Grado are a company that specialise in headphones that are a mix between vintage styling and new technology. The design of all their headphones are the same but in different materials, they are simplistic but they work. The only flaw is that i find the foam earcups uncomfortable over long periods of time, especially if you have any ear peircings it could cause problems. These in particular are made of mahogany and are part of grado's higher range of headphones.
Design: The styling of these headphones in my opinion is some of the best you can buy around. and they better be really at the price you will pay for them. There is no external cover on the earcups though so they do not keep the noise in. In public places it can be intrusive and people asked me to turn it down a couple of times, not because it is loud but because they do not keep the sound in. But whilst in most headphones this is a sign on bad quality it is not the case here. All the grado headphones have this problem but it doesn't affect sound quality.
Sound quality: The sound quality of all grado headphones is good so you expect with the high price on these they should sound amazing, and they do. The sound has a lot of detail and a near perfect midrange. I fell asleep listening to these many times which is something i have never been able to do with any other headphones.
the high price will put many people off but if you ever find yourself with an extra £500 lying around you won't regret buying them.
Me: A mid 30s music lover who mainly listens late at night
Music: Mainly modern with a little world music thrown in
Where: Mostly at home
When: Mostly at night
Depending on how you look at it, the thin cardboard and minimal but tight fitting foam packaging of these phones is functional and eco-friendly or a bit stingy given the price. Thankfully mine arrived without a dent and in perfect working order.
There is a tangible sense of awe as you pull the wooden chambered phones out of their box. They are good to look at (nice grain on the wood) and are always a talking point when friends are around...although many think they are from the 1960s! Noticed that the cable is a little crimped where it splits to go to each ear - could be visual as no problems with them over the past two years.
In a word - staggering. Very rich, deep but taught and controlled bass and spine tingling treble (some say it is a little too harsh) make for an immensely immersive and detailed listening experience. The irony of all the detail is that, combined with a good source such as a Naim CD-X2, it is easy to pick up the fine detail, warts and all, of many recordings.
The firm foam ear cups go over the ears to a greater extent rather than resting on them so may not be to everyone's taste but fit nicely over my small ear lobes!! Relatively low weight enables long listening sessions without discomfort.
The elephant in the room here is the price...at over £500, these are definitely a luxury item. If you can afford them, they bring a whole new life to your music collection. For me, as a lover of music and film who tends to listen late at night when the family is in bed, these are a hit!
Alternatives I own(ed):
Bose Quietcomfort cans offer one of the better closed back headphones with noise cancellation. Perfect for the train or plane but they are more muffled than the RS-2s.