For about 10 years I’ve been using Sennheiser HD 650’s as my main headphones at work and Grado sr60s on my desk at home. The sr60s are in my opinion the best headphone one can buy for under $100 and way better than some headphones at 10x the price. The problem with the 60s is that they are horribly uncomfortable for long listening.
My sr60s finally died and my wife bought me a pair of sr225s for Christmas last year. (My wife buys me stereo gear - did I marry well or what?) I was hesitant to buy them myself due to the discomfort of the sr60s. That concern turned out to be misplaced and the sound of the sr225s is just fantastic. To be honest, I like them better than my Sennheisers - more forward, crisp sound where the 650’s tend to be laid back in my opinion.
My 650’s finally died from abuse at work. I’m hard on headphones there just by the nature of how I work and the amount of moving around I need to do. They’re not dead completely, but one of the grills is falling off and I find that annoying. So, I went on a hunt for new cans.
After several months of debate, I finally decided to trust my instinct and go with high-end Grado’s. Specifically, RS2i reference headphones. They were not cheap, but still about $200 less than the 650s were. I am now officially a Grado guy. These are perfect cans for me. They fit well and feel good, and the sound is exactly what I want. The sound is crisp and fast - just like I prefer. They are more forward than the Sennheisers, but just slightly more refined than the 220s. Worth every penny. My only regret is not stepping up to the RS1i, but I can live with that.
If you’re in the market for a set of reference headphones, do check out the RS2i. Always use your ears.