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Grado Headphone Guide

RS2e

A Timeless Headphone With A Classic Sound


What does it mean for something to be "timeless?"

What do you think of when someone describes something as timeless? Does it have to be around for a certain amount of time? Does it have to be made a certain way from the very beginning? There is intrinsic value to something being considered "timeless," and there is a certain pedigree that one expects from such a company. Grado is one such company that truly creates timeless headphones. Sure they make more than headphones, but it's the way they've been making them for so long that stands the test of time and makes them desired by audiophiles all over the world.

Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Grado has been handmaking their headphones the same way since day one. Like their bio says - it's a legacy - that they continue to produce something that people want. Grado headphones aren't just known for their sound, but everything that comes with a Grado headphone: superb build quality, great parts and components, amazing design, and comfort.

There's a lot to know about Grado if you aren't familiar with their headphones. The fact that there are a plethora of headphones to choose from, and that the company makes more than just headphones (don't worry - we're just going to focus on their headphone lineup in this guide), can be a lot to wrap your head around at first. We'll take it step by step. So, what better place to start than the very beginning...


Table of Contents


Brooklyn Beginnings

Joseph Grado, 1942

Joseph Grado, 1942 (gradolabs.com)

Grado isn't just a name. It's a legacy - and a family one at that. In 1950 Joseph Grado was a watchmaker at Tiffany in New York. He started making phono cartridges by hand at home in Brooklyn during this time, his workspace being his kitchen table. It was soon after in 1953 that Joseph started up Grado Laboratories and created phono cartridges full time. It was just a matter of time before the popularity of the phono cartridges exploded and they started making a name for themselves. in 1959 Joseph was awarded patents for the first Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge, and new products rolled out after a decade of growth and turntable popularity.

Much of Grado's success in the early days was simply due to word-of-mouth. They're proud to state that to this very day, Grado has never paid for advertisements or endorsements. How many other audiophile-grade companies can say the same? Grado's nephew John started in 1965 at the age of 12, and eventually took over production in 1977 and expanded to 10,000 cartridges a week.

Fast-forward to the 1980s and some new series of phono cartridges later, and John Grado is handed the full responsibilities of Grado Labs. In 1989 the HP 1000 signature headphone was introduced - the first headphone by Grado - and like the name, only 1000 were made. John became the president and owner of Grado in 1990 and the next year Grado releases the SR100, SR200, and SR300 model headphones. Grado is known for its iconic wooden earcups, and interestingly enough these first series of headphones from Grado were constructed from metal housings. It wasn't until 1996 that Grado released the first headphone with a wooden ear cup design with the RS1.


What followed was a proverbial movement of "if it ain't broke," and in that spirit, Grado cemented its tried-and-true approach to making both amazing headphones and phono cartridges. Unsurprisingly, the style of those headphones and cartridges haven't changed much over the years, and in a bold move for their 50th anniversary, Grado released a limited-run snazzy-looking gold version of the SR325i headphones.

Their first departure from headphones was in 2009 when they released their first in-ear monitors, the iGi and the GR8. The more popular GR10's came out the following year, but their IEM lineup didn't really stand the test of time until the emergence of the wireless trend of the past few years. Today, Grado continues to release the latest headphones and cartridges on a zero-dollar budget, and despite such obstacles, was named a Top Eight Most Social Small Companies in America by Mashable and American Express. John's son Jonathan Grado is currently Vice President of Marketing and continuing to learn the business to presumably keep it in the family. In 2015 JetBlue partnered with Grado to bring their headphones to the exclusive Mint Class flights. Joseph Grado passed away on February 6, 2015, at the age of 90. If one thing is certain, it's that Grado will continue their legacy of superior sound quality for the masses for years and years to come.

Grado cartridge

"Through a well-heard history and deep roots in Brooklyn, the Grado family has had an unrelenting focus on audio quality. For three generations, tradition and heritage have been carried down with the philosophy that sound comes first."

-Grado


The Grado Timeline

The Statement Series

GS1000e

The GS1000e retains a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full-bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. The presentation is very detailed, the bass is deep, and the music is very tight while non-fatiguing. Air flows with the music to keep you comfortable while marveling at the clarity and range plus all of this with stunning separation and layering of the music. Select Mahogany tone-woods are hand matched for aesthetic beauty, just as the phenomenal drivers are individually matched for sonic consistency. The large chambers fit around your ears, not on top of them, creating a private listening booth. The hand-crafted mahogany earpieces utilize an intricate curing process that optimizes the tonal quality while giving them a new look. The GS1000e uses 50mm dynamic transducers and the new 12 conductor cable design. The wood, driver, and cable designs, result in tight control and stability of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum to support the GS1000e's world renowned midrange.

