Many of our readers might not have heard of Grado, however in audiophile circles they are known as one of the best headphone manufacturers on the planet. They have been in the Audio industry for over 50 years now and are one of the leaders in design engineering for the high end audio and recording industries.
The company hold 48 patents and Joseph Grado is credited as the inventor of the stereo moving coil phono cartridge and he is responsible for more innovations in phono cartridge design than any other person. He was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1982.
Joseph Grado passed over the company control to his nephew John Grado who started work sweeping the floors of the company at 12 years old. He is now President and owner of Grado Laboratories. Carrying on the family tradition, John has been central to the development of the Prestige, Reference, Statement and Professional Series of Headphones.
All Grado headphones have a vented diaphragm design that incorporates a large air chamber. This design concept lowers the frequency resonance (distortion) of the diaphragm and extends bass response. The diaphragm is made of a low mass polymer, carefully formed to broaden resonant modes to reduce their amplitude.
Grado have five ranges of headphones. The In Ear Series, The Prestige Series, Reference Series, Statement Series and Professional Series. The mainstream Prestige Series headphones, such as the SR80i and SR125i offer great quality audio for very reasonable prices, once you get to the Reference Series you will certainly feel the bank balance start to dwindle.
We are looking today at the second highest model in their range, the GS1000i which received the ‘i’ (improved) updated tag in recent years. They retail for around £950 in the UK, so they are certainly not an impulse buy. The best question is however, are they really worth the money?