Alas, these interesting and intriguing headphones provoke problems at everyday use due to the special design.
The headphones’ cups are rotating freely by 360 degrees. There are no stoppers to limit this rotation – one cup is turned around in the photo above, for example. So when you take the headphones from a table, you should make sure the cups do not rotate under the weight of the cable or you’ll soon find that the cable has twisted into a spiral. Besides the lack of stoppers in the cups, the thick and heavy cable itself is a problem – once twisted, it tends to twist again all the time.
The head-band is made from a flexible steel plate trimmed with leather. Despite the simplicity of design and lack of any additional pads, this seems to be the only element of the SR325i that we can find no fault with: it is soft and steady on the head.
The ear-pads are a different story. They are nothing else but foam-rubber circles, rather stiff and not trimmed with fabric. They are rather small and do not cover the whole ear but press against it. As a result, it may become uncomfortable for the ears to wear these headphones for too long. The good thing is that the ear-pads can be taken off easily for cleaning.
Although the housing of the dynamic capsule is a plastic cylinder, it has an aluminum casing anodized to a gold color. This is one of the differences of the SR325i from low-end headphone series which have a plastic exterior casing. It’s hard to tell if the use of aluminum has any effect on the sound quality, but it is no good for ergonomics. The headphones are heavy and can just drop off if you make a sudden movement with your head.
The fastening of the steel rod in the cup case is a potential problem, too. An author of this review knows of its unreliability from his own experience: after a year of using a Grado SR80, which have a similar design, one cup slipped off the rod and could only be fastened back in place with a drop of good glue. Users have reported the same problem at forums, too.
The height is adjusted by means of the mentioned steel rods that can move freely, with little friction, within the plastic casings fastened in the head-band. They keep the set height quite firmly and do not relax with use. On the other hand, the discrete regulation of height employed by many other manufacturers, especially when you need to apply an effort to switch from one position into the next one, is handier than smooth adjustment.
As we wrote above, the headphones are equipped with a thick, stiff and heavy cable that is not handy for everyday use, but also unlikely to be torn accidentally or frayed with use.
The connector is 6.35 millimeters, so you will need an adapter for the more widespread size of 3.5 millimeters to connect to most devices. Anyway, as we found out in our tests, the Grado SR325i should be used with an appropriate amplifier to reveal their full potential.