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We could probably just show the picture and not say anything… But, it’s hard not to preach when you’ve witnessed the truth.
Founded in New York in 1953 by Joseph Grado, Grado Labs has been producing high-end headphones & cartridges since Don Draper was penning Lucky Strike ads. Known for dynamic open-air, supra-aural, high-fidelity headphones (we’re not sound engineers, but that “sounds” like something we can get behind) the company is now in the hands of son Jon and if these headphones are any indication, that’s a very good thing.
The Grado Reference Series represent one of the higher-end headphone offerings by Grado. The RS2e ($499), specifically, is the little brother to the RS1e ($695), but according to Steve Guttenberg of CNET sonically outperforms both the Sennheiser HD650s, as well as the Beyerdynamic DT880s:
“By comparison, the Sennheiser HD650s have a lot more bass, but they’re boomier than the RS-2s. The RS-2s certainly aren’t lacking in deep bass, but they’re tighter and firmer, with significantly better pitch-defined bass than the 650s. Led Zeppelin’s Presence CD rocked out over the RS-2s but felt (comparatively) just a little blah on the HD650s. With the RS-2s, the sound wraps itself around your head and puts you in the room with the musicians. The music’s dynamic punch and speed have the quality of live sound.”
These are the headphones you want late at night when the wife, girlfriend, kids, Korean exchange student, etc. have gone to bed, but you’re still awake and want to listen your Exile on Main Street vinyl at very loud volume while you polish off the last few drops of bourbon. They will take you there, to the basement of the French Chateau, late into the night when Bobby Keys wails on the saxophone and Taylor and Keef play off each other like two English peas in the pod.