The golden question with these babies: Is the experience of the Grado Statement Series GS2000e handcrafted headphones really worth $2250?
Well, let’s start with facts. These headphones aren’t for your everyday consumption. These aren’t for the people who listen to podcasts on the bus home.
These cans (that’s what audiophiles call them) are aimed at the types of folks who sit down with a glass of red, stick on their favourite HQ recording and spend the night there.
Or those folks among us who spend a good portion of time inside a studio, needing to pick out details that none of us will ever hear in our factory-produced, tinny earbuds.
Not consumer headphones exactly, but for those with a serious penchant for listening to great music at exceptional quality.
And from that perspective, Grado headphones are widely considered to be among the best in the world for a reason. Hand-made, produced with love and care from a company three generations deep into crafting the best listening experience for people who use their wares.
John Grado, the man who founded the company, is still going strong designing everything himself. His Statement Series, of which the GS2000e is the second incarnation, is about more than a superior listening experience. They’re as much about how you look listening with them on, how they feel around your ears and across the top of your head, and how the music sings from the cups.
From that perspective, with mahogany and maple woods making up the enclosures, and combined with the foam cups and leather strap, the headphones are light and supremely comfortable.
I’ll confess I’m not enough of an expert to tell you whether or not the wood being used affects the timbre and how the music is conveyed to me via the airways. But the feel of them is nice.
You never have to adjust the cups which sit tightly on your head but never touch your ears, even during an extended listening session. Comfort is the goal here, and from the moment you put them on it’s a very easy experience.
The wood plays a part here. It’s light, and holds the drivers in place for a great experience. The leather strap is the final feature, along with easily adjustable toggles. Overall, it’s simple, comfortable and elegant.
Then you play some music through them. Grado give you the ability to transform your 6.5mm into a 3mm, but don’t take the bait. These headies are designed to turn your guitar into amplified heaven, or be plugged into an OPPO for a serious listening experience. As it was for me, it was a bit of stereo, a lot of amplifier and a good dose of plugged into my computer (yeah, I know, I’m wasting them).
But that’s how most people are probably going to be listening to tunes, so it’s fair enough to give that a go.
The key improvement over a $300 pair of Sennheisers is that these transcend the need for bass to overtake. It’s about the crispness of the sound. The quality of each wave of audio, hitting your eardrums in the most faithful way possible.
Never been able to discern distortion from reverb? This is your avenue. These cans pick out each line, each wave as precisely as they can, and deliver it to your ears in an almost surround sound fashion. You feel as though you can almost pick out the first violins if you listen to orchestral music, or feel someone behind you if you’re listening to a soundtrack or something atmospheric.
You can feel the music surrounding you. It can be harder in noisy environments – these are most definitely silent space headphones. They don’t block out external sounds, and they don’t stop noise seeping out.
As I said, they’re a cup of tea pair. A sit down and enjoy pair. They’re not for the average listener, because they’re not the average pair.
So where do I sit on $2250 headphones? They’re great. Probably the best headphones I’ve listened to. Probably the best I ever will. But they’re also way too good for a simple soul like me. But if you’re someone who likes to listen to their music, and I mean really listen to it, then these might be precisely your thing.