Released: 2014

The Statement Series

GS2000e

The first hybrid wooden headphone has found the perfect marriage of mahogany and maple. The GS2000e combines these wood species in the same manner that luthiers have done for centuries, and for the same reason: resonance. Different types of wood sing with their own personalities, and Grado has found a way for mahogany and maple to work in unison. The hand-crafted mahogany and maple merged enclosures are a realization of the knowledge from the experience that only Grado Labs knows from working with wood. This technique is used by the finest musical instrument manufacturers from the past and the present. The use of Maple gives the energy of the sound of music to be fully transmitted, then the Mahogany allows it to open up and reveal the true harmonic structure as well as the space that the artist intended. In addition, every component in the GS2000e is considered carefully, the new purpose-built 50 mm drivers, the 12 conductor ultra high purity copper cable, and ear cushions, all work together for an engaging musical experience.

Released: 2014

The Statemenet Series

GS3000e

The GS3000e is the finest wooden headphone Grado Labs has built to date. The large-body housing is constructed from Cocobolo and is teeming with texture and emotion. This is the fullest single body of Cocobolo Grado has ever built, and the GS3000e is the perfect fit for it. Cocobolo is found in Central America, and just like the music there, is teeming with texture and emotion. What was discovered from using this wood in the GH2 and the flagship phono cartridge siblings, the Epoch and Aeon, has been brought over to the Statement Series process for the first time. This is the fullest single body of Cocobolo we have ever built, and the GS3000e is the perfect fit for it. Being the first Statement Series headphone to use Cocobolo, we carefully tuned our 50mm signature drivers to not only take advantage of the larger soundstage, but to also embrace the deep and impactful musical character of this unique wood. Cocobolo continues to be one of the family’s favorite woods to work with.

Released: 2014

Series E

RS1e

These headphones feature updates to Grado's previous RS1i headphones, including an improved driver design, better acoustic damping, and a new cable. The earcups are handcrafted from a different species of mahogany than the previous version, for even more natural warmth and smoothness. The headphones' large wooden air chambers allow them to deliver terrific sonic impact with very low distortion and coloration. You'll experience a wide, open soundstage with extended bass that complements everything from sweeping orchestral arrangements to high-energy rock. The SR1e can be driven using the headphone outputs on most home audio systems, or even a portable player or laptop. But these precision headphones really benefit from the addition of a headphone amplifier. Like all Grado headphones, the RS1e uses a vented "open-air" earcup design for powerful, extended low frequency response and a more spacious soundstage. Each pair is hand-crafted by Grado in Brooklyn, New York from a specially selected species of mahogany.

Released: 2016

Series E

RS2e

The RS2e is the little brother of the RS1e but is just as aesthetically pleasing, now utilizing our proprietary curing process that gives a new, lighter look. The RS2e has a 44mm driver and uses The e Series 8 conductor cable design. The hand-crafted mahogany utilizes new advanced damping treatments that help control and dissipate resonances. The RS2e still maintains an overall sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full-bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. These truly are an audiophile's dream. The Grado RS2e is hand-crafted from select mahogany tone woods. Grado's exclusive E series curing process enhances the natural properties of the wood to produce rich, full-bodied vocals in a lightweight form factor. Advanced dampening treatments help control and dissipate resonance. It features a 44mm driver and uses the e Series 8 conductor cable design. The RS2e still maintains an overall sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full-bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end.

Released: 2016

The Prestige Series

SR80x

The story of the SR80x holds a special place in not only Grado's ears, but the ears of hundreds of thousands of listeners. The first pair was built in 1991 and Grado wouldn’t be here today without it. With its soundstage, world-renowned mid-range, and speed, the SR80x is worthy of being the longest-running Grado headphone. 4th Generation Grado drivers are here. Specifically tuned for the SR80x, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for the 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Along with the speakers, the cables and headband have been redesigned for the SR80x. Now housed in a more durable exterior, the 4-conductor cable features a super annealed copper wire for improved purity of the audio signal. The new headband features more cushion for a comfier experience. Each SR80x is hand-built by the team in Brooklyn.

