Grado SR125 headphones

Want Miles Davis' briny forehead secretions to spray all over you? No problem, don the Grado SR125 headphones and spin, say, Sketches of Spain. Want Phil Lynott's every breath, mouth noise and vox anomaly revealed while his spittle tickles your eyelids? Try these cans with Jailbreak. Want Jeff Tweedy's reedy drone to serenade while the body hairs stand in salutation? Again ...

Audio-geeks rightly swear by this line of Brooklyn-made cans, which includes the lesser-priced SR80 and SR60 and the more expensive SR325i.

See, instruments when played should have weight — bass thump, cymbal crash, horn section's harmonic blurp — that is supposed to be felt. You feel that weight with Grado; timbres, tonalities and aural nuances you can't imagine from music you've heard already on a thousand drunken (or sober) nights. They can even help transcend the aural shortcomings of the dreaded Mp3 downloads. And with an adaptor they can be driven by an iPod, or any portable device.

To get all tech-y, Grado's "diaphragm's total mass is calculated to provide a full 20 KHZ bandwidth, while avoiding break-up at lower frequencies." In other words, you get clear bass and top end at exceptional volume.

In fact, when we pitted the SR125's against a set of Sennheiser 595s — known for warmth and musicality and retailing for nearly twice the Grados — the 125s trumped 'em. And you'd have to spend thousands of dollars for such accuracy and clarity in speakers. Yes, the SR125's are "affordable" high-end ($150 a pop) for the den inside your head. (Audio Dimension in Royal Oak and Overture Audio in Ann Arbor are full-line Grado dealers.)

Brian Smith is the features editor of Metro Times. Send comments to

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