Grado is an old company, which started dealing with headphones long before they came into fashion. They have been patiently making headphones for decades, without shouting and provoking with colors, designs and… fashion shows.
This philosophy has not changed even today, although a clever marketing move could boost its sales to its zenith. Makes headphones from the time when they were a luxury for the average listener.
They were bought more by professionals to design and tune, according to their sound, speakers, than for listening at home or on the street.
The pair we are testing is a new model, since it has the letter “e” at the end of its code. The previous one was “i”. The new models have a better cable, a better wooden shell, a smaller opening in the back and a better quality plug.
All these and other little secrets led the Grado of the “e” series to be and sound better than its previous models.
What drives you crazy about these headphones is how simple they are, almost like naked. They use discrete elements as basic materials, such as wood, leather, foam and steel. They are so light that, in relation to their volume, they are surprising.
They stand with a high degree of anatomy on the head, with the foam pads completely enclosing the ears, forming on-site speaker cabins. At the back they are open, with a hole protected by a metal mesh.
Because the shell of the speakers is made of selected mahogany wood, two pairs of GS1000e are never the same – apart from aging, ie their wood matures differently.
One of Grado’s secrets is that it fits the right and left handsets so that each pair is as balanced as possible. In fact, each wooden mold bears a handwritten number. There is only one in the Grado collection, which must be found to create the duo and then the pair, as in our case the GS1000e.
The pole is metal and lined with leather sewn with thick gauze to look beautiful. They come in black or light brown leather, depending on the look we want to choose. The cable looks like a doctor’s stethoscope, is not removed from the headphones, it is thick and 12 mm long pure copper conductors, ending in a large nail. In the package you will find an adapter in a mini jack.
The drivers have a diameter of 50 mm, while there is a resistance of 32Ω, which means that the headphones can be driven even by a mobile phone.
But such level sources are not worth it, it is good to support them with a good headphone amplifier to enjoy their unique sound virtues.
For the test we used the BHA-1 amplifier, from Bryston, which is one of the best on the market today, where, without heavy equipment and a lot of fanfares, it aims exclusively at the sound and nothing else. The first thing you notice about Grado is its unbearable lightness. They are so airy, so “electrostatic”, so sweet and so communicative, that they tell you stories, in every good sense.
One pass from the head is enough to devalue any other headset that may be in your collection, especially those that cost less than 500 euros. These will sound harsh, chaotic, deafening and uncontrollable. Grado is tuned for melody, for contemplation and for dedication, not only in listening but also in studying music.
They like the first one, they have the same sound character as the taste of an aged single variety wine. Body, color, sugar and alcohol in incredible balance. They are made this way, even if their construction looks simple, to the point where you want to go to the first carpenter to have one more…
But that’s what makes the GS1000e so special. I tried them on a preamplifier lamp and it really was as if I passed the wine from a barrel to get aromas and duration. We listened to dozens of types of music, from rock and jazz to electronic and classical. OK, is there a tendency towards a sweet bass, but also a great wine does not have a tendency towards the aroma and towards an endless aftertaste?
Grado is a sound trap, it is an escape capsule to magical soundscapes. Light as the air, musically like a good instrument and human, as any device should be. Definitely not colorful, trendy, with Bluetooth and built-in DSP, as required by the tough world of headphone competition today. Grado reminds us that the right path to sound is always the simplest.
We enjoyed them, and I hope you find the opportunity to listen to them. They are worth the break!
TYPE: Headphones that cover the ear, having an opening in the back
DRIVERS: Dynamic 50mm.
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 8Hz-35kHz
- Sound, vocals, liveliness
- Weight and anatomy
- Hand made
- They do not isolate completely