Released: 2021

The Prestige Series

SR225x

The SR225x and SR125x have had a sibling rivalry for decades. Being the mature one, the SR225x utilizes the new F cushion to open up the sound to more textured tones. The driver works in unison to produce a unique voicing and be just as fast as the SR125x. Just don’t tell their kid brother. 4th Generation Grado drivers are here. Specifically tuned for the SR225x, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for our 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Along with the speakers, the cables and headband have been redesigned for the SR225x. Now housed in a more durable exterior, the 8-conductor cable transfers more information and features a super annealed copper wire for improved purity of the audio signal. The new headband features more cushion for a comfier experience. Each SR225x is hand-built by our team in Brooklyn.

Released: 2021

The Prestige Series

SR325x

With its metal housing, the SR325x brings surgical precision to your music that you won’t find in the rest of the Prestige Series. Better imaging of the space between the instruments paints a clearer picture of your music in their soundstage. 4th Generation Grado drivers are here. Specifically tuned for the SR325x, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for the 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Along with the speakers, the cables and headband have been redesigned for the SR325x. Housed in a more durable exterior, the now super annealed copper 8-conductor cable reveals even more of your music with improved purity. The new leather headband features white stitching exclusive to the SR325x in the Prestige Series. Each SR325x is hand-built by the team in Brooklyn. Grado started building on a kitchen table in 1953, and every experience since then has led to the creation of the SR325x.

Released: 2021

The Reference Series

RS1x

Leading the way for the 4th gen X Drivers, the redesigned RS1x combines maple, hemp, and cocobolo wood into a vivacious and elegant headphone. For the first time, three different wood species are working together in a Grado headphone. The housing is made of a maple sleeve, hemp core, and cocobolo outer ring. Grado builds with wood for its warm and embracing tonal abilities, but finding the right balance of three separate woods is no simple task. The reward though is an RS1x that opens Grado to a new level of sound. The RS1x is the first headphone to be built with the larger 50mm X Drivers. Specifically tuned for the tri-wood RS1x, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for our 50mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Housed in a more durable exterior, the now super annealed copper 8-conductor cable reveals even more of your music with improved purity.

Released: 2021

The Reference Series

RS2x

A nimble yet unwavering headphone, the redesigned RS2x explores new territory for the Reference Series by marrying maple with hemp wood. A family favorite, the RS2x has been completely redesigned to bring out the full potential of its maple and hemp wood. The housing’s sleeve and ring are made from maple, while a hemp core keeps everything together. Grado builds with wood for its warm and embracing tonal abilities, and the RS2x is an exceptional evolution to the RS2 line. Specifically tuned for the RS2x wood housing, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for the 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Along with the speakers, the cables and headband have been redesigned for the RS2x. Housed in a more durable exterior, the now super annealed copper 8-conductor cable reveals even more of your music with improved purity.

Released: 2021

Limited Edition

The Hemp Headphone

The first of its kind, hemp finds a new purpose in The Hemp Headphone. A brilliant, warm, and precise sound rolled into a Limited Edition Grado. The team at Grado had to draw on inspiration and experience from past Limited Editions, taking what they learned from working with exotic woods like cocobolo to fine-tune the drivers to work in tandem with the wood. The highly compressed hemp creates a damping effect between its fibers. This produces a fuller sound, comprised of a noticeable low end and a top-end that extends smoothly to its limits. In the never-ending pursuit to experiment with all types of woods and materials, Grado had the opportunity to build with hemp. To everyone’s surprise, it quickly became a favorite around Grado. To be blunt, this is one of the best-sounding Limited Editions they've built. The hemp may be doing the heavy lifting, but the hemphone is a joint effort. They’ve built maple into the housing along with the hemp to help balance out the sound and bring out the sonic properties heard in maple.

Released: 2020

Wireless

GW100 V2

The GW100 are the world's first open-back Bluetooth headphones. Their speaker housings and internals have been designed from the ground up, now working in tandem to notably diminish escaping sound by up to 60%. Since 1953 Grado Labs has adapted at their pace. They took their time to get the sound just right and made no compromises in the GW100. Nothing is lost except the wires. Inside the GW100 are none other than the signature Grado drivers. These speakers are the same ones Grado builds for their wired headphones, which are finely tuned for the different enclosures. Grado Labs' first wireless headphone is no different, with drivers configured specifically for them. The desired sonic capabilities of the GW100 would not be possible without them. There is a design language that’s seen throughout all of Grado's headphones since they started building them nearly 30 years ago. The GW100 continues this, looking like it’s part of the family simply at a glance. These wireless Grado headphones are a milestone in their 65-year history.

