Through meticulous design and excellent audial quality, Grado has been checking all audiophiles’ boxes since 1953. Based out of Brooklyn, they have always been geared toward a high-end audience, and their newly-unveiled Reference Series headphones — the RS1x and RS2x — are a seamless encapsulation of just that.
Crafted from maple and hemp wood, the latter constructs the RS2x’s core with the maple serving as the material for Grado’s signature ring embellishment. They also feature a refashioned leather headband with white stitching. The immaculate design masks the true wonder of these headphones: a pair of 44mm drivers that provide optimal sound quality across all fronts, be it mids or highs. Of course, much of this goes hand-in-hand with the woodwork that goes into them, delivering an incredible layer of sound further accentuated by the materials used. The RS1x headphones are even more beautiful and even more high-end. They sport a housing composed of a maple sleeve, hemp core, and cocobolo wood outer ring while boasting new 50mm X Drivers. The massive drivers have been specifically tuned for the RS1x to improve efficiency and reduce distortion. Both pairs come equipped with an equally new set of copper 8-conductor cables and are hand-crafted in Brooklyn, serving as another reminder of how difficult it can be to pin down whether the family-owned brand is better at sound engineering or artisan craftsmanship.
The new Reference Series headphones are available now from Grado, with the RS2x priced at $550 and the RS1x going for $750.