvil vs. feather.
The specifications for both are identical in terms of Frequency Response, Impedance, and Sound pressure level.
Both are made in Brooklyn, New York.
Both have replaceable ear pads.
Both have ear cups that are adjustable, and can fold and swivel nicely. You’re able to lay them flat if you wish.
Both come with a gold plated 3.5mm jack and a full sized gold plated 1/4″ adapter.
Keep in mind that these differences will be hardly noticeable. They are extremely subtle and take an extended period of listening intently to discover.
We just talked about how the sound was virtually identical. However, over a long period of time, you may find that the 125e’s provide more detail than the 80e’s. This is of course with the highest quality source files (.WAV, FLAC, etc.) as well as some high quality CD’s that render in 320kbps.
The SR125e’s may have more treble, and are slightly cleaner in the vocal department. There is a bit more extension if you will.
Bass. There is a little more extension in the bass as well, but it’s slightly cleaner and gives you more subtle detail and texture.
Cable Length. 2.3m for the 125e, and 2m for the 80e.
Cable style. The 125e has an 8 conductor design vs. the 4 conductor design of the 80e.
Voice coil. The 125e uses what Grado calls UHPLC wiring. This is a long crystal, oxygen free copper wire. This type of cable is found in higher end audio cables. In a nutshell, this basically gives you a better sense of all the smaller details that you had been missing. The problem with the wire though as previously mentioned is that it’s really bulky.
Weight. The 125e’s are slightly heavier. 9.2 oz. vs. 8.2 oz.
For now, I would go with the SR80e’s, and perhaps try the 125e’s down the road if you want. The differences are very subtle, and I actually thought the 80e’s were more detailed. I do highly recommend the Grado line in general. They have some of the most accurate, detailed, and fun headphones that I have heard.
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.