Released: 2019


Grado headphone in the shadows
Grado woodgrain
Grado with boots on floor
Grado Hemp woodgrain
Grado with camera on bed
Grado headphones on a boulder

Why Do You Need Better Headphones?

Why would you settle for ordinary? People invest in what they love.

The question of why you need better headphones is one of the most important things you can ask yourself in the quest for your perfect sound in the world of audiophilia. Everything has room for improvement; it's in our very nature to seek perfection and at the same time our lot in life to never be able to achieve it. But the beautiful thing about headphones is that although improvement never leads to perfection, it always leads to more enjoyment. Your enjoyment is your investment when it comes to getting better headphones. Better headphones mean better sound, and better sound means listening to your music like never before and falling in love with it all over again. So why would you NOT want to get better headphones?

"You'll hear us say this over and over: 'Everyone hears differently.'"


The Grado Sound

There are many variables that determine how a headphone sounds: the driver, shape, materials used, circuit design, the fit, dampening, open or closed-back design, loudness, power draw, etc. When it comes to sound signatures, a headphone can be either warm and musical, balanced and neutral, or forward and analytical. At the end of the day, a headphone either sounds bad or good to your ears. There's no need to over-complicate it.

However, knowing your listening preferences is important, because then you can start to figure out which characteristics of a headphone influence the sound that you like. Knowing these characteristics will help you find a headphone to your liking and hopefully end up with countless hours of happy music listening with your new cans. It's no secret that Grado likes to keep their driver designs and details under wraps. In fact, there's just not a lot of information about their drivers online, other than the fact that they've essentially used the same driver structure since day one. We say that carefully because Grado has made changes to their drivers, but they haven't been as extreme as say, Meze Audio using dynamic drivers on their low-end headphones and their state-of-the-art isodynamic planar magnetic drivers on their high-end cans.

What is known about the Grado driver is that the company uses varying driver sizes and mylar. Mylar is their material of choice when it comes to the tried-and-true Grado sound. Over the years Grado has researched countless materials for the domes of their drivers and time and time again they go back to mylar. For instance, the Prestige Series uses a 44mm mylar driver and everything above that (price) a 50mm mylar driver is deployed. They also use a variety of wood and metal cup designs to influence the sound, along with different ear pad shapes and depths which affect how the sound is perceived via the proximity to the ear canal. These varieties certainly affect the way the headphone sounds, but as far as internal specs on driver design, good luck finding any. The X driver is the latest generation of speakers by Grado since they started assembling drivers in 1991.

"While not only preserving but improving, the faithfulness to the originally recorded event, the new X Series of headphones present an even superior soundstage while being able to be powered by nearly any device. The goal with these new drivers was to increase efficiency and have their components work in unison. Specifically tuned for each headphone they’re designed for, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for our 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music." -Grado

When it comes to the sound, one thing is unmistakable: Grado just sounds good. Period.


Why Do Over-Ear Headphones Sound the Best?

Many audiophiles prefer a "wider" sense of presentation compared to the "narrower" "in-your-head" sense of presentation that on-ear and in-ear monitors can deliver. On-ear and in-ear types lose the extra-dimensional "width" of over-ears due to their smaller form factor, but focus on better mobility.

...where psychoacoustics are concerned, there are no right or wrong answers. There are only preferences and compromises; advantages vs disadvantages.

On the other hand, a "narrower" sense of presentation that's more "centered" in the forehead is usually achieved best with the smaller and more portable on-ear and in-ear fit-types. However, where psychoacoustics are concerned, there are no right or wrong answers. There are only preferences and compromises; advantages vs disadvantages.

When it comes to Grado's full-size headphones, one thing they do well is to give you a personal and detailed listening experience. They put you inside of the action, or in this case, the music. Grado headphones have a lot to offer when it comes to their varied price points, and despite the similarities, there are actually some expansive sound options according to their design. With over-ear headphones, Grado can offer you different headband options, dampening designs, different ear pads, even the ear cups themselves can be different sizes from series to series. But it's that over-ear design that Grado does best, and it makes for some excellent sounding headphones.

Grado headphones with wall background

Founded on a kitchen table in 1953, Grado Labs has been perfecting the art of sonic reproduction every day since. Each headphone has traveled from workbench to workbench until ready for your ears.

- Grado Labs


The Grado Price Point

The Prestige Series

The Prestige Series from Grado holds a number of improvements on their headphone lineup. They use the latest 4th generation drivers, and the new design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with deceased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Grado has re-engineered these components for their 44mm drivers to improve efficiency, reduce distortion, and preserve the harmonic integrity of the music. The cables and headband have also been redesigned for the Prestige Series with a more durable frame and a leather headband that features white stitching that is exclusive to the series. Lastly, the headphone series includes a new super annealed copper eight-conductor cable. Some of the marvels of a Grado driver are the clarity and range, revealing new notes and details in songs heard hundreds of times. With superlative tonal balance, dynamics, imaging, and realism, the Prestige Series lays out an extremely detailed presentation.

Grado SR325x Headphone

With its metal housing, the SR325x brings a surgical precision to your music that you won’t find in the rest of the Prestige Series. Better imaging of the space between the instruments paints a clearer picture of your music in their soundstage.

$295.00


Grado SR225x Headphone

The SR225x and SR125x have had a sibling rivalry for decades. Being the mature one, the SR225x utilizes the new F cushion to open up the sound to more textured tones. The driver works in unison to produce a unique voicing and be just as fast as the SR125x. Just don’t tell their kid brother.

$225.00


Grado sr215x

Grado SR125x Headphone

The SR125x and SR225x have had a sibling rivalry for decades. Being the younger one, the SR125x utilizes its quick driver to keep up with any music it plays while also being more affordable. Just don’t tell their big sister.

$175.00


Grado SR80x Headphone

The story of the SR80x holds a special place in not only Grado's ears, but the ears of hundreds of thousands of listeners. The first pair was built in 1991 and Grado wouldn’t be here today without it. With its soundstage, world renowned mid-range, and speed, the SR80x is worthy of being the longest running Grado headphone.

$125.00


Grado sr60x

Grado SR60x Headphone

The entry-level headphone in the Brooklyn lineup, the SR60x produces the best audio quality at its price point and proves the Grado sound is never out of reach.

$99.00

The Reference Series

The Reference Series also includes the X Series Drivers that are featured in the Prestige Series from Grado. Specifically tuned for the RS2x wood housing, this new speaker design features a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reengineering these components for our 44mm drivers improve efficiency, reduces distortion, and preserves the harmonic integrity of your music. Along with the speakers, the cables and headband have been redesigned for the RS2x. Housed in a more durable exterior, the now super annealed copper 8-conductor cable reveals even more of your music with improved purity. The new black leather headband features a white-stitched accent. The driver and housing working in tandem react to sound vibrations and virtually eliminate transient distortions. With harmonic colors and a world renowned mid-range, the RS2x immediately draws you in. The sound the woods produce, when combined with Grado's special processes, are full-bodied with a rich vocality.

Grado RS-1x Headphone

For the first time, three different wood species are working together in a Grado headphone. The housing is made of a maple sleeve, hemp core, and cocobolo outer ring. We build with wood for its warm and embracing tonal abilities, but finding the right balance of three separate woods is no simple task. The reward though is an RS1x that opens Grado to a new level of sound.

$750.00


Grado RS-2x Headphone

A family favorite, the RS2x has been completely redesigned to bring out the full potential of its maple and hemp wood. The housing’s sleeve and ring are made from maple, while a hemp core keeps everything together. We build with wood for its warm and embracing tonal abilities, and the RS2x is an exceptional evolution to the RS2 line.

$550.00


Grado RS1e Headphone

These headphones feature updates to Grado's previous RS1i headphones, including an improved driver design, better acoustic damping, and a new cable. The earcups are handcrafted from a different species of mahogany than the previous version, for even more natural warmth and smoothness. (This is the previous generation to the latest X series drivers)

$695.00


Grado RS2e Headphone

The Grado RS2e is hand-crafted from select mahogany tone-woods. Grado's exclusive E series curing process enhances the natural properties of the wood to produce rich, full-bodied vocals in a light-weight form factor. The RS2e still maintains an overall sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. (This is the previous generation to the latest X series drivers)

$495.00

The Statement Series

The Statement series from Grado uses 50mm dynamic transducers and the new 12 conductor cable design. The wood, driver, and cable designs, result in tight control and stability of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum to support the Statement Series world renowned midrange.The cushion design actually creates a 'room' for the ears to sit, with a larger soundstage and greater spatial experience for the listener. It was most important to design the correct balance between the driver and the wooden driver housing to give you the pure sound we crave. The Statement Series headphones retain a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. The presentation is very detailed, the bass is deep, and the music is very tight while non-fatiguing. All with stunning separation and layering of the music.

Grado GS3000e Headphone

The GS3000e is the finest wooden headphone Grado Labs has built to date. The large-body housing is constructed from Cocobolo and is teeming with texture and emotion. This is the fullest single body of Cocobolo Grado has ever built, and the GS3000e is the perfect fit for it.

$1,795.00


Grado gs2000e

Grado GS2000e Headphone

In addition every component in the GS2000e is considered carefully, the new purpose built 50 mm drivers, the 12 conductor ultra high purity copper cable and ear cushions, all work together for an engaging musical experience.

$1,395.00


Grado GS1000e Headphones

The GS1000e retains a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. The presentation is very detailed, the bass is deep, and the music is very tight while non-fatiguing.

$995.00

The Professional Series

Grado ps500e

Grado PS500e Headphone

The PS500e boasts an overall sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. The PS500e is a compact monitoring tool that will put a smile on the face of the most demanding music professionals, as well as the most demanding audiophiles.

$595.00


Grado ps2000e

Grado PS2000e Headphone

The hand-carved maple inner chamber is clad with a new Smoked Chrome finish for an elegant look. A wider leather head-strap with added padding make for a more comfortable experience. Both are exclusive to the PS2000e. The unexcelled sonic signature of Maple, first used in the limited edition GH1, deliver a unique desired response. Cladding the wood with metal alloy eliminates ringing and other unwanted distortions. The PS2000e uses a new driver design that also minimizes signal colorations for un-obscured detail in your music.

$2,695.00

Limited Editions

Grado Hemp Headphone

The first of its kind, hemp finds a new purpose in The Hemp Headphone. A brilliant, warm, and precise sound rolled into a Limited Edition Grado. The highly compressed hemp creates a damping effect between its fibers. This produces a fuller sound, comprised of a noticeable low end and a top end that extends smoothly to its limits.

$469.00


Grado GW100 V2 Wireless Headphone

The GW100 are the worlds first open-back Bluetooth headphones. Their speaker housings and internals have been designed from the ground up, now working in tandem to notably diminish escaping sound by up to 60%.

$249.00


Through a well-heard history and deep roots in Brooklyn, the Grado family has had an unrelenting focus on audio quality. For three generations, tradition and heritage have been carried down with the philosophy that sound comes first.


Which Grado Headphone is Right for Me?

grado with redish background
Grado hemp outside
3 grado headphones on stands
grado headphone next to plant

When determining what headphone is right for you there is a lot to consider, most importantly ergonomics. There are some important questions you'll need to ask yourself: What kind of music do I like to listen to? Where will I be listening to music? IEMs or full-size headphones? Open-back or closed-back headphones? What is your price point? Answering these questions will go a long way in determining what headphone is best for you.

When it comes to IEMs, Grado doesn't have much to offer. They DO have a few IEM models, including the GR10e and the iGe3 wired in-ears. The iGe3 is their entry-level IEM at $99 and the GR10e as the high-tiered option. Grado also has a wireless ear bud with the GT220 to compete with the likes of the Apple Airpod and Android variants. Only the GT220 has an internal rechargeable battery. All three are great options for portable use or those wanting good sound with the smallest footprint available. We do not carry these at Moon Audio, but they offer some great options for those wanting the premium Grado sound in a small and affordable package.

With headphones, on the other hand, Grado has one of the largest selections of any brand on the market. It's what they do. We typically divide this into a closed-back and open-back section to talk about different ergonomic scenarios, but in the case of Grado, they do not manufacture closed-back designs. The differences are really gonna come down to the specifics of the headphone: i.e. ear pads, driver design, cup design and materials, etc. Grado is a bit of an anomaly in the industry due to their company secrets on their driver design and differences, but there's no doubting that their headphones are a favorite of many and a staple in many audiophiles' headphone arsenals.

