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Grado RS2E Review

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Grado RS2E Review

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There is an essential test anyone can ask themselves when preparing to do a Grado RS2e Review. You can well ask yourself: “Will these gadgets enhance my desire to enjoy music even more than I already do? Without a doubt, it can be fun to approach this business from a measurement, gear and science perspective. At the end of the day, however, if your new pair of headphones cannot transport you to some distant land, making you forget everything else, then something is truly missing. We want to think a little about the Grado RS 2e new pair of headphones.

Grado Labs is a renowned Brooklyn-based headphone manufacturer. The company had existed since 1953 when Joseph Grado, the former watchmaker launched it. Today, Grado specializes in the production of hand-built, high-end headphones. Grado competes well in the professional realm and audiophile business. For your first experience in the super high-end audio, Grado headphones are, in reality, relatively cheaper than its peers.

First Impressions

The packaging on the RS2e’s is modest. It features a simple blue pizza -style box that you would quickly discard. You will find that there’s a combination of leather and mahogany in the end-product that make for remarkable listening. Of course, every set of Grado headphones is made by hand in their Brooklyn factory. Not much has changed technology-wise since production started decades ago. You will delightedly discover some carved out single pieces of mahogany, and vintage cups of the RS2e that look like they could live happily on your mantelpiece.

Grado headphones are well-known for their Spartan packaging, or the ‘Pizza Box’. The pizza box is a cardboard box with a foam insert. In terms of accessories, you will get a 3.5mm > 6.3mm stereo adapter. That’s just it. Some of these headphones come with luxurious and protective boxing accessories. Grado has, however, stubbornly elected to stick with their traditional minimalist approach. We even wonder: Would a more comprehensive packaging increase costs? Of course. Would we, perhaps, prefer a better case? Absolutely.

Design

When you first lift the headphones out of the box, the first thing you will notice is that they are very light. Weighing next-to-nothing, they will not give you the slightest fatigue compared to the likes of the ZMF or the Audeze LCD range. The beautifully carved, stained and engraved mahogany cups are the only things that bespeak ‘premium’ about the RS2e’s. This is aside from a leather headband, a simple plastic gimbal, swivel mechanism and roadblocks.  The clamp-force is perfect but can be easily adjusted by bending the thin metal band that is sandwiched between two layers of leather found in the headband.

Talk about the cable.  From the ear cups, there are two plastic-coated wires, permanently attached, that join together about 12 inches below. They then form into a cable that is as thick as a kettle power-cord. It feels like it weighs more than the headphones! The cable is about 4 feet in length, ending up in a 3.5mm cord.  Many users find it too cumbersome for transportable listening. However, it is strong enough and will certainly not break or strain quickly.

Audio Quality

The Grado RS2e will give you a good sound quality, convenience, and can make listening by headphone a bit of a ceremony. A truly memorable experience.  It just makes you enjoy your hobby more. The RS2e’s are not quite a neutral or ‘reference’ pair of headphones, nor are they bass-heavy. Their voicing leans towards the Grado’ house sound’: the mids are forward and energetic. The highs are clear, ‘spicey’ and dry. The bass is taut, articulate, rolls-off quickly, and is quite ‘musical’. 

If you’re a Grado-lover, like me, then you’ll probably appreciate the immediacy and intimacy in the mids. The acoustic guitars and male voices are incredibly lifelike. We swiftly recommend Grados for rock music. They make it ‘come alive’. Their speed is truly remarkable, and the mid-forward focus snares and distorts guitars, resulting in incredible ‘attack’. Then comes the Jazz, it presents a very realistic saxophone and live jazz sound that you will ever hear. While the G-Cush seems to detract from what makes the RS2e ‘special’, it is remarkable that you have a fantastic set of headphones on when you pad-roll. The L-Cush seems more suited for energetic and detail-oriented music while the G-Cush is suited for more relaxed sessions like gaming and hip-hop.

Performance

Wearing the Grado headphones is a breeze, thanks to their light design. The stock L-Cushions sit well around the ears, and you can wear them for hours before getting a slight pressure on the ears. The G-Cush comes standard both on the GS1000/2000e and PS1000/2000e. Overall comfort improves greatly. Being wide in circumference, the device fully envelopes the ear and distributes the weight more evenly. The RS2e headphones are easily driven by virtually just about anything. They are famous for not being picky at all about amplification or source. This means that you do not have to invest in highly powerful, expensive, or special equipment to get the most of them.

I will happily use these headphones plugged directly into my Samsung Galaxy S9+.  I tend to power to RS2e’s with such equipment in order to reap the most out of my source material. One match I much enjoy is working with my NAD C356BEE integrated stereo receiver. I usually have my vinyl chain plugged into this. Using my NAD D3020 digital hybrid amp, which is found in my bedroom, things could only get better all the time. To cut the story short, the headphones will easily pair with virtually any source. You don’t need to worry about whether you could be “missing out” on anything.

Conclusion

Grado headphones are not only detailed, and energetic listening devices, they are certainly a work of perfect craftsmanship, steeped in tradition.  You might agree that, sometimes, both the feeling and the statistics count. They may not be perfect, but they come pretty close to that.  We highly recommend Grado RS2e pair of headphones.

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