Experts say the Grado SR125i headphones provide better performance than cheaper headphones in the same class. Whether or not you will be able to hear the difference is another matter.
Update of a classic. The Grado SR125i is a tweaked version of the earlier Grado SR125, boasting better drivers, cords and enclosures (for improved sound) and better ear pads (for improved comfort). Professional reviews of this version are scarce, but user reviews continue to be as positive as they were of its predecessor, which scored kudos for great bass and great detail.
Retro looks. These Grado headphones carry Grado's signature clunky, retro look, which some may find off-putting. The Grado SR125i has a 1/4-inch jack, with no adapter for 1/8-inch MP3 player inputs. User reviews mostly praise comfort, but we also saw a couple that complained about the materials used on the ear cups. Writing about its very similar predecessor, CNET says the headphones are "not comfortable enough for extended wear."
How good is your hearing? The Grado SR125i headphones are a bit more expensive than other nonaudiophile headphones, but not everyone is sure the extra cost is worth the extra performance. GoodCans.com says it's basically the Grado SR80i tweaked for better sound. "The improved detail can be difficult for some to hear, but we have had many responses from golden eared music enthusiasts who easily hear the slight improvement in detail!" site owner "Bill K" writes.
1. GoodCans.com by Listening Station
The Grado SR125i is included on the list of recommended headphones here. "Bill K" isn't sure that they are worth their price premium over the Grado SR80i, however. "Whether the sound quality is any better than the SR80i depends on the quality of the recording and the quality of the output you're listening to."
Review: Best Headphones: Headphone Recommendations, "Bill K", Not Dated
CNET gives the Grado SR125, the immediate predecessor model to the SR125i, an Editors' Choice award and 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewer Steve Guttenberg says these headphones "will satisfy even the most demanding audiophile." However, their old-fashioned style is a concern, and Guttenberg thinks the SR125 headphones can get uncomfortable after long sessions.
Review: Grado SR, Steve Guttenberg, Feb. 22, 2004
3. What Hi-Fi?
British audiophile magazine What Hi-Fi? looks at many headphones, including the Grado SR125 (predecessor of the SR125i). Though brief, this review praises the SR125's sound quality and notes that the ear pads have been improved since What Hi-Fi? magazine last looked at these long-running Grados in 1999. The site awards the Grado SR125s 5 out of 5 stars.
Review: Grado SR125, Editors of What Hi-Fi?, Not dated
The Grado SR125i headphones get more than 65 reviews on Amazon.com. All but five users give the headphones 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 stars.
Review: Grado Prestige Series SR125i Headphones, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014