We recommend you look at each headphone series that Grado makes - the series are divided into a general price range based on the type of technology you'll find in each series, and progresses with each step up. For instance, The SR325 is going to have much more definition and improved overall sound and build quality than the SR125 model. Of course, the price corresponds with that change, but that is how Grado structures their headphone lineup. The trickier part is when you start comparing series to series.

Grado's headphones have a wide variety of sounds despite all maintaining the Grado "sound signature. For instance, the SR325 has more bottom end than the PS500. All Grado's are up-close and personal sounding like a studio monitor: very detailed, clean, and quick. Although some of their headphones have perceived warmth, this might be more attributed to the materials of the cup, padding, and dampening than the driver itself. This is why we always recommend hacking your Grado's with a Black Dragon Cable to provide more warmth and musicality. Note that metal cups are going to sound smoother than the wooden or plastic variants. Padding on the ear cups also influences the sound, like the flat pads that are used on the Hemp headphone will provide more low end if added to any of the models under the RS-1. The GS1000 and PS1000 (and above) all have the largest soundstage of the Grado lineup as the drivers are much farther from your ears than other series. This is why the GS1000 really excels at big stage style music like classical, etc.

When it comes to the various models and series from Grado, the best thing to do is just try some out and see what you like. If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, feel free to Contact Us and we'll be more than happy to help you in any way we can.


Dragon Cables

Recommended Cable: Black Dragon Premium

Black Dragon cable

Since pretty much all Grado headphones are up-close sounding, providing plenty of detail and clarity, we recommend pairing the headphones with the Black Dragon Cable. However, have you ever wondered why we use the phrase "Hack Your Headphones" sometimes? It's because not only do we hack your headphones by connecting better cables with better materials, but sometimes we literally have to open them up and connect a new headphone cable to the headphone. Grado hardwires their cables direct to their headphone drivers, so we have to take apart the ear cups and resolder our Dragon Cables directly to the headphone. Modifying your Grado headphone is an easy process for us to do, and combined with a Dragon Cable, it's like a brand new headphone. Better conductors, better materials, and better sound.

We can creat detachable cable mods for the RS1, RS2 and PS1000e Grado models, allowing you to be able to disconnect your cable from the bottom of the headphones. This allows for easier storage and better protection of your cable. All other models we can attach the dragon cable directly to the driver to allow your Grado to perform like never before. The reason why we can't mod the other models is that the ear cup design won't allow the connectors to fit. Paired with the Black Dragon, your Grado headphones will have more body, more expressive detail that on the whole sounds more natural. Feel free to ask us about hacking your headphone, Grado or not.


Black Dragon Sound Signature: The Black Dragon is warm and smooth with a musical presentation. Copper strands enhance the body, shape, and immediacy of the music. The detail and expansiveness of the Black Dragon make it a flexible fit where a broad range of musical genres are played. It can also improve bass frequencies on bass-light headphones. The smooth, musical quality makes it a perfect fit for headphones that tend to sound a bit edgy or bright. Despite its warmth, the Black Dragon does not have a laid-back, lush sound. It is much closer to neutral, making it a very natural-sounding cable. For more information on finding your signature sound, visit our Sound Signature Guide.

Dragon Audio Cables logo

The Grado Difference

GRADO: UPGRADE YOUR SOUND WITHOUT HAVING TO DOWNGRADE YOUR WALLET.

Grado is timeless. With enough headphones for just about every budget and every sound, it's understandable why they have stood the test of time. Grado places itself in a great price range from some very affordable, excellent sound headphones for consumers to some impressive mid-level audiophile-grade cans. Grado: upgrade your sound without having to downgrade your wallet.


Related Products: Grado Headphones

GS3000e Statement Series Headphones

$1,795.00

GS1000e Headphones

$995.00

RS2e Headphones

$495.00

Hemp Headphones

$469.00


SR325x Headphones

$295.00

SR225x Headphones

$225.00

SR80x Headphones

$125.00

GW100 V2 Wireless Headphones

$249.00


RS2x Headphones

$550.00

RS1x Headphones

$750.00

RS1e headphones

$695.00

G-Cush Ear Pads

$50.00


L-Cush Ear Pads

$25.00

S-Cush Ear Pads

$10.00

i-Cush Ear Pads

$4.00


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