On Alison Krauss and Union Station’s song “Stay” [Alison Krauss & Union Station – Forget About It, Rounder], Alison’s violin has a superb sense of body, overtones and string/bow texture. Kim Kashkashian’s viola on “Three Arias” from Neharot [ECM] is similarly well balanced and clear.
Going back to “Stay”, Alison’s voice, which is rather light, occasionally gets into a range where there is some slightly sibilant stridency from the 325s. Fortunately, this is low enough in level that it isn’t too distracting, something I can’t always say competing headphones.
Later on Forget About It, the song “Maybe” has a solo bass drum whack that is startlingly powerful and well defined on the 325s. This is, given the air pressure limitations of headphones, a rendition that sounds very much like what one hears from a bass drum in a concert hall. I commented on this same drum when I reviewed the Ultrasone Edition 8s. The Grados, at 1/5 the price have a little less bass power and depth, but better definition than the Ultrasones, which is high praise indeed.
On Brandi Carlile’s song “The Story”, from the album of the same name[Columbia], we get to see how well the 325s hold up with power pop. The impressive thing here is that with drums, guitars (acoustic and electric), bass, and vocals going full tilt, we still can hear each instrument distinctly.
The Grado SR325is merits comparison with a wide range of headphones. Here are a few samples to give you an idea of how competitive we found the 325